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Why You Should Keep Snacks In The Car

Snacks In Your Car Can Save Your Sanity With Kids

Having Snacks and water in your car can save your life. Sure, in extreme cases, it actually could, but as a father of four, I’m talking about times when the hunger monster strikes and you’re kids are grouchy, hungry and thirsty — and you’re desperately wishing they’d fall asleep to give you a bit of peace.
Carrying snacks in the car can save you from total and utter self destruction at the hands of your kids in the back seat.

I have the following at any given time in my car:

  • 36 year old loving Wife (“Wifey” – expensive but well worth it!)
  • 18 year old daughter in college (“Smiles” – even more expensive than wifey)
  • My 10 year old son (“Brains” – Will be rocket scientist)
  • My 8 year old son (“Jock” – Aspiring athlete)
  • My 6 year old daughter (“Dimples” – Corporate Bosswoman in the making)

Most of the time, it’s either a combination of younger kids and/or wife and I in the car (Smiles is away at college), and there’s plenty of times in my recollection that we had awful moments because the kids were either hungry or thirsty.

I started carrying snacks in the car about a year ago

I read about a dad who always had snacks in the car for his kids about a year ago. I thought that was an excellent idea, so I started doing the same. After a couple of tries on what snacks to bring, I found out some simple rules of carrying snacks in the car:

  • Absolutely must be heat and cold resistant, but can be eaten without prep immediately.
  • Must temporarily relieve hunger for at least an hour
  • Should have a shelf life of a year or more so you don’t have to rotate snacks too often

It’s important to remember that your car operates at brutal conditions at times. You’ll need it on 100°F days, but also as low as -20°F (here in Michigan). At any given time, your snacks should be ready to go.

Water is the hardest thing to keep on hand. In the winter, have two thermos’ that keep hot water hot for 8-12 hours. I will put these in the car for longer day trips with boiling water so it stays liquid throughout the day. Anything shorter, and I’ll stop and buy a water (I keep $50 in the car stashed away for these sporadic purchases).

Here’s the snack list in our car:

  • Water – during weather down to 40°F
  • Crackers – Ritz and Goldfish
  • peanut butter for crackers
  • freeze dried fruits – apple slices, pears and such
  • granola bars
  • beef jerky strips
  • nuts (peanuts, cashews, etc… Unsalted so as not to induce thirst)
  • trail mix (manufacturer sealed)
  • popcorn (manufacturer sealed as well)

Not all of these snacks are in the car all the time, but all of the snacks here have been in the car at one point or another.

The biggest issue that you’ll face is the changing of the seasons. Here in the northern states and Canada, the changes can come quickly and drastically. Think about changing your snacks around late September or in October. I will move to foods that are either freeze dried and can be reconstituted, or dry snacks that cold has little effect on.

Where To Get More Information

For more ideas on non perishable snacks, I found some of the best sources to get ideas was from the “Mom-Bloggers” since they’re the ones who (generally) deal with hungry kids every day, and have to be prepared for just about everything life throws at us parents. You might not have ever though about it, but I think moms (and dads) are some of the most original “preppers” out there. From using tampons for nose bleeds to cleaning up an exploded diaper accident with whatever they have available, being a parent means prepping for it all.


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