It’s that time of year again. Families are piling into station wagons across the country and heading to national parks, vacation spots, and grandma’s house. My family of five will soon be piling into the minivan and making our annual trip to the Catskills for a week of swimming, canoeing and general relaxation. I can’t wait!
Whether you’re taking a day trip to a water park or a multi-day journey, there’s one thing you’ll definitely need—snacks. You want fuel that’s going to keep the hunger pangs at bay, but won’t pile on extra sugar and sodium.
I love to pack a cooler full of treats we can all enjoy. The day before we head out, I cut watermelon into cubes and put it into individual snack cups for my 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Not only do they love the taste, it’s also a great way to keep them hydrated in the hot summer weather. I also wash, halve and freeze grapes. They’re so sweet and refreshing, Willa and Leo like them just as much as popsicles. I also throw in a few whole plums and nectarines for my husband and me. Phoebe is just a couple of months old, so she hasn’t started making snack requests yet.
Baby carrots (I like the individual bags for car trips), cucumber slices, celery sticks and cherry tomatoes are also fun for the road and don’t make a mess. For something savory and crunchy, we like wholegrain pretzels.
When it’s time to move on to something more substantial, I like something like a granola bar or handful of nuts. Snack-size zip top bags hold about an ounce of nuts, and I fill them with almonds mixed with tart dried cherries and walnuts, combined with toasted coconut chips. We also love to pack Rudi’s Gluten-Free Cherry Almond Bars. They have the softness of a cookie combined with the satisfaction of a bar and the whole family loves them! They’re also a fabulous mix-in for plain or vanilla yogurt (see Berry Yogurt Parfaits with Cherry-Almond Granola recipe below).
Don’t forget to pack some drinks! It might make you stop for bathroom breaks more frequently, but staying hydrated is so important. You don’t want to arrive at your vacation spot feeling sluggish and tired, so skip the soda and energy drinks and pack plenty of water bottles and sippy cups for everyone. You can always refill them along the way.
Wherever your holiday takes you, have a wonderful time! And remember, a well-fed traveler is a happy one.
Berry Yogurt Parfaits with Cherry-Almond Granola
Makes 4 servings
4 Rudi’s GF Cherry-Almond bars, crumbled (1 cup)
11/4 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
11/2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and quartered strawberries)
2 teaspoons honey
1. In each of four parfait glasses, spoon 2 tablespoons yogurt, 2 tablespoons crumbled bar, ¼ cup berries, another 2 tablespoons yogurt, 2 tablespoons berries, and any remaining granola.
2. Drizzle each parfait with 1/2 teaspoon honey. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours before serving.