It goes without saying that you’ll need snacks for a road trip – especially if you are taking a road trip with kids! So we’ve rounded up some great healthy and easy road trip snacks for kids. And we realize that kids can be picky with what they eat, so we’ve listed quite a few options and choices. Hopefully there’s something here for every kid, no matter what they like to eat!

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Healthy Road Trip Snacks for Kids

When you’re taking a road trip with kids, chances are the snacks will be eaten in the car, or you’ll stop for a quick picnic-style lunch somewhere.

Keeping that in mind, you’ll want snacks that aren’t too messy or that need minimal preparation and snacks kids can eat independently.

Plus you’ll want something healthy, without a lot of sugar – who wants to be stuck in the car for a few hours with a kid that’s had too much sugar??

The best snacks for a family road trip are:

  • Not messy
  • Easy to prep
  • Able to be eaten independently
  • Healthy (ish)

Fruit & Vegetable Snack Ideas for a Road Trip

Fruit is a fantastic and healthy snack but sometimes it’s not the best option to have in the car!

It can be messy and the juice can be sticky, but with a bit of prep, fruit can be one of the best snacks for a road trip. Here’s some of our favourite fruit that’s easy to eat (and not too messy!) in the car.

Apples

Apples are a great snack anytime!

They can be eaten whole or if your kids prefer to eat slices, cut the apples before heading out in the morning, rub them with lemon juice or just slice most of the way through the apple and then put them back together with an elastic around to keep the air from getting at the slices.

You can also put some nut butter or sunflower seed butter inside and you’ve got some added protein!

Bananas

Like apples, bananas can be eaten whole or for kids who like slices, peel a piece of the peel back, slice the banana, then replace the peel. Makes it easy to eat, especially for little kids.

Grapes

Easy to eat and almost no mess, these are a perfect snack for the backseat.

Raisins

You can buy a bag of small boxes of raisins, or bring a big bag and fill a small bag or container each morning with a portion of raisins.

Cantaloupe or Melon

Cut these ahead of time and place in a small container or ziploc bag.

Carrots and Celery Sticks

Another almost-no-mess snack, these are great to dip in hummus or just eat plain.

Cucumbers

Slice a cucumber into spears or rounds for easy munching on the go (or a combo – one of my kids prefers the rounds, the other prefers the spears!)

Cherry tomatoes

A slightly messier option if the tomatoes are soft, but a few squirts of tomato seeds aren’t too big of a mess.

Clementines

These are NOT my favourite but my kids love them. Easy to peel, and little to no mess when eating, clementines are a really healthy option to snack on during a road trip.

Snap Peas

No prep needed here, just pull a few snap peas out and you’ve got a ready-made snack.

Radishes

Sliced radishes make for an easy and healthy road trip snack!

Cauliflower or Broccoli Florets

these can be cut up in the morning and placed in a container or small bag for easy snacking while you drive.

All of these veggie options can be served with hummus or guac (yes, one kid likes one, one prefers the other).

Packaged Snacks for a Road Trip with Kids

As much as I try not to buy packaged snacks all the time, for a road trip, they definitely come in handy.

Being able to pull out a single-portion snack is definitely helpful for road trips with kids, especially if you are doing a solo parent road trip.

You can buy pre-packaged mini bags of many snacks, or to keep waste and packaging to a minimum, you can always buy the large box and make your own pre-packaged single-portion snack bags!

Granola Bars

There are plenty of varieties of granola bars available, some healthier than others. Look for ones with lower sugar, and if you’re doing this road trip in the summer, try to find granola bars that aren’t dipped in chocolate!

Packaged Cookies and Crackers

While I don’t love the idea of excess packaging, having pre-packaged bags of crackers is worth it when doing a road trip with kids. They’re already pre-portioned and easy to hand to the kids in the backseat. You could also buy a box of your kids’ favourites and package them yourself.

Animal cookies, graham crackers, oatmeal cookies, really the sky is the limit! Just try to look for something with minimal sugar, as sugar and kids in a car don’t really mix! Annies cookies are great too!

Granola Bites

Made good has these awesome granola bites. They also have a whole line of healthy snacks, including granola bars, rice krispy bars even mini (GF) cookies.

