If life were fair, all cars would come with those tinted, soundproof windows that separate limousine drivers from their passengers. Parents could get so much use out of those windows! Heck, my parents could have gotten use out of those windows, because I once kept a fight going for an entire ride to grandma's house because my sister touched my armrest. And somehow we were worse when we were on the same side, like when we saw a Golden Arches and teamed up to chant "McDonald's! McDonald's!" in unison.
While we don't have walls in cars to divide children from parents (yet), we need to rely on other tactics for long car trips — one of which is snacks. Jennifer Garner recently shared her favorite recipes for "pass-back snacks" and I can't wait to try it out in my kitchen.
You might be wondering, at this point, what a pass-back snack is. "You know, those easy snacks you can pass back to hungry kids in a car on the way to wherever your afternoons bring you," Garner wrote on Facebook.
The pass-back homemade granola bars are the subject of the latest episode of what Jennifer Garner is still calling her "Pretend Cooking Show," even though I think it counts as a real cooking show now, because she's filmed four episodes and also I've actually made some of the things she's demonstrated. (My toddler got an absolute kick out of her "Bread Men" version of Ina Garten's honey bread recipe from episode 1.)
I'd make Garner's pass-back snack granola bars, too, because I love granola bars, and this seems like a good recipe for baking with kids who are still too small to measure things properly or stir very well.
Garner's granola bars are an easy mix of coconut, oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and flaxseed, with some butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and a bit of salt. A three-year-old in the "I want to do it myself!" phase could likely handle the dry ingredients, and if they put in too much or not enough of something, it's still probably going to be fine. And a three-year-old could stir the mix (or use their hands) and then press it all into the pan.
It's also a very flexible recipe. You could add anything you like to it. And it's great for car trips or lunch boxes. Garner also suggests adding mini chocolate chips, or melting the chocolate and drizzling it over the top.
"It's nut-free, if you go to a nut-free school," Garner said. "If not, you can always add some slivered almonds or something."
The only problem I anticipate with the recipe is remembering to actually pass the snacks back to the kids, and not eating them all in the front seat while the kids are too busy fighting over the armrests to notice.
What's your favorite kid snack for long car trips?