Slide Menu Navigation Slide Menu Navigation

Family Central: Road Trip Essentials

It wouldn’t be summer without a roadtrip. Which means, for my family, it wouldn’t be summer without some whining coming from the back seat. No, we’re not there yet.

We can’t help you make the drive seem shorter, but whether you’re headed to the beach, the mountains or to Grandma’s house, we do have some FRESH ideas to help you get there clean, refreshed, and well-fed.

Eat it: Something about getting in the car makes my kids act like they’re starving to death. Rather than rely on fast food and convenience stores, we tote along our own finger foods that don’t leave a ton of crumbs, like fruit wraps, grapes, raisins. Our current favorite is just about any of the organic snacks from Late July, especially their mini sandwich cookies (like one-bite organic Oreos); the mini peanut-butter cracker sandwiches; and cheese crackers.

On our next trip, though, I’m going to head to the bulk section. I’ve found this an affordable way to buy small quantities of lots of healthy snacks (nuts, granola, dried fruit), so nobody can complain I didn’t bring their favorite.

Drink it: A small cooler always makes its way into the car, so I don’t get the kids hopped up on too many fast-food sodas. For small kids who may balk at drinking plain bottled water,  try Hansen’s Organic Junior Water. These come in handy little boxes, just like a juice box, but have less sugar and fewer calories than regular juices, plus 100 percent of a kid’s daily allowance of Vitamin C. For adults, I like Sparkling Ice, a carbonated, flavored, but calorie-free water beverage, sweetened with Splenda. It also contains green tea extract, antioxidants and a lot of B vitamins. There are several fruit flavors, including black raspberry, but my favorite is pink grapefruit, which reminds me of the old Fresca.

Clean it up: Baby wipes or other moistened towelettes are an essential on the road, to clean up spills as well as grimy little hands and faces. If you don’t like the scent or feel of mainstream brands, try a box of chlorine-free wipes (we carry both Earth’s Best and Seventh Generation.) Or, look in the healthy-living aisles for Giovanni sanitizing towelettes. These are individually wrapped, biodegradable, prettily scented wipes that don’t smell industrial or babyish. Three scents to mix or match: Lavender for calming, peppermint for a pick-me-up, and clean, refreshing grapefruit.