A Little Cuisine... Healthy Road-Trip Treats

For the most part I love road trips......except.....the whine. Not from the car. The whine is the noise coming from the back seats and starts up about an hour into the trip. Bored kids = hungry = mad dash to the nearest Mickey D's drive-thru. I have been guilty of stashing goldfish crackers, Cheese Nips, licorice, and sodas to get the kids from Point A to Point B. Mom-guilt inevitably follows the junk food fest as I promise myself that I will do better in nutrition department on the next road trip.

I have been doing better.

How about some good and healthy snacks for your upcoming road trip? Beyond my usual juices and milk, apples, bananas, and cheese-sticks in my cooler, these require a little bit of advance planning. But it will save you headaches and guilt later when you and your family need sustenance right now. I am constantly changing the recipes and ideas. Here are my current favorites (all picture courtesy of the websites highlighted):

Eating Well's Honey Almond Power Bar - Satisfying, chewy, good-for-you, and you know what's in it because you made it. Add milk and you have breakfast on the road. Especially great, since that means no dishes to wash on the morning you leave.

2. Giada's Tuna and White Bean Salad - Who doesn't love Food Network? This salad sates Mr. Wonderful's need for healthy protein, my love for fresh food, and The Love Magnet's love for all things bean. This does require refrigeration so I pack individual cup-size portions in the cooler. My boys prefer sandwiches. That's fine, I pack those, too.

3. Cheeky Kitchen's S'more's Cookies - . I lurve me some Brooke McLay. All of the recipes and photos on her blog are fab. Yes, I know they are chocolate and slightly messy for taking in the car. That's why I keep wipes in every single pocket of my minivan. Save these for after-lunch treat.

4. Cooking Light's Hummus - I think hummus dip is easier in the car, because it's less likely to fall off the dipper. I pack a bag of baby carrots, celery sticks, homemade pita chips, and red pepper slices (okay, I admit that the adults are the only ones who will eat the red pepper slices).

5. Foodie Reflections' Trail Mix - okay no rocket science here. I take my kids to the local grocery that has bulk bins and let them loose. They gravitate towards the M&M's, Cheetos, and Gummi Bears. I try to steer them towards the raw almonds, sunflower seeds, and dried fruits. My current favorite is from Foodie Reflections and includes sour cherries and chocolate.

When possible, I try to plan in advance of what town we'll be in during the lunch hour in order to get the directions to a good park. My boys get to run around and toss a football. My daughter heads straight for the slides and swings. My dog barks joyously and chases whomever will play with her. Listen to whine.

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