Whether it's pick-up time, you're taxiing your kids to practice, or you've packed the family in for a day trip, don't leave without the best road trip snacks to keep everyone energized. They're important for managing hunger and helping kids get important nutrients, notes KidsHealth.org. When there's no time to stop at the store but your growling stomach thinks otherwise, there are plenty of on-the-go snacks that are quick to pack and won't leave a mess in the car. You won't hear any complaints from the kids when they open these grab-and-go snacks.
1. Frozen grapes: This is a refreshing and portable snack for the warmer months. Frozen white or red grapes taste like mini-ice pops but without the mess and added sugar.
2. Homemade trail mix: Use leftover tidbits and the kids won't know what to expect when they open a bag of homemade trail mix. Include bits of dry cereals, chocolate chips, nuts (such as protein-packed almonds), raisins, marshmallows, seeds, pretzels, and popcorn.
3. Fig and fruit bars: This part-fruit, part-cake, part-cookie snack now comes with fillings other than fig. Apple- and cherry-flavored bars are available in the granola bar aisle.
4. Protein shakes: Just shake and open these drinks and you'll think you're drinking a milkshake. Compact bottles of nutritional protein shakes come in flavors beyond just vanilla and chocolate, and they quickly satisfy hunger until dinner.
5. Protein and granola bars: Even one protein bar is enough to kick hunger pangs to the curb. You'll find high-protein energy bars in the health section of the grocery store and other granola-type bars nearby. Bring a box in the car to have on hand at all times.
6. Cheese and crackers: Packaged or homemade, this is a classic snack for on-the-go families. Today's premade cheeses and crackers come in loads of varieties, including dipping cups and cracker snack packs.
7. Mini bagels: Great for hungry teens on the go, these substantial snacks can include cream cheese, chocolate spread, peanut butter, or cheese spread to up the protein levels.
8. Pudding: Who can resist popping open the top of a packaged or homemade pudding cup? Stick to vanilla or lemon to minimize those inevitable messes.
9. Edamame: Not only are these vegetables fun to eat on the go, but they're also packed with filling protein and fiber. Edamame are soybeans in pods, but you can find them sold in or out of the pod. Just have a garbage bag ready in the car to collect the inedible pods.
10. String cheese: Buy these by the bagful or dice up a cube of fresh mozzarella or other chunk of cheese and place in a baggie. There won't be a hunger growl heard for miles in the car.
If you want more ideas and inspiration for road trip snacks, head over to our list of snacks with moms in mind.