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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

When you’re a young adult, you love road trips with your friends because they give you total freedom to explore the world. Once you’re a little older, though, you have kids in the backseat trying to impose themselves on your plans. Keep these 5 treats on hand when traveling with kids so you can keep them quiet while you zone out and relive your glory days.

Granola Makes a Wholesome Snack

bowl of granola

Don’t settle for the granola they sell at grocery markets. That stuff is often full of sugar that will make your kids hyperactive. You want a mixture of grains, nuts, and berries that will make them feel full (and thus a little sleepy).

Alton Brown has a great recipe online that you can use.

You can also make your own mixture on the fly. Just be sure you have:

  • Oats
  • Raisins and other dried fruits (preferably not coated in sugar)
  • Nuts (slivered almonds work well, but whatever you like is also great)
  • A natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup

Feel free to play around until you find a combination that your kids like.

Juice to Satisfy That Craving for Sweets

shelf of juice in a grocery store

You DO NOT want your children drinking caffeinated sodas on the road. We all know what you get when you pour caffeine, water, and sugar down a kid’s throat: a hyperactive pee-machine.

Since caffeine is a diuretic, it means you’ll have to make more pit stops. That just slows you down, making the trip even longer.

If your kids really want to drink something sweet, give them a mixture of fruit juice and water. That will satisfy their thirst and sweet tooth without giving them too much sugar and other bad ingredients.

Fresh Fruit Makes a Great Treat on the Road

sliced fruit and berries

Few things are more nutritious than fresh fruits. If you take a cooler on your road trip, you can even chop up fruit ahead of time to make it easier for little hands to hold. That way, they don’t loss apples and oranges that you will uncover months after the trip has ended.

Fruit makes a great snack because it’s:

  • Low in fat (in fact, few fruits have any fat at all)
  • A great source of potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid
  • Has a lot of fiber that makes kids feel full

Fresh Vegetables to Fill Hungry Bellies

sliced vegetables

Fresh vegetables also play an important role in the road trip diet. Before you leave for your long drive, spend a few minutes in the kitchen chopping:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • cauliflower
  • Peppers
  • And pretty¬† much any other vegetable that your kid likes

Fresh vegetables are good for growing kids (not to mention adults) because they are packed with:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Potassium
  • Folic acid
  • and many more important vitamins and minerals

When it comes down to it, fruits and veggies always win.¬†You just can’t go wrong.

Dark Chocolate: A Treat That’s Probably Healthier Than You Think

dark chocolate bars

Use dark chocolate sparingly as a reward for good behavior. And it’s probably not as unhealthy as you think. It contains antioxidants, copper, magnesium, and potassium that can contribute to good health.

Of course, it also contains sugar and small amounts of caffeine, so only give the kids small bits.

Road trips with the young ones can seem like a daunting task. Make sure you ride in a safe, dependable vehicle (like the used Chevys at www.reedmantollchevy.com) and always make sure to pack plenty healthy foods to keep them happy.