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
Sliced cheese and crackers
Cucumber slices and hummus
Frozen grapes (cut in half first, for smaller children)
Mini bagels with peanut butter and sliced bananas
Mini Bagels with cream cheese, green apple slices and drizzled with honey.