Best Mess-Free Snacks for Traveling in the Car with Kids

  • Jul 13,2020
Kids in backseat Kids in backseat

It’s time to hit the open road and take the long-awaited road trip you’ve planned with your family. Your bags are packed, the fuel tank is full, and your car is primed for the long journey ahead. All you need is one last essential for a successful cross-country drive: snacks. Lots of snacks.

When it comes to kids eating on the go and keeping your car’s upholstery crumb-free, not all snacks are created equal. With a little research and prep, you can provide healthy, mess-free snacks for the little ones in the backseat. Keep hunger at bay and sticky fingers off of your car’s interior when taking a road trip with kids with these easy-to-implement snack hacks.

Prepare On-The-Go Snack Packs Ahead of Time

Driving in the car for hours at a time requires a little creativity and preparation to prevent kids from becoming overly hungry. Prep individual snack packs that include a variety of bite-sized, mess-free food choices that keep tummies full.

When prepping the snack packs, add a protein, fruit, vegetable, and sweet treat to a reusable container to create your very own DIY Lunchable. You can use cupcake liners inside of the reusable tupperware to hold nuts, fruit, or other bite-sized snacks. Kiddos can graze on the food and put the container’s top back on if they have leftovers. No spills, no crumbs.

Stock Up On Easy, No-Prep Car Snacks

If you’re pressed for time or want additional snack options for your kids, you can buy pre-made food from the grocery store. Look for self-contained snacks that can be eaten in one serving, and avoid crunchy chips or crackers that can cause crumbs.

Consider stocking up on the following snacks for traveling in the car:

  • Granola bars
  • Hand-held, no-peel fruits such as apples, berries, and grapes
  • Pre-made veggie packs, like carrots
  • Trail mix and nuts
  • String cheese
  • Organic fruit snacks

Create a Family Snack Basket

You’ll need a lot of snacks for the long car ride, so consider bringing a basket full of refills. Stay organized with a medium-sized storage basket that holds extra snacks, like fruit, bottled water, larger containers of Goldfish crackers, etc. You can keep your family snack basket in the trunk of your car. That way, when it’s time for a pit stop, you can refill snack packs!

Keep Drinks and Perishables Cold with an Electric Cooler

Consider investing in an electric cooler for your car. Not only do your drinks and food stay refreshingly cold, but your car’s interior remains protected from a potentially leaky cooler. Some electric coolers can even hold temperatures below freezing! A popsicle or some ice cream could make for a cool family treat at a rest stop!

Provide Your Crew With Trash Bags and Hand Wipes

One of the easiest ways to keep your car clean during a long trip? Give every person in the car their own trash bag and hand wipes. Kiddos are empowered to throw away wrappers and keep fingers sticky-free. Reuse plastic grocery bags and keep extras on hand if you need to restock your backseat drivers halfway through the trip!

Keep Fast Food Manageable with Plastic Caddies

On long drives, stopping for fast food may be inevitable. Find plastic bins or caddies from the dollar store and serve meals to-go in these containers. Prevent french fries and dipping sauce from ending up on the floor! After all, it’s hard enough as an adult to eat meals in the car. Help your kiddos stay tidy by giving them a container to hold their meal.

Make Sure Your Car is Road Trip-Ready

“Are we there yet?" That's a tough question to answer when you're stuck on the side of the road with a steaming engine! Help prevent common road trip car problems with a comprehensive vehicle inspection and affordable services from your local Firestone Complete Auto Care. We’ll take care of what’s under the hood, so you can focus on what’s in your snack pack!

Up Next

Find Store

Find a Different Location

Stores Near You

Do you want to change your Preferred Store?