The 16 Best Travel Snacks for Kids
Low-sugar, high-fiber granola bars are a great way to boost your kids' nutrient intake. Plus, these on-the-go snacks are a lot easier to eat than regular granola.
Yogurt with Toppings Crumble granola bars into a yogurt cup for a smooth and crunchy snack. Travel with pre-packaged, store-bought bars and yogurt cups to combine together while on the go or pack already-crumbled granola in a resealable plastic bag and portion yogurt in a travel-sized container.
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Think outside the box by taking a favorite breakfast food to the next level.
O-Cereal Necklaces String any "O"-shaped cereal onto a piece of yarn, 12 to 18 inches, depending on the size of your child's head; tie the ends to make a necklace. This is a fun activity to do ahead of time, and kids will have a blast munching rings from their neck.
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Combine 1 cup of cereal with 1 cup of yogurt-covered raisins and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Mix well and store in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
Cereal Truffles Mix together 1 cup almond butter (or any nut butter), 1 cup honey, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 cups brown rice cereal (or Rice Krispies), and 1 cup unsweetened coconut. Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in 1 cup chopped sunflower seeds. Place the truffles on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and freeze until firm. Pop truffles into an airtight container and allow them to thaw while traveling.
Popcorn Trail Mix
This sweet and salty snack comes together in minutes and is cheaper, tastier, and healthier than store-bought mixes. Before traveling, package individual servings in plastic bags or lunch-size paper bags. The raisins, apple rings, peanuts and almonds can all be replaced with another variety of dried fruit or nut. Experiment and have fun! Serve this road trip snack to older kids, since popcorn and whole nuts are a choking hazard for kids under age four.
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Almond Butter (or any Nut Butter)
Nut butters are a super way to add protein to snack time, and you can make portability a breeze by purchasing the single-serving packages.
Ants on a Log Cut small sticks of celery (the log) and fill the indentations with almond butter. Place some raisins or dried cranberries (the ants) on top of the butter in a straight line. Store in an airtight container. Kids always get a kick out of this classic travel snack and it's a perfect fruit, veggie, and protein combo.
Almond Butter, Honey, and Banana Sandwich Spread some almond butter on two slices of whole-grain bread. Top with a few slices of banana and drizzle on honey. Cut the sandwiches in half, and store in a resealable plastic bag.
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Mini Carrot-Corn Muffins
Use sturdy napkins to transport these tasty, veggie-filled muffins. Place the muffins in the middle, draw up the sides and tie with string or ribbon. The napkins do double-duty: acting as a pouch and containing the crumbs while the muffins are enjoyed.
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Mini Pancakes or Waffles
Frozen versions are the perfect size for little hands; they also make the best toasted "bread" for small sandwiches.
PB&J Pancake Sammies Defrost mini pancakes in the microwave. Spread half the pancakes with a layer of peanut butter (or favorite nut butter) and the other half with a layer of grape jelly (or other fruit jelly). Put the halves together and pack in resealable plastic bags.
Breakfast Waffle-wiches Toast the waffles and top half of them with thin slices of banana. Drizzle on maple syrup and place the remaining waffle halves on top. Pack waffle-wiches inside an airtight container along with a napkin to catch any syrup drips.
Whole Wheat Wraps
These filling and finger-friendly foods make the perfect road trip snacks!
Cream Cheese and Jelly Pinwheels Spread a wrap with layers of cream cheese and your favorite jelly, roll up, and cut into one-inch pieces that look like pinwheels from the side. Pack inside an airtight container.
Spinach and Feta Quesadillas Melt some feta cheese and chopped spinach between two wraps in a pan heated with oil. Then cut into wedges. Store in an airtight container with a small cup of mild salsa for dipping.
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Nut Butter and Honey Star Bites
To make these adorable mini-sandwiches, lay three slices of whole wheat bread onto a clean plate or counter. Spread 2 tsp. of nut or seed butter onto each slice. Spread 1/2 tsp. honey on top of each slice and dust with ground cinnamon. Then sandwich with three more slices of bread. Gently press down on the sandwiches with clean hands. Using a small, 2-inch star (or other shaped) cookie cutter, cut out mini-sandwiches. You should get about 4 per sandwich.
