One of the parenting lessons I’ve learned the hard way over the years is that even if they JUST had lunch, my kids will always say they’re hungry exactly five minutes after we’ve piled in the car. While I might be tempted to roll my eyes sometimes, I also know it’s important to keep them fueled with good food throughout the day, and being prepared with snacks while we’re out and about means we can spend our time creating great memories rather than sitting in the drive-thru line. Here are 7 snacks that are easy to take along on your family adventures:
1. If you have the wherewithal to prep fresh veggies (and kids who will actually eat them!), don’t forget to pack tiny bento-style dip containers, too. Dip makes everything better, and now everyone can have his or her own dedicated salad dressing for unabashed double-dipping.
2. There’s a reason peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a perennial favorite in lunches across America: they hold up well for several hours, they’re reasonably healthy, and kids love them. Make a stack -- enough for the whole family! -- and you’re all set for when hunger strikes.
3. All hail the inventor of the food pouch! They come in a wide variety of flavors, are great for a range of ages (don’t tell me you’ve never eaten one yourself), and they’re simply the best when it comes to grab-and-go convenience. Keep a few in your purse and a stash in the car and you’ll always be a hero.
4. Popcorn: It’s the healthy whole grain that feels like carnival food, right? Portion out individual servings in small baggies so your kids don’t fight over who’s eating more than her share.
5. Customize your crackers and cheese with your family’s favorite varieties. Pack mozzarella sticks and cubed cheddar for the kids, then a creamy brie, nutty Manchego, or sharp bleu for yourself. Wait...did I say “or?” I meant “and.”
6. Hard-cooked eggs are great for a quick midday protein boost. Peel them ahead of time and pop into lidded containers so they’re ready to go when you are. Use plastic egg molds to shape them into bunnies, bears, and cars for extra cuteness.
7. Berries are practically candy when they’re perfectly sweet and ripe, and they make a great on-the-go finger foods packed with vitamins your kids need. Just make sure you store them in hard-sided containers so they don’t turn to slush in your daypack.
What are your family’s favorite portable snacks?
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