Gluten Free Road Trip Snacks for Kids (and more!)

Tips and Tricks and essentials for an enjoyable + nourishing drive

Family road trips can be a bit overwhelming, however when you plan ahead and bring the right things and foods to entertain while on the road, success happens. Road trips were a big part of our family’s summer vacations!  With 4 daughters, we were a crowd wherever we traveled. I made sure that I had enough food, kid friendly snacks and things to entertain and calm the meltdown moments. If you ask the girls, those road trips were the greatest memories for them! 

Today the girls all in their 30’s, talk fondly about those road trips as some of their greatest memories! 

Now it’s just the two of us, Tim and I look forward to our 2-day road trip to Colorado each year. With busy lives, it’s our time to reconnect and actually have deeper conversations. We love the incredible scenery, and enjoy listening to Audible books, podcasts and Ted Talks… Oh, and the snacks and the meals I bring also helps to nourish and feed our spirit while out driving the open roads.  Road trips are so freeing and filled with adventure! Having our coolers stocked with great food we like and the yummy munchies, make us happy road trippers! Besides, being gluten free, there aren’t many grocery stores in the middle of nowhere that carry the quality gluten free products, (if any gluten free products at all), we would want to eat. So, I pack all of our big kid favorite foods along for our ride! 

I’ve shared my favorite go-to foods, healthy kid snacks and my checklist of what to bring, the essentials you won’t want to forget, things to keep handy, and the stuff that just makes road tripping a breeze! You’ll find many ideas and tips to help you plan and organize your road trip adventure! 

Included are all the things I’d bring for the kids… the must haves when the kids were younger and what fun things take to entertain them. I also reached out and asked some of my young mom friends with kids to share what’s new that they like to pack for their road trips! 

Yes, I even take my road food seriously. The best of the best what I call crossover foods, explained in depth both here and in Damn Good Gluten Free. I choose even my snacks wanting to eliminate crap oils, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, fried foods. They give me the worst belly aches!  It’s just not worth it. If you’ve ever been on the road and in the middle of the desert feeling like crap, it simply sucks. 

So, to feel good while driving long distances, I pack it all with me. Because, no one wants the stomach aches, headaches or vomiting while on a long car ride.  Having experienced it all with our 4 kids. It’s no fun! What I bring to eat, munch and dine on is tasty and simple put together.  

A little prepping goes a long way. This trip I’m making up a batch of spinach patties to top over our salad. I’ll even roll some into balls that are easy to grab and eat while driving! And when the munchies or sleepy eyes happen while driving, which they do, we will reach for our salty crunchy or even chocolatey bars to keep us awake and going! 

Hydration is key, especially when heading into heat and altitude. Water is paramount. Both Tim and I swear by Penta water! Every year prior I’d get the worst case of altitude sickness after arriving in Colorado. Going from sea level to 10,000 feet in two days, the elevation would wreak havoc on my nervous system. Once I started drinking Penta water, it has completely stopped happening! It’s been a must have for our road trips. 

road trip snacks

What’s Peg’s go to Road Trip snacks?  

I make a smoothie for our first day out. Once we drink that, our first go-to is usually a crispy crunchy cracker or chip that’s light and not too heavy. Heavy snacks can bloat me and make me tired. So, the lightest gluten free big and little  kid approved chips we munch on are the Cauliflower Stalks and Siete Dippers. They both happen to be grain free and have the perfect amount of salty goodness with THE MOST satisfying tasty crunch. I have to restrain myself from eating the entire bag, and be mindful not to overeat these deliciously satisfying snacks…For Tim, he loves his almond crackers and seed crackers by Simple Mills. Another grain free alternative made from almond flour. We are not grain-free, but these snacks we love.

Good to know side note… I truly love supporting companies like Simple Mills and Siete foods where these family owned businesses have integrity and a value based mission behind the company. These companies are ethical and give back supporting communities and our planet.  Simple Mills purchases from sustainable agricultural practices. Their almond farmers support regenerative farming practices.  #unsponsored

Homemade Snacks and Treats for the Car Ride~ Some are Mess Free!

Hippy Cookies made for breakfast or filled with chocolate goodness! Won’t melt in your hands! 

Date and Nut bitesare a no bake dream and are good for you! 

Seed Crackers! This are a super easy recipe that totally satisfies the crunchy nutty salty thing. And, if you’re not up for making them yourself, I found a company who makes them!  Top Seedz They are so good too! 

Strawberry Muffins

Best tip for attempting to be mess free: Make individual baggies or reusable bags like Stasher.

