Allergy-Friendly Travel Foods & Our Meal Plan

My little guy, 2007. Wow! Already 5 years ago.

I had forgotten that I promised some suggestions for allergy-friendly traveling foods a couple of weeks ago when I discussed Tips for Eating while Traveling.  As I said in that post, eating while traveling is not as easy as pulling up to the drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant.  You must plan ahead and pack your own foods.  You may have some flexibility to eat them in the car or pull off at a rest stop or park for a nice lunch break.

The way I see it, traveling food needs can be broken down into a few categories:  quick day trip, short travel time trip (up to 6 or 8 hours), and those all-day-long drawn-out “are we there yet” trips.  But because there is some overlap, I’ll just do a single list of allergy-friendly car food suggestions instead of breaking them down into these categories.  Some items may require a cooler.

  • popcorn: Pop up a large pot (or hot air popper) of kernel popcorn, salt lightly and pour into a large brown paper bag or individual paper bags (I like to put the paper bag in a plastic grocery bag to make sure the grease doesn’t seep through on anything.)
  • beef jerky:  Buy a healthy brand or make your own.
  • trail mix:  Throw everything into individual bags and fill with each person’s favorite mix-ins (ex: cereal, granola, coconut, dried fruit, nuts, goldfish crackers, oyster crackers, nuts, etc.).
  • cookies: Make up a double batch of your favorite allergy-friendly cookies (perhaps stay clear of meltable chocolate in a hot car).  I have a 9×13 rubbermaid container with a lid that I love for toting cookies.
  • relish “tray”:  Pack washed and cut vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.); fruit (grapes, blueberries, apple slices, orange slices, etc.); cheese slices or chunks (if allowed).
  • dried fruit
  • bananas
  • nuts (if allowed)
  • fruit & nut bites
  • homemade granola bars
  • Frozen “P”B & J Sandwiches:  Make up nut butter & jelly (or honey) sandwiches on wheat or gluten-free bread, place in sandwich bag, & freeze.  Pack up the sandwiches and in a few hours, they will be thawed enough to eat.
  • Lunch meat slices or chunks
  • mini muffins:  Bake up a couple batches of your favorite allergy-friendly mini muffin recipes.
  • rice cakes: I sometimes make a sandwich with rice cakes using hummus, cheese, and cucumbers.  Nut butter & banana slices are good too.
  • pretzels, crackers, chips, pork rinds
  • homemade fruit leather (try this recipe)
  • hummus: Spoon hummus into individual bowls and serve with chips, crackers, or vegetables.
  • tortilla roll-ups: My kids love these! Using a flour, corn, or gluten-free tortilla (store-bought or homemade), roll- up nut butter & jelly/honey, lunch meat, or hummus with shredded carrots and cucumber.
  • whole pickles
  • pancakes or waffles:  Sans the syrup, of course. We love leftover pancakes right out of the refrigerator.
  • Don’t forget the drinks…preferably bottled water!

Mmm…I think we’re ready to get on the road!  Obviously this list is not exhaustive.

What allergy-friendly food suggestions do you have for traveling?

I hope to do a special post next week for all those traveling over the July 4th holiday and beyond.  That is, how to plan ahead for eating while on vacation because restaurants are not always an option.


Our Food Allergy Meal Plan for the Week of June 24, 2012

Sunday:  Hamburgers, Fruit, Chips & Salsa

Monday:  Italian Chicken Bruschetta Pasta (I may try a new gluten-free bread recipe.)

Tuesday:  Burritos with Mexican Rice

Wednesday:  BBQ Ribs, Carrot Fries, Apple Sauce

Thursday:  Baked Potato Bar, Fruit

Friday:  ??? Not sure yet.  We’ll see how the week plays out.

Saturday:  Date Night…Yay!

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Shared at Monday Mania, Better Moms Monday, Menu Plan Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Titus 2sday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, and Make Your Own Monday.

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14 Responses to Allergy-Friendly Travel Foods & Our Meal Plan

  1. bugs says:

    Great ideas, thanks for sharing! No allergies here but I will be sure to pass on this list.

  2. amber says:

    What great suggestions Michelle! We do A LOT of traveling (with all the grandparents living out of town). And I personally love to snack on the road. Not so much my husband, but I love it. When we travel, we take all our own food too, which is a big task, but worth it. With my health issues, and Ethan’s allergy-free diet, we just can’t go anywhere without our own food. 🙂

    Great menu plan this week. I’m super sick with a crazy virus, so soups for me, and easy dinners for the kids this week.


    • Cook says:

      I hear ya about taking your own food. I told my husband that I really did not want to pack the ice cream maker, blender, and any other kitchen appliances for vacation. We’ll have to figure out another way to eat in. 🙂

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. It’s a terrible thing to have to experience in the summer, isn’t it!

  3. Thanks for all the ideas for traveling foods. We are going away next month and this will come in handy for the 2+ hour plane trip with my 2 and 4 year olds. I particularly like your suggestion to make a double batch of your favorite cookie – think I’ll be doing this! We don’t have any allergies in our family, but I tend to avoid all processed food and so end up making all the food we eat on the go. (and at home too!)

    • Cook says:

      The ideas certainly aren’t all specific to food allergies, just easy and healthy eating. Enjoy your trip!

  4. You’re right, great minds do think a like! I love all your ideas for travel foods – especially popcorn. Popcorn is one of my weaknesses… 🙂 Here’s the link to my recent post that is along the same vein…

    Have a great Wednesday Michelle!

  5. Yum! I love to pack along homemade trail mix, dehydrated fruits (dried cranberries are my favorite right now), granola and sliced fresh fruits and veggies. If I can take it, I also like to do hummus. If we pack more meal style, I’ll make a hummus wrap (or sandwich) and a really yummy sunflower spread sandwich. Sandwiches are just so much easier to pack!

    • Cook says:

      We often do hummus “sandwiches”. Depending upon which allergies, we use traditional bread, tortilla shells, or rice cakes, topping it with our favorite summer produce like cucumbers and tomatoes.

  6. Great tips! both of my kids have food allergies so eating on the road is a challenge

  7. Pingback: Vacation Meal Planning | The Willing Cook

  8. Glad you liked my homemade fruit leather recipe!
    I’ll be referring to this list- next week we’re going away for 4 or 5 days and I need to bring easily travelable gluten free dairy free meals! Thanks for sharing!

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