This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and DripDrop®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DrinkDripDrop #DripDropHydrates http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV”
Since I have become a mom, and the unofficial trip coordinator for our family, I can tell you firsthand that preparing for and traveling with children and a family is A LOT of work. One of the first things I plan, and the last things I’m still adding to as we run out the door, are our snacks. It’s easy to overload on junk when you’re stuck inside a moving vehicle, strapped in your seat, with nothing to do. And how super convenient are all those single-serving, pre-packaged foods? You can practically just pitch them at your kids and enjoy the ensuing, although brief, silence while they chew… Awesome, except for the nutritional value, or lack thereof, and it’s effects. Who really wants to spend hours driving around in a small box with children on a sugar-high, or worse, crashing from a sugar-high? The trip to your destination is enough to completely wear you out. That’s not very promising for your vacation. You’ve got to have energy to explore and keep up with your kids. Staying healthy is one of the best ways to ensure that your vacation will be a great one!
I’ve listed 10 snacks that are (mostly) healthy, fill you up so you aren’t snacking for the entire 7-hour trip, and still taste great! These are our go-to favorites when we are filling up the snack box and piling into the car.
1. DripDrop Hydration Powder. This stuff is seriously amazing. It’s medical grade, tastes great and is safe for just about anyone over the age of one year. It’s like a slightly-less sweet lemonade and has about 6 grams of sugar per packet, so my kids will still drink it and the sugar content is better than juice or soda. But, this is awesome for me too! Being the only girl in a car full of boys, bathroom breaks that aren’t along side the road somewhere can be few and far between. I can stay hydrated and feeling great without needing to find a rest stop every 60 miles. It gives me more energy that I need to keep up with my family by helping me stay hydrated so I feel good when we finally start the actual vacation part of any trip.
Oh, wait though, it gets better. You can also use this when little Sally is car sick and you’re only 25 minutes into a six-hour car ride. Or when Billy starts throwing up because he shared his flu-infested cousin’s apple slices two days ago… and the flu germs. Because sharing is caring, right? I always pack a “medicine bag” when we travel, because if I don’t my kids inevitably need some and I hate buying new medication when I know we have the same thing at home in the medicine cupboard. I love that this saves me space and can double as an oral hydration method when my kids are sick and we’re traveling.
2. Peanuts. These are high in protein and leave you feeling fuller longer. You can mix them with lots of other dry foods if you want a little more variety of taste. Dried fruit, other nuts and honey mustard pretzels are my favorites. And it’s an easy one-hand snack the driver can munch on safely.
3. Raisins. If you mix raisins with the peanuts mentioned above, you actually have a ridiculously amazing snack. All kinds of energy will be flowing through your body, but not the fidgety, twitchy energy you get from a sugar high. This is an awesome snack if you’re going hiking, biking, rock climbing or some other physically demanding activity, but also for sitting in the car. You won’t need much to feel like you’re not hungry anymore. And you can’t beat the salty and sweet combination. This is my go-to snack when I’m pregnant, on the go and have a hard time keeping my blood sugars level. Awesome constant energy here. If you absolutely hate raisins, substitute dried cranberries.
4. Protein bars. Obviously, there is the protein factor, which helps the food stick with you longer and means you are less likely to snack as often. Often times, protein bars are fortified with additional nutrients and vitamins. If my kids are going to sit and snack all day, they might as well get their vitamins in there too. Protein bars usually have more calories than a typical granola bar and sugar content can depend on manufacturer. What seals the deal for me though, is that I can eat half a protein bar and be content for an hour or two. I always get to the end of a granola bar and wish it had been longer.
5. Cheese and crackers. 100% whole grain crackers and creamy cheese make a fantastic snack for road trips. It takes a little time to prepare, which might even make you eat less, but is so worth it. A little bit of calcium, a bit of protein, whole grains, and a whole lot of delicious.
