Airplane Snacks for Kids and Toddlers
Taking snacks for kids and toddlers when flying long-haul is essential. This is why we’ve put together the best airplane snacks for kids on long-haul flights to help you put together a snack food pack to take with you to keep everyone happy when all else fails.
Many parents, including me, have at least one child who won’t eat every new food put in front of them. So, when you order a meal on your flight and your child (and possibly you) thinks it looks and smells like it’s from another planet, you need a back-up plan!
The same goes for when you arrive at your international destination in the middle of the night or you all wake up at 4am hungry on your first morning and nothing is open to buy food. You need a back-up plan.
Parent’s favourite snacks for flying with kids
Our favourite snack to take on long haul flights is fresh fruit. We don’t like to take anything with nuts in consideration of fellow passengers and sugar doesn’t work well for my kids on long haul flights, so we find that fruit is a good option. Just need to make sure it’s all finished before going through customs! (Jacquie from Flashpacking Family )
For our long-haul flights with our three kids, we always bring single-serving cereals, like cheerios, and protein bars, such as Clif Z Bars, Larabars for Kids, or Made Good Bars. The cereals are easy because they can be eaten with or without milk, and the protein bars keep them full in between meals. They are also portable and easy to pack! (Keri from Bon Voyage with Kids )
My kids love tortilla wraps with cream cheese in them! They’re pretty compact and I find they keep the kids going longer than a cereal bar with sugar or just fruit (although I take those too haha). I have some small ice packs to keep them cold but usually they eat them pretty soon into the flight. (Emma from Wanderlust and Wet Wipes)
We never fly without a cheeseymite scroll for the kids! For non-Australians, this is bakery delight, which consists of cheese and vegemite scrolled into a bread roll. (Erin from Love To Travel, Stay-Eat-Do )
For toddlers we always brought Cheerios in a spill-proof snack cup. It was an easy snack that kept him occupied for a while. (Celine from Baby Can Travel )
Airplane Snacks List
Our two main criteria when choosing food to fly with is they can’t be messy or need refrigeration. Yes you can take fully frozen little icepacks but often I find it’s easier to not have to worry about it.
- Chewy lollies for take off and landing – for kids this often helps descrease the pressure on their ears. Bottle or breastfeeding is best for babies and toddlers.
- Sandwiches/wraps – throw a couple of sandwiches or wraps in your carry-on. Keep it simple and not sticky and they should be good for a few hours out of the fridge. Our boys like vegemite and butter.
- Muesli/granola bars –they can be quite filling and are compact
- Individual packets of biscuits or popcorn – no need to worry about storing half eaten big packets of biscuits
- Fruit – grapes, blueberries, apples, pears are all good options. Pick ones that don’t squish or make a big mess. Only take enough for your flight as you often will have to throw out any excess before going through customs.
- Vegetable sticks – carrot and celery sticks are good options
- Dried fruit – sultanas, raisins and apricots will keep them busy. Only downside is they do contain a lot of sugar.
How much snack food you take on your flight will depend on how long your flight is, what time of day you’re flying, and which airline you’re going with.
When you are putting together your snack pack, take into consideration time spent at airports, getting to and from airports, and delays in the airport and on the tarmac.
Snacks NOT to take
- Anything with a strong smell
- Banana or anything else that squishes
- Squeezie yoghurts or fruits – some people will disagree, but for me the less sticky liquid on board, the better.
- Chocolate (except if it’s for me) – hot hands makes melted chocolate which will soon make its way to your clothes!
Snack pack for your first night in a country
If your flight arrives into a country when all the shops have shut, it’s always a great idea to have a survival pack in case you can’t find anything for dinner or an early breakfast.
- Instant noodles – all you need is a kettle of boiling water, a mug and a fork and you’re good to go. My kids prefer them without the flavour sachet and instead have plain if they can’t add meat of veges to it.
- One-serve cereal packets – hopefully you should be able to get your hands on some milk and a spoon, but the worst that can happen is that you have to eat the cereal dry with your fingers.
While these foods aren’t going to kick too many nutritional goals, they will help you get through any rough patches when travelling.
I hope this airplane snack list for kids will help you on your next flight.