Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Soccer Mom Car Essentials

Fall is a busy time for us.  My daughter, Diva, was just asked to be on a local gymnastics team which means we're on the road four nights a week.  Junior is playing and reffing soccer.  Plus there are other things we have to do like go to the orthodontist, get flu shots, etc.  So we're in the car A LOT.

Inevitably, when we're schlepping around, at least one kid is hungry (and in the case of the teen, STARVING).  My husband's goal that the children were not going to eat in the car proved laughable.  But fast food is expensive and not particularly nutritious, so no matter how much the troops beg and whine, they ain't getting any.   For that reason, I'd like to share with you my humble list of essential foods to stock in the car when you're on the go:

1.  Bottled water - This is something everybody needs, including me.  I carry a case of it.  After vacillating between getting the small 8 ounce bottles, which I know the kids will finish, or the 16 ounce bottles, which they drink more of but usually leave half, I'm sticking with the bigger size.  Yes,  neither option is great for the earth, but they're convenient.  And yes, there's usually some H20 left in the bottle which is wasteful, but I think the larger size encourages them to drink more.  I just take the leftover water and give it to the plants before recycling the bottles. 

2.  Protein bars - I mentioned on my other blog "'Is It Hot In Here?' Menopause, Motherhood, & More" (http://isithotinheremmm.blogspot.com)  that I'd brought these down to the beach when I played hookey without stating which brand I bought.  Zone Perfect are the only ones my son will eat.

I think the other ones are fine, but I'm not going to buy each person his/her own protein bars, so these are the official ones for my family.  They're LOADED with vitamins and make you feel fuller longer than cereal or fruit bars.  I buy them at Costco, but they're not always available (like today - #!$!), so I'd suggest that if your family likes them, you stock up.  The problem for me is that Diva is doesn't like them - any of them.  So I also stock...

3.  Cereal packets - No, I do not purchase the individual boxes.   That's too wasteful and I'm too cheap.  I buy a large box of whatever Cheerios my daughter is into and divide it up into zipper-sealed sandwich, not snack, bags.  The snack bags are way too small for a hungry gymnast.  Stick ten bags of these in your car and they're fine as second dinners (my daughter eats at least two dinners on gymnastics days). 

Other foods I stock in the car are mints (for the occasional carsickness), some cereal bars (these tend to contain more sugar than the cereals themselves, so I only use them if the kids are about to pass out from hunger), and dried seaweed.  I discovered dried seaweed when I was on the Bead Diet and my daughter embraced this Asian staple.  Yes, it's a bit high in sodium, but it's crunchy and salty and chock-a-block full of vitamins.  She'll eat it on the blacktop after school and since it's an acquired taste, I don't have to worry about other kids taking it from her. 

Non-food essentials that I carry are folding chairs, a blanket (you never know when you'll need one plus it makes a lovely play tent), an extra sweatshirt for each child and me, and an extra soccer ball.  Plus I have a tote bag stuffed with a few pens and notebooks so that Diva can draw while she watcher her brother play soccer and I can write.  Lastly, I usually have an envelope of whatever junk mail I've been meaning to read. 

What to you carry?  Let me know!

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