One of the best things about homeschooling is that we’re not tied to a schedule. We can take advantage of off-peak hours to visit parks, museums, and libraries, or take day trips just to explore. Being on the go, though, means at some point someone is going to say they are hungry. Eating out or grabbing convenience store snacks is expensive, not to mention usually not healthy. Better to be prepared with snacks so whenever that first little voice says, “I’m hungry!” I can offer them a snack before they get the idea that a trip to McD’s sounds like a great plan or have a hunger-induced meltdown.
Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks for kids on the go. Keep in mind the age and ability of your kiddos when choosing snacks. Things like nuts and grapes can be choking hazards for little ones.
Healthy Snacks for on the Go
- Fresh fruit Fresh fruit is a perfect, portable snack. Choose fruit that requires minimal prep work to keep it fresh without having to keep it cool. Things like bananas and oranges are easy to peel on the go. Apples and pears are great for kiddos old enough to bite into them whole. They can also be sliced and stored in an airtight container with a little lemon juice to keep them from browning if you know they will be eaten within a short time. Grapes are perfect, if your kids are old enough to handle them without choking.
- Fresh vegetables Fresh vegetables are another good choice. Celery or carrot sticks, bell pepper slices, and cherry or grape tomatoes are all portable. Nut butters or shelf-stable dressings can be brought along for dipping if that makes them more palatable.
- Dried fruit While I think they are gross now, raisins were one of my favorites as a kid, and my children love them as well. Dried cranberries are also nice.
- Trail mix Trail mix is nice, because you get fats from things like nuts, seeds or coconut to help balance the sugars from the fruit. Make your own to tailor it to your families liking and dietary needs.
- Dry cereal Choose one that has less sugar to keep is relatively healthy.
- Applesauce While I don’t like the trash created from single use items, the applesauce pouches are great to keep in the car for those times when you find yourself out and forgot snacks or errands took longer than expected.
- Hard boiled eggs Bring along a small insulated bag or ice chest to keep them cold. If you peel them ahead of time, they’re easier to manage on the go.
- Popcorn Pop your own and season it with salt and herbs to avoid the weird microwave popcorn butter. I either pop it on the stove in coconut oil or use my air popper. If I use the air popper, I give it a light mist with olive oil to help the seasoning stick. Two of my boys like it with just a little salt. Finn and I are more adventurous. Some of our favorite seasoning combinations are salt and black pepper, chili powder, dill weed, or even a little bit of cayenne pepper. Do be cautious with popcorn, as it is a choking hazard for little ones.
All of those snacks are easy to make work with gluten, dairy and nut-free diets, if you make your own trail mix and choose a cereal based according to your dietary needs.
What about drinks?
Along with healthy snacks, it’s a good idea to bring along something to drink. We like to bring a big water cooler along with cups when we’re out for a long time. We have a one gallon one like this, or we just bring along our big five gallon cooler that we keep filled with filtered water for home.That eliminates the need to buy bottled water and cuts back on sugary drink splurges.
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