Headed for a long road trip and wondering how you'll survive
with two kids trapped in the back seat for seven hours? Tame those
savage beasts with food and exercise.
Opt for snacks that are filling, healthy and less likely to
leave a stain on the cloth seats.
Fruit is a great choice, but pick wisely. Finger fruits, such as
grapes, are easily doled out a few at a time and leave little mess
behind. Freeze them for a sweet popsicle-like treat that doubles as
ice for the cooler. Easy-to-peel clementine oranges also are good,
as are bananas. Bring extra bags for the garbage. You'll want to
get the remains out of the car as quickly as possible, before the
smell of that slowly rotting banana peel becomes overwhelming.
Fiber helps keep tummies full a little longer. That old toddler
standby, the bag of Cheerios, will keep even older kids (and
Avoid salty snacks such as pretzels and chips. Not only are they
bad for you, they make everyone thirsty. And thirsty people drink
more, which leads to more frequent potty stops, which leads to an
even longer car ride.
Speaking of thirst, pack water. It's better for you and spills
won't stain the seats or require a change of clothes.
Stop as often as you can to let everyone out of the car for a
walk or run. Look for a McDonald's with a Play Place (feed the kids
first and you can get away with buying nothing but a cup of coffee
to sip while the kids zip) or stop at a roadside park that has a
When you can't-or don't want to-stop for a stretch, get kids
moving inside the car with a rousing game of head, shoulders, knees
and toes. Mix it up (toes, tummy, nose and ears) and sing it faster
and faster until everyone is giggling too hard to go on.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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