42 Dietitian Approved Road Trip Snacks for Kids

by | Sep 26, 2022

Have a family road trip planned sometime soon?  Traveling with kids isn’t always the easiest.  You have the bathroom stop requests right after you just asked them if they had to go.  There’s the yelling, whining, and screaming at times.  And then there’s the infamous snack request every five minutes..

Finding healthy snacks for kids at home comes with its challenges, but now you’re supposed to pack healthy road trip snacks for kids?  How is that even possible?  

When you’re traveling with kids, your routine is likely off and so is their diet.  That’s why packing healthy road trip snacks for kids is so helpful.  It always feels like all they eat are snacks anyways, so why not leverage this and make sure you’re packing balanced snack options? 

In this post, I will share how to make a balanced snack for kids, plus 42 dietitian, mom, and kid-approved road trip snacks for kids, how to pack road trip snacks for kids, and tips for keeping perishable foods cold.

Even if you don’t have a road trip planned any time soon, these snacks work great for anywhere on the go, sending to school with your kids, and at home too!

42 road trip snacks for kids

How to make a balanced snack for kids

It’s easy to just throw your kids a package of goldfish crackers and call it a day.  Heck, I do this sometimes too.  When serving your child a snack, it’s to both of your benefits to make sure it’s balanced.  And a “naked carb” aka goldfish by itself, will just leave them asking for a snack five minutes later – I know you want to avoid this!

To build your child a healthy and balanced snack that will keep them fuller for longer and provide more of the nutrients they need for their rapidly growing bodies, follow my Super Simple Snack Strategy.

healthy snacks for kids

By making sure you provide at least one fruit or vegetable with one protein/fat or grain, you’re exposing them to a wider variety of nutrients their body needs and holding of the snack requests.

Plus we know that kids don’t get in enough vegetables and are barely eating enough fruit according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Pairing fruits and veggies with their favorite snack gives them more exposure and opportunity to try it and eventually eat it. Never assume they won’t eat it either. Just give them a teeny tiny piece instead.

Benefits of offering a balanced snack:

  1. More exposure to a variety of foods
  2. Maximizing opportunities for more nutrition.  
  3. More filling, leaving them fuller longer and not asking you for a snack five minutes later (never guaranteed). 

Dietitian approved road trip snacks for kids

Below are 42 different snack options that work great for road trip snacks for kids. This list is not exhaustive, nor is it perfect, however they all provide some form of nutritional value, some more than others.

More important than any single ingredient or gram of sugar in a particular food is overall variety. As long as you are pairing your child’s snack, and yours for that matter, with a fruit or veggie, you’re providing balance, exposure and potentially more valuable nutrients.

Choose whatever snacks you’d like for your kids, consider their preferences and don’t forget to try and keep to a meal time schedule of snacks and meals every two to three hours. This will make sure they’re actually hungry come meal time.

With each road trip snack I mention below, you will also see what Super Simple Snack group it belongs to to help you easily identify and pair food together to make a more balanced snack.

Super Simple Snack groups = fruit, vegetable, protein/fat, grain.

Whole Fruit

road trip snacks for kids banana

Fresh is a great option, but isn’t always the easiest to travel with. Whole fruit like bananas, apples, oranges, and pears are easier than berries and other fruit.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Mini Raisin Boxes

road trip snacks for kids raisins
When fresh fruit isn’t an option, dried fruit is an easy, shelf-stable go-to that still provides valuable nutrition. These mini Sun-Maid raisin boxes are the perfect little snack to take on the road, pack in their lunch box or throw in the stroller. Try and look for varieties with no added sugar if possible.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Golden Raisins

road trip snacks for kids golden raisins

If your child enjoys regular raisins, switch things up with golden raisins. Providing a different version (golden raisins) of food they already like (regular raisins), helps your child get used to trying new foods without even realizing it!

