Healthy Snack Ideas for Family Road Trips

Family road trips mean time together enjoying the sights zipping past your windows. They also mean having to get the entire family to agree on snacks or even whole meals munched from the near-comfort of car seats.

"While all parents want their kids to eat right, packing snacks that are healthful only matters if your children will eat them," says Edmond Sanctis, co-founder of Sahale Snacks, a producer of healthy, all-natural snack foods. "The key is to pack fun grab-and-go foods that taste great but are healthful and provide protein and energy to keep going all day."

There are several things to keep in mind when selecting food for the road:

Go Natural:
Whenever possible, choose snacks without preservatives and with all-natural ingredients. Steer clear of high fructose corn syrup, MSG, food colorings and snacks high in trans fats. Ingredients such as organic evaporated cane juice can serve as alternatives to high-fructose corn syrup or other processed sweeteners.

Protein Matters:
Snacks high in protein generate long-lasting energy to help you make it through the day. Mozzarella or cheddar cheese sticks typically go over well with kids. Nuts also are good sources of protein, and don't need to be kept cool. Seasoned nuts will make kids forget about potato chips, but choose ones with all-natural flavorings, such as Sahale Snacks' Barbecue Almonds or Southwest Cashews dusted with cheddar cheese and Poblano and Guajillo peppers. Keep things interesting.

Water, Water Everywhere:
Avoid sugary drinks or keep them to a minimum. Water is best for your health and wallet. Pack your own reusable water bottles for every family member, to do your part for the environment.

Make Fruit Fun:
Fruits may be good for you, but for many kids they're no fun. Mix things up by packing fun dips, like peanut butter for apple slices, carrots or celery. Or avoid messes by choosing pre-packaged fruit-and-nut blends that make kids forget they're eating healthfully. For instance, Sahale Snacks' nut blends combine nuts and fruit in unique, all-natural combinations, such as cashews with pomegranate and vanilla bean, or the very kid-friendly blend of peanuts with raspberries and strawberries. These healthful snacks are available in Walmart, supermarkets and health food stores.

Keep it Clean:
Leave greasy or messy snacks on the store shelf, not your backseat! And choose snacks in resealable bags. This way you can dole out portions and neatly reseal the bag for later. Also bring unused resealable bags for garbage and sanitizing wipes to clean up after snacking. 

You don't have to resort to boring, uninspired food, just because you're stuck in the car. That same old trail mix gets dull after a few miles," says Sanctis. "It's all about having a happy backseat."

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