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Car-friendly foods for kids

There are few things more annoying than little bits of food that have fallen into those can’t-reach crevices between the seats in your car. You can see them — you just can’t reach them. In an ideal world, we’d all find time to eat snacks at the kitchen table, but between school, sports, music lessons and the dry cleaners, most snacks are eaten quickly as you drive from place to place. Make it easier on yourself – and your car – by choosing car-friendly food that is also age appropriate.

older kids in car

For younger kids

Younger kids tend to make a bigger mess than older kids because their small hands aren’t as coordinated. Play to their strengths by giving them car-friendly snacks that they can manipulate easily. For example, a baggie filled with dried fruit is easy for small fingers to pick up, but the pieces aren’t so small that they will wedge into hard-to-reach crevices in your car. Another option is a chewy granola bar. Skip the crunchy varieties — all those crumbs will make a huge mess. String cheese is a perfect car-friendly snack for small hands whether they’re coordinated enough to peel strips or if they just take bites.

For older kids

Older kids can manage messes better, though they also tend to need bigger or more filling snacks. Several types of yogurt come in to-go containers, like tubes or drinks. Packed with protein, these yogurt options will keep them feeling full. For a crunchy choice, dried veggie sticks are a lot like chips — salty, crunchy, finger-sized — but are a healthier alternative. For older kids, fruit makes a car-friendly snack too. Dried fruit is easier since kids can eat it almost like chips or candy — however, fresh fruit like an apple or banana works well if you have a place to stash the core or peel before arriving at your destination.

For everyone

Fruit leathers or roll-ups are a great option for any age. They’re easy to hold and easy to eat. Or mix up a big batch of trail mix with nuts, raisins, chocolate candies and coconut chips to pass around. Cheese cubes and whole wheat crackers make a protein-packed, mess-free car snack that even mom will love.

Check out other snack ideas

Hand-held favorites: Kid-approved meals to eat on the go
Sweet surprises: Lunch box treats to brighten the day
5 Protein-rich snacks kids love

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