It can be difficult to eat healthily whilst traveling, especially when you have kids who need regular snacks. Often, motorway service stations consist of fast food outlets, vending machines full of chocolate, and shops selling supersized bags of chips – not the healthiest fare for your family. A bit of pre-planning goes a long way: here’s nine snacks to pack in your bag before setting off.Water
Top of the list is water: make sure you have enough with you. Carry a spare bottle in the car in case you get stuck in traffic or have to take a long detour. Buy bottled water at the airport (once past security) to take onto the plane – and if fizzy drinks are available, limit the number your kids are allowed.
Small apples and easy-to-peel satsumas are ideal for little hands, as are bananas. A handful of grapes also works well – pack them in a small Tupperware container so they don’t get squashed.
If fresh fruit is difficult to carry due to space restrictions or vacationing in a hot environment, take small packets of dried fruit. Mini boxes of raisins are always popular with kids, but try other fruits too – dried apricots, dates, figs, mango and pineapple are great ones.
The fat found in nuts is the good, mono-unsaturated sort. Nuts are high-calorie, though, so dish them out in moderation, rather than giving the kids a huge packet to dig into. Peanuts are a crowd-pleaser, but small bags of mixed nuts can provide more variety. Pistachio nuts are fun, if you have somewhere to dispose of the shells!
Easy to pop into a rucksack or pocket, granola bars are perfect for a quick “fill the gap” snack if you have to wait a long time between meals. They’re also easy to eat whilst walking, if you’re having an active holiday.
Another great one for walking and camping holidays, trail mix provides lots of energy in compact form. Why not let the kids help you make your own? You can throw a whole range of things in there, though go easy on the chocolate chips and M&Ms in favor of some breakfast cereal – and of course, dried fruit and nuts.
Small bags of popcorn are easy for little hands and mouths, and make a much better snack than crisps or chocolate. Great for the back of the car (though you may need to vacuum dropped bits of popcorn off the upholstery afterwards…) or long train journeys.
Try mini rice-cakes for a healthy, filling and kid-friendly snack. There’s a great range of flavored ones from Snack-a-Jack, which you can persuade your kids to eat instead of crisps. Great car food, but not ideal if space is limited or if they’re likely to get crushed by other baggage.
Okay, this last one is hard to claim as the healthiest snack ever – but boiled sweets are much better than chocolate. Let your kids pick a few favorites (you can even get sugar-free versions if you’re worried about their teeth). They’re especially useful on planes, as sucking a sweet helps your kids’ ears to “pop”.
What snacks do you stash in your bag when traveling? Do you have an easy-eating favorite for walking, plane journeys or the car?