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Conquer the Gluten-Free Road Trip + Popcorn Baggy Recipe

Family trips are a staple of the summer. The car is the perfect place for playing games, singing songs, lots of bonding, and…eating. Spending hours on the road provides endless temptation for classic car trip favorites ranging from fast food, to candy, to soda. So how do you conquer the car trip without overeating and while staying gluten-free? The secret lies in the prep ahead.

spiced popcorn baggies

Spiced Popcorn Baggies

We talk all the time about how prepping ahead will save you time and stress, but never has it been more important to stock up on snack options in advanced than when heading into a car with the family in tow. Short on ideas? No need to stress. We’ve gathered together some great ideas for easy, healthy, gluten-free, road trip snacking.

Pack the kids their own bag

There’s nothing more dreaded than those infamous words: “Mom, I’m bored”. The tight space of a summer road trip makes it almost guaranteed that these words will show up at some point. Want to slow their arrival?

I’ve got three words for you: Individual Snack Bags

Kids love the novelty of having access to their snacks when they want them. For older kids, load the bag up with mom approved snacks that should last the whole trip. For younger kids, fill the bag periodically with new snack options to spread out the snacking.

Reduce and reuse

Feeling guilty about the gas necessary to get you to your vacation destination? Cut the waste by packing the road trip snacks in reusable containers. For older kids, pack items in mason jars. They’re easy to clean and the screw tops stop messes.

For younger children, or if bulky mason jars don’t seem like the best option, try reusable snack bags. They’re easy to clean and are even dishwasher safe.

Pack with variety

Be sure to include a wide variety of snack options to keep the kids (and yourself) interested in the food on hand. Having many choices makes it easier to resist temptation of making a pit stop. Here are some ideas!

    • Raw Nuts
    • Fresh Fruit (orange wedges, grapes, apple slices, etc)
    • Veggies (carrots, bell pepper slices, celery sticks, cucumber) and nut butter
    • Peanut Butter and Banana Rice Cakes (Featured in the March plan)
    • Popcorn Baggies (Recipe below)
    • Trail mix – nuts, dried fruit, gluten-free dark chocolate chips 

Prep ahead travel snacks save you time, money, and energy on long road trips, leaving more time for the alphabet game and rounds of silly songs. However, be sure to have some gluten-free pit stops in your arsenal as well. Locate Special Diet is a great resource for planning out a few pit stops that will offer gluten-free options should the need hit.

Prep Dish menus all contain a healthy snack option, buy a gluten free meal plan! Or check out the recipe below for our fave, portable snack option: (from the August Plan)


Spiced Popcorn Baggies

  • 1 large bag air-popped popcorn
  • 2c walnuts (roughly chopped)
  • 3T cumin
  • 2T paprika
  • 2T oregano
  • 1T turmeric
  • fresh ground black pepper

Directions: In large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Divide among 8 baggies, using ~2c/ baggy.

This recipe is super flexible. Try using a mixture of your favorite spices. I also love using cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice w/ dried fruit (cherries, chopped figs, blueberries, etc) and pecans, almonds, etc.

spiced popcorn baggies

Spiced Popcorn Baggies


chef created gluten free dairy free meal plans

Chef Allison Stevens MS, RD, LD

Prep Dish is a gluten-free & paleo meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Stevens thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes.  Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, gluten-free, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy. 

 Along with a weekly menu, you’ll get a printable grocery list and recipes for prep day — just one day of preparation yields scrumptious, good-for-you dishes all week long. Click to start saving time today!


  1. […] to 1 hour per day of cooking! I also recommend packing snacks (like nuts & dried fruits or popcorn baggies) and lunches ahead of time. This will save your morning sanity – […]

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