Costco in Canada sells them in bulk, or you can find them at most grocery stores. They can also be found on Amazon.

Fruit to Go Bars

These dried fruit bars are one of my kids’ favourite snacks, road trip or not! They would happily eat them every day, and they come in different flavours so there’s a bit of variety. They can be a bit sticky though if unwrapped, so keep a cloth handy for those fingers!

Applesauce Pouches

These are one of my guys’ favourite snacks, and they’re healthy so I can’t complain! The tops twist off and there’s (almost never) no mess.

The pouches come in all kinds of different flavours. If your kids aren’t too picky, try to buy a few different flavours (or grab the box of mixed flavours) and you’ll have a bit more variety to keep them happy on the long journey.

Raisins

Raisins are a quick and nutritious snack.

You can buy a bag that has small boxes of raisins, or just buy a large bag and divide it up into smaller servings. They’re not sticky and there are no crumbs, plus they’re healthy, so it’s a perfect snack in my eyes!

(Although sometimes you may find little raisins on the floor of the car, but of all the things to fall on the floor, raisins have to be the best option…)

Crackers

Crackers can be slightly messy with the potential of crumbs, but crumbs are not too bad to clean up after. The classic saltines are also a good road trip snack for kids who may get carsick on a road trip.

Veggie Sticks

As a healthier option to potato chips, these veggie sticks are great for a quick snack. Costco sells a large bag, or you can buy the regular size bag at most grocery stores and make up a few snack size bags. They’re not as nutritious as other snacks, so they are more of a ‘sometimes snack’. Find them here on Amazon.

Apple Chips

Dried apple chips are a great, healthy snack for road trips. Again, I buy the large bag and portion out a few snack size bags to take with us. They’re mess free and best of all, healthy!

Cereal

Who doesn’t love cereal? It’s not too messy if served dry (although you may find some small pieces on the floor). You can make up little bags of dried cereal and add in some dried fruit, or serve plain. A favourite in our car is a snack cup full of Cheerios with a few raisins added in for some sweetness!

>>Tip: Toddler snack cups use are GREAT for any kids to use for their snacks on a road trip. We have a set with handles on the side (which helps when I’m passing them back to the kids) and a little reach-through lid to prevent spilling. Keep the lid on for toddlers or even pre-schoolers, but older kids may prefer to keep the lid off. We use these cups to put most of the above snacks in, including buns or cookies, and the cups catch any crumbs, keeping the seats and floor of the car a little less messy.

Other Road Trip Snack Ideas for Kids

Trail Mix

Trail Mix is a healthy snack that’s easy to eat and easy to make. Fill a bag with your favourite cereal or granola, add some dried fruit and nuts and you’re good to go! It’s filling and healthy – a perfect snack for a kids road trip.  

Pita & Fillings

Pitas are easy to make and they’re filling with minimal mess. One of our daily staples for lunch is pita spread with peanut butter or hummus inside but you could also use cream cheese and even add some veggies in there. Roll it up to keep all the fillings in, or slice it up into triangles for an easy snack.

Sandwiches

Instead of pita, spread nut butter or cream cheese on slices of whole grain bread for an easy and healthy sandwich.

Muffins

Muffins are a great snack, although the crumbs can be a bit messy, so I suggest either serving them in a bowl (those toddler snack cups work great) or saving them for a quick snack while you stretch the legs.

You can make a batch of homemade muffins before you head out on your road trip or pick up a package of mini muffins at the grocery store.

Black Bean Brownies

Another favourite in our house is black bean brownies. There are plenty of recipes online, just look for one with minimal sugar added.

The black beans add a fudgy texture and they’re an excellent source of protein and fiber – pretty healthy for a brownie! The protein is good for keeping bellies full on a long drive, plus kids think it’s a treat!

Road Trip Snacks from the Cooler

Some snacks for the road trip should be kept chilled in the cooler.

If you have a small cooler, keep that handy and fill it with a few snacks and drinks in the morning before heading out. Then, instead of having to pull over and dig through the large cooler, you can open the little cooler and easily find a few snacks for the day.

Cheese 

Cheese is another healthy, mess-free favourite snack. Cut up cheese slices or sticks before heading out on the road and they’re an easy protein snack when driving. Other options are cheese strings or Baby Bell cheese rounds.

