Ruby’s Road Trip Adventure

Ruby is a busy mom excited for the upcoming season of hiking, biking and camping with her family. May long weekend is Ruby’s family’s long standing tradition to drive a few hours to Ruby’s mom’s cottage on the lake. Her three children of 8, 12 and 16 on the other hand, are a bit more of a challenge to entertain for their long mountain drives. On top of trying to entertain them through games, colouring and the occasional movie – they seem to be bottomless pits as soon as they’re all packed up in the car. Ruby always plans to have breakfast right before they leave, but somehow everyone is hungry less than an hour into the drive. This leads to their inevitable first stop at Tim Horton’s for donuts and juice. Only an hour later and they’re stopping at the gas station for treats like chips and candy. By the time they finally reach the cottage, her children are in a cranky sugar coma and Ruby is frustrated and exhausted.

Top Five Road Trip Snacking Tips

1. Plan ahead!
Take 20 minutes to plan your snacks out, about one snack for two hours driving is usually a safe bet. This will also cut down on your constant stopping time and costs. If you’ve ever had to feed a family on gas station snacks then you’re aware of how expensive (and often full of fat, calories and salt) they can be. To ensure your whole family is on the same page, get the kids involved here. If they help with planning and packing snacks, they’re much more likely to eat them!

2. Mason jars are your friend.
Mason jars can be one of the simplest and most versatile ways to pack road trip snacks. Any type of Tupperware container can work here; however, mason jars never leak and come in a variety of sizes! Here are some great ideas to start: a layer of hummus on the bottom with fresh carrot and celery sticks stuck facing up or mini mason jars filled with a trail mix of air popped popcorn, mixed nuts and dried fruit. Filling a jar with homemade banana muffins can be another great option for a sweet treat on the go. This also helps to cut down on waste from pre-packaged snacks and plastic baggies.

3. Invest in a cooler
If you don’t already have one, a cooler can be a great asset to your next road trip.  It gives you the opportunity to bring more fresh foods without the worry of them spoiling along the way. Your fruit, veggies and dairy will thank you! Try clementines, grapes, apples, baby carrots and snap peas. Additionally, don’t forget to bring a garbage bag, they’re often forgotten. Keeping all the waste in one place will make clean up at your destination much easier.

4. Pack protein
To avoid feeling like a short-order snack dealer – make sure you’re including protein. This will also help to keep the snacks satisfying and can easily convert into a “car picnic.” Some great options include Greek yogurt cups, canned tuna on crackers and hard-boiled eggs.

5. Don’t forget about hydration!
Pop, juice, double-double coffees… does this sound like anyone else’s road trip beverages of choice? It seems we drink more “specialty” drinks on road trips since they’re so readily available at gas stations and fast food joints. These drinks, however, can quickly add up in sugar, fat and calories. The concept of being bored in a car actually presents a great opportunity to make sure you’re staying hydrated. Pack a re-useable bottle for every member of your family to cut down on waste and keep a gallon bottle of water to re-fill when anyone gets thirsty. Sparkling with lemon slices or Kombucha are other great options to stay hydrated. If you need some caffeine to keep you going, opt for black coffee or coffee with milk. 

Ruby’s road trip fears are fixed with a few quick solutions you can easily integrate into your next journey. Just remember: plan ahead, utilize mason jars, invest in a cooler for fresh foods, include protein with each snack and choose water as your beverage. You’ll arrive full of nutrients and feeling ready to tackle whatever adventure lies ahead!