Parents: Pack These 11 Healthy Road Trip Snacks for Your Kids to Avoid Meltdowns

Like hot dogs, roller coasters, and baseball games, a road trip has long been a cornerstone of a blissful American summer. But there are some drawbacks to this type of drive. The sting of a hot seat belt is irksome, as is hearing the same hit song repeat on the radio. But nothing can ruin a road trip quite like hearing this exasperated refrain from the backseat over and over again: "Are we there yet?"

Leave it to the frustrations of a confined space or the anticipation for what's around the corner, but kids don't exactly see the beauty of the open road in quite the same way as their parents. Still, don't plan on losing your cool just as the air conditioner hits the fritz. Instead, let us suggest avoiding meltdowns all together with a few healthy snacks.

"If we go on a road trip armed with healthy snacks to satisfy hunger and keep blood sugar levels stable, then it's a completely different experience for the whole family," Mandy Sacher, the Australian best-selling author of The Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook, says.

Mandy has found that when she packs healthy snacks for her two children on her family's annual road trip, they're more relaxed—and the same can be said for parents, too. "A common complaint from adults is that when they start eating a candy bar or a bag of cookies, they can't stop until it's all gone," she says. "They often fool the body into thinking it's full, and then a short while later, hunger returns and the body is tricked into craving these same nutrient-devoid snacks."

We asked Mandy for some advice on healthy road trip snacks to pack this summer, which she suggests storing in clean, airtight containers that make it into the car last out of convenience. "When you arrive at your destination, make it your first job to unload any hot or cold food and place it in appropriate temperature-controlled equipment—like the freezer, refrigerator or oven," she says. By that point, everyone should be in a good mood.