top camping and road trip snacks for little ones
Summertime is here and that means vacations!! Whether you are heading on a road trip, camping in your own backyard with the kiddos, or hiking into a remote campsite with a little one strapped to your back (way to go you!), snacks are essential for fuel and fun! For toddlers, snacks are oh-so important, even for regular day-to-day outings. They have little tummies which means we need to provide nutrient rich foods for growth and development, and often. I’m talking every two to three hours. Little kids eat frequently because they’ve got small tummies but big nutritional needs! When you’re packing snacks in advance for a longer trip, like a camping weekend, snacks need to be portable, safe, and provide a dual purpose – nourishment and entertainment!
So, here are my top 5 tips for packing portable and fun snacks for little ones.
- Keep it dry!
I don’t suggest offering snacks in the car while you’re driving (from a safety standpoint), but if you do (because…life), offer your toddler a dry snack (vs. wet) like Baby Gourmet Finger Foods, Mushies or Puffies, whole grain crackers, whole grain dry cereal or nutritious granola bars. Reason being – it’s much easier to shake out a car seat and watch the snacks fall than to try to wipe away the remnants of a yogurt drink. You live, you learn!
- Make them fun 🙂
I love a good “snackle-box”, which is basically a small container with even smaller compartments inside. Kids love to see their snacks compartmentalized and laid out for them; and will have fun picking and choosing what to consume first. Another great idea would be to loop toddler O cereal through a string!
- Pack multiples
Once you reach your destination you will eventually have to return! It’s sad to see vacations end, but even sadder when you realize you’ve used all your snacks on the hike in. Use zip lock bags to organize snacks if you’re unable to restock.
- Keep them safe
Food safety is important when packing multiple snacks for multiple days. The basic rule of thumb is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold if they are perishable (here’s a post with some tips on how to do that). This means packing foods like yogurt and cheese in an insulated cooler with an ice pack. Otherwise, stick to non-perishable foods so that you don’t need to worry about it!
- Offer variety
It’s the spice of life they say! Keep your little one excited about snack time and offer a variety of new and favourite foods. Research shows that the more variety in shapes and colours, the more kids will eat (this is good news for the more particular little eaters out there!).
Now that I’ve given you tips on HOW to pack for a camping or road trip. Here are 10 delicious and nutritious snack options for your little ones:
Baby Gourmet Mushies, Puffies, and Finger Foods! Baby Gourmet has an amazing line of baby and toddler-friendly finger foods. They’re nutritious and great practice for kids learning to become self-feeders.
Muffins. They’re easy to make and can be loaded with nutrients to keep your toddler feeling satisfied. My favourite muffin recipes are my flourless chocolate lentil protein muffins and these easy and filling oatmeal muffins – my kids devour these at breakfast
Nut butter and jam cracker sandwiches. You betcha! Kids will love the fact that they’re eating mini “sandwiches”. Use a whole grain cracker!
Toddler trail mix. Throw together some of the Baby Gourmet snack foods, dried cereal, dried fruit like raisins or dried blueberries, along with some yogurt chips or chopped walnuts and slivered almonds.
Crackers and cheese cubes.
Frozen yogurt tubes.
Apple slices with dip.
Homemade banana muffins or teething biscuits using Baby Gourmet iron-fortified cereal
Pita wedges and hummus.Or whole wheat tortilla rolls using hummus!
Have a great vacation!