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Snacks. Just the word can make a parent cringe, sometimes for different reasons. Having a child with multiple food allergies is one of those reasons for me.
Whether we’re packing for a family road trip or will just be on the go around town, I don’t want to be stuck scrambling to find something safe for my son to eat.
It’s challenging enough for us to find prepackaged peanut, tree nut, sesame seed, sunflower seed free snack foods. BUT they also have to be somewhat healthy, appealing to kids, easy to pack, and available in our area!
In the case of a road trip or family vacation, it can be a lot cheaper and easier to buy food ahead of time and bring it with you. Thankfully several things can be ordered in bulk on Amazon, and I visit different grocery stores every so often to see what new allergy-friendly foods they might stock.
Our Favorite Road Trip Snacks for Kids!
Please Note: While these brand-name items are all free of our allergens at the time of publishing, always check the allergen statement on the package for the most recent information, and check with the company regarding cross-contamination if you are concerned about shared processing lines or facilities. Only you alone can decide what will work best for your family’s allergens.
- Cascadian Farm Organic Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars
- Kashi Soft-Baked Breakfast Bars in Ripe Strawberry Bars- You’ll probably find the best deal and consistently freshest ones in-store at Walmart or Target.
- GoGo squeeZ Fruit & VeggieZ on the Go- You can sometimes find these in variety packs at Target.
- GoGo squeeZ YogurtZ- You can sometimes find these in variety packs at Target.
- Nature Valley Oats ‘N Honey Granola Crunch
- Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies
- Annie’s Organic Friends Bunny Grahams
- Annie’s Organic Snack Mix- The cheddar flavor is amazing if you can find it!
- Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
- Wholey Cheese- They have several flavors and White Cheddar and Chive is our favorite!
- Muffins, Mini-Muffins & Breads– Like blueberry, zucchini, banana, etc.
- Pretzel Crisps from Snack Factory
- Gluck Veggie Chips and Sticks – We’ve tried the regular, cheddar and sea salt and vinegar flavors and they’re all delicious! I’d recommend you get these at your local grocery store.
- Made Good Granola Minis- We like the chocolate chip the best! (Do you see a pattern here? Lol!)
- Brother All-Natural Fruit Crisps
- Raisins or Other Dried Fruit- The “other” dried fruit we find are processed on the same equipment as nuts, so we can’t eat those, but you may be able to find some that work for you.
- Fresh Fruit- Bananas, Apples, Peaches, Cutie Oranges
- Dry Cereal
- Sun Chips- French Onion is our #1 pick!
- Flavored Rice Cakes
- Sweet Potato Chips
- Dried Snap Pea Crisps
- Pirate’s Booty
- Homemade Snack Mix- We’ll mix pretzel crisps, corn Chex, chocolate chips and raisins together for our own sweet and salty snack mix!
- Oreos- Not too healthy from here on out, but we all love to have something sweet now and then!
- Mini Vanilla Wafers
- Mini Marshmallows
- Enjoy Life Chocolate- We buy bags of semi-sweet mega chocolate chunks or the semi-sweet chocolate mini chips (they go really well with pretzels, graham crackers, vanilla wafers, and some dry cereals like rice or corn Chex).
- Candy- Dum Dums, Smarties, SweetTarts, Skittles, vitamin C lollipops. Be careful not to leave chocolate or candy in the car if you’re in a hot area, you don’t want to come back to a melted mess!
Remember: Check the prices of snacks in bulk vs. prepackaged individual snacks in bulk and see what will best fit your needs and budget.
Bringing a Cooler? Try These!
- String Cheese & Crackers
- Meat (Pepperoni, Turkey, Ham, etc.), Cheese Cubes/Slices & Crackers
- Hawaiian Roll Sandwiches- This idea on how to store them in the cooler is so clever!
- Sandwich Wraps
- Fruit Cups or Fresh Fruit- Apples, oranges, cut up frozen grapes, cut up strawberries (we love blueberries, but let’s be real, they stain something awful!). Something that won’t roll too much, can be eaten easily and is in a resealable package.
- Frozen Peaches- Slices or the whole fruit are both crazy delicious to eat when slightly frozen!
- Veggies and Dip- Like carrots and a ranch dipping cup, bell peppers and hummus, etc.
- Tortilla Chips and Guacamole
- Yogurt Tubes- These are also good to freeze ahead of time and use like ice packs.
- Individual Salads- You could use mason jars and put the dressing on the bottom, or use one of the containers in the section below.
- Garden Lites Muffins- We like the chocolate ones the best, but the banana chocolate chip and blueberry oat ones are pretty good too. They just came out with other new flavors that I’d like to try.
- Better Bites Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Dō Bites– They do use coconut milk and sunflower seed butter in some of their products, so be sure to check with them about your specific allergens. We only eat the chocolate chip bites and are comfortable with their sanitation process. These are SUPER good, but very hard to find if you live in the country like us! We found a box at Sam’s Club one weekend and never saw them back again.
We always carry a couple of prepackaged snack items with us when we’re out. Something for both the kids and adults- we need snacks too! I also bring an extra plastic baggie or empty container for leftovers or trash, in case a trash can is not readily available.
Packing Snacks for Traveling in the Car
While on a family road trip, we like to have one main snack bag for all of our non-refrigerated snacks. Then we’ll have a cooler for the cold items.
We’ll use something like this cute SCOUT bag for the main bag. It folds flat, it’s super sturdy, the handles are reinforced and it has a breakaway zipper, so you can zip it closed, or let taller items stick out! This large utility tote is also really useful for travel since it comes with two zippered coolers.
Depending on your travel plans, there are a lot of great snack container options out there. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying and packing snack containers:
1. Who will be using the container? Do children need to be able to open and/or hold it and eat from it at the same time?
2. What will you be using it for?
3. Does it need to be leakproof?
4. Do you have a material preference? Do you want it made out of plastic, glass, stainless steel, fabric, silicone, or something else?
5. How easy is it to pack, stack, or sit in your cupholder or lap?
6. How should it be cleaned?
Highly-Rated Snack Containers: So Many to Pick From!
- Leakproof Bento-Style Boxes
- EasyLunchbox-Style Containers
- Sistema To Go Collection- We’ve used this brand a lot over the years and they hold up very well!
- Rubbermaid TakeAlong & Similar Containers
- Kids’ Snack Containers
- Reuseable Snack Bags– Some of them have little handles now, what a great idea! Remember that the plain cloth ones won’t be airtight, so crunchy snacks could become stale during the course of a day. These are my favorite, as I like the airtight feature of the cotton bags, and the multicolors in the 5 pack:
- Stacking Snack Containers- The great features of these are that you could color code them by family member if you got ones that came in multiple colors, some of them are expandable if you buy more containers, they may fit in a cupholder or backpack side pocket, and you could add a carabiner to clip it onto a bag, beltloop, or stroller! These are a couple of my favorites:
- There are even these perfect containers for cheese and crackers, and yogurt and granola!
Most of these containers can do double or triple duty- carrying snacks for work, school, the beach, when camping, at the pool, on flights, and more!
Some Final Travel Tips
If anyone is prone to car sickness, you might need to eat at a rest stop or local park. You’ll also get some fresh air and time to stretch. And be sure to bring read my Top Tips to Reduce Car Sickness in Kids to read what’s in our car sick prep kit!
Don’t forget to bring napkins, handy wipes, utensils, condiments and a trash container with you.
What are your favorite adult or kid snacks to pack while on a trip or on the go around town?