The idea of taking a road-trip across the state or across the country is definitely romanticized. We dream of the open road, singing along with the radio, and playing the license plate game as we go. We imagine visiting far off places and seeing incredible new sights. But the truth is, it can feel more like we are taking a tour of the gas stations, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants than a tour of historical sites and awesome scenery.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. With a little planning and preparation, you can save yourself the additional stops and the expense of grabbing your food on the go. As you get ready to load up the car and hit the open road this summer, use these tips and ideas to make some fix-ahead food that will stop your hunger without having to stop the car.
1. Keep it Simple
- Focus on foods that are easy to pack and easy to eat while traveling.
- Make sure anything you plan to fix-ahead is good at room temperature or can survive easily in an ice chest.
2. Start with sandwiches.
- They are cheap and easy to make in bulk and you can easily bring a large variety without breaking the bank or having to do a bunch of extra work.
- They are easy to pack, easy to eat, and everyone loves them.
- Make the sandwiches ahead, but don’t add the condiments until it’s time to eat to help keep the bread from getting soggy.
- Try traditional PB&J, ham or turkey and cheese, chicken salad, or BLTs.
3. Stock Up on Snacks
- Don’t feel like you need to stick to standard meal times or meal sizes while you are on the road. Stock up on healthy, low calorie snacks so that everyone can graze their way through the day.
- Snacking instead of eating a full meal can be more comfortable when you are riding in the car for a long period of time.
4. Focus on Fruits
- Fill your cooler with fresh fruit and veggies for a great array of healthy, road-trip ready snacks.
- Fill sandwich bags with sliced strawberries, fresh grapes, and orange slices to make these tasty fruits available with less mess.
5. Bring Baked Goods
- Add some variety to your road trip fare by boxing up some home-baked muffins, cookies, and even cupcakes. Having these kinds of sweets ready-made will make it easier to resist when the candy aisle at the convenience store starts calling your name.
6. Keep it Clean
- Choose snacks and other items that are relatively mess-free. There is nothing worse than making your food ahead only to have to stop anyway to wash hands and faces.
- Bring wet wipes for easy clean-up and just in case there are accidental spills.
7. Other Considerations
- Skip anything with a strong, intense, or lasting smell. You might love the smell of fresh popped popcorn with garlic powder now, but it won’t be pleasant if it lingers for the next four hours.
- Pack the car wisely. Make sure your ready-made meals are easy to get to so that everyone can eat without having to rearrange the car.
Fill Your Plate recently made it’s Farmers’ Market listing searchable. So, if you’re taking a trip within Arizona remember to go to Fill Your Plate and search for a Farmers’ Market in the area you’re staying to visit the local farmer’s market.
- 6 Great Ways to Connect With Your Kids this Summer (fillyourplate.org)
- How to Grow Your Own Tomatoes (fillyourplate.org)
- What’s in Season in June? (fillyourplate.org)