Snacks. You’ve got to love them—especially when you’re traveling with cranky kids and hours of flight time looming in front of you. Carefully calculating when to present the next snack incentive can go a long way in keeping behavior in the gold star zone. And knowing the best snacks to bring along (hint: it’s best to go beyond the usual airplane peanuts and pretzels given out on some flights and bring your own snacks) can help keep everyone in high spirits as you navigate the friendly skies.
And if you’re wondering if you’re allowed through security with snacks, the answer is mostly yes. According to the carry-on and checked luggage. Keeping your carry-on bags organized in case you have to pull out the snacks to give officials a better look is a good way to keep things moving smoothly through the security line., as long as the snacks are solid food items and not liquids or gels, they can generally be transported in your
Snackers, start your engines. Read on for our favorite snacks to bring along on your next flight.
Veggie straws are lightweight, they’re straws (what toddler doesn’t love a straw!) and they come in perfectly dole-out-able one-ounce snack sizes. Made from potatoes and vegetables, Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws make for great airplane snacking. Seasoned with sea salt, they’re said to have 30 percent less fat than the leading brand of potato chips. The package comes with 24 individual portions, so you can just bring along what you need and save the rest for another flight.
I scream, you scream—we all scream for fruit snacks! What kid doesn’t like fruit snacks? We like this variety pack of 48 Stretch Island Fruit Leather Snacks, made using a quarter cup of real fruit per strip and with zero added sugar, to boot. The pre-wrapped single servings make it easy to dole out just one at a time. And the variety pack flavors include grape, strawberry, cherry, apple, raspberry and apricot, so everybody can pick their favorite.
Feeding kids sugary treats in confined spaces may not seem like a bright idea. But we’ll break with tradition to bust out a YumEarth Organic Vitamin C Pop in flight to keep the good behavior vibes flowing. This package has 40 naturally flavored lollipops, each with 300 percent of the daily recommended vitamin C allowance. How’s that for keeping kids smiling while making a move to boost their immunity in-flight, too?
CHOMPS brand makes a tasty grass-fed beef jerk snack stick that’s packed with nine grams of protein and comes in packages of 10. Count on several solid minutes of serenity (maybe you’ll actually be able to read that in-flight magazine?) while your kids peel back the wrappers and chomp these things down. And good news for parents watching their diets, too—these snack sticks are Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 compliant, so you might want to bring along a few extras for yourself.
Pepperidge Farm’s timeless fish-inspired snack cracker will you get as many smiles from the kids at 30,000 feet as on the ground. Keep things interesting in the air by ordering the “Classic Mix” package to bring along, with 30 individual packs representing goldfish of the cheddar, colored and pretzel persuasion. After all, in-flight as at home, variety is the spice of life.
Made mostly from dates, Larabars keep things simple and wholesome with just a handful of ingredients in each bar. Kids love the taste and when you buy the variety pack, you can play grab bag with them and see if they pull out cherry piece, chocolate chip, coconut cream, blueberry muffin or one of the other fun flavor varieties. The snacks are minimally processed and GMO-free, so this is a snack you can feel good about letting your kids go seconds on.
Here’s another lightweight snack that you can easily buy or just whip up yourself before a trip and bring along as a surprise treat. Made using just three ingredients—butter, roasted rice cereal and mini marshmallows—whipping up Rice Krispies treat is a cinch, and you know exactly what’s in the snack. Or buy the Kellogg’s pre-packaged variety, with 50 individually-wrapped bite-sized versions you can bring along for your travels. Just don’t forget the wet wipes—whether you make them yourself or buy your Rice Krispies treats, sticky fingers are par for the course.
Microwave popcorn may be a family favorite back home, but when you’re on a flight, it’s best to go with something less greasy. Enter Annie’s Organic Butter & Sea Salt Popcorn, which you can order in packages containing 12 four-ounce snack bags. The popcorn is lightly seasoned with sea salt and organic butter from cows raised without antibiotics or synthetic hormones. And the best part is the popcorn tastes great. Tell the kids it’s movie time, put on their headphones and let them settle in with their own little bag of popcorn for cartoons on the in-flight entertainment system or their own personal device. Instant movie theater ambiance guaranteed.
9. Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is one of the healthiest and easiest things you can bring along for a snack on the plane. Look for fruits that are likely to cause the least mess for you in-flight and for airport clean up crews later, too (nobody wants to discover a half-eaten mango in a seat back). The ideal fresh fruits to pack for your flight include bananas, oranges, apples, grapes and the like. Just be sure to wash fruits that need to be washed ahead of time, since lav water isn’t potable. And if you’re traveling internationally, be sure to ditch the fruit before going through customs.
Longtime travel writer and adventurer Terry Ward lives in Florida with her husband and young son and daughter. She’s constantly on the lookout for the next Scandinavia Airlines Kids Fly Free deal to save money on flights to Norway, her favorite place to visit both in the winter (Northern Lights!) and summer (Midnight Sun!). A travel writer since 2001 (read: long before the kids came along), she’s written for such publications as Endless Vacation Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and Scuba Diving Magazine, among many others. Find Terry on her website, Terry-Ward.com.