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Freeze-dried Fruit 

road trip snacks for kids freeze dried fruit

Freeze-dried fruit is the perfect road trip snack for kids because not only are they getting fiber, vitamins, and minerals as they would from fresh fruit, it’s a crunchy snack that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Look for options with no added sugar if possible. Fruit is sweet enough as it is.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Snapea Crisps

road trip snacks snapea crisps

While these Snapea Crisps arent a fresh vegetable, they are a crunchy snack that provides fat, protein, and fiber and the first ingredient is green peas. Plus they can help your child learn to like fresh vegetables one day.

Super Simple Snack Group = veggie

Cereal

road trip snacks for kids cereal

Cereal is an easy go-to road trip snack for kids. They like it, it’s easy to throw in a bag and it’s fortified with so many valuable vitamins and minerals like B Vitamins and Iron. Because infants and children are at high risk for iron deficiency, cereal is an easy option to help increase their iron.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Pretzels

road trip snacks for kids pretzels

Another crunchy road trip snack for kids, pretzels hold up well while traveling and fulfill the popular crunchy snack category. I like getting individual bags for convenience, but I also try to buy the bulk pretzels and portion myself as much as I can.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Puffworks Peanut Butter Puffs

road trip snacks for kids puffworks

I love these peanut butter puffs for any occasion, but they’re especially good as a road trip snack for kids. This snack alone contains fat, protein, fiber, and iron. They do contain some added sugar, but the other nutrients they provide are extremely valuable. It’s all about balance. Plus they help you easily include common allergens which is important to do to help prevent food allergies.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Made Good Granola Bites

road trip snacks for kids granola minis

Made Good products are a favorite in our house, especially when on the go. Not only are they allergen friendly, they also contain nutrients from fruits and veggies! These granola minis taste like a granola bar but come in fun, ball shape. Sometimes novelty is all it takes to help your child actually eat.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Hippeas Chickpea Puffs

road trip snacks for kids hippeas

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good white cheddar Cheeto puff, but these Hippeas Chickpea Puffs are a great option to help your child get in more iron, protein, and fiber while on the go.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Amara Smoothie Melts

road trip snacks for kids smoothie melts

These plant-based yogurt melts from Amara have zero grams of added sugar and are super easy to travel with. It’s nice to not only have variety with food groups, but variety with different textures too.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat

Yo Yo Fruit Rolls

road trip snacks for kids yoyo fruit folls

If you’re looking for something to check the fruit snack box, but want something a little healthier, try these Yo Yo fruit rolls. They’re gluten-free, vegan, made with fruits and veggies, plus contain 1 cup of fruit per pouch. They even come with a fun collectible card inside – novelty for the win!

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

GoGo Squeez Fruit & Veggie Pouches

road trip snack for kids gogo squeez

What parent doesn’t have pouches hidden in every nook and cranny? We love to keep GoGo Squeeze fruit and veggie pouches stocked in our car for any trip, short or long. It’s a quick and easy way to get some form of fruit and vegetable in, and yes, they contain fiber too!

Always remember that variety is key. Offer not just fresh fruit, but dried, freeze-dried, frozen, and even in puree forms like apple sauce or handy dandy pouches. What you offer will depend on where you are and what’s going on. Sanity is important to keep in mind too.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

GoGo Squeez Yogurt Pouches 

road trip snacks for kids yogurt pouch

A shelf-stable protein source is hard to come by. That’s why we rely on shelf-stable GoGo Squeeze yogurt pouches – no refrigeration necessary! Bam there’s protein, calcium, and Vitamin D in one easy to grab n go pouch.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat

GoGo Squeez Happy Tummiez Pouches

road trip snacks for kids happy tummiez

Gut health is extremely important, but when you’re on the go, it’s easy to put on the back burner. These GoGo Squeez Happy Tummiez pouches contain plant-based prebiotics to help feed the good bacteria (probiotics) in your child’s gut to help keep them regular.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

GoGo Squeez Morning Smoothiez

road trip snacks for kids smoothie pouch

GoGo Squeez for the win again. They have a smoothie option that contains, yogurt, fruit, and oats and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. This pouch is jam-packed with nutrition and only contains 3 grams of added sugar, making it a solid option as a road trip snack for kids.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat

Veggie Straws

road trip snacks for kids veggie straws

If your child doesn’t enjoy fresh vegetables quite yet, Veggie Straws are an easy way to help introduce them to the idea of veggies in a crunchy way! Make sure to still expose them to a variety of other vegetables even if they don’t like them yet.

