Whether you’re looking for kids road trip snack ideas or family road trip snacks that are non-refrigerated, this post breaks down some easy ideas for food to take on a road trip!
As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more here on our Disclaimer and Privacy Page.
When you have young children, you know that road trip snacks for kids are a must.
Now that school’s out, the weather is warm, people may opt for road trips over flights, when possible.
When you have kids, I won’t lie – it’s often easier to travel by car. You can pack everything you need and have more flexible departure and arrival times.
However, you cannot forget the snacks!
We have 60+ ideas for both homemade and storebought toddler travel snacks and travel snacks for kids.
Table of contents
Snacks for traveling with kids and kids road trip snacks cannot be underemphasized.
They are a necessity!
And so that brings up the topic of, What are the best kids road trip snacks?
We drove down to North Carolina a few weeks ago and we prepped and packed some homemade road trip snacks, paired with some of our favorite Thrive Market picks.
With kids especially, we try to pack plenty of kid friendly car snacks and if we’re stopping, plan for healthy road trip meals.
It never hurts to have an abundance of road trip food ideas!
I pretty much always pack snacks everywhere (have I mentioned my nickname in college was “Snacks?”) so I’m very well-versed on this topic and packing kid snacks for roadtrips.
I usually take stock of what we have in the pantry and fridge (fruit makes for a very portable snack), and I’ll go from there.
Kids Road Trip Snacks Top Tips
When we’re in the car, I’m a little bit more of a stickler than normal about what the kids eat.
For my kids car snacks, I tend to moderate sugar intake more because I don’t want to keep stopping or have them snack the whole time.
Sure, fast food can be enjoyable for a couple of meals, but the cost eventually adds up, and a lot of it may leave you feeling sluggish and exhausted.
Keep these tips in mind as you choose your kids road trip snacks.
How to Store Road Trip Snacks for Kids
Don’t forget to think about how you’ll store these snacks!
We like to have an insulated cooler of some sort for colder snacks and to keep things from getting squished.
I also recommend having something for them to be able to hold and/or open themselves.
Moniter Serving Sizes
I love this snack spinner for kids to have a hard stop of some options.
I like to give them variety too. It’s also fun to use so keeps them busy!
Think About Sustenance and Satisfaction
You want to make sure to include some protein, healthy fat and fiber in your road trip snacks for kids (and yourself)!
Everyone will feel better that way and not be continuously asking for a snack when they feel satisfied after eating.
We tend to stop somewhere for meals although I’m sure it’s possible to pack non perishable road trip food.
We’ll just aim for a balanced road trip meal, and include healthy family road trip snacks when we can (like these healthy banana oatmeal cookies).
Get Out and Stretch
Being in a sitting position for a long period of time is hard for anyone, let along kids! We always plan breaks to stop and stretch.
For kids, I recommend finding a playground or rest area with grass to run around and picnic tables to sit at.
Buy New Snacks
Another fun way to find snacks for the road trip is to incorporate a gas station or grocery store as your stop, and let each kid pick one snack!
This has worked really well for us because we’re moving around and the kids get excited to choose something new.
Road Trip Snacks for Toddlers
Your choices of snacks may vary depending on the age of your kids.
For younger kids and toddlers, packing food for a road trip is much easier with these options.
Usually, for us, the best road trip snacks for toddlers are storebought things like:
- Oat bites or bars
- Trail mix
- Low sugar cereal – Always a win with us because of a mixture of flavors and textures. Start with the original cereal mix—Chex Mix—and imagine where cereal mixes can venture from there.
- Granola (we make our own or we’ll buy low sugar granola – I love Purely Elizabeth from my Thrive Market Orders)
- Fruit and veggies (easy and portable!)
- Fruit and veggie pouches
- Protein bars (a great road trip snack for adults) – some of my favorites are Perfect Bars and Kind Bars.
- Clif bars – Clif makes kid friendly protein bars or clif mini’s!
- Nuts – pistachios, peanuts, cashews and almonds are our favorites
- Sunflower seeds
- Hard boiled eggs
- Avocado slices
- Noka smoothie pouches – Subscribe and save is the way to go for these!
- Fava beans – High protein option!
- Harvest Snaps – I love these for the protein!
- Hippeas – Chickpea Puffs
- Rolled up deli meat
- Beef jerky – These mini chomps are great for kids. Jerky is an ideal family road trip snack because it doesn’t require refrigeration!
- Greek yogurt or cottage cheese cups
- Crackers or pretzels with peanut butter – ustin’s packets, or if you want a little extra boost of protein, RXBar packets might be more your thing.
- mini bars, which are about half the size of the original, making them perfect to pair with another snack when you’re craving multiple flavors
- Almond Flour Snack Bars
- Roasted Edamame
- Leftover oatmeal cookies – All kids love cookies, but these have fiber and protein from the oats and any add-in’s you choose!
- Tuna packets – I’ll pair with crackers to get my kids to eat them
- Hummus and carrot sticks
- Peanut butter bites
- Peanut butter puffs
- Sargento balanced breaks with crackers, fruit and cheese
- Fairlife milk or Horizon milk boxes
- Dried fruit – I love dried mango, freeze-dried strawberries, sour raisins, or dried cherries
- My Serenity Kids Pouches
I’m also the mom who brings at least one cooler so we often have refrigerated road trip snacks for kids, too.
When I’m packing snacks for myself, I draw alot from these breastfeeding night snacks!
Refrigerated Road Trip Snacks for Kids
We also try to include some refrigerated car snacks for kids since many of these are easy ways to get protein!
As a Registered Dietitian, some of my favorites from the list above are:
- string cheese
- Greek yogurt
- cottage cheese
- hard boiled eggs
- hummus or guacamole
- milk juice boxes
- smoothie pouches (technically don’t have to be refrigerated)
All of those make great car snacks for toddlers because if toddlers aren’t getting protein or healthy fats, they will keep asking for more food!
We love making lots of these no bake healthy snacks, and relying on lots of oat-based baked goods as food to bring on a road trip.
Homemade Snacks for Road Trips
Many people prefer to make homemade snacks for road trips, which is awesome.
I recommend pulling from these healthy homemade toddler snacks and ideas!
I’ll be the first to grab a snack-sized pack of Goldfish or Oreos, but if you’re looking to add some variety to your snack game, I have some delicious and healthy homemade options for family road trip snacks.
These items also check the box for nonmessy snacks for road trips, which is important in our car!
- Homemade trail mix bars
- Carrot cake bars – These are a bit sweeter so naturally, kids love them.
- Quinoa pizza bites
- Homemade yogurt pouches
- DIY trail mix
- Toddler Muffins – Make them in bulk, grab them from your freezer stasher bag and go!
- Fruits and veggies with hummus or nut butter – Most fruits and vegetables are actually quite portable and make for healthy toddler finger foods.
- Mini sandwiches – Try a new flavor combo, like almond butter and banana or bacon, egg, and cheese. Cut into fun shapes!
- Hard boiled eggs – Eggs are high in protein and healthy fats, but they contain almost no carbohydrates so pair with carbs!
- Energy bites – If you’re looking for a place to start, try some of my favorites:
- Pizza Rolls – Store them in your cooler!
- Banana Peanut Butter Brownies
- Chocolate Chip Vegan Pumpkin Blondies
Wherever you’re heading this road trip season, I hope you make memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
And along the way, happy snacking!