Are you taking a summer road trip? We have a few and as a mom I’m over the piles of junk food snacks. Check out the BEST idea EVER for road trip snacks and free printable car bingo because I love you.
Oh how we LOVE you all! We totally get that road trips can be so much fun.
Until they aren’t.
You know what I’m talking about.
The kids hit an age where you suddenly start hearing, “She’s looking out my window!!”
Yes, that’s an actual argument from my childhood and a few weeks ago we hit our very first ever crabby road trip. It was on the way home and I seriously think my lack of planning healthy road trip snacks contributed. Just you wait until you see what I did this time to step our car food game up!!
And there’s a free printable for a road trip game at the end!
What Snacks to Pack for Traveling on a Road Trip
When you’re packing for a road trip, try doing it without your kids. I know, you want them to be able to pick a snack but guess what, if you do it all for them and bring things out they weren’t expecting there won’t be as many complaints as they will feel the love from you serving them.
If you really want to you can let them each pick a good behavior or a halfway there treat.
I have found the best road trip snacks are the ones that hit all of the categories, protein, dairy, fruit, veggies and a grain or nut. And we only bring water. You get dehydrated sitting in a car all day, it’s easier to clean up and doesn’t add to your sugar.
Make sure you find something small that will not roll off of their laminated free printable car bingo cards too! I’ll talk about that in a bit.
Here’s our favorites:
- Tillamook Cheese (yes, a specific brand and we have a dang good reason for it. A few in fact.)
- Raisins or Craisins or other Dried Fruits
- Mini Sandwiches
- Veggies and Dip
- Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
- Fresh Fruit
- Yogurt Covered Raisins
What Foods to Pack on a Road Trip
It’s not just what snacks to pack and hitting each of the food groups, but it’s also to hit certain experiences. Trust me on this, you’ll feel more satisfied if you’re not just munching on sweets or salty stuff.
Here’s how I know, when I was in the hospital with Hyperemesis Gravidarum I learned from the doctors that when someone has been as sick as I was and/or on feeding tubes they want to get them back to eating, but not just because it’s food, they want them CHEWING again. Our bodies and minds are connected to the motion of chewing food and we mentally will rise up and get better, make better choices, etc. all because we are experiencing different flavors and textures and chewing the food.
Pretty cool right!
A Variety of Flavor and Texture
You should pack a variety of foods that have different textures and tastes.
- Naturally Sweet
- Big and Small items
If you can try to fit your snacks into all of those categories you will mentally feel better and physically more satisfied.
Which is part of why Tillamook cheese ends up in our finger sandwiches. It’s flavor is so pure and so perfectly done you can’t skip the cheese. The slices are the perfect thickness and so easy to halve for two mini sandwiches. It’s like someone really knows what they are doing and it’s not me, it’s them.
For the kids we wen’t for Colby Jack. They love that it’s a mild flavor and our youngest things it’s fun to have “leopard cheese”, it’s all spotted you know.
Cade is a die hard for the Pepper Jack, which I totally get. I mean, when you’re trying to be health conscious you still need variety, you still need that good ol’ dairy from cheese but you want some flavor without all those sauces and dressings. Cheese is totally the perfect solution and Pepper Jack packs in that creamy mild cheese taste with subtle punches of heat that make you feel even more satisfied while traveling.
Craft Box for Snacks
Just find an organizers for things like beads or crafts like this one which is small, flat, and the individual spaces can be whatever size you prefer. I love that. It makes it so easy to pack big crackers, rectangle sandwiches or tiny raisins.
I have one for each kiddo and Cade and I share one.
Snacks for the NON Pinterest Mom
So here’s the deal, I’m a no-fuss mom. I’m NOT a pinterest mom other than for recipes. But that being said, having bags and boxes that are spilling, dropping crumbs and always more of certain items (especially the junk) than you need on a road-trip. Are you other moms feeling me?
Your kids are bickering, fruit snacks are long gone and wrappers are everywhere and yet everyone is still hungry. Oh, and when you finally arrive at your destination you feel gross. Not hungry but also famished. That’s what happens when you’ve been munching on junk food for hours.