Super Simple Snack Group = vegetable – kinda sorta

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars

road trip snacks for kids fig bar

With traveling and being off schedule, constipation is a common challenge many children and adults face. That’s why packing snacks that contain fiber is so important. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars contain 2 grams of fiber per serving, plus some protein, fat, and iron.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Nature’s Bakery Baked-In Bars

road trip snacks for kids baked ins

Another great option from Nature’s Bakery is their Baked-In Bars. These have even more protein, fat, fiber than the fig bars. Plus you even get a little taste of chocolate too.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

That’s It Bars

road trip snacks for kids thats it

Fruit bars have quickly gained a lot of popularity due to their minimal ingredient list and convenient packaging making it super easy to eat more fruits and veggies. That’s it bars come in a large or mini size. I’m a sucker for mini versions of foods because if they don’t eat all of the full size version, I feel bad tossing it. Sometimes less is more.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Dino Bars

road trip snacks for kids dino bar

These fruit bars are unique in that they have an edible wrapper made from potato starch to prevent sticky fingers. They also have a solid amount of protein and fat for a fruit bar which can help keep your kids fuller longer. Use code familynutritionist10 for 10% off!

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Mini Lara Bar

road trip snacks for kids lara bar

Another snack option with minimal ingredients, Lara Bars are an easy option to include in your road trip snack rotation. Again, I like to go for the mini version if possible.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat

Pure Organic Fruit Bar

road trip snacks for kids fruit bar

We don’t have these Pure Organic Fruit Bars in our house for very long because they’re so good! When you need something sweet on hand that you feel good about, these are the way to go.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Sun-Maid Sour Raisins

road trip snacks for kids sour raisins

Another sweet option that’s not a fruit snack. Sun-Maid sour raisins. are sweetened with natural flavors and taste like candy but count as fruit.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Made Good Granola Bar

road trip snacks for kids granola bar

If you’re looking to get more bang for your buck out of a granola bar, Made Good granola bars include nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Plus they’re allergen friendly, so they’re also a great option for school snacks and classroom or Halloween treats.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Off the Eaten Path Crisps

road trip snacks for kids off the eaten path

You can certainly include chips on your list of road trip snacks for kids, but these Off the Eaten Path Crisps are crunchy, contain fiber, fat, and protein (remember this keeps them fuller for longer) and they’re delicious. Plus they’re a great way to help introduce your child to beans and other vegetables that are sometimes hard to sell.

Super Simple Snack Group = vegetable

Cosmic Carrot Chews

road trip snacks for kids cosmic carrot chews

Cosmic Carrot Chews are basically vegetable fruit snacks made with carrots, but with way less added sugar. They’re literally carrots sweetened with fruit juice and are an excellent source of Vitamin A. Because veggies aren’t the easiest to pack for on the go, nor are they often kids’ favorite, Cosmic Carrot Chews are a must!

Super Simple Snack Group = vegetable

Sweet Potato Crackers 

road trip snacks for kids sweet potato chips

These sweet potato crackers are so tasty and a great option to add to your cracker collection because if you have kids, you definitely have a cracker collection. For a cracker, this is a pretty decent option with 1 mg of iron, 1 gram of fiber and even some fat and protein too.