Don't throw away the sandwich scraps! Save them for yourself or for other family members who don't mind a more "rustic-shaped" snack.
Makes 4 servings, 3 (2-inch) stars each.
Fun to eat while keeping kids busy; a single serving provides 10 to 20 percent of the daily calcium recommended by the USDA.
Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups No bread is needed for this tasty alternative to a pig-in-a-blanket snack. Simply roll thinly sliced deli turkey or ham around a half or a full stick of string cheese. Securing with a toothpick would be dangerous for little ones; instead, store the roll-ups seam side down in an airtight container to keep fresh.
Cheesy Pizza Rolls Cut up a whole stick into little pieces and arrange them on a whole-wheat wrap. Cover the cheese with two tablespoons of marinara sauce. Roll up the wrap and microwave for 30 seconds until the cheese is slightly melted. For short road trips, keep warm in a piece of aluminum foil or store in an airtight container.
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Cinnamon Apple Chips
Baking apple slices "low and slow" will give them the crispy, crunchy texture of a potato chip. No oil or salt required!
Sweet fruit makes for a refreshing and healthy snack on the go that's full of fiber and vitamins.
Mini Fruit-and-Cheese Plate Peel and dice fruit (like apples and pears) into 1-inch chunks and serve along with cubes of your child's favorite cheese and wedges of whole-wheat pita. Everything can be stored easily in airtight containers.
Frozen Banana Bonbons Cut banana into 1-inch rounds, dip in a favorite flavor of yogurt, and roll in crushed graham crackers. Place the slices in an airtight container and store it in the freezer until you're ready to travel. These bonbons are best served as road trip snacks because they defrost pretty quickly
Minty Sweet Salad Cut watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew into 1-inch cubes (you should have 2 cups total). In a small bowl, whisk together the juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 cup finely chopped mint. Toss 1 cup of grapes into the melon mixture, pour over the dressing, and toss. Pack in an airtight container and put in the fridge to maintain freshness.
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Mashed, cooked apples give kids a serving of fruit while satisfying a craving for something sweet.
Apple Dip Pack individual snack cups alongside resealable bags filled with carrot sticks or baby carrots and celery sticks for easy dipping. Or, instead of cups, portion out applesauce into airtight containers.
Apple "Pie" Cups Crush pieces of graham crackers over a cup of applesauce to create a tasty and super healthy mock apple pie. For maximum crunch, store the crackers in an airtight container and then crumble pieces into a cup of applesauce before eating; otherwise, the crackers will get soggy.
Loaded with vitamin B6, folate, and iron, creamy hummus is no ordinary dip. Plus, its thick consistency means less chance of messy spills.
Super Dip Pack hummus inside a small airtight container along with some pita chips, baby carrots, red pepper slices, and celery sticks for dipping.
Pita Pocket Stuff small whole-wheat pitas with hummus and thinly sliced cucumbers (or other sliced vegetable) for a pocket sandwich packed with protein and fiber. Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to keep fresh.
Veggies aren't always an easy sell, but edamame is a smart on-the-go snack that's packed with iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein.
Edamame Poppers Steam up a batch of frozen edamame in pods and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Before you hit the road, sprinkle them with a touch of salt and watch the kids have a blast popping them from the shells right into their mouths.
Edamame Hummus In a food processor, puree 1 cup of frozen edamame (steamed and shelled) with 1 small clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and juice of 1 lemon. Process until smooth and serve with cut veggies or pita chips. Store everything in an airtight container. Edamame hummus is full of fiber and a terrific alternative to high calorie packaged dips.
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Roasted Green Peas
When your kid is craving something crispy and salty pull out this surprisingly delicious travel snack. Using frozen green peas makes this nibble extra-simple to prepare.