Healthy Road Trip Snacks for Kids of All Ages


As a family that road trips thousands of miles each year, it gets very easy to stop at multiple fast food restaurants. In between the obvious questions of, “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer till we get there?,” there’s the inevitable question, “When do we eat?” Taking the time to plan meal stops and preparing for health road trip snacks ahead of time can save hundreds of dollars during a family vacation. Not only are you able to mix healthy snacks in with treats, but based on your child’s age and food preferences (particularly with food allergies), you can make road trips a time of fun. I put our Trekaroo Guroos to the test and asked them for their best tips for eating healthy on the road. Their answers were both clever and creative, so feel free to use them to make your next road trip with your family a healthy and successful one. Here’s the scoop on healthy road trip snacks for kids of all ages!

Healthy Road Trip Snacks: Young Children and Toddlers

 healthy road trip snacks

Photo by: Melissa Moore

Dried fruit, jerky, and Annie’s bunny mixes are the favorite road trip treats in our car. We also take a cooler with cheese sticks, apple slices, berries, or anything else we may have in the fridge.” Heather Erquiaga, Assistant Blog Editor

“I like to keep a stash of little paper cups so that we don’t have to pack individual baggies of big snacks. Just scoop some into a cup.” LiLing Pang, Co-founder and CEO of Trekaroo

“My best tip is: don’t travel with ice! I like to freeze my water bottles and juices so that the snacks stay cold, but don’t get wet! It also regulates the amount of liquid we take in…you can only drink what melts :). We also like to keep fruit and yogurt tubes in with our drinks to keep them cold.” Elizabeth Bickford, SoCal Guroo

Healthy Road Trip Snacks: School-aged Kids

 healthy road trip snacks

Photo Credit: Melissa Moore

“I love food! One of our favorite road trip meals are sushi rolls. They are easy to pop into the mouth with minimal mess. I swing by the grocery store on the way out to pick them up.” LiLing Pang

“My kids seriously live on granola bars. We don’t go anywhere without Zbars. I like to stop at fruit stands as well. Nuts are easy to eat in the car. I like to season garbanzo beans and slow roast them in the oven until they get crispy -great snack, sort of like healthy corn nuts.” Sharlene Earnshaw, Trekaroo Editor in Chief

“Go-tos for us: fruit leather, Cuties, grapes (wash ahead of time and put in a plastic container with a paper towel). Goldfish crackers because they are the least messy of the salty snacks. Carrots and hummus also work well for a meal on the go.”  LiLing Pang

“I usually pack the typical granola bars and goldfish crackers for the first couple days of our road trips. But after a few days, I just stop at fruit stands and purchase snacks as we go along.” Melissa Moore, DC, Maryland & Virginia Guroo

Healthy Road Trip Snacks: Older Kids and Teens

healthy road trip snacks

Photo Credit: Parker Knight

Green grapes, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, small rice crackers from Trader Joe’s. We still try to stay away from Doritos or Cheetos or chocolate, anything that might stain the seat covers,” Li Er Hanson, Business Development, Trekaroo

“I try to let my boys pick out a few non-messy snacks. Chewy cliff bars, Zbars, apples, goldfish crackers, nuts and such. We also plan to get snacks on the road that are not our normal go-to snacks because it’s fun! For example, in Georgia we found a nut shop with several different flavors. We were able to taste them and then bought our fave flavor for the road.” Jennifer Parkerson, Florida Guroo

“As our kids are older, I pick out some healthy snacks and let them choose one or two for themselves. And if they don’t behave which happens often on long road trips, I take their favorite snack away which is usually a yummy candy!!!” Michelle Brennen, New England Guroo

“We always carry the freeze dried fruit bags from Trader Joe’s with us. Turkey or beef sticks from Whole Foods. Nuts. Milk and juice boxes. Rice cakes and a jar of peanut/almond butter.Tarlie Rosenfeld, Trekaroo Superoo

“Let older kids and teens head to the grocery store with you to let them pick out their own road trip snacks. This way, when you’re 500 miles from your destination and there’s no restaurant in sight, you know they will have snacks that they enjoy eating to fall back on. My teen daughter loves sour gummies, belVita’s Breakfast Biscuits, and crunchy granola bars.” Karyn Locke, Mid-America Guroo


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Featured photo by: Shutterstock

About the author

Karyn Locke is a former military brat who caught the travel bug at a very early age, Karyn loves road tripping with her husband and teen daughter and writing about her travels from small town Ohio at Sand and Snow...and everywhere in between!