Super Simple Snack Group = vegetable

That’s It Crunchables

road trip snacks for kids crunchables

The same brand as the popular That’s It Fruit Bars, they also have these crunchable apple snacks that are basically like dried apples. A great shelf-stable way to include apples that are easy to eat because sometimes whole apples are hard for kids to eat.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit

Annies Cheddar Bunnies

road trip snacks for kids crackers

Another great cracker to add to your cracker collection! We also love their bunny grahams and cheddar squares too because variety is key when it comes to your cracker collection.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Pirate’s Booty

road trip snacks for kids pirates booty

I love Pirates Booty anywhere, anytime! It’s a safe alternative to popcorn for kids four and under since popcorn is a choking hazard. Pirates Booty is easily dissolvable and a delicious snack to add to your pantry, especially the individual packs for on the go or use the large bag to portion into reusable bags.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Mission Mighty Me Puffs

road trip snacks for kids peanut butter puffs

Another dissolvable option that’s great for on the go are Mission Mighty Me Puffs. They have a peanut butter and nut butter option that are great for infants (6 months +), toddlers and even older kids. They’re an easy way to incorporate peanuts and tree nuts, common allergens, on the go or at home.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

RX Kids Bars

road trip snacks for kids RX kids bar

Just like your cracker collection, it’s important to have a wide variety of options in your bar collection. RX Kids Bars have minimal ingredients, but plent of fiber, fat and protein.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat

Peanut Butter Pretzels

road trip snacks for kids peanut butter pretzels

I’m pretty disappointed that I only just recently discovered peanut butter pretzels because they are now one of my favorite snacks. They’re the perfect salty snack and still provide fat, protein and even 1 gram of fiber per serving.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat or grain

Terra Root Vegetable Chips

road trip snacks for kids chips

A chip is a chip is a chip, so eat the chips you love because life is too short – yes, let your kids eat the chips they love too. I did recently discover these Terra Root Vegetable Chips at Costco and they’re super tasty. Plus they’re a great way to help your kids try new foods and eventually learn to like root vegetables not in chip form.

Super Simple Snack Group = vegetable

Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Baked Crackers

road trip snacks for kids crunch master

Here we go adding another cracker to the collection. These Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Baked Crackers have 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and .9 mg of iron per serving. If your kids enjoy crackers, throw this option in the mix to switch things up.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Crunch Roasted Edamame Beans

road trip snacks for kids edamame beans

Honestly, Crunchy Roasted Edemame Beans might just be one of the best on the go snacks you could include on your list of road trip snacks for kids. They have 11 grams of protein (11 GRAMS!), 4 grams of fiber and 1 mg of iron. If your kids enjoy a crunchy snack, these are a great option to include variety.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat

Popcorn

road trip snacks for kids popcorn

Popcorn is a great whole grain snack, but it’s also a choking hazard for children under four. If you have kids under four you can opt for the Pirate’s Booty for a safer option.

Super Simple Snack Group = grain

Whisps Cheese Crisps

road trip snacks for kids whisps

Because Whisps Cheese Crisps are literally baked cheese, they contain protein and calcium. If your children enjoy cheese, these are an easy way to include protein on the go without worrying about keeping cheese cool.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat

Trail Mix

road trip snacks for kids trail mix

Literally designed for hikers on the go, trail mix is the ultimate road trip snack for a bunch of energy in just a small portion. The nuts provide plant-based fats for long lasting energy and the dried fruit give you quick energy to use right away. By all means go for the variety with M&Ms, but I also love this variety pack that includes seeds and different dried fruits.

Just remember that whole or even large pieces of nuts can be a choking hazard for kids under four years old. Always remember to take a CPR course so you know what to do incase your child chokes. I recommend the Thrive Trainin Institute Choking Prevention Course for any parent or caregiver. Use code ALEX10 for $10 off.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit and protein/fat

Cerebelly Smart Bars

road trip snacks for kids smart bars

If you’re looking for a another bar to add to your collection that doesn’t have any added sugar, Cerebelly Smart Bars have zero. Plus they also have 3 grams of fiber, fat, and protein each so overall it should keep them fuller longer than your standard granola bar.

Super Simple Snack Group = fruit, vegetable and grains

Roasted Chickpeas

road trip snacks for kids roasted chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are another portable protein option, but also nut free for any families with nut allergies. It also hits the spot for a crunchy snack and checks the box for having fat, fiber, and iron too.

