Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Road Trip! My kid-friendly road snacks.

I'm hitting the open road soon on a good old-fashioned road trip! Love it! But what I don't love is coming home feeling like a big old pile of crud because I ate crap the whole time. So, I'm prepping my food. And, I declared myself Kid Nutrition Ambassador for the drive so I am getting stuff ready for the kiddos too.

I've simply made some simple swaps for the stuff my son and nieces love to eat (but I don't want them to have):

What kids love: cereal bars. But they're loaded with sugar! 
What I made instead: banana bread "cookies". I was hoping these would come out more like a chewy granola bar, but they had more of a bread consistency. But, my son proclaimed them good and that is high praise coming from him! Here's the easy recipe:
Little individually wrapped banana bread cookies!

  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 ripe, mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Chop the oats and nuts in a food processor until it was like a coarse flour, and then mixed everything else with it in a bowl. Pour it into a greased 13x9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool, then slice into 24 bars. I then wrapped each one in press-and-seal wrap to keep them fresh and personal-sized, and stuck them in the fridge. They're really good and you don't even miss the sugar! Just 80 calories a pop.

Not sure how
these will go over.
What kids love: fruit chews. Don't even get me started.
What I made instead: mango fruit leathers. I don't know if the kids are gonna eat these, because they're pretty tough and didn't pass my son's inspection. I was hoping that I could cut them into little pieces and pass them off as fruit chews, but when the mango dehydrated it was too flat. So, I cut half of what I made into strips like fruit roll-ups and chopped the rest into little pieces, which I then baked into a loaf of bread as a hostess gift for my aunt.

How to do it: I pureed 5 mangoes and used my Nesco food dehydrator to turn them into dried fruit. Plain and simple. It takes a whole day for them to dry completely so if you try this at home, make sure you have the time!

Snack mix ready for little hands!

What kids love: snack mix.
What I made instead: snack mix! Just minus the crackers drenched in oil, salt, and preservatives. Little snack-sized ziplock bags with baked whole grain goldfish or Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, raisins, and slivered almonds or chopped walnuts. I have a shoebox full of 'em.

And finally, my messed-up granola bars. I tried to make my own crunchy granola bars, but they wouldn't stick together. Remember, I am not a foodie. Just a clean eater. I repeat: I am not a chef.  So when my recipe turned out to be a no-go, I poured the crumbly granola bars into a jar and called it muesli! It is soooo good and will be a delicious partner for the bread to present to my aunt, who is gracious enough to let my family come visit her awesome house. I had to hide it from myself in the pantry so I didn't eat it all before we leave.

Road trips can be healthy with a little planning and work on the front-end. Trust me, you'd spend just as much time at the grocery store buying snacks as it took me to make these from stuff I already had. So no "I'm too busy" excuses! If you're not too busy to stroll around Target for an hour looking at stuff you don't need, you're not too busy to make your kids some healthy snacks. Just sayin'.

Get out there and get healthy today, even if you're hitting the road! 


Stephanie said...

Love these tips! I am really trying to cut back on my grain intake but for someone who's kids eat a little bit of grains these are great ideas! I am gonna include this post in my Friday Link Love post this week. Hope you are doing well! :)

Healthy Heather said...

Thanks so much Stephanie! I agree, on a day-to-day basis we are not big on the grains, but on road trips you can't beat 'em for portability and convenience. I guess that's what makes them vacation food for us!