Have you ever noticed that most of the foods marketed to us as “snack food” contain highly refined carbohydrates and sugars? They are also not very nutritionally dense.
Whether you are going to a picnic in the park, going on a weekend camping trip, or you are traveling cross-country, you and your kids need snacks that are wholesome.
Giving your family snacks of real food will keep you all going longer and stronger.
Wholesome Treats for the Cooler
If you have the time and the storage space, I would recommend bringing along a cooler or small lunch bag with an ice pack. I like to pack a cooler in the car when we go on longer trips to the nature center, park, zoo, or lake.
Even if you don't drive you can still place a small bento box or lunch bag in your stroller or backpack.
- homemade fermented pickles
- hard boiled eggs
- cold cooked chicken (or chicken salad)
- garlic and green pepper hummus
- real food tortillas filled with cream cheese and sliced strawberries
- sliced bell peppers, celery, cauliflower
- zucchini sticks
- apples and peanut butter
- pineapple bites
- leftover roast beef with blue cheese in lettuce wraps
- cucumber and onion salad (my kids love when I throw this together before we leave – try some white wine or rice vinegar for a lighter flavor)
- sliced tomatoes with cilantro, avocado, and sprinkled with lime juice
- cheese slices or squares
- pasta salad (2 cups cooked whole grain pasta, veggies, cubed cheese, olives, salt & pepper, oil and vinegar to taste)
Real Food Snacks to Pack in Your Purse
Even if you can't bring foods that need refrigeration you can still pack a few snacks in your purse for quick hunger satisfaction.
Fruit and Veggies
Two of my favorite snacks to bring along are apples and bananas. They are the perfect travel foods – easy to eat on the go and they store well whole. Other produce that travels well without refrigeration:
- carrot sticks
- miniature bell peppers
- broccoli florets
- cherry tomatoes (place in a hard container so they don't get squished)
- dried fruit (plums, cherries, pineapple, bananas) look at the ingredients to avoid any added sugars
- homemade fruit leather
Nuts, Seeds, etc.
We love packing cashews, almonds, pumpkins seeds, and olives for quick snacks because they are very filling and provide healthy fats and protein!
- pine nuts
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
- homemade fruit & nut bars
- homemade jerky
Some options for grains:
- rice cakes (we love the white cheddar flavored ones)
- homemade popcorn
- oatmeal energy balls
- oatmeal breakfast cookies
- homemade granola
- homemade crackers (try these gluten-free crackers from Thank Your Body)
Don't forget to pack your water bottles with you also so you don't have to buy sugary drinks or unnecessary plastic bottles. Make flavored waters to take with you to make drinking it more appealing.
By taking a few minutes to dig through your kitchen and prepare snacks the night or morning before you head out, you can avoid a lot of last-minute eating out (saving money) and adding unwanted “junk” calories (saving them for good foods).
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