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Best Low Sugar Food for Kids on a Road Trip

Updated on July 18, 2019
Lady Lorelei profile image

Mother of two girls & grandmother to 6. My life is blessed with a wealth of giggles and hugs. Writing is my hobby, my work, and my play.

Bananas are excellent fruits to serve up on a road trip.
Bananas are excellent fruits to serve up on a road trip.

Keep Your Back Seat Passengers a Little Quieter This Trip

Kids have a whole lot of energy to begin with but just add sugar and ask them to sit still for a couple of hours in a confined space and see what happens.

It really isn't a pretty picture and restless bored kids is exactly what usually happens on most family road trips. Vacations that involve traveling for more than an hour or two can quickly turn into a nightmare if you have restless kids.

Well this trip let's limit their sugar and see if that helps out a bit. This is a listing of some of the best sugar free breakfast and snack food for your children's next road trip.

Most of the Food Prep Should be Done the Night Before

You are off on a road trip in a couple of days and you are thinking that the frightening image of the kids going clinically insane in the back seat of the car is exactly what is not going to happen this time.

"Nope not this vacation. The kids are not going to be riding on a sugar high this trip."

Well with a little planning you could be right. The day before your big trip is the time to chop and package the snacks your kids will be chowing down on when you hit the road. Preplanning gives you the perfect opportunity to insure their snacks are healthy and virtually sugar free.

Hot or cold pizza it is an ideal kid food morning, noon, or night.
Hot or cold pizza it is an ideal kid food morning, noon, or night. | Source

It Begins with Breakfast Before You Hit The Road

Breakfast is another meal that has to be added into the equation as well. The morning of the trip you are rushing around the house getting the last minute details taken care of so it can be all too easy to toss a quick sugar filled breakfast cereal into the kids.

Those precious minutes that are so scarce when you are preparing for a road trip can seem to fly by very quickly in the AM. It can be easy to give in and take the easy route but the problem is that as soon as you hit the road the sugar will kick in and you will have the kids bouncing up and down in the back seat like ping pong balls gone wild in a wind tunnel.

A good breakfast for the kids before a road trip is vital which means that eliminating sugary foods is important. No sweetened cereal, no oatmeal because you can't have it without adding brown sugar, no fruit or jam (high in natural sugars), no pancakes and syrup and absolutely no fruit juice.

Cereal is quick, easy, and kids generally love it but stick to the non-sweetened varieties.
Cereal is quick, easy, and kids generally love it but stick to the non-sweetened varieties.

So What Do You Fix the Kids for Breakfast?

Breakfast gets narrowed down to a few choice options. Milk or water for their morning beverage and for the main fare eggs and toast, bacon and toast, yogurt, or leftover pizza.

Wondering how that pizza got to be leftover? You are going to order pizza for supper the night before your road trip because that frees you up time to get the packing done. Rather than ordering just one pie though you are going to go for the two to four pizza deal. Many pizza places offer a "Two Pizza Deal" and it reduces the cost of the second and subsequent pizzas substantially.

Pizza for supper is one choice that saves you a lot of work and not only on the morning that you will be leaving but also on the night before the trip. Pizza for supper and any leftover pizza will go into the fridge to become a quick and easy breakfast the next morning.

You rarely have to fight with kids to get them to consume pizza. Any and all food items classified as finger food are generally well liked by kids of all ages.

How to Pack Healthy Fun Food For Children of All Ages

No Sweet Snacks While You Are on The Road

The picnic basket sitting on the floor of the car should be filled with a delightful array of finger foods. Fried chicken, sandwiches, bananas, carrot sticks, celery sticks or small packages filled with raisins, nuts, cheese squares and bite sized pieces of sausage are ideal for munchies on the road.

Pre-make zip lock baggies filled with a variety of munchies and finger foods the afternoon before your trip. Fortunately bite size pieces of food can be time consuming to munch out on and this can actually help to keep your kids busy while they are on a long car trip.

Pack plenty of zip lock bags filled with snack foods to keep the kids busy in between meals. Bags filled with buttered popcorn and other baggies filled with a variety of protein rich nuts are ideal road snack food for children. Note: If kids play with their food while they eat it then that food also becomes a time occupier. AKA: Amusement for kids on the road trip.

Marching along a miniature train track at the Cranbrook Rail Museum
Marching along a miniature train track at the Cranbrook Rail Museum

Yes Juice is Healthy But Save it Till You Are Off The Road

The juice boxes that usually go along on road trips can be replaced with bottles of water or small individual milk jugs. Yep, this road trip keep the kids juice free to help keep natural sugars to a minimum. It can be surprising where sweets hide.

Children on sugar are rowdy and the car is no place to have them attempting to burn off that excess energy. If you can manage to keep your kids sweet free then there will be no sugar crazed munchkins bouncing around in the back seat this trip.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Lorelei Cohen

What is Your Favorite "Go To" Snack Food When Traveling?

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    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      3 years ago from USA

      As you know I don't have small kids, but this would work for my big kid ... hubby :)

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub Lorelei with great ideas for family road trips. Voted up for useful!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful and easy ideas to keep little one sated for our next road trip. Great hub!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 

      4 years ago

      Well done. Fortunately, mine are grown.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 

      5 years ago

      These are really great ideas, thanks for sharing them. My daughter does these things for my grandson, Jace when we go on a road trip.

    • Lady Lorelei profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      @angelatvs: That is what I took on our last road trip because they take awhile to break into so fill some time. Of course I had to feed my husband as we went along so it was a "one for me and one for you" scenario.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      5 years ago

      A pack of nuts and raisins for me. Bananas for the kids, if I have any with me. And I totally agree, no sugar filled snacks!

    • profile image

      Tarra99 

      5 years ago

      I like the nuts you showed...great individual packages!

    • profile image

      angelatvs 

      5 years ago

      Pistachios!

    • Marten22 profile image

      Marten22 

      5 years ago

      Great lens. Really good suggestions. Thanks for making this lens! I really like some sandwiches with beef or something like that when I'm on the road.

    • Scindhia H profile image

      Scindhia 

      5 years ago from Chennai

      We usually take a lot of fruits while on a trip. Great lens!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Nuts are my favorite. We're planning a road trip and I like your idea of cheese and sausage, too. Timely advice - thanks!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 

      5 years ago

      Excellent tips for low sugar snacks for younguns on a road trip (or anytime, for that matter!)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      5 years ago

      You really have some good ideas here. I like the idea of avoiding sugar. I have done nuts, although not all of my kids like them, but I have had success with crackers.

    • Lady Lorelei profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      @ComfortsOfHome: I am a big fan of having a variety of finger foods accompanied with dunking sauces. Cheese is an excellent sauce to go along with vegetables like celery. Cubed cheese chunks also works.

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 

      5 years ago

      Celery sticks with a bit of cheese are great - filling, healthy, sugar-free, and the high water content in the celery can help to quench thirst as well, so we don't need to make as many rest-stops from chugging a lot of water!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 

      5 years ago

      We will usually pack some boxed crackers such as: Veggie thins and Ritz, things like that. We also make sure the kids will have their jugs in the van (filled with water) and a slightly larger water jug to re-fill them with (but we also tell the kids to drink them slowly as we are not able to just stop any ol' time we want while on the highway.

      We have a DVD player in our van, so we also get the kids to pick say 3 movies each (depending on how long the road trip will be) and rotate between kids and movies (or if they can all collectively agree on one - hahaha - we'll pick that one).

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