Updated June 7, 2017
When I was a child, my family frequently made long road trips to visit family members peppered around the Midwest. The novelty of pit stops at roadside convenience stores lost its luster early on. Instead my family hungered for wholesome foods we could feel good about eating while sitting in the car for long stretches.
By planning ahead, my mom was able to pack with the car with healthful snacks (often homemade) to get us through that stretch from Cleveland to South Bend or Chicago to Green Bay. Today I do the same thing making some and buying others. When I have time to prep ahead, I'll make easy and affordable snacks like Popcorn Trail Mix and other recipes for the road like these:
No-Bake Thumbprint Cookies These vegan sweets feature almond butter, rolled oats and pitted dates. Bonus: no oven needed!
Apple Sandwiches with Granola and Peanut Butter Here’s one the kids can help make! Swap out peanut butter for your favorite nut or seed butter.
Oat-Date Bars This dairy-free and low-sodium snack can be made ahead and frozen until ready to eat.
Oatmeal, Coconut and Sunflower Seed Cookies Chewy oats, rich coconut and crunchy sunflower seeds come together for this tasty treat.
Cocoa-Almond Baked Breakfast Quinoa Take a gluten-free breakfast to go! Simply bake ahead, wrap individual squares and freeze for later.
Hungry for more inspiration? Check out this video for baked apple slices and our road trip recipe collection .
Get the recipe: Baked Apple Chips
Packing a cooler opens up the opportunity for cold drinks, cheese, cut fruit and veggies, plus small sandwiches and salads that require refrigeration. I’ve found that dividing up trail mix or popcorn into individual serving before we leave home helps to cut down on mindless overeating. Finally, don’t forget the spoons, forks, napkins and handwipes! Some ideas include:
- Individual serving sizes of organic or Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt
- Diced or sliced carrots, cucumbers, celery, radish and bell peppers with a dip such as this Simply Delicious Homemade Hummus
- Whole grain corn chips and small containers of bean dip, salsa or pico de gallo
- Grain salads such as this Minty Cucumber-Quinoa Salad
Since you may not have time to cook once you’re on the road, stop by Whole Foods Market ( find your closest local store ). Shop the bulk aisle for dried fruits and granola, grab some 365 Everyday Value® Trail Mixes and single-serve yogurts and don’t forget the fresh fruit!