Are you flying and wondering what the best airplane snacks for toddlers are? In this guide we will round up the best snacks for toddlers on a plane considering durability, spoilage, mess and more alongside tips to consider when packing and selecting snacks for toddlers on planes.
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Can I take snacks for toddler on plane?
The good news is yes, you can take snacks for toddlers on a plane. There are some restrictions relating to liquids which you should be mindful of when packing but you will be fine bringing all the snacks you are going to need for your toddler on their flight.
Tips for Selecting Snacks for Toddlers on Planes
Before we tell you the best airplane snacks for toddlers, I think it is important to round up some factors that will effect what you can and what you can’t eat on a plane. This is because there are a lot more considerations when flying than there is on land including:
Check your liquid allowance
When you are packing your carry on for toddlers or anyone else one of your biggest concerns should be liquids. That is because liquids that are over 3.4 Ounces in the US 100ml in the UK they will be confiscated by TSA or other airport security services.
The only exception to the liquid rule is if you are flying and formula feeding or flying with liquid medications but all of these will be subjected to further screening. You can also bring milk through for toddlers but we will talk about this in more detail later
And the thing about the liquid rule is that what parents consider a liquid and what counts as a liquid for TSA purposes are very different.
For instance things that are classified as liquids that you may consider for toddler snacks include:
- fruit pouches i.e. Ella’s Kitchen pouches / GoGo Squeez pouches
- Apple Sauce
- Squeezable yoghurts such as those made by GoGoSqueez
Therefore when you are packing snacks for your toddler on a plane be sure that they do not exceed the TSA / security allowances otherwise these will be confiscated from you while going through screening at airport security.
Flying with Milk for Toddlers
If your toddler is anything like my two then they will still be drinking bottles of bottle, even if they have moved away from formula.
You are allowed to bring milk through for toddlers in most airports, even if is over the 3.4 ounce / 100ml rule but it will have to go through extra screening and you may be asked to taste milk that has already been poured into a bottle.
For a more in-depth guide on flying with toddler milk check out this post.
Don’t Assume you will be able to get snacks / milk at the airport
We like to travel to the airport with all the snacks and milk our toddler will require for the journey plus a little extra (but more on that later).
I know some people like to limit the amount of things, especially liquid that they are carrying through the airport. However I would advise against this unless you can preorder your milk as you can at some airports. This is because you are not guaranteed to find what you need.
I find the availability of milk in airport to be very hit and miss, and have had to resort to buying a latte minus the coffee at an airport Starbucks once when I was worried about not having enough milk as there was no where to buy any.
For this reason, unless you can preorder and guarantee what you will be collecting, I would always advise taking everything your toddler will need to the airport with you.
Pack for delays
Again, it is always tempting to limit how much you carry on the plane and through security I would always advise packing extra. You never know how long you will be delayed for and what will be available in the airport. Therefore we recommend packing enough for your flight plus extra just in case.
Now alongside the snacks you will want to make sure you have everything you need for your toddler to eat on the plane. This could be their favorite spoon, a bib if they will wear one to limit the amount of mess they get on themselves or just holders to help them feed themselves while traveling.
Limit the Mess (within reason)
One of my toddlers favorite snacks for planes is dry cheerios and other cereals. But as every parent will tell you they can make a lot of mess with these very quickly.
We try to limit the mess they make by having containers for their food like the one above where they can’t just dip the cereal directly on the floor.
Pick Individually Packaged items
Individually packed items are great for snacks for toddlers on a plane for several reasons.
- Firstly it is much easier to portion out,
- two it prevents you having lots of open containers and packages in your carry on if your toddler doesn’t finish the snack
- and lastly limits the amount of mess they can make with one portion. and much easier when traveling in large groups as it is much easier to portion out.
Pick things that won’t spoil
Perhaps the most important thing when selecting snacks for toddlers on a plane is making sure you don’t select things that are going to spoil quickly. No one wants either an ill toddler or to find the snacks they bought are unusable.
