In today’s world, we live our lives constantly on-the-go. From ballet class to dentist appointments to grocery store runs to dropping the children off at school, most families spend a large amount of time driving around from appointment to appointment. It can be so easy to run through the fast food drive-thru or hit up a vending machine for a quick fix, but those options are typically not the healthiest. A busy life does not mean you have to sacrifice healthy eating because many items can be prepped ahead of time for when you need a quick, healthy meal or snack on-the-go.
For children, endless activities without taking time for proper nourishment can easily bring frustration and meltdowns, but by keeping the right food on hand, you can curb their frustration which will reduce your stress. Since children always have differing opinions, you should tailor your children’s snacks to their specific preferences, allergies, and eating abilities. You should also consider when your children will be eating the snack because certain snacks might work better if eaten outside of the vehicle like when you stop for a short playtime at the park versus in the car seat while in the pickup line at school. If you have 15 extra minutes in your schedule, stop at a playground to allow your children to eat outside the vehicle and run some of their energy off.
If your children are picky eaters, make eating healthy snacks in the car seem like an exciting adventure. Have them string dry cereal on a string to turn it into a “Munchie Necklace” that will allow them to enjoy their creation while you are driving. Consider storing fruit slices in cupcake holders so eating healthy fruit will seem like a treat. If your children continually ask for certain food items like a specialty yogurt, use it as an incentive for eating on-the-go. Eating healthy food does not mean it has to be boring and dull; make healthy food exciting and entertaining, and your children will be begging for fruit slices instead of chips even when you are not on-the-go.
As parents, we are always learning about the importance of preparation, and one of the beauties of snacks and meals on-the-go is that they can be prepared ahead of time. You can keep a multitude of snacks on hand in your vehicle for emergency situations, and items like trail mix, granola bars, and jerky have a long shelf life which is prime for keeping them stored in your vehicle. Do not let refrigeration stop you from bringing certain items for your family to munch on, and if you have a busy day planned, pack a small cooler with items such as veggies, fruit, and yogurt that will provide nourishment and energy. Preparing your food ahead of time will not only save your family money but will also provide nutritious and delicious options instead of settling on something out of sheer convenience.
Having your children eat in your vehicle might seem overwhelming with the possibility of messes, but thankfully, several different storage options are available to help those sweet little fingers keep the food where it is supposed to go. For storage purposes inside your vehicle, consider a toolbox, tackle box, or hanging toiletry bag to hold a plethora of snacks that will always be within easy access of you while you are transporting your children from Point A to Point B. When it comes having your children eat inside of your vehicle, simplicity is key. A paper lunch bag or plastic bag are easy for most children to use because they are large enough for children to grip in one hand and eat with the other hand. For younger children, a cup is a smart option because a large percentage of car seats have cup holders which provide easy access for the child. Be sure to keep extra supplies like paper towels, napkins, and bags for trash on hand to cut down on potential messes.
By taking a few extra minutes before you leave, you can prepare a wide variety of options that are healthy and convenient for a life on-the-go. Eating healthy will reduce the amount of sugar and processed items your family is consuming which will lead to an improvement in your overall health. Healthy snacks and meal on-the-go do not have to be elaborate or gourmet items because the important part is the quality of the food. So instead of settling on food items just out of convenience and desperation, take time to plan ahead healthy snacks and meals for your family when you are on-the-go.
Snack Ideas for On-the-Go
- Cheese Sticks
- Dried Fruit
- Low Sugar Dry Cereal
- Flavored Nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc.)
- Fruits (apples, oranges, grapes, banana, strawberries, etc.)
- Dried Fruit
- Low Sugar Granola Bars
- Whole Grain, Low Sugar Muffins
- Spoonful of Peanut Butter
- Trail Mix
- Veggies (carrots, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, etc.)
- Low Sugar Yogurt (look for yogurt that is sweetened with fruit, not sugar)
Meal Ideas for On-the-Go
- Ham and Cheese Rollups using Tortillas
- Salads (chicken, pimento cheese, tuna, etc.) with Crackers
- Sandwiches using whole grain bread or whole pita bread
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