Anchor Mom: Healthy Road Trip

Road-tripping with a talking toddler for the first time, I was shocked when I heard from the backseat, “Are we there yet?”  Is that built in?

But even worse – the apple slice tornado – my son throwing apple slices all over the car saying “I don’t like these!”

He does like apple slices, but on the fourth day of vacation and the fourth day of the kids’ meal healthy option – he was over it.

“I want a Frosty!”

I looked at the Frosty Jr. I had ordered him and told him he needed to eat an apple slice. He took a small bite, and once again explained, “I don’t like this.” I looked at the melting frosty and urgently told him he needed to eat it before getting the Frosty, and he better hurry because it was melting. About an hour later he finished the apple slice and I handed back the now melted ice cream (does that count as chocolate milk – maybe a little healthier?).

You can log his final lunch on our trip as – four chicken nuggets, an apple slice and chocolate milk (ah, okay – ice cream).

Just when I was feeling like mom of the year – I got this text from the friend I had been vacationing with who was also road tripping, “My daughter’s dinner was goldfish, an apple and graham crackers.”

I’m not alone – it’s just hard to feed our children healthy on-the-go.

I looked up this list of healthy on-the-go snacks put together by a registered dietitian – so when you hit the road you don’t have to join me by also feeding your child ice cream for lunch.

– whole grain cereal cups

– energy bars

– peanuts in the shell (we can’t do these, but sunflower seeds are a good alternative for older children)

– low-fat yogurt

– V8 juice


What’s your secret to staying healthy on the road? Do you have a favorite road-tripping snack?


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  1. Ashley Hall says:

    While road-tripping, we try really hard to avoid eating in the car. First, my hubby’s OCD would go haywire with all the crumbs. Second, it gives the kids a chance to take a break from the drive. Third, it keeps the mindless snacking to a minimum. And finally, it limits the number of bathroom calls (aren’t there a lot of them with a 2 year old!)
    I will get some lollipops as away to keep little mouths busy during the long hauls. And we are just starting to introduce gum to Jackson. (he didn’t swallow it this weekend!) So that might be an option, too.
    But as for healthy eating, I do view it as a big picture issue. We may not get a whole grain, protein, and veggie in at every meal, but over the course of 7 days I’m sure we do accomplish a very healthy, balance diet.
    So Jesse had a few “splurge” days – enjoy the ride and realize you can be back on the straight-and-narrow soon.

    1. Danielle Craig says:

      I’m laughing about the crumbs in the car! We hate stopping during road trips because we just want it to be over!

  2. Cheryl Johnson says:

    I don’t even bother! Sure I would love for them to eat healthy so I have squeezable applesauce and Capri Sun. The last time we left at the crack butt of dawn, so I had Trader Joe biscuits with Turkey sausages to tide everyone over until we got out and had a late lunch at some place decent. But I don’t fight it. My kids snack on fruit and Chex Mix etc but they don’t really like eating heavy meals in the car. I think it’s the motion and not being able to move around… Or more like, I can’t stand the smell of food in the car for the next 50 miles. Bleh!

    1. Danielle Craig says:

      Those are great ideas!
      And I agree – even for me – heavy meals in the car aren’t great! Haha – and the smell of food in the car can be pretty awful!

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