Keep Kids Happy (and Healthy) While Traveling With Granola, Muffins and More
by Cynthia Sommers
Mar 10, 2011 | 698 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This time of year, it’s hard not to notice that spring is in the air: the days are longer, the snow is slushier, the sun feels a bit warmer. That means spring break is just around the corner and most of us can’t wait to pack our bags and – as Willy Nelson puts it – get on the road again!

Whether heading to the sandy beaches of Hawaii, the comforts of Grandma and Grandpa’s house or simply a weekend getaway in Moab, traveling with children does not come with a few speed bumps – hunger being one of them. What to pack that will satiate their little appetites while on-the-go can be a formidable task. Here are a few make-ahead options that will please any little person’s appetite while nourishing them to boot. They also travel well.

Homemade Granola Bars

(Makes approximately 16 bars)

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

3 TB. unsalted butter

2/3 cup honey

1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup sunflower kernels

Optional: chocolate chips (remember, the darker the chocolate the greater the health benefits!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned (watch closely). Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for one minute; then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dried fruit, sunflower kernels and stir well. If using, stir in ½ cup of chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and lightly press with a spatula until it’s evenly spread. Sprinkle with coconut and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Adapted from Food Network / 2008 Barefoot Contessa – Back to Basics

Easy Morning Glory Muffins

(Makes 24 mini or 12 regular muffins)

1 box Krusteaz Oat Bran Muffin Mix

Prepare mix according to the high altitude directions on the box then add:

½ tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup of shredded coconut

½ cup matchstick carrots

½ cup raisins

If desired, sprinkle lightly with brown sugar or coconut; then bake as directed, let cool and pack!

Other healthy, easy-to-pack ideas:

Pretzels and peanut butter

Dried fruit


Sliced cheese and crackers

Baby carrots

Cucumber slices and hummus


Frozen grapes (cut in half first, for smaller children)

Frozen blueberries

Hard-boiled eggs

Dry cereal

Home-popped popcorn

Mini bagels with peanut butter and sliced bananas

Mini Bagels with cream cheese, green apple slices and drizzled with honey.
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