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Wisconsin Parent

Road Trip Snacks For Kids

May 29, 2014 03:48PM ● By Abbie Chaffee

In 2 short days we will be embarking on a 1300 mile journey from WI-PA-NY-NH (and back again) with a toddler, infant, and dog all crammed into a micro-van. I’m crazy, I know.

Our survival over the 3 days in the car depends greatly on snacks! When in doubt, give them something to eat? (More eating, less whining, right?) Since my kids are still so little, I’m pretty serious about avoiding “junk”. No chips or cookies that are super processed. No candy that is full of chemicals. I will, however, pack an emergency stash of lollipops to dole out when we desperately need to coerce a toddler into cooperating for another hour or two (I feel zero guilt about that). As they get older, I’ll lighten up about this, but right now I don’t really want a car full of sugar-crashed kids melting down. My 3 year old and 7 month old each have their respective snack options. The baby is easy: rice rusks (basically just something to gnaw on as a form of entertainment). The toddler (the pickiest eater in the world) has a broader selection of choices.

Here is a run down of our toddler-approved snack options:


  • Popcorn; made up before we leave and stored in a zip-top bag. My child will happily eat stale popcorn anytime; so I will make A LOT before we leave.
  • Cheddar Bunnies
  • Apple Sauce pouches. I like the Go-Go Squeeze brand. Probably because I can buy a huge box from Costco without breaking the bank.
  • Plum Organics fruit snacks. I found these at Target.
  • Fruit leathers
  • String Cheese (kept in a small cooler in the car, along with other cold treats). Again, I bought a BIG bag from Costco.
  • Frozen yogurt tubes: Chobani Greek yogurt tubes are her favorites. I will freeze them before we leave, and they will gradually thaw along the way.
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries; washed and trimmed but kept whole for easier eating.
Now for the REALLY crazy part:

The snacks will be divided up into single serving portions and packed together in the cooler/snack box. I will then intermittently update the snack choices in her insulated lunch box (which we regularly bring in the car anyway).

Here is what they look like packed together:

WIParent-2I can just grab a Ziploc bag and easily refill without searching all over for a certain item. It also ensures that we won’t go through ALL of one thing before we leave WI (If left to her own devices, she would eat an entire box of yogurt tubes in one sitting). I currently have a large tote bag with about 20 of these baggies made up! I think it will definitely end up being well worth the 5 minutes it took to put them all together.

Here are some other road trip snack tips:

Use Ice packs instead of ice to keep a cooler chilled. It helps keep food from getting water logged and you don’t have a huge mess to clean up if the cooler gets knocked over.

Prevent the inevitable sibling squabbling and give each kid a box/basket/bag with their own snacks.

Check out these snack organization ideas (found via Pinterest):


From inspire co: Snack Tray for Road Trip



Happy Travels!