Hit the Road, Snack

DIY Travel Snacks That Will Make the Journey as Fun as the Destination

The unofficial start of summer is almost upon us, and that means the season to hit the road, rail, and air is also here. For my family, the quick jaunts to lacrosse practice might come to an end, but the road trips to grandma's are on the horizon. Instead of heading onto the off-ramp for rest stop doughnuts and chips, I'm making sure to load up on fun DIY treats to keep hanger at bay—for kids and adults alike.

If your kids are anything like mine, they are always hungry. Their insatiable appetites, coupled with the fact that we are always on the go, can sometimes get me stressed. It seems like the minute we step out of the house (and away from the fridge) they're in need of a meal. "Mom, I’m hungry," is the daily refrain. I found that with a lack of time (I’m always five minutes late for everything!) and constant need for nourishment, I quickly began to rely on packaged, processed goods to get us from lunch to dinner without a major meltdown.

My frustration led to a pretty nice epiphany one day when I realized I could recreate many of the treats we were buying right at home for less money and more importantly, with an eye towards monitoring the ingredient list. You'll be happy to keep a stash of the following snacks on hand for running quick errands or traveling longer distances.

One exciting revelation for me was realizing how many vegetables are not only portable, but also easily made into tasty snacks. I noticed that when we go out for Japanese food, my kids always gobble up the edamame, so I knew this recipe for Parmesan-Roasted Edamame would be a surefire hit. It’s now bagged up and on regular rotation in our house.

We also love roasted chickpeas, so I place them in little containers and watch my kids pop them like jelly beans when we're in the car. Not only are they delicious, they're a great source of protein and fiber.

In order to keep this interesting, I went on a hunt for snack mixes my kids and husband would love. Snack mixes are easy to transport and you can get super creative. They are also a great way to get rid of that last little bit of cereal in ten different boxes in the pantry. Think of your snack mixes as kitchen sink-style "recipes" where you can use up nuts, dried fruit, and little candies that have lived on the shelf long enough. These two are fun and riffable:

I love a good snack bar as much as the next person, and I simply love making my own bars. Not only is it much more economical, I can create them with a number of different ingredients so no two batches are exactly the same. I always have a few of these in my gym bag and tucked in the glove compartment for long rides:

For longer trips, here's a great tip: Head out with a few packed mini coolers that can be grabbed out of the trunk when the troops start getting restless. It’s always a good way to hit the reset button before the meltdowns arise. Pack them with plenty of water, mini bagels with fun fillings, cut-up strawberries, orange slices, tasty crackers, mini quick breads, and some freshly baked cookies (cookies can pretty much solve any problem, if we're being honest).

What to Eat After You've Reached Your Destination?

What are your favorite snacks for the road? Share them with us below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Cookbook Author. Heirloom Kitchen.Food52 contributing editor & Recipe Tester.