If you and your family are planning a long car journey, your eating patterns will most likely be disrupted. It’s easy to swap your usual healthy diet for quick and easy fast-food when in the car, but you can eat healthily even when on the move. It doesn’t have to mean complicated recipes or expensive restaurants, and Izzy from PassSmart is here to help you keep everyones’ tummies happy whilst on the move.
Wake yourself up
It’s the simplest yet most important meal of the day. There are loads of options for an on-the-go breakfast. Cereal bars are a popular choice for kids, but always be sure to check the ingredients first, as many pre-packaged foods contains high amounts of sugar and saturated fat.
Sugar, kids and long car journeys don’t mix, so why not prepare some fruit salad before you set off instead? Separate it into containers and take some plastic spoons with you so it doesn’t get too messy. You could add some yoghurt to the fruit for bit of variation.
If you’re worried about the kids spilling food in the back, pastries or mini pancakes are another option. Again, storing them in a container or lunch box will hopefully avoid a crumb explosion on the back seat. Top the pancakes with some blueberries and they’re getting a fruit fix too.
Sweet treats aren’t strictly off limits. Sitting still in a car for a long time isn’t easy, and there needs to be some sort of reward (that counts for the adults too!). Cookies, flapjacks or pick n mix make for good treats, as long they don’t have too many of them!
Yoghurt is another favorite lunchbox staple. Kids, yoghurts and cars may sound like a recipe for disaster, but now you can buy squeezey tubes which make it very difficult for the kids to miss their mouths!
Wrap some small packages containing a few sweets or their favorite treat, and give it to them when you stop off to stretch your legs. They’ll be able to work off the sugar rush outside of the car, and they’ve got an incentive to behave themselves whilst you’re driving!
It’s important to eat healthily even when on the move. Make sure you and the kids stock up on your vitamins whilst in the car by snacking on healthy treats if you get a little peckish.
Trail mix is easy and cheap to make. Simply mix together some dry cereal, dried fruits and nuts. Add anything else you like and it’s ready to go.
Vegetables make for great car snacks. Carrot and celery sticks can be eaten on their own or with some humous or salsa dip. You could also pack some cherry tomatoes and cucumber sticks for the children to snack on. Small and easy to eat is the key when it comes to the dreaded veggies
Foods to avoid
It’s not just the fast-food drive thru that you should avoid when on a family road trip. Steer clear of pre-packaged snacks which are often over-priced and full of additives. The best thing about making snacks at home is that you know exactly what’s gone into them. There are so many simple recipes to choose from and they don’t have to be time consuming or messy!
Gummy sweats are also a no go when it comes to car travel. If you’ve ever found an old sweet attached to the back of the seat, on the floor mat or on the back of your head rest you’ll understand why! Kids have a knack of getting sticky things stuck in the strangest of places, so if it sticks, avoid it!
Don’t overfill. Pack foods in large containers so that there’s less chance of spilling, and buy some car storage which allows the kids to place food down without it ending up on their lap or the floor.
Don’t forget your drinks. Take plenty of water with you, in reusable flasks if you want to save on packaging. You could also take some washable plastic cups and some juice if you plan on stopping for lunch.
If you’re going on your travels during the winter months, it’s a good idea to take some flasks of hot drinks too. The adults will really appreciate a coffee, and the kids can have some hot chocolate.
Finally, drive safely and enjoy your trip!