We’re loading up the family truckster (aka – my Subaru wagon “Subie,” but wouldn’t the wagon in the pic above be fun to road trip in?) and going on a road trip in about a month to see the Tetons and Yellowstone. My family is an OK road trip family. I’d say we are much more “Griswolds” than we are Jack Kerouac when we road trip. Someone always gets sunburned, hurt, sick or pissed off somewhere along the way. To be honest, I’m not good in the car, I’m way to antsy. My 15yo is in charge of Playlists, my 10yo is in charge of comic relief and animal spotting, hubby is in charge of driving, and I’m in charge of snacks and drinks.
I’ve been collecting food ideas and car trip tips for about a month now and I think I have narrowed down what we’re going to take. I’ve had to solve a few issues but I think we’re in good shape now.
- This list over at Menus4Moms.com has a lot of great travel food ideas that dont require precooking or much pre-prep at all.
- Rodale.com has some great cooler packing tips – I didn’t realize that a full cooler is easier to keep cold than a 1/2 full cooler. I also love her “Rolled Garden Sandwiches” idea. Might try rolling some tortilla sandwiches for the kids.
- This tip has been all over Pinterest – but honestly it’s BRILLIANT – so I have to share it here. Choose To Thrive talks about saving an empty Peanut Butter-type jar, fill 1/3 of the way with fresh peanut butter, and stick celery sticks in it. This is a great, healthful, high-protein snack that even picky kids enjoy.
- Beef Jerky is high in protein, pretty low in fat, and can give a boost where a candy bar just gives me a headache, especially when the kids eat them in the car. Here’s a great recipe from YumSugar.com for oven-made beef jerky that doesn’t require buying new equipment.
- My friend Jen over at AFlexibleLife.com makes the MOST AMAZING chocolate chip cookies ever in the history of the world. I only use her recipe now….the ONLY one I use. These cookies will knock down that chocolate or sweet craving really fast, and they’re homemade and not full of nasty things you cant pronounce.
- Maddie and I came up with our own Vanilla Almond recipe. The cinnamon are good, but the vanilla are amazing. These are fair and festival must-haves that are really tasty and really expensive. Almonds aren’t cheap but making your own vanilla almonds is much more economical than buying them. They also satisfy a sweets craving without stopping for a sugary soda or candy bar.
- Trail Mix or GORP is pretty fun to make, and I’ve come up with a mixture that the kids will basically eat. I’m not sure Aerik eats the Cranberries, but his sister will eat them for him – so I don’t worry that much about it. Make your own mixture to please your family.
- I wrote yesterday about freezing water, gatorade and vitamin water bottles to use as ice and save your cooler from becoming a swamp of saran wrap and soggy food. This is a must.
- Dried or dehydrated fruit is good, but finding the kind without a ton of sugar added is pretty difficult here unless you want to Internet order or pay a fortune at our one health food store. I’m thinking of making these dried strawberries for our trip. I might skip the salt and pepper though.
- You cant go wrong with fruit. Some favorites of my group are cherries, berries and red grapes. I’ll be packing these in the cooler. Frozen grapes are pretty yummy and can help keep your cooler colder.