easy on-the-go snack tips for kids while travelling
Traveling with kids is fun but can also be challenging. Whether it’s a road trip or a long-distance flight, there is so much for a parent to think about! Diapers, wipes, extra clothes in case someone has an accident or in case the luggage doesn’t arrive, entertainment for everyone, and nourishment for everyone! Don’t forget that everything you bring needs to fit in your carry-on luggage and be within arm’s reach. Yikes! Maybe you should just stay at home… (just kidding).
As a mom who has flown solo long distance with THREE children under the age of six, I’m telling you… you got this. Here are my top five tips to make sure your kids are nourished and entertained while travelling
Pack all snacks in clear containers or bags. This makes it easy to identify snacks so that you can quickly grab and offer to your child. I like to portion out snacks into smaller sizes so that I can offer a variety of foods, to keep things interesting (and not boring!). Kids have little tummies, so they need to eat often--every two to three hours or so--to keep their energy levels up and tummies full. This often means snacks in between meals.
Some of my favourite on-the-go snacks are homemade toddler-friendly trail mix (including Baby Gourmet Puffies and Mushies), thinly sliced almonds, and dry cereal. I also like whole grain crackers + cheese, sliced apple, sliced peppers, mini cucumbers strips and whole grain toast strips with peanut butter. And let’s be honest, snacking while traveling should be nutritious (we’ll get to that), but when you’re travelling, snacking also becomes a way to keep your kids entertained. In reality, snacking while travelling is different than regular every day snacking!
Emphasize protein! Snacks while travelling should have some “staying-power”, because let’s be honest—sometimes a one-hour layover turns into a three hour one! Protein will keep you feeling fuller longer and will be a lifesaver when travelling long distances. You only have so much carry-on space – so don’t waste it on too many unfulfilling snacks. Instead load up on protein-rich foods like cheese strings, nuts and seeds, Greek yogurt, homemade energy balls, lentil muffins, and hardboiled eggs! Now, some of these foods are easier to take on the plane than others, so you’ll want to do some research beforehand to see what’s allowed (overseas or international is trickier), and you’ll want to practice good food safety with ice packs etc. This is when packaged or non-perishable snacks can come in handy (such as Baby Gourmet’s new lentil and chickpea Finger Foods snacks). Depending on the airport, you can also purchase nutritious snacks and meals there, for the plane ride.
Delicious, nutritious and convenient snacks. Snacks in their own packaging are great. They’re convenient, easy to pack and fun for kids to eat. You can choose granola bars (aim for lower sugar, higher fibre), freeze-dried fruits, prepacked energy/protein bites, and fruit and veggie pouches. If you’re flying, a squeeze pouch is technically considered a liquid, but if your child is under the age of 24 months, it doesn’t have to be under 100ml (3.4oz) rule. This is a lifesaver for parents of little ones. It’s so hard when travelling to find baby-safe foods that are nutritious and mess-free. My kids are all over two now and they still love a squeeze pouch!
“The Snacklebox”. That’s right, a “snacklebox”. My kids love it! It has become a road trip and vacation staple. What exactly is a “snacklebox” you say?! It’s a little tacklebox (found at a dollar store) filled with some nutritious, and some fun (but somewhat nutritious) finger foods. There’s a certain level of excitement when the “snackleboxes” get passed out when travelling. Kids love to be in control of just about everything, but especially food. By presenting them with a variety of foods, like yogurt covered raisins, dry cereal, banana chips, and Baby Gourmet’s Puffies and Mushies, it gives them the enjoyment of being in control, when really… I am :). And it’s super fun!
Sanitizing Wipes. While not exactly food-related, making sure that your eating surface is clean is a must when travelling. Washing your hands is the best way to prevent the transmission of the cold and flu (and germs in general). So, wipe down and wash up. Because when you finally get where you’re going, you want to be healthy and happy!