This is my third post in the Traveling with Young Children (And Still Enjoying Life) Series. I also cover how to be prepared with an Oops Box, Air Travel, and Keeping Children Entertained in other posts.
One way to avoid meltdowns while traveling with your family is to have a stocked car full of food. A word of advice: pack more food than you expect you will need. When we travel and one of my girls starts to fuss, I hand back a new snack. I try to present the snacks in a new way to make them special for our trip. Like any parent, I try to feed my family healthy food, but traveling is different and my family will have more treats than usual during this time. I have fond memories of camping with my dad and stopping at the same ice cream shop for a chocolate dipped cone. We are making memories here, sweet friends!
- Nosh Necklaces: Use thick yarn to string a variety of snacks and make a necklace to munch on during your trip. These take longer to eat than snacks in a cup. As with anything around your child’s neck, make sure they are staying safe. You can use pretzels (regular, yogurt, or chocolate dipped), cheerios, dried apple rings, fruit loops, gummy Lifesavers, or any snack that has holes.
- Medicine Box Munchies: A weekly pill box gives each child the same snacks so no more “but she got more than me!” if they each have the same amount. You can fill each “day” with a small treat. Your child will need to snap open each compartment to get their snack. They will be excited to see what snack is hidden in the next box. This is not an idea to follow if you use these regularly for medicine in your household. You can also use a bead box for a similar idea.
- Open for Fun: Wrap snacks up in a layer of aluminum foil and then use a few extras layers to crumple into a ball. Make several balls with different foods and put the balls in a large Ziploc bag. For snacks with fruit or cheese, I add a freezer pack so the balls will stay cold.
- Yogurt Smoothies: My kids love yogurt but let’s be honest, it’s much too messy to eat in the car! Instead of peeling back the lid and giving my girls a spoon (and imagining how awful my car is going to smell after the yogurt spills), I can just punch a hole through the foil on top and, voila, yogurt smoothie drink that is less likely to spill!
Bonus advice: To keep your car clean(er) while traveling, make sure to use Sippy cups that do not spill when turned over for kids and add thermal mug to keep liquids cold or hot for adults.
What are some of your family’s favorite snacks while traveling?