6. Fresh fruits and veggies. We love fruits and veggies, but they aren’t always easy to eat while you’re in the car. I will take the time before we leave to cut up apples, peel oranges, slice celery, jicama, bell peppers, broccoli and cauliflower. I even core strawberries. Grapes, carrot sticks, and bananas are pretty easy to throw in a cooler and take along too. This is one of our favorite snacks on the road. The natural sugars make my kids love these foods and they won’t make them crash then the sugar wears off, saving me from the dreaded whine that follows. And that just makes me love them even more.
7. Cheese sticks or string cheese. Because, although my kids would love for me to hand them each a block of cheese to gnaw on, that just isn’t practical. And probably not very sanitary either. Ugh, just the thought of all that gooey cheese is enough to make me grateful for the genius idea of pre-packaged, single-servings in some of the healthier foods too!
8. Crackers. We usually have the peanut butter-filled kind. My boys love peanut butter and smashed between a cracker is a great way to make it portable. You can buy these pre-packed and single servings as well, and I keep those on hand for times when I don’t have time to make my own. On road trips though, I will usually take a jar of peanut butter and a package of crackers (usually Ritz-type crackers) and make my own. It’s super easy to put together and hand out when the boys are hungry. The downside to the homemade kind is that they can make a huge mess if they get dropped in the car seat or smashed into the floor. The pre-packaged ones usually make a little less gooey of a mess.
9. Veggie chips. While these aren’t really all that healthy on the general health-o-meter, but they score a little higher than a regular potato chip. They usually have less fat and less calories per serving than a potato chip. But, for me, these just seem to sit better in my stomach. They aren’t as greasy and don’t leave me feeling icky. My kids love these more than I do, in complete honesty, and some times it’s about making the healthiest choice in comparison to other similar options. It’s a whole lot easier to convince a 4-year-old to eat veggie chips instead of potato chips than it is to try and trade potato chips for a cheese stick. And after 3 hours of little feet jabbing into the back of my chair, at least one argument over who gets to pick the next DVD, and another 4 hours of the same looming in front of me, some times I take the easy route.
10. Bottled water. This serves so many purposes, but keeping us hydrated is a big one. When there isn’t the option of milk or juice, it’s easier to get my kids to drink water (and adding a packet of DripDrop cuts the complaining exponentially, so sometimes that happens too). Bottled water is not something we routinely use, it’s usually reserved just for trips or outings. We all have refillable water bottles, but bottled water makes it easy to take it along when we might otherwise not have any available. We have found lots of ways to get water into our snacking: using it to dilute the rare cup of juice, for easy water bottle refills without stopping and some times we flavor it with fresh fruit. (No, Honey, it’s not really bad backwash…) I love flavoring my water with fresh fruit. It changes the flavor just enough that I don’t get bored drink another bottle of water, is still super good for you and you get to eat the fruit at the end. Yum.
Snacks that fill you up and provide some nutrition are essential to keeping everyone happy when stuck in a car for hours. There are other essential pieces to the keeping-everyone-happy puzzle, of course, and they do vary depending on who you are sharing the car with. I share my car with three growing boys and a husband with hungry-anger issues, so food tends to be a larger-than-normal piece in our puzzle.
But food isn’t everything. Keeping everyone hydrated can be difficult when you are trying to cut down on the sugar intake of those in your car. Sugary juices and sodas are not a great option. And finding that sweet spot between keeping everyone healthy and stopping every 45 minutes for a bathroom break can be elusive.
It’s coming, my friends. What’s coming, you ask? Road trip season. Spring Break and Summer Vacation aren’t so far away. It’s the time of year when families all over the country pile into the family car and head off for great destinations. Some of my favorite trips have been family road trips. Making good snacking choice while on the road has made a huge difference in our traveling experiences. And adding DripDrop to my daily routine while we’re traveling gives me more energy, keeps me healthier and means I can keep up with my adventurous and rambunctous family.
I bought DripDrop at CVS and you can find it yourself in the baby aisle at your local CVS . Save $1.00 on the purchase of any ONE (1) box of DripDrop Hydration Powder with this coupon available 1/25/15 – 2/21/15 (while supplies last) and pack more energy into your travels! What are you waiting for?!