Snacks for the Road
Pile the kids into the car, gas it up and you're almost ready for your next road trip. Packing the right snacks will make all the difference between a smooth ride and hours of complaints amid a messy backseat.
"It's been said that armies travel on their stomachs and your family is no different. Pack snacks that are healthful, mess-free and that your kids actually will eat," says Edmond Sanctis, co-founder of Sahale Snacks, a producer of healthy, all-natural snack foods. "The right snacks are great tasting, and will provide you with energy that helps eliminate frequent stops for unhealthful bags of salty chips or fast food."
Here are some quick snack tips to keep your family satisfied on the road:
* Put Water on Top of Your List: Keep sugary drinks to a minimum. Water is best for your family's health and your pocketbook. Bring your own reusable water bottles - one for every family member.
* Go Durable and Natural: Fruits, vegetables and nuts are great snacks, especially in creative, easy-to-eat combinations. When selecting produce, think durable - such as apples, oranges, carrot sticks or dried fruits. Choose nut mixes that go well beyond old-fashioned trail mix. For instance, Sahale Snacks' nut blends and glazed nuts combine tree nuts and fruit with distinctive, all-natural ingredient combinations, such as vanilla bean, pomegranate and cashews, or peanuts and strawberries - providing a treat that both the kids and the grown-ups will enjoy. These snacks are available in conventional and specialty grocers, cafes, outdoor/recreation stores and hotels.
* Stay Away From the Fakes: Avoid high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, preservatives, and MSG. Go all-natural and preservative free. Also, don't overdo it on the sugar or you'll have kids bouncing off the seats repeatedly asking "are we there yet?" Ingredients such as organic evaporated cane juice can serve as alternatives to high-fructose corn syrup, or other highly processed sweeteners.
* Pack a Protein Punch: Be sure to pack some snacks that are high in protein, to provide you with long-lasting energy to make it through the day. For instance, organic mozzarella or cheddar cheese sticks from such brands as Organic Valley can be particularly family-friendly. Nuts also are great sources of protein, as they don't need to be kept cool. If you do choose milk or meat-based protein, pack something to keep it cool, such as a freezer pack or a frozen juice box.
* Don't Sacrifice Quality and Taste: Just because it's a snack on-the-go, doesn't have to mean uninspiring trail mix and cardboard-like energy bars. Take the time to pack your own natural, healthful snacks such as muffins, fruit breads or other great tasting foods. Or, opt for creative pre-packaged snack foods, such as organic glazed nuts or bags of baby carrots and celery sticks.
* Get Organized and Stay Clean: Avoid messy or greasy snacks that you don't want on your backseat. Look for resealable bags when purchasing snacks like nut mixes or pretzels. Buy four-to-five ounce bags to dole out portions for the family and then reseal the bag for later. Also pack resealable bags for trash, and don't forget the sanitizing wipes.
For more snack ideas, visit www.sahalesnacks.com.
"Packing the right road food will help maintain peace in the car, while keeping pit-stops to a minimum," stresses Sanctis.