And if you do have anything that could spoil or become damaged on the flight i.e. a banana can easily get bruised in the overhead lockers even when well packed, make sure you consume it early in your flight.
Pick familiar things
Also as well as picking things that won’t spoil, I strongly recommend that you don’t pack new things and stick to familiar things for two reasons.
- Toddlers are notoriously fussy creatures. Airplanes are not the time to try and convince your toddler to try new and adventurous foods. Stick to things you know they will eat as no one wants a hangry toddler on a plane.
- You eliminate the chance of a bad reaction. When you are traveling and weaning, you are recommend to stick to known foods. New foods are usually introduce slowly, so if an allergic reaction happens you can pinpoint what causes it. You don’t want to introduce a new food on a plane and have a bad reaction so be sure to stick to your tried and tested snacks.
Limit the nuts
Both of my kids LOVE nuts and thankfully are not allergic to them. However there may be other people on the plane that do have nut allergies. On our last flight the cabin crew announced that someone on the plane had a severe nut allergy and asked everyone to refrain from eating nuts of any variety.
It is important to always abide by this request as nut allergies are very dangerous. If this happens on your flight you want to ensure that you have enough stuff without nuts in for your toddler to eat on the flight even if you have to refrain from eating nuts.
Think about Storage
When traveling with toddlers on a plane it is really important to pack sensibly for a number of reasons such as:
- to be Able to easily find what you need when you need it
- to prevent food getting crushed or spoiled
- ensuring you have it to hand in case you can’t get into your bags because of turbulence
We always pack our snacks (depending on length of flight and snacks selected in either:
- packing cubes
- ziplock bags
- or soft sided insulated bags.
Think about how you are going to organise yourself before you pack your snacks and be sure to have adequate storage with you in your carry on bags.
Pack things to clean up
There is nothing worse than a sticky toddler on a plane. Be sure to pack plenty of wet wipes to clean them down (as well as a change of clothes for the inevitable spills).
On top of that have a bag for rubbish. Cabin crew don’t come around collecting rubbish that often and bags you find at seats don’t hold much so be sure to pack a bag or two that can hold your trash.
And finally, be sure that you know the customs rules at your destination and dispose of anything you can’t bring into a country before disembarking the plane.
Depending on where you travel this could include (but not be limited to) fruit, dairy and meat.
Best Airplane Snacks for Toddlers
So now you know what to consider when packing snacks for toddlers on planes, we will now round up some of our favorite and best airplane snacks for toddlers after our many, many flights with toddlers
- Cereal – my kids enjoy eating cereal dry so we usually take some dry cheerios or fruit loops
- Cereal Bars – slightly easier to eat that dry cereal and less chance of creating a massive mess but my toddlers aren’t such big fans
- Granola Bars
- Donut holes
- Fruit – for soft fruit be sure to pack it adequately and eat early in your flight to prevent spoilage and leaks. And if you pack something like grapes be sure to cut them in half correctly so they don’t pose a choking hazard.
- Veggie Sticks such as Carrots and Cucumbers
- Fruit Snacks
- Fruit Winders / Fruit Leather / Fruit Ropes
- Fruit Puree Pouches – both of my kids since babies have enjoyed these and us adults too. It is a great ways to take a healthy snack without worrying about fruit going off. However be sure to select smaller sizes to make going through TSA easier.
- Apple Sauce
- Raisins – these are always top of my list wherever I am traveling with my toddler
- Dried Fruit – on top of raisins we take bags of dried fruit such as mango, pineapple and apricot
- Crisps / Chips – maybe not the healthiest choice but if it keeps the full and happy I am all for it.
- Popcorn – slightly healthier than chips / crisps
- Nuts – but make sure these are in a sealed container and do not open if anyone on the plane has an allergy.
- Rice Cakes
- Non refrigerated yoghurts such as GoGo Squeeze
- Animal