For more kid snack ideas that we Curry Girls love, check out our blog post with all our fav Gluten Free Snacks. We think these are the best tasting, better for you and why these versions are good for you and your kids! #kidtested #damngoodglutenfree #crossoverfoods 

Our cooler is packed with easy to reach food:

  • Fresh veggies; sliced carrots, celery, radishes, sugar snap pea, cauliflower 
  • Fresh fruit: apples, bananas, cherries, nectarines, plums peaches. bring wet wipes and napkins and don’t let the juice freak you out ☺ 
  • Elemental Super Food Bars 
  • Diary-free spreads and dips. These DF dips are a dream come true and taste truly amazing! Some are made with nuts, others are made from sunflower seeds or garbanzo beans. Majestic  hummus and Ithaca’s lemon-dill hummus, Spero sunflower cream cheese or Kite Hill almond cream cheese are our the 3 brands we love because they not only taste great, they use quality ingredients and don’t cause bloating.
  • Prepped pulled roasted chicken or True Story’s thick carved sliced roasted chicken added to a salad, wraps or a simple open-faced protein sandwich. Hard boiled eggs.
  • Sliced salami, peperoni, cheese sticks, olives, pepperoncini’s, pickles. See the layering? 
  • Dinner: I’ll either prep an easy meal like spinach patties or I’ll go to Erewon and get 2 dinner boxes and some salads to go! 
  • Condiments: mustard, mayo, avocado, dairy free spreads I mentioned above, pesto, House dressing
  • Cheese slices add with nitrate-free Applegate Farms Turkey pepperonis or salami paired on top of crackers

Grab and go road foods and treats we love to bring for whenever we are feeling hungry 

Favorite Road Trip snacks from Mom friends who take to the road each summer! 

  • It’s all in how they are stored. Give kids prepacked baggies or even better reusable Stasher bags with their name on them. Refill them as needed with the snacks and treats. 
  • Erin mother of 3 kids and creator of GirlBosse shared: My kids love Kind bars, gluten free pretzels, and popcorn. Sometimes I’ll make snack baggies with the popcorn, pretzels and dark chocolate chips. They love having their own bags. They also absolutely love organic dried fruit roll ups sold at Whole Foods. 

Pegs Essential Check List for her road trip:

Road Trip Emergency Kit. Don’t forget to pack…

Road Trip Entertainment for kids younger and older

Tip: Target has over sized lunch boxes or a special back pack you can fill with games and activities specific to your child’s likes. It makes it special, they can even go and pick them out with you, or surprise them before you head on the road. 


Coloring books and crayons and washable markers

Stickers and a pad of paper

Games: Uno, 2 decks of cards, Mexican train, kids card games



Water guns

Magnetic chess, checkers backgammon or other magnetic car games for different ages

DIY games for older and younger kids

20 questions Who Am I, Alphabet game, license plates games oh my! Check out the endless ideas HERE from Fabulously Frugel

Water parks for older kids was helpful. Where ever we were gdriving to next, we’d try our best to find a water park. Our kids loved to be in water. One of the ways we would break up a long road trip was to map quest a water park in our route to where ever we were going! It was truly so helpful to find water parks all over the US. And our kids truly appreciated the fun!

We hope you enjoyed all the road trip inspiration! There are so many ways you can create a wonderful road trip experience. Planning ahead, checking your lists, and being prepared will for sure help you have the experience you dream of having! 

Have questions email us!

Here’s to a happy summer filled with fun adventures, delicious and amazing memories that will last a lifetime! 

IF you’re new to living a gluten free lifestyle, have a family member whose been recently diagnosed with Celiac, an autoimmune disorder or gluten intolerance, we got you!

We have lots of support for you! Check out our blog post on How to Go Gluten Free. We have coaching services and a Damn Good in the Kitchen video course.  If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all, check out Pegs road map lifestyle cookbook Damn Good Gluten Free. It’s avaialbe in hardcover or Kindle. This Amazon reviewer left an amazing review! 

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous format & damn good food!

Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2023

Verified Purchase

Over the years, I’ve become quite particular about what I like in a cookbook, and Peggy nails all of it! Any cookbook can have good food, but it’s a game-changer when the delivery is perfectly executed!
– lots of color photos
– bullet point instructions
– lots of personality without being overwhelmed by story
– dietary adaptions and other variations
– great index
I absolutely love all the checklists and information at the beginning, along with so many bonuses, tips and tricks through out the book. Margaret Harding

Leave a Reply

Back to top