Your body isn’t satisfied as it wants greens, protein and dairy more than anything else.
Your Body Isn’t Hungry
Pause while we discuss this. Did you know that when you’re tired your body thinks it’s hungry, when you’re thirsty your body thinks it’s hungry AND when you have not fed your body the nutrients it NEEDS it thinks it’s still hungry? Hello diet issues.
We partnered with Tillamook on this post because I’ve found that especially as a woman who needs the calcium and children who do as well it would be a perfect fit to share how I now travel with my family.
What Cheese is Best?
Being sick is also what solidified in me to eat really high quality foods because not only could my body not handle the junk as well once I was healthy again, but it also craved real nutrition and I felt so crazy humble and grateful I could eat I had no room for the fake stuff. So why are we talking about this?
Well, when you’re on a road trip you need foods that hold up and trust me, I even dare you to experiment, anything other than Tillamook cheese gets this weirdness to it. Other dairy brands aren’t as pure, and I actually know this as fact.
Tillamook has the highest quality milk compared to other brands, so its cheese doesn’t get a greasy, hard, filmy texture to it. Other brands add so much water it starts to break down and gets left while everyone keeps noshing on Tillamook.
IT’S SO GOOD!
So in case you missed it, Tillamook is best. Try their Farmstyle Thick Cut Sliced Cheese! They save you time as they are already cut for you, plus it’s thicker more delicious cuts, and finally, they have all of the flavors you love!
- Colby Jack Cheese
- Pepper Jack Cheese
- Extra Sharp White Cheddar
- Medium Cheddar
- Monterey Jack
- Sharp Cheddar
- Smoked Black Pepper
You can see all of them on the Tillamook Site as well.
And want to know what our readers love most? You all voted on our Instagram Stories and these were your favorites!
- Medium Cheddary
- Colby Jack
- Pepper Jack
Hey, did you know we have an entire Highlight on our Instagram Page where you can watch all things Tillamook, even how I assembled these boxes on a live video? Check out our Instagram!
Our Snack Box Tips
Just a few little tips on road trip snacks, or mom hacks if you will.
- If you want to bring yogurt, dip, dressing or peanut butter (or any butters) lay a little saran wrap in the hole and fill it with your dip. Carefully twist the top and untwist to use. Once it’s all done just twist it back up and lift out to throw away.
- Pack items that have no juices or wrappers.
- Find a craft box that closes tight all the way around, but also tight enough that there’s no space for the items inside to spill into each other.
- Have a simple little prize like a toy, treat, book, or even getting to pick the next song to listen to for the winner.
Now who needs a free printable?! We run these car bingo sheets off on card stock and then get them laminated at UPS.
Many of you may have seen our recent trip to Tillamook to visit their newly renovated factory. If you’re looking for a road trip idea might I suggest heading to the Oregon coast?
You should stay at the Headlands Coastal Lodge in Pacific City which is only about 20-30 minutes from Tillamook and totally breathtaking.
We had an incredible visit and I couldn’t end our post without a look back at the incredible experience.
Even their menu has changed at the factory, but don’t worry, those stinking amazing fried cheese curds are still there. My goodness. I wish I had a picture for you.
Every time I post this picture to social media everyone responds about that classic carpet and then immediately asks, “So are you going to head out to Tillamook?!”
You know we can’t ever head to the Pacific Northwest without a stop in at our favorite brand!!
Have you checked out Fit Mitten Kitchen yet? My goodness, that lady is going to take over the world.
We had the best time with the farmers. I adore that they ADORE their animals like family. This isn’t merely a livelihood for them it’s their everything. Their passion, their joy, their family. If you’re going to be buying food these days versus going all blast from the past and raising your own, my goodness let it be brands that care like Tillamook does.
Life is But a Dish is such a great friend, make sure you check her out!
And this yogurt is a recipe I’ll be sharing very soon. It was so good!
See all of our fantastic Tillamook recipes from over the years below!