Let’s talk about parents and kids
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let’s talk about snacks
Let’s talk about SNACKS!
Forget the days of Salt-N-Pepa talking about sex, nowadays the hot topics are Peppa Pig and toddler travel snacks! What kinds, how many and how often do we need to fill a toddler’s belly to hit that perfect pinnacle where satisfaction flirts with the ever-enticing food coma. The journey to the center of the toddler Venn diagram, where they’re quiet while they eat, quiet after they eat and then silent while they sleep, is the route we’re most interested in taking to our final destination.
Having flown on over 100 flights to 40+ countries across 5 continents with our almost 2 year old, we rely on snacks as a primary method for motivating and rewarding good behavior or as a sacrifice to the travel gods for the hope of good behavior. So let me break down how we use our snack weapons to win the war on toddler travel.
We pack 3 levels of toddler travel snacks in our carry-on bag regardless of distance: healthy, kiddie, and break packaging in case of meltdown emergency (more commonly referred to as “just give the kid a cookie!“).
The goal is to have lots of small containers of finger foods for you to taunt and bribe them with at various stages of a travel day. While we start by only showing the healthy snack options, we quickly open up to the kiddie bag level if need be. That being said, we do hide the emergency cookies and treats for when all hell breaks loose and we need a quick way out of public embarrassment.
Level 1 – Healthy:
- Small containers of fresh fruit: blueberries, apple slices, cut grapes, pears (I like Mr. Lid containers that have the top connected to the base so you can’t lose them to the germy airplane floor)
- High protein yogurt pouches: such as Pro-Yo by The Collective containing 14g of protein in the UK or Chobani Greek Yogurt Pouches containing 8g of protein in the USA
- Peel-able fruit: bananas, clementines, tangerines (gotta love an edible activity)
- Vegetables: cut up carrots, cucumber, celery (bring a container of salad dressing if they like to dip…what is it with kids and loving to dip things?)
- Peanut butter or almond butter packets: such as the UK’s Pip & Nut Squeeze Packs or the USA’s Justin’s Classic Squeeze Packs
- Tip: avoid foods that stain like red bell pepper, blackberries, cherries, and raspberries, or dress them in a rain poncho, your call
Level 2 – Kiddie snacks (aka prepackaged snacks from the kids aisle that can be easily used as toddler travel snacks)
- Crunchy: pretzels, goldfish, rice cakes, crackers, veggie straws, dried cereal
- Sweet: raisins, yogurt covered raisins, fruit gummies, and other dried fruit
- Pouches: vegetable based, fruit based, grain based, and complete meal pouches
- Favorite UK toddler travel snacks: Organix Oaty Bars, Snyder’s Mini Pretzels, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Kiddylicious Veggie Straws, Ritz Mini Crackers, Organix Rice Cakes, Kiddylicious Banana Bites, Cheerios, Fruit Bowl Yogurt Covered Raisins, Bear Fruit Nibbles, Nakd Fruit Nibbles, Organix Raisins Mini Boxes, Piccolo Veg Pouches, Ella’s Brekkie Pouches, For Aisha Meal Pouches
- Favorite USA toddler travel snacks: Annie’s Fruit Snacks, Annie’s Bunny Snacks, Plum Organics Teensy Fruits, Plum Organics Mighty 4 Pouches, Earth’s Best Snack Bars, Happy Baby Rice Cakes, Happy Baby Superfood Puffs, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Ritz Peanut Butter Crackers, Snyder’s Pretzel Packs, Sun Maid Yogurt Covered Raisins
- Disclaimer: Many “kid snacks” and “food pouches” are marketed as organic and sugar free but are not as healthy as you think. They often have plenty of sugar in them disguised in the ingredient list under different names. I’m not a fan of these in regular life, but on a travel day they are very useful.
Level 3: Straight up sugar and adult snacks
- Sweet: Mini Oreo Snack Packs, Fun size Chocolate Bars, and anything else deemed a “treat”
- Adult Protein Bars: in the U.K. we go for Bounce Energy Balls, Trek Protein Bars, Deliciously Ella Energy Balls, and in the USA we like Kind Bars, Cliff Energy Bars, and Bounce Energy Balls
- Pastries: muffins, croissants, any bread item basically
- Pretty much anything legally allowed for humans to ingest that will quiet the impending volcanic eruption of a toddler meltdown goes under this section
While we eat healthy at home with recipe boxes like Mindful Chef and stock little to no kiddie snacks in the house, we break out the big guns for a travel day with as many toddler travel snacks as we can fit in our bags. Why? Because all is fair in kids and travel and the goal isn’t to be the most organic mom on the flight. The goal is to make it to the destination in the least painful way possible for all parties involved. And if a few cookies and yogurt covered raisins are consumed along that journey, so be it! With enough snacks and diapers you can get anywhere in the world. So pack some goodies and go explore with your family!
P.S. Click the bold snacks to buy them from Amazon, because you’re going on vacation, who has time to go to an actual store?!