Eggs

Hard boiled eggs are a quick and easy snack and a great source of protein! Boil up a few eggs ahead of time, or buy the pre-cooked eggs and you’re good to go!

They’re an easy snack for the grownups to eat too!

Yogurt

Yogurt is another healthy snack for a road trip, but it can be a bit messy!

We prefer the regular packaged yogurt, served with a spoon and usually eaten at a roadside stop (for minimal mess in the backseat). You can also buy yogurt tubes or pouches, although these usually have more sugar – which is not always a good thing when your kids are in the car for hours on end!

Drink Ideas for Road Trips with Kids

While it’s important to stay hydrated, there’s nothing worse than “I have to pee!” when there’s no rest stop in sight. So if you can, try to time the drinks shortly before you plan to stop for a rest break.

 Water

Water is always a great option, and if it spills, there’s no stains. A reusable water bottle is good to have so you can refill whenever needed. Just check that the water bottle will fit in the cup holder on the car seat.

The boys have these Contigo water bottles that fit perfectly in the Diono cup holders and have a small container at the top for travel snacks.  

Juice boxes

We don’t normally buy juice boxes, but for a road trip they’re a great option.

>>Tip: If you’re travelling with young kids, it can be a good idea to travel with a portable potty.

Tips for serving snacks on a road trip:

  • You’ve probably seen those boxes with multi compartments – basically, it’s a craft storage box with little compartments and different snack options in each. This did NOT work too well for us although it’s all over Pinterest. I found there was too much choice and so many opportunities to spill everything on the floor – from opening the box to every time there’s a bump on the road, all that work to make it look so inviting and interesting, most of it ended up on the floor.
  • Serve snacks individually, and there’s less chance of EVERYthing ending up on the floor.
  • Involve your kids in the prep and packing and then they’ll know what their choices are. Fill a few snack size Ziploc bags up each morning with different options and then just hand one back when the kids are ready for a snack.
  • Many of the snack options can also be served in reusable cups. We like those toddler snack cups or small bowls, which are perfect for catching crumbs. I keep snack options on the front seat (the bonus of being the only adult is that I have plenty of room on the other front seat!) and then put one snack at a time in the cup and hand it back. When they’re done, the boys pass it back and we repeat at the next snack time.

What You’ll Need for Road Trip Snacks

  • Snack containers – cups, water bottles, snack cups, snack containers (reusable Tupperware), reusable spoons and PLENTY of napkins.
  • Cooler – A soft sided cooler bag or hard-sided cooler keeps perishable food chilled for the days’ drive.
  • Ice Packs – OR if the fridge in your hotel room doesn’t have a freezer, use empty hummus containers and refill with ice from the hotel ice machine.

Other Good Things to have for Road Trip Snacks

  • Napkins, dish cloths (we reuse a few old baby washcloths), paper towels, spoons, forks, cups and a garbage bag!!! Some options on amazon even have a trash bag with pockets for wipes, napkins etc – think of the diaper caddy bag that hangs over the side of the crib. We just use an old bag though, leftover from groceries or snacks.
  • Mom notes: keep a veggie peeler, knife (to chop fruit or veggies), butter knife (to spread nut butter or hummus), spoon, and dish towel/wash cloth handy. I keep all those things in a hard-sided pencil case in the back of the car beside the cooler. Then when we pull over to have a lunch break, I’ve got everything handy to prep lunch (in case I didn’t have time in the morning). We also keep a bottle of water back there, not necessarily drinking water, but to rinse off utensils or wash hands!

Final Thoughts: Easy and Healthy Road Trip Snacks for Kids

Whether you’re heading out on a day-long road trip or a longer multi-day road trip, remember to pack some snacks for the drive! I hope these suggestions have given you some ideas for healthy and easy snacks for a family road trip.

Enjoy the road trip!

pin image for this post - text in centre reads “healthy and easy road trip snacks for kids” and behind the image is a large photos of a lunch box with a cut up sandwich, grapes, apple, raspberries and a few cookies in a container

For more tips on road trips with kids, be sure to check out these posts:

2 Comments

  1. W. Santiago | Literal Med says:

    This is so useful, especially when you have toddlers to travel with. Thanks!

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