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Traveling with kids (especially traveling long haul) can be a challenging experience, especially when it comes to keeping them happy and nourished during long flights.
One thing you’ll have to think about when packing for your family vacation is the kind of snacks to bring along for the little ones.
While you’ll find a variety of food options at the airport and on board the plane, these options can be quite limited and expensive- especially for a picky eater. When traveling with kids, you’ll want to avoid the over priced sandwich boxed that they’ll refuse to eat anyways and opt for packing your own snacks.
Having the right selection of snacks can really make the journey smoother and more enjoyable for everyone.
Today I’m sharing my top recommendations for kid friendly airplane snack ideas, ranging from granola bars to muffins, energy balls to cracker bites, fruits and more.
Not only are these snacks delicious, they’re also nutritious and TSA-approved.
So, let’s get into the best kid-friendly airplane snacks that we love to travel with.
The Benefits Of Packing Your Own Travel Snacks
As any parent knows, hungry and bored children can quickly turn your journey into a chaotic one.
Traveling can be overwhelming for children, with unfamiliar surroundings and limited activities to keep them occupied.
That’s why packing kid-friendly airplane snacks is essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience for both parents and children.
I like to offer my kids snacks to help alleviate their boredom and keep them content throughout the journey.
Having a variety of tasty treats on hand, can also prevent hunger-induced meltdowns and ensure a more peaceful and enjoyable flight.
Nourishing Growing Bodies
Proper nutrition is important for growing children, even when they are on the go.
If your kids are anything like mine, they won’t sit down to eat on command. They imply cannot understand that they have a long journey ahead of them and won’t be able to sit down for a proper meal for some time.
Thus, when we travel, our kids often miss meals (especially as you can’t count on airport or airplane food for picky eaters).
That’s why packing well-balanced snacks that you know your kids will eat is so important.
Your snacks can help sustain their energy levels throughout the journey.
By offering wholesome options, you can ensure that their children are still getting the necessary vitamins and minerals to support their growth and keep them healthy during their journey.
Things to Consider When Choosing Kid-Friendly Airplane Snacks
When it comes to choosing snacks for your little ones during a flight, it’s important to consider a few things.
Not only do you want to provide your kids with tasty treats, but you also need to ensure that they are healthy, safe, and easy to consume in a confined space.
1. Nutritional Value and Portion Size
You should try to opt for snacks that offer a good balance of nutrients that will help keep them energized and satisfied throughout the flight.
Consider packing snacks that are rich in protein, fibre, and healthy fats, as these can help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep hunger at bay.
Additionally, keep portion sizes in mind.
Since you’ll have to find space to pack your snacks, it’s best to choose snacks that come in individual or small-sized packages. This will not only make it easier for your child to eat, but it will also help prevent overindulgence.
2. Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
Before packing any snacks, take into account any allergies or dietary restrictions your child may have.
It’s crucial to ensure that the snacks you bring on board are safe for consumption and do not pose a risk to your child’s health.
Check food labels carefully to avoid any potential allergens, such as nuts, gluten, or dairy, if necessary.
If your child has specific dietary requirements, such as being vegetarian or vegan, make sure to pack snacks that align with their dietary preferences.
This will ensure that they have suitable options to choose from and won’t feel left out during snack time.
3. Non-Messy and Easy to Eat
Considering the limited space and potential turbulence on a flight, it’s wise to select snacks that are non-messy and easy to eat.
Avoid snacks that crumble easily or require utensils, as these can create unnecessary mess and inconvenience. Opt for foods that can be consumed with minimal fuss, such as pre-cut fruits, bite-sized cheese cubes, or individually wrapped granola bars.
Additionally, choosing snacks that are not sticky or overly greasy will help keep your child’s hands clean and prevent any unwanted messes.
Also make sure to pack plenty of wet wipes to clean up any messes that do occur.
4. Pack Age Appropriate Foods
Of course you’ll want to customize your packed snacks to your child’s age and dietary needs. If your traveling with a baby, you may need to also pack breastmilk and formula.
It’s also important here to note that TSA allows liquids for children under the age of 2. So if you’re travelling with an infant, foods like purees and yoghurts can be great snacks as they are allowed by TSA.
5. Stick with Familiar Favourites
Traveling can be overwhelming for kids, so now is not the time to try to expand your picky eaters palette. Make it easier for yourself by packing your tried and trusted favourites. You want to try avoid a situation where your child rejects whats on offer, you also upset possible upset tummies and intolerances to new foods.
6. Pack Extra Food To Account For Delays
The last thing you want to happen is to be stuck in a foreign airport with hungry kids waiting for updates on your next flight.
Always make sure to pack extra food to account for potential delays.
Think about the amount of food that’s reasonable for your planned trip, then double it. Keep in mind that kids (and adults) tend to eat more when they’re bored to pass away time.
50 Kid-Friendly Airplane Snack Ideas
Here are 50 ideas for delicious and nutritious airplane snacks that are sure to keep your little ones happy and satisfied throughout the trip.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Sliced apples
- Sliced cucumbers
- Sliced bell peppers
- Sliced pineapples
- Sliced Melon
- Baby carrots
- Homemade Trail Mix
- Dried fruit and nut mixes
- Mini ham and cheese sliders
- Mini chicken wraps
- Mini turkey and cheese roll-ups
- Mini grilled cheese sandwiches
- Cheese sticks
- String cheese
- Babybel cheese
- Baked apple chips
- Granola bars
- Energy bites
- Rice cakes
- Pita chips
- Homemade biscuits
- Homemade banana bread
- Homemade carrot cake muffin
- Mini bagels
- Mini pizzas
- Mini Pancakes
- Mini waffles
- Hard-boiled eggs
Yogurt And Pouches
These are considered liquid and are only allowed if traveling with children under the age of 2. Check with TSA regulations before you travel.
- Fruit cups
- Fruit smoothies and yogurt tubes
- Squeezable fruit pouches
- Homemade fruit and vegetable purees
Plus 10 Kid-Friendly Airplane Sweets & Treats
It can be a good idea to include a few sweets and treats for your trip.
Some of our favourites are:
- Mini bags of chocolate- Mars bars, snickers, kit kat
- Chocolate eggs
- Mini cookies (Chips ahoy, oreos)
- Gummy bears/ gummy worms
- Jelly beans
- Hard candy/ lollipops
- Cereal bars/ Rice crispy squares
- Gum/ mint
Kid-friendly airplane snacks are an essential part of any family travel experience.
Whether it’s a long-haul flight or a short trip, having a well-stocked snack bag will keep your children satisfied and make the travel experience more pleasant for everyone.