The #1 tip I can give you is to pack smart! You want to save room in the car, but also keep the food fresh and cold. Rubbermaid has amazing products for road trips like the Trunk Cargo Organizer and these great Back Seat Trays. For packing food, I’m obsessed with the Lunch Blox line! You can mix and match, they’re BPA free, and they stack together like Legos. So fun and practical! I love the Salad Lunch Blox best because it makes it easy to avoid junk food on the road!
Why should you be doing all the work? Let the kids get their hands dirty and make these Cheerio necklaces before your trip. It’s a wonderful bonding experience, but also gives them a snack to graze on throughout the ride. Always a softie, I added peach rings and dried apricots as per the Little Man’s request. He has such a sweet tooth!
… just give them a healthy version! Cookies are an easy on-the-go dessert that most kids adore. Upgrade the regular chocolate chip for coconut oatmeal with dark chocolate chunks. The added whole wheat, oats, and nuts provide healthy carbs, protein, and fat to keep kids fuller longer. Plus, they taste delicious! Get the recipe here.
You know what they say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start your family off with protein-rich frittata “muffins.” (Recipe Here) The egg and broccoli provide protein and fiber to keep everyone full and happy. For snackers and grazers, I recommend a spinach cannellini bean dip with raw vegetables or pita chips (recipe here). The protein in these recipes goes a long way!
If your family’s favorite recipes are laden with sugar, try swapping it out for a healthier alternative like apple sauce, honey, or agave. Be careful- swapping out a dry ingredient for a wet one might change the composition, but it’s worth a try! I also like using all natural Stevia in place of sugar and almond meal in place of white all-purpose flour while baking.
Always pack plenty of water bottles for a road trip to avoid dehydration. It’s the healthiest thing you can drink and none of us get enough of it! Kids don’t always need to be drinking juice and parents can often lay off the coffee too!
Of course, not every kid will give up their juice box. Swap out your typical beverage for a healthy, organic version. My favorite is Honest Kids “Appley Ever After,” (how cute is that name?!) which has only 9g of sugar per pouch and is made with organic apples. You don’t need the children bouncing off the walls or having a meltdown while you’re cruising down the highway!
Let the kids help you with this one too- and make a game out of it. Give each kid a personalized paper “trash” bag to encourage them to keep your car clean. Before the trip, have them decorate their bags with markers and sticker- it sounds silly, but it makes it fun for the little ones. Whoever keeps a clean spot in the car gets an extra cookie or a little gift upon arrival! (Dollar store toys, anyone?)
Remember why you planned this road-trip in the first place: you need a little fun and relaxation! Try not to stress about the little things and enjoy the extra time with your family. If you go into this with a positive attitude, you’re sure to have a blast and create lasting memories with your loved ones.
Have fun on your next road trip and don’t forget to share your tips with me on Facebook & Twitter! I love to hear what tricks you have up your sleeves too!