March 28, 2007

Food For The Road - Part 4

As mentioned in the previous post one of the major things that helps us with road trips is to NOT stop for meals. Lest you think we starve our poor children, rest assured I pack plenty of food. For a family of 2-3 children I suppose stopping for breakfast/lunch/dinner might not take too long..... But, for a family with 11 children traveling together (our oldest isn't with us on this trip) just placing an order can take 10 minutes...then wait for the food...20 minutes later....(have you ever tried to order 16 double cheeseburgers, without pickles and onions? ugh They always repeat back...SIXTEEN???? Yes, sixteen. Oh, and two double quarter pounders with cheese, a big mac, etc. Stuns them everytime! I think they hate us when we go through the drive through. Throws their one minute per car right out the window!). Even if you eat in the car, that extra 30+ minutes to pull off the freeway, get the food and probably take at least a few small folk to the potty since we are already stopped, don't you know, multiplied by however many number of meals need to be eaten during the day of travel adds up to hours. Hours we do NOT want to spend in a car.

So, I pack our meals and pass them out at meal time in the car. For this trip we are going to leave at approx. 3 AM, giving us about 4+ hours of dark and hopefully sleeping children before "breakfast". Breakfast will be protein meal replacement bars (we are big on protein to fill up tummy's which helps them not want to be munching every minute of a road trip), (we like Zone bars the best - Hubby and I will be trying out the Atkins variety for our low carb/high protein requirements) and grapes pre-washed and bagged into snack size baggies. Lunch will consist of the sandwiches we made the day before departure (the kids write their names on the baggies so I can just throw them in the cooler the morning we leave and hand them out the next day), snack sized baggies of baby carrots and another snack sized baggy of trail mix (the kind with nuts, raisins, etc.). I also have a mid afternoon snack planned: baggies of crackers, and cheese sticks. We plan to arrive at our destination before dinner time so we can get pizza or something once we are there.

It does take some work to get 11 of everything bagged into separate baggies, but it makes it so easy in the car! Once I bag up all of one thing, say trail mix, then I put all the little baggies into a gallon zipper bag and stow it in the tote I keep up front between the driver and passenger seat, along with the ice chest.

I packed baggies of nuts, had made cheese and meat sandwiches (Franz bakery makes a 4 net carb bread and I use one slice, toast it and then slice it carefully in half so that ONE slice makes two thin slices - just enough to hold the mayo/mustard and the cheese and meats inside)the day before, and cheese sticks for Hubby and I. Hubby likes to munch on sunflower seeds while he drives (he does all the driving - what a great guy!) so I have those ready with a paper cup for the shells.

Last thing is fluids. I mentioned before we don't do a lot of them on the road. At breakfast, having protein bars with some grapes is usually enough moisture to hold off thirst. Older kids get their own bottle of water to drink and keep with them (with warnings of drinking small amounts). For the younger kids I will keep their cups in the ice chest till they are thirsty and then allow a couple sips, depending on how close we are to stopping for gas, etc. Baby gets her cup with milk or water unlimited, but she has a diaper, so no problem! LOL!

I think that wraps it about up. Only thing left to post is how it all turns out.


Mrs. Breum said...

Just wanted to say I love reading your blog- loved your laundry posts and seeing the double rail in the stairway~ what a great idea.

Reading your post today made me appreciate being able to just drive through and get a few cheeseburgers when we travel (we only have 3 kids)!

Christ in the Chaos said...

O.k. Jeri so who do you consider your big kids and who are the littles? I don't think any of mine have arrived to official big kid status yet. I consider my six year old a big kid because well she is the biggest.

We just got home last night after a 12 hour drive with our 6, almost 4, and 1 1/2 year olds. My husband and I had a serious talk about possibly canceling our 2 week road adventure to Yellowstone and Montana. I think you can only do so much traveling with all littles. Did you travel much before you had any big kids?

Maiden Of Virtue said...

These have been awesome posts!
Thanks so much for the wonderful insight!


Lady G~ said...

Great posts! We are a home educating family too. We are blessed with five children. Our girls are 19,18,17 and our boys are 13 and 10.

Reading through your post, it looks like we do lots of similar things. I've always enjoyed traveling with our children. Even when they were little. Brings back such fun and not so fun memories. Thanks for taking me down memory lane.

Qtpies7 said...

We get the double takes when we order food, too. LOL Its kind of funny. 12 double cheese burgers, 6 McChickens, 3 no lettuce, 8 fries, and a parfait. Its great! Especially when I'm with just one or two kids and bringing it home, lol.

Qtpies7 said...

Waiting for an update!
Donnie and I would love to hear about the ministry and how to get involved, we are looking for a family mission trip to do.

Anonymous said...

We have seven children from 14 years to 14 months old.
Thanks for the details on your drive time. I have gained the courage now to go to the ocean this summer as a family.(something Hubby wants to do but I was dreading). Our van's air conditioning is broken and summer on the east coast is muggy- I am a wimp about heat and prefer snow! But leaving as early as you did sounds like a great solution! Also the photo and details about the bagged up food- GREAT! Thank you!! Now I'm excited- I can do this!

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