Travel is one of my biggest passions. Before kids, my husband and I went backpacking through Europe for 5 months straight. With 4 kids, life is very different, but our sense of adventure is still going strong! We are creating amazing memories with our kids road-tripping our way around the world.
Healthy eating is always important, but it can be even more pertinent when you are stuck in a car with a bunch of crazy kids! Who wants to be in a confined space with kids who are on a sugar-high or pumped full of chemicals that promote hyperactivity?
My husband has celiac disease as well as 3 out of 4 of my daughters. As you can imagine, gas station food and fast food chains do not provide many options for my family. You could say over the years I have become quite an expert at healthy eating while road-tripping. Here’s some of my favorite snacks, meals (because you can only eat so many snacks) and tips for creating fabulous, healthy memories with your family.
LET’S START WITH THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE
+Cooler or Cooler bag (I love the cheap cooler bags from Trader Joe’s. They are only $7 and they sit perfectly on the back of a stroller when you are out and about)
+Ice pack, ice or dry ice
+Reusable water bottles (can be frozen overnight to keep food cold)
+Plenty of water (DO NOT drink high sugared or caffeinated drinks)
+Lunch boxes or containers
+Rubbish bag (oops I mean trash bag!)
+Small cutting board and knife (make a sheath for the knife out of corrugated cardboard and duct tape)
+Condiments: salt, pepper, mustard, mayo
HERE IS A LIST OF MY FAVORITE ROADTRIP SNACKS
+Cut up veggies with dip (hummus,guacamole or a healthy ranch)
+Homemade granola bars
+Bliss Balls (see amazing recipe at bottom on this article)
+Fruit- think easy to eat and not too juicy. Clementines, apples, berries + grapes. I like to repack berries in a sturdier plastic container to avoid spoiling.
+Trail mix (make your own or shop around to avoid excess sugar and artificial ingredients)
+Preservative free jerky
+Low sugar yogurts (can freeze overnight)
+KidzShake smoothies (can be made with water or milk of choice in a blender bottle)
+Hard boiled eggs
+Sweet potatoes. I roast whole sweet potatoes the night before and they are delicious eaten cold in their jackets (this is aussie for in their skins)
EASY + YUMMY MEALS ON THE ROAD
Individual taco cups (see recipe below)
Mini quiches (these can be made ahead of time and frozen)
Mini meatloaves (these can be made ahead of time and frozen)
Zucchini Loaves (these can be made ahead of time and frozen
Chicken salad to be served in lettuce leaves or wraps (see recipe below)
Mexican street corn pasta salad (see recipe below)
Wraps. healthy luncheon meat and salad items
Chewy Peanut Butter Balls
This can be made ahead and stored in the freezer
1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats (GF if needed)
1/2 cup of Peanut Butter (can substitute in any nut or seed butter)
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of mini dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup of crispy rice cereal (or puffed millet)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 scoops of Vanilla KidzShake.
1. Add all ingredients to bowl and mix well.
2. Place mixture in fridge to cool for about an hour
3. Roll small amounts of mixture to form balls.
4. Can keep in freezer.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta
2 cups of pasta, uncooked
3 cups of cooked corn
3 scallions, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro. chopped
6 strips of uncured bacon
1/2 cup of queso fresco or feta
optional: 1/2 cup of cooked black beans
optional: 1 finely diced jalapeños
1/2 cup of healthy mayo
1 tablespoons of lime juice
1 teaspoon of healthy taco seasoning
1 teaspoon of hot sauce
salt and pepper
1. Cook pasta according to instructions, drain and make sure pasta is cool dry.
2. In a large bowl add all salad ingredients and and lightly toss. Place in an airtight container until salad is ready to eat.
3. Mix all ingredients for dressing in a small bowl until combined. Place in a separate container until ready to eat.
4. When ready to eat, drizzle dressing over salad and gently toss.
Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup of heathy mayo or greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon rind
salt and pepper
optional add ins: walnuts and grapes
1. Add all ingredients (except walnuts and grapes) to bowl and gently mix until combined
2. Stir in walnuts and grapes before serving if desired.
3. Serve in lettuce leaves or wraps
Tacos on the Run
Makes enough for a family of 6
1 lb of ground meat
2 tablespoons of healthy taco seasoning
1 can of black beans
1 cup of finely sliced cabbage
1 cup of grated cheese
optional extras: scallions, sour cream, jalapeños
Organic corn chips or tortillas to serve
1. Cook ground meat with taco seasoning. Add in drained black beans. Let cool if taking on road trip.
2. Layer individual containers with meat/beans, guacamole, salsa, cabbage and cheese.
3. Serve with tortilla chips or tortillas.