Figuring out what do to about snacks on trips has been one of the best headache savers yet! Between the four kids we get asked for food about every 30 seconds, I mean minutes. (It definitely seems like every 30 seconds!) I can handle maybe 2 asks on a good day but by the 6th time I have a hard time not getting annoyed. You also have the frustration of which snack we are going to open and passing them around the car without something getting spilled. This year I came up with the perfect solution for us. Individual snack bags. I get a gallon storage bag for each kid and write their name on it. Sometimes I made two per kid, one for the trip to and one for the trip home. Then I get all our snacks out and split them up between the bags. If they are not already individually wrapped, I put them into snack bags.
For our 5 hour long trip, I put 6 snacks per one way trip. Most of the time I get the kids involved, that way they can’t complain about the snacks since they picked them out. 🙂
I try to make 2/3 of the snacks healthy like crackers, fruit, cereal bars etc. Then 1/3 of them can be more fun like candy, poptarts, and sugary cereals.
Then the rules for the bags are simple:
1.) You can only eat out of your bag
2.) You can eat them whenever you want but those are your only snacks. When they are gone they are gone.
This has worked beautifully for my 4, 6 and 8 year old kids. Jacob, who is one, is of course too young for this and we feed him when he is hungry. Luke was able to understand this concept for the most part when he was three. He did have to be reminded that he doesn’t have to ask and can just eat when he is hungry.
It is interesting to see how each kid uses their bags differently. Luke eats his candy first and saves the healthy snacks for later. His first snack is usually within the first 10 minutes of the trip and typically eats most of them by the time the trip is done. Bekah does a mixture of healthy and not so healthy snacks. She typically waits a little bit but normally eats about half of her snacks. Hannah is a saver and doesn’t want to run out of snacks so she has been found to not eat any by the time we get to our destination. On our way home she typically tries to get some of her favorite snacks in to make sure she doesn’t miss out. For me, I am a-okay with them having leftover snacks. I would rather have more than enough than have to buy snacks at a gas station. And during the school year, the left-over snacks go to school the following week for snack time.
What snack ideas do you have for your trip? What is your favorite snack?