This blog post, Best Toddler Approved Snacks to Pack for the Plane, is a collaboration between Little Peeps Eats and Bambino Love. The snack box images are of the Yumbox MiniSnack, which can be purchased here.
As a mum who is preparing to go on a long-haul flight with a toddler in a few weeks, I want to be armed to the teeth with all of the best toddler approved snack ideas for the plane. I also want to know as many travel tips and tricks for keeping sane. Twenty-four hours of being confined is not a two year-old’s idea of fun…for anyone on the plane!
So, please share any extra tips you have over in our group, we’d love to hear them.
It’s definitely not my first time flying with a toddler, and after our last flight with my then three year-old, I learnt a few things about what food I should be offering, and what I shouldn’t (more on that later!).
I’ve put together this list of healthy and toddler approved snacks to pack for the plane to help you if it’s your first time flying with kids, or you’re just looking for some inspiration for next time. It really does pay to plan ahead when you travel with kids. Like anything we do as parents…we get caught out if we don’t prepare for every scenario. There’s not so much room for spontaneity these days…how dull is adulting! 😂
Best toddler approved snacks to pack for the plane
Taking snacks with you on a flight serves three purposes. The first one is that it can keep your child entertained for a few minutes, and divert a tantrum. It’s totally fair that there will be times when they’re tired and just had enough of being contained – toddlers love to move their bodies!
The second reason is that plane snacks and meals can often be very salty, and possibly unappealing to your child. We don’t want hangry kids on a plane…that’s so much scarier than snakes!
The third reason is that food isn’t served too frequently on a plane, and your little person will probably get hungry and bored waiting between meals. It’s not like home where they get fed at regular intervals…or around the clock like a lot of toddlers, who could happily graze all day long.
Let’s jump into our list of best toddler approved snacks to pack for the plane.
Homemade baked goodies
Don’t get your bake on the day before you leave, you’ll already be running around packing like a crazy person. A great idea in the weeks leading up to the flight is to do some weekend baking, and pop a few things in the freezer ready just to grab and pack in your snack box. Here’s some simple and yummy recipes you could make ahead:
- Banana and Apple Muffins that your kids will love
- Wholesome Family-Friendly Blueberry and Honey Bars
- Simple Oatmeal Cookies
DIY trail mix
Here are some suggestions for quick and easy trail mix combinations. Simply choose your toddler’s faves and mix them together. Store in an airtight container until you’re ready to leave:
- Roasted chickpeas
- Different cereals that your toddler loves, like NutriGrain
- Dried fruit
- Choc chips
- Coconut chips
Fruit and vegetables
We want to ensure that we’re still offering a rainbow on a flight, especially a long-haul one. What we don’t want is a little peep with a sore tummy or constipation! Here are some convenient options:
- Fruit pouches (I wouldn’t ordinarily give a toddler a pouch of pureed food to suck on, but I feel like planes are the exceptions to every rule. That goes for screen time as well!).
- Raw veggie sticks, such as sugar snap peas, cucumber, and capsicum with a dip (like our Healthy Vegetable Dip or hummus).
- Sliced or whole fruit
- Dried fruit
- Veggie chips
- Chickpeas or kidney beans
Sandwiches or wraps
While it looks quite small, the Yumbox MiniSnack is able to fit a sandwich in it with the crusts off and cut it into four small square bite size pieces – perfect for little hands!
- Crackers make excellent grab and go snacks that you can combine with a dip, cheese, or spread. They won’t weigh your bag down either, so grab a few individual packs to keep them fresh, and pop in the snack box what your toddler likes with crackers, or just offer them plain to keep them occupied (whilst spilling crumbs all over you) for, oh, two minutes at least!
- Seaweed snacks
- Muesli bars
- Mini packs of baby puffs, fruit bars, or biscuits
Protein rich snacks
Ideally you want to fill up those little tummies for awhile with something sustaining, or they’ll just be snacking every five minutes. Here are a few protein ideas, but any leftovers you’ve got in the freezer that they can eat with their hands is perfect:
- Boiled eggs (don’t worry, you won’t stink out the plane, but peel them ahead of time)
- Ham slices
- Tuna patties
Snack packing tips for the plane
- I wouldn’t recommend giving your toddler new foods on a flight. You don’t know how they’ll react to it, even if you think they’ll love it. I was on a flight with my toddler, and gave him a fruit pouch, which he downed just before the flight attendant brought him a chocolate ice-cream. Two things he’d never had before. Let’s just say, we had to move seats. He vomited EVERYWHERE!
- Pack a good wipeable feeding smock, or you’ll end up having to change their clothes several times.
- Pack finger food. Food that requires cutlery, or your help, probably isn’t the greatest idea. Cutlery gets dropped, everyone’s cramped, and you’ll need the time that they’re eating to eat your own meals.
- Pack plenty of wipes and changes of clothes for all of you. Mess is inevitable!
- Bring your child’s favourite cup or water bottle to refill when necessary. Now’s not the best time to use open cups for obvious reasons!
- Depending on the age of your toddler, you can pack a few snacks in their backpack (it means you won’t have to carry everything, and they love having the important job of looking after their own stuff), and then keep a small one like the Yumbox MiniSnack in your own bag or nappy bag.
- Consider food hygiene and safety. Be wary of how long the food will be out of the refrigerator, so don’t pack food you wouldn’t normally have unrefrigerated for hours.
- Speaking of hygiene, it’s always a good idea to clean your child’s hands before and after eating when you’re on a plane. They’ll be touching the screens, remotes, and toilet doors, so practice your usual hygiene measures to avoid catching anything nasty. I highly recommend wiping everything down first with antibacterial wipes as well.
- Consider the strict liquid regulations for international flights, which means you’ll have to research whether you’re able to take food like yoghurt on board your particular airline. Fruit and veggies normally need to be consumed before reaching your destination.
- Finally, lower your expectations…about everything! If you’re finding a flight with a toddler challenging, just think about what it’s like for them. Passenger nearby might give you looks, but hey, you’ll never see them again! Deep breaths, you’ve got this 😊.
We’ve been loving testing out our Yumbox MiniSnack (featured in this blog post), kindly sent to us from Bambino Love. The different bento compartments are illustrated and divided into three food wells – the large one is ¾ cup, small one is ⅓ cup, plus a dip well! It’s leak-proof, and makes travelling with snacks super simple and fun. It comes in a variety of colours to please every kiddo, it features a child-friendly latch, and is compact, lightweight, and easy to clean – making it an excellent choice for little ones!
You can purchase your own from Bambino Love, and remember to use code LOVELPE to save 10%!
Kara Wilson is the Online Brand Manager of Little Peeps Eats. She is a parenting writer, editor, and Melbourne mum to two kids under 5.. After working with small kids for many years, she’s picked up a few tips and tricks to raising adventurous eaters. Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.