I’ve talked about our snack basket at home, but what about when we leave home? Oh yeah, we take snacks everywhere!
When it’s time for the zoo or another day out on the town, I pull out the “snack backpack” which is one shoulder slingback bag like this.
Here are a few of our family’s favorite snacks and other stuff I keep in our snack bag:
- Re-usable water bottles (I fill them daily). Each child has their own, and I have a larger one. I put lots of ice in mine in addition to water. I also carry extra water in my trunk at all times (in case of emergency, but frequently the emergency is just hot thirsty kiddos).
- Powdered drink sticks. Dollar Tree and 99 Cents Only have lots of great flavors to choose from.
- Freeze-dried Fruit. Strawberries, Pineapple, and mangoes are favorites here.
- Protein bars, granola bars, goldfish crackers, fruit squeezy pouches, Yogurt squeezy pouches, individual cups of peanut butter, crackers to go with the PB (usually Ritz), Pirates Booty, Individual bags of popcorn, homemade trail mix (extra M&M’s no raisins), Ziploc bags of cereal, fruit leathers/fruit rollups, Mott’s Fruit Snacks (these are specifically requested), and depending on what is on sale, juice boxes/pouches or sometimes shelf-stable milk boxes/pouches.
- In a zipper pouch (this one), I keep hand wipes, plastic utensils, straws, and napkins. I also carry a ziploc bag with extra ziplocs in it, and a few small trash bags.
While the initial outlay of money to buy a backpack and stock of food to keep in the snack bag and water bottles may be steep (it was about $65 for us), you will save that much money in just a few weeks in the summer. You’ll be able to avoid drive-thru lines, and you can better control what your family is eating.
When we are going to be gone all day, I also pack a small soft-sided cooler bag with blue ice and cold treats like frozen tubes of yogurt, berries, cheese, and cold cuts. I like using reusable plastic containers, instead of zip-top bags. They are usually better for keeping food cold and for squishable items like berries in good condition. These are all the same things that we eat for lunch during the school year, so our food budget in the summer does not increase- We also take advantage of summer school lunch programs as well.
I’m really looking forward to our spring and summer shenanigans!