Road Trip Rations
● By Rick McGarry
No parent likes to hear "I'm hungry" 15 minutes from home when they drive past a fast food restaurant. But busy families do spend a lot of time in the car and a quick trip through the drive-through can be too much of a temptation to resist. Save time and money and make better eating choices by packing a cooler before you leave.
Start with a case of water bottles that are the right size for your children, or just make a habit of saving and reusing them. Keep them in the freezer about 1/4 full, then fill them and put them in the cooler when it is time to go.
Fruit juice, in moderation, is also a great choice. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 6 ounces for children ages 1 to 6 and 12 ounces for older kids. Juice boxes pack well and are convenient to serve.
Grapes and apples are inexpensive fruit options that are easy to serve in the car.
Raisins are a healthy snack that store well and serve easily, and so are nuts and crackers.
Cherry tomatoes or baby carrots can be eaten in the car. Serving ranch dressing in the car is a little problematic, but can usually be managed.
String Cheese and squeeze yogurts are also packaged to take and serve on the road.
Finally, sandwiches have always been a popular choice because they work. One easy idea for larger families is to pack all the sandwiches together in one bread bag.