Super Simple Snack Group = protein/fat

On the Go Beverages

As for beverages, I recommend sticking with water in a reusable water bottle.  Check out a few options in my Amazon shop that we love and use with our kids.  You can also pack shelf-stable milk and 100% fruit juice boxes for variety. 

Of course, there are many more options out there and you should always remember to pack your favorites, even if it’s chips, cookies, or your favorite crunchy snack. These foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle too. The most important thing is variety and to pair foods together.

If you find that your child obsesses over sweets, treats, desserts, and other novelty foods read more here to help minimize the obsession.

Pairing balanced road trip snacks for kids

Many of these snacks would be a great option by themselves, but because of your child’s rapid growth and development, it’s advantageous to always use the Super Simple Snack Strategy (fruit or vegetable + protein/fat or grain).

This doesn’t mean you need to plan out a huge meal for their snack. Below are a few examples using the snacks recommended above.

road trip snacks for kids easy
road trip snacks for kids healthy
road trip snacks for kids easy
road trip snacks for kids healthy
road trip snacks for kids healthy
road trip snacks for kids easy
road trip snacks for kids healthy
road trip snacks for kids easy

How to pack road trip snacks for kids

When you’re traveling with kids, it’s important to be as organized as possible.  This means easy access to diapers, wipes, and snacks, lots of snacks. 

To help make choosing a balanced snack on the road with whatever options you have easier, here are a few recommendations:

  1. Prepack two snacks together in a reusable or Ziplock bag using the Super Simple Snack Strategy.  You can pack multiple snack bags and give them the choice of which combo they’d like. This way they automatically get a balanced snack and a choice.  Now whether they eat or not, that’s never guaranteed.
  2. Categorize your snacks by food groups into different bins or gallon Ziplock bags; fruits and veggies in one and protein/fat and most likely grain in this case in another.  When it comes time for a snack break, ask them to pick one from each bag/container. 

Check out how I packed my kids’ snacks when they stayed at their grandparents for a week over the summer.  My intentions were to help make things as easy as possible for Grandma and Grandpa.

How to keep perishable road trip snacks for kids cold

The 42 road trip snacks for kids I recommended above do not need to be refrigerated, but adding perishable food items can definitely help increase the variety and overall options. Packing perishable road trip snacks for kids is definitely doable but requires more consideration with how it’s packed and stored. 

Perishable foods that need to be kept cold like eggs, yogurt, cheese, sliced fruits and veggies should really be kept 40 degrees Farenheight or lower.  If your perishable road trip snacks for kids are kept above this temperature, they should be thrown out after four hours, I know, sad.

Why do they need to be thrown out after four hours?  They look fine, right?  Well, it’s not that you will get sick from these foods, but the opportunity for bacteria growth and the chances that you could get sick increase.  When you’re on a road trip with kids, the last thing you want to deal with is any illnesses.  

To help keep your perishable road trip snacks for kids cold try these snack hacks:

  1. Pack perishable road trip snacks for kids in a cooler with one or several ice packs.
  2. Use frozen water bottles as ice packs to keep perishable snacks cool.
  3. If packing yogurt tubes or pouches, freeze them first and use as an ice pack and eat once thawed.

Before you hit the road

Remember to keep in mind the Super Simple Snack Strategy when packing road trip snacks for kids. Variety is key. Try to include foods from these food groups:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Protein/fat
  • Grains

It’s likely most road trip snacks for kids will end up being fruits and grains. That’s simply because they’re easier to travel with, there are more shelf-stable options and kids love them!

And don’t forget to pack a beverage. Water is always a great option.

If you need more help with snack ideas and the all-day snack requests, get my Super Simple Snack Guide!

healthy snacks for kids
Hi! I'm Alex Turnbull. I'm a registered dietitian specializing in introducing solids and picky eating. Most importantly, I'm a mom of two so I get how stressful feeding kids can be.

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