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Summer Road Trip Food You Can Prepare in Advance

With the summer come the summer trips … and if you aren’t prepared, the sky-rocking costs of eating out on the road. However, a day trip with the kids — whether to a theme park or just out for a drive to the coast — doesn’t have to break the bank. Nor does it have to be junk food. Read on for some ideas for road-trip food you can prepare in advance.

summer road-trip food for the kids

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It makes both financial and nutritional sense to prepare summer road-trip food beforehand, pack everything into containers such as thermal lunch boxes and enjoy home-cooked goodness even when you’re far from your home.

Pre-prepared food, however, has a pretty dire reputation. Soggy lettuce, damp bread, wilted pasta – it’s not particularly appetizing, is it? That’s why you need some new, summer-friendly recipes that you can quickly prepare the morning before and still enjoy on your day trip.

Road-Trip Food Idea #1: Cumin Chicken & Pumpkin (with chickpea salsa)

Here’s an exotic twist to road-trip food. Chicken is a good meat to pre-cook, as it tends to keep its consistency well – just make sure you allow it to cool before packaging it away, unless you’re using a thermal container. This spicy, light recipe is found here. The pumpkin adds a sweet touch that the cumin cuts through nicely, but you could use any vegetable of your choosing.

Road-Trip Food Idea #2: Macaroni & Cheese

It’s a classic for a reason! Macaroni and cheese keeps well, and some people even prefer to eat it cold (the same is true of my third choice, below!). This has the extra benefit of being easy to cook. If you find mac and cheese a little bland, then recipes such as this one will change your mind for the better. On the road, pair it with kale chips which are quick enough to prepare and seal on the morning of your trip. This adds a gorgeous crunch to the meal while remaining nutritious.

Road-Trip Food Idea #3: Homemade Pizza

Pizza is a difficult one to master, but if you get it right, you’ll never need another takeout again. There’s no easy method of keeping the crust from getting soggy, so go for an Italian base so you limit the likelihood of that undesirable “mushy” feeling that some crusts can produce when left to cool. There’s a great option for Italian bases to be found here, which can ensure you get the best results. You might also try Boboli, which is nice and thick and holds pizza sauce well without getting soggy. As for toppings, the best bet is to stick with vegetables – squishy mushrooms, succulent peppers, and sweetcorn all make excellent options. If you really can’t go without the meat, you can’t go wrong with good old pepperoni.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.