These Toddler Snacks Are Great for Road Tripping This Spring
On the road with your toddler this spring? You need to pack for distraction — hours of it. Books, videos, toys and games abound.
Then, there are the snacks. While you can deal with the kids projectile-launching food at home relatively easily, your hands and senses will be dutifully occupied on the road. You need healthy snacks that fit in their little hands, leaving them full and tantrum-free. It’s important to strike a balance by packing a few of their favorites, as well as mostly healthy, mess-free foods.
Here are eight car-friendly, tasty snacks your kids will love you for bringing along.
As long as you don’t use syrup, waffles are already handheld. Pop them in the toaster, pack them and give them to your kid. Though toppings traditionally make the waffle the glorious food that it is — your kid will likely destroy the bare waffle on the spot — it even makes a fun faux steering wheel!
Take smaller tortillas and spread seed or nut butter across them for a healthy snack. Whether your kids are fans of peanut butter and jelly or lunchmeat and cheese sandwiches, all you have to do is roll it up and go.
- Dry Cereal
Face it. You want to cook the least amount of healthy road trip food possible, and you also don’t want to buy junk from the store stuffed with artificial ingredients. Dry cereal is the answer. Scoop out your toddler’s favorite cereal, then pack it up. They’re sure to spend at least a few minutes happily crunching away.
- Fruit and Fig Bars
They’re part cookie, part cake, but they also have fruit in them. Fruit and fig bars are a curiously healthy and enticing road trip snack for your toddler — you’re one sneaky parent.
Ask the grocery store clerk which aisle holds the sacred granola bars, and you’re in business for the healthy fruit snack attack.
- Cheese, Please!
Adults and kids alike seem to have a weakness for cheese. The ooey-gooey richness of cheese comes in many flavors and consistencies, like peppery, smoky and herby, for example. There’s cheese for every picky palate. Chances are, your kid loves it in mac-n-cheese. But unfortunately, that won’t do on a road trip.
Cheese and crackers are a classic road trip snack, whether they’re homemade or pre-packaged. String cheese is even better for the car, as it’s an easy peel-to-eat snack without the mess. Your child will have fun peeling back each string and eating it. Plus, the movement is excellent for developing motor skills.
- Squeezable Applesauce
Applesauce cups and spoons don’t mix with toddlers — unless they’re practicing invading a castle with projectile fruit mush. Hey, it could work.
Go the squeezable route while you’re on the road if your toddler has a thing for applesauce. Maybe they will squeeze it on their face, but it won’t be on the top of your head. With practice, the applesauce goes inside toddler tummies where it belongs.
With ingenuity, you can even make your own refillable homemade applesauce pouches, though extra-crunchy moms may have to do a taste test through a straw for chunkier applesauce. At worst, it becomes food for a great gag video.
- Cut Up Veggie Sticks
Your kids are more likely to get their full spectrum of nutrition in when they eat the rainbow. Health experts advise parents and children to fill their plates halfway with colorful veggies and fruits and the other side with whole grains, protein and other nutritional foods.
You won’t have a plate, per say, on the road trip, but you can still let your toddler taste a healthier rainbow on the road. Cut up veggie sticks of colorful peppers, zucchini, celery and carrots, then throw in cucumber slices for additional water content. Provide dips, such as ranch and peanut butter, with caution.
- Mini Muffins
While you can buy a tray of mini muffins, homemade goodies offer more customization, such as mixing in delicious blueberries and walnuts. You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen, either — use one bowl to mix up your muffin batter. Then, fill the mini muffin tray with care, bake them, pack them up and hit the road.
Simplify Your Next Kid-Accompanied Road Trip With These Tasty Snacks
You love your toddler, but road tripping with your munchkin bodes for a mixed bag of fun and exhaustion for all. Sometimes, all you need is a toddler-friendly waffle steering wheel — that’s also edible — to keep rolling with it.
Schedule messier meals and snacks for pit-stops such as a restroom or walking break. For meals, don’t forget to make a list of kid-friendly restaurants in advance. You can look at menu options early on to help plan the snacks out and make them more nutrition-friendly.
Include these eight mess-free foods to keep the toddler tantrums in check and your baby well-fed — along with your sanity — so you can make the best of memories together on your road trip.