Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like driving carpool without snacks on hand. Traveling without nibbles is unheard of in my house. I always like to have something ‘just in case’. So, when our family travels, packing snacks is just as important as the clothes we’ll need.
I do not like spending money on high-priced, unhealthy airport food. A little extra planning and prep time means that my children, my husband, and I will all have everything we’ll need to get us from point A to point B.
My husband and I have different food preferences, and - because of that - I try to honor some of the taste differences between my children. Each child (we have four) gets their own snack pack, perfectly suited for him or her. Below, I will share some of our favorite snack choices. You will notice that nuts are not present in this list. While nuts are high up on our snack list, when we are traveling by plane - we avoid bringing nuts. We have family members with nut allergies, and we know how difficult and frightening it can be to fly. I prefer not to add to that tension.
Roasted Garbanzo Beans This is my new, favorite snack. There are so many ways to season these beans and, when cooked, they are crunchy - like nuts. You can play around with different flavors, depending on what your family prefers. There are so many recipes online to help you choose your seasonings. Easy to make, easy to pack, and delicious.
Sweet Potato Chips Instead of buying bags of potato chips, you can make your own. You do not need to deep fry these babies to make them taste good. A little oil, a little salt, and you pop them in the oven. Coconut oil is a good alternative to vegetable oil.
Muffins One of my sons has a wheat allergy, and making muffins ahead of time ensures that he will have something he is able to eat. Thankfully, all my children like muffins, and they are a great snack! Muffins are also a wonderful way to sneak in a vegetable or a fruit.
Home Popped Popcorn When you make it at home, you can ensure that you are serving your children non-gmo popcorn. With a little coconut oil, some sea salt, and a hot pot - you are set with a delicious snack. If you haven’t seen Skinny Pop in your local market, keep your eyes open for it. This is a non-gmo, allergy-free popcorn with several flavors to choose from.
Hard Boiled Eggs If your travels are more than a quick trip and you need something more substantial, hard boiled eggs are a great bring-along. Cook, peel, and pack them up. If you use one of those Fit N’ Fresh food containers, they have an ice pack built right into the lid to keep your food cold.
Veggie Nuggets Another more substantial food choice is vegetable nuggets. You can make your own or purchase them ready-made. Just heat them up and pack them up. Veggie nuggets are an easy choice because they don’t have to be eaten warm. Room temperature is just fine.
Along with the ideas above, we also pack what my daughter calls “Mommy bars”. Again, either homemade or purchased at the store - there are a variety of energy bars and flavors you can choose from. Gluten free, dairy free, nut free - no matter your need, you can make it or find it.
Of course, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and hummus with carrots or crackers will also make it into some of the snack boxes. We also add little containers of seeds (sans nuts) and chocolate chips for a nice little treat. I do like to include some treats as well - cookies, licorice, or something sweet.
Traveling can be stressful and finding healthy food along the way is not always easy. Packing your own snacks will ensure that everyone has food they like to eat, that you’re serving healthy foods, and that you’ll have enough to eat. (wink)