Planning Ahead for Allergy-Friendly Road Trips

Planning Ahead for Allergy-Friendly Road Trips

by Kelly Roenicke

It’s almost summer. For many of us, that means it’s time to pile the kids in the car and head out on a road trip! I remember the free and easy days before we had food allergies, when a spur of the moment road trip was no trouble at all. Now that we have some food allergies to deal with, it’s not quite that easy to hit the road. But with some planning, road trips can still be fun and safe for everyone.

It can be tricky to find allergy-safe food when you’re travelling. Last month, we took a road trip to Chicago, and there were some long stretches of highway where there really wasn’t anywhere to stop for safe food. Luckily, I had planned ahead and we had plenty of allergy-friendly safe snacks in the car. I wanted to share some ideas with you, along with a recipe in case you’re headed out on the road this summer.

Tips and snacks for fun and safe allergy-friendly road trips:

  • Bring lots of your favorite allergy-friendly snacks and package them in individual portions. It’s much easier to pass out a Ziploc bag of apple slices or potato chips than to have your children rummaging through an entire bag of chips.
  • If you aren’t sure when you’ll be able to stop for a lunch or snack break, be sure to pack some snacks that are higher in protein to help stave off hunger. Nut-free trail mix, bean dip and veggies, or energy bites are all good options.
  • If you’re travelling through an area where there aren’t good restaurant options, consider packing a picnic lunch and stopping at a rest area or park to eat it. Using a cooler to store sandwiches, fruit, and drinks can be a lifesaver if you just aren’t sure that you’ll be comfortable dining out on the road. Plus, your children will have a chance to run around and get the wiggles out before getting in the car again.
  • Do a little baking before the trip so that you have something ready to eat for breakfast in the morning. Whether it’s breakfast cookies, muffins, or banana oatmeal bars (see recipe below), you’ll be happy you have something safe and homemade to eat in the mornings once you arrive at your destination.

Banana Oatmeal Bars

2 ripe bananas

3/8 cup organic cane sugar

1/8 cup maple syrup

1 ½ Tablespoons canola oil (or melted coconut oil)

1 cup gluten-free, old-fashioned oats

½ cup gluten-free flour blend

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

2. Place the ripe bananas in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the sugar, maple syrup, and oil; stir well.

3. Add the gluten-free oats, gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined.

4. Add the chocolate chips and stir again. Spoon the mixture into the pan and spread out with the back of the spoon.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool fully before cutting into squares.

About the Author:

Kelly Roenicke is the mother of two little boys with multiple food allergies and intolerances. Over the past few years, she’s had to adapt the way that she cooks and bakes. She believes that allergy-friendly cooking can be fun and delicious, and she shares her recipes at

Follow Kelly on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.