Packing Toddler SnacksBy Kalena Langford on 26 Jan 2019
Plane travel is great if you decide it’s going to be. More specifically, plane travel with babies or young children can be great if you choose to be of that mindset. That’s not to say things can’t and won’t go wrong. There’s a really good chance they will. But I’ve found that deciding ahead of time to deal with challenges as they come as happily as possible is the best approach for traveling in general.
The above being said, preparations should most certainly still be made for traveling with little ones. Each family has different things that will work best for them, but I’m pretty sure that snacks make the list for everyone.
A few of our favorite snacks for airplane travel are: Beechnut Fruit & Oat bars, mini Larabars (Cashew Cookie and Apple Pie are our most frequently purchased flavors), applesauce or other pouches, Annie’s cheese bunnies, graham crackers, and Annie’s fruit snacks. I also sometimes like to have a container of Puffs on hand. It can be a bit bulky, but it fits nicely in the bottle part of my diaper bag and is something my toddler can easily hold and feed himself without making a huge mess. It also tends to keep him busy for a while (versus say eating a packet of fruit snacks fairly quickly).
And a few different ways to pack them safely are: a small bag in my diaper bag, a divided plastic jewelry/bead container, or in a separate compartment (or bag) in my son’s backpack.
To briefly expound on each of these methods…
My most frequently used method for travel, in general, is the bag in bag. I typically keep a good selection of small zip up bags from the dollar section at Target. I keep toys in one (for more info on that, see this post), sometimes some of my stuff in one, and snacks in one. It keeps things organized and easily accessible. Typically, the only other stuff floating around in my bag is diapers and wipes and maybe a change of clothes.
When my son was 18 months old, we flew to the Big Island for a wonderful vacation. Getting to Hawaii isn’t a quick trip, and on top of that, one of the legs we booked was from Houston to Oahu…an EIGHT HOUR flight. This lengthy of a flight was a first for us with a child, so I tried to really be prepared especially since the iPad was hit and miss as far as entertainment goes for him at that point. One thing I probably almost overdid was preparing snacks. That was just what he was really into, so I wanted to have a lot of options ready. So I bought a jewelry/bead organizer at a craft store and filled it up with all sorts of things (some ideas: graham crackers, yogurt melts, cheese, grapes, carrots, cheese or peanut butter crackers, pretzels). It was a huge hit for him! He loved getting to pick out different things to try. It kept him busy and entertained for quite a while off and on.
I will say, though, that we traveled to Hawaii again this past December, and I didn’t feel like it was worth making a big box like that again. He’s just a little more advanced in what he eats and is entertained by. So, I’d recommend this type of snack carry for kids maybe 2 and under taking the child and their interests into consideration.
Something I actually haven’t done yet is pack my son’s snacks in his own bag. But I feel like I’ll probably be doing that soon since he has a little sis on the way and I tend to like things organized and separate when possible. He’s also more capable and willing to keep up with some of his own stuff. I purchased this backpack for him for Christmas, and I love it so much. We haven’t got to use it a whole lot yet, but it has so much potential for organization. There’s multiple compartments (without having too many) that are very easily accessible since the bag opens flat. This backpack isn’t the least expensive on the market by any means, but it’s made well by a small business (which I love to support) and can grow with him (so it will last a long time). Obviously, an alternative to a built in compartment in his bag would be a separate small bag like I do in my own. But I like the idea of built-in places in his bag so that if he gets into it on his own, he doesn’t lose a loose bag.