About once a year (okay okay, our average is really two!) we drive together as a family to Disneyland. It’s about 800 miles round trip and I have lots of ways to make the trip enjoyable for toddlers. Healthy snacks are key in my book, and so is creative entertainment.
When I was pregnant with Patrick and wandering the streets of downtown Sydney one morning with James, I was obsessed with finding fresh fruit. The only cafes for blocks had fried and heavy pastries, and I felt out of luck. I remember passing a 7-11 and remembering they had fresh fruit! I was in heaven as I scored a delicious pear and I’m here to let you know that you can find lots of great food on the road.
I know it’s easy to pack pre-cut veggies and other healthy snacks, but this post is all about what you can find at most gas stations or convenience stores. My criteria for finding healthy snacks are as follows:
*They cannot be messy. Alice is 3 and Patrick is 5 and there’s no way I’m buying them their favorite juice – Odwalla Green Machine. No I do not want them covered in green from head to toe the moment we hit a bump thankyouverymuch.
*No artificial colors. This rules out so many treats that are bad for you anyway.
*No sugary or salty snacks. There are sugar and salt added to a few items below, but it’s not in excess. No Big Gulps or Cheetos here!
There are lots of fruit options now with fruit cups becoming popular, but a lot of them include sugar in the syrup, so that didn’t make my cut. Apples, raisins, and bananas are nature’s perfect snack! Speaking of sugar, the yogurt does contain some, but much less than the others making it the less of two evils. And, it’s greek where most others are not, and sugar is an ingredient after fruit. It really defeats the purpose of eating yogurt with fruit if sugar is an ingredient before! I also found boiled eggs which my kids scarf down. Nothing added there! An item with salt are the nuts. Every bag of nuts I found had salt added, and this had the least amount and most variety. Last on my list is hummus. This came with pretzels which is a crunchy and creamy creation.
As a general rule, we don’t use the DVD player unless the trip is more than 4 hours. Our favorite things to do on road trips is listen to cds, books on tape, and color. I’ve included affiliate links below to items we use for the kiddos. Oh, who are we kidding – the Roald Dahl book on CD is a guilty pleasure of mine as well! I hope you enjoyed these ideas and safe travels.