Labor Day and traveling go together like ferociously hungry children and a car ride.
Chances are your family is headed out of town this holiday, even if it’s a simple day beach trip. It’s in everyone’s best interest if the car is fully stacked with munchies.
Ilisa Nussbaum, a clinical dietitian at Yale New Haven Hospital said the key is planning and packing to avoid last minute stops.
“Once you find yourself hungry and rushed in the airport shop or roadside gas station, it’s going to be hard to talk your kid, or yourself, into an orange instead of chips, so avoid the shop and avoid the stress,” Nussbaum said.
Filling, yet enjoyable, snacks are the way to go. Think a combination of fruit, whole grains, nuts, cheese sticks, veggies and hummus.
Aseky Bonnaire, a popular central Florida lifestyles and family travel blogger, knows a thing or two about packing travel snacks. Bonnaire and her husband have four children between the ages of 2 and 8. Over the past year they have been everywhere from Hawaii to Utah to Mexico.
When on a trip, whether by car or plane, each child gets his or her own gallon-size bag filled with snacks, which they keep in their own backpacks.
“When they finish their snacks, that’s it, don’t ask me for more,” Bonnaire said, adding she makes sure she packs plenty to last them.
She advises leaving the fancy food containers at home — one less thing to worry about and lose. Instead, opt for packing snacks in disposable bags or get snacks already packed in individual servings.
Sticking to healthy eating while traveling is still a must for the Bonnaire family. Besides, Bonnaire said her children appreciate the snacks they are used to.
“Think about a day at home,” Bonnaire said. “What are the typical snacks they would ask for? They are going to want the same things they will eat at home and then some because they are bored. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, be over prepared.”
From a dietician standpoint, Nussbaum, a mom of three, said it’s OK to add some sweets to your snack repertoire.
“It’s fun and can be a treat to look forward to while traveling,” Nussbaum said. “My favorite travel sweet is gourmet flavored jelly beans. I’ve spent entire flights with my kids trying to guess the jelly bean flavors and mixing together mystery recipes for each other to try and guess.”
Here are some snack options you may want to pack on your next family trip.
These resealable snacks are perfectly packed for traveling. They contain everything from fruits to vegetables to pudding. It’s an easy way to sneak some healthy food into your little one’s diet while on the go. Pack plenty. Children will go through these quickly, but they’re also good for parents. gogosqueez.com
Nature’s Bakery Bars
These bars are individually packed and made with whole grains and sun-ripened fruit. Some even have fruits and veggies baked right in. The soft, chewy bars come in flavors like brownie, strawberry and blueberry. There also are gluten-free options. naturesbakery.com
This is the treat to pack when you’re craving something sweet, but don’t want to ingest a ton of sugar. JOJO’s Chocolate is a guilt-free, plant-based option that doesn’t force you to pick between a healthy snack and a sweet treat. Flavors include original, Goes Hawaiian, Peanut Butter Delight and Raspberry Dream. jojoschocolate.com
Tidbits Fun Bites
These bite-sized meringue cookies are a great snack for diabetics or those following a keto diet. It’s hard to believe with flavors like cotton candy, birthday cake and caramel, they are less than two calories per piece. If you’re able to contain yourself from eating the entire bag, the treats come in resealable packs for easy transportation. tidbits.fun
Don’t forget about keeping mom and dad caffeinated. High Brew makes coffee in a can in flavors ranging from peppermint mocha to nitro sweet cream cold brew. There’s a caffeinated flavor for everyone’s palate, including dairy-free. If you need hot coffee, they’ve got you covered. Order the black and bold, which comes in a self-heating can. Just give a twist to the disc on the can when you’re ready for your warm brew. highbrewcoffee.com
D’vash Superfood Bites
These vegan, organic superfood bites and bars are made with dates. The individually-wrapped products make it easy to throw in a bag and grab when you need an energy boost. They come in flavors like peanut butter crunch, cashew almond, walnut cranberry and a slew of others. dvashorganics.com
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