When you're traveling, snacks are key. When you're traveling with kids, snacks are essential. And packing the right snacks requires some strategy. Kid travel snacks should be relatively healthy, not too messy, and still fun to eat — in case they must be used as a distraction.
Having done my fair share of traveling with my two children, here are 10 of my favorite snack recipes to make ahead and pack to go.
Chex Mix is one of my favorite road trip snacks, and, it seems, my fondness is genetic. This recipe makes a big enough batch for a long weekend trip or a cross-country flight. Pre-portion this snack before the trip to minimize spills (and so no one has to share).
Individually wrapped granola bars or fruit bars are like kid gold, but these are even better because you can customize the flavor — and control the sugar. We often wrap and freeze these before a long trip, as freezing makes them just a bit sturdier. These can do double duty as a quick breakfast while you wait at the airport.
You had the kids at "cookie." These bites are a great treat that won't leave a trail of cookie crumbs on the car floor. You can also flatten these cookies and separate them with parchment paper in a zip-top bag so they can take up less space in a carry-on.
These wraps are filling, don't make a mess, and travel well. Fold some of the dip into the cream cheese to make these a one-handed snack experience. We pack these in a cooler for long road trips when the options are few before our destination.
These are one of my children's most requested school lunches. They hold up well to packing without refrigeration and taste a whole lot better than the Sbarro in Concourse T.
Crunchy, tasty, and mess-free, you really cannot beat crackers as a snack. These crackers are a perfect vehicle for dip or partner for cheese sticks and apple slices.
You knew cheddar crackers had to be on this list somewhere. These ones are rich and cheesy, but there's also some broccoli added to the batter. (That makes them sort of healthy, right?)
My kids are anomalies and would eat cooked chickpeas straight up for a snack, but these crispy ones are even better. Flavor them with salt and nutritional yeast for a Cheeto-esque snack, or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for a sweeter treat.
Yes, these are a sweet treat, but they have way less sugar than the candy that calls my kiddos' names at the gas station. You can use almost any puffed cereal to make these marshmallow-based treats, too.
These are the snacks you hide in the back pocket of your carry-on to get you through that last hour of a flight or to share with the grumpy guy in front of you when your 2 1/2-year-old has made a game out of opening and closing the tray table a hundred times. He won't be so grumpy with one of these. (Ask me how I know.)
What homemade treats do you pack when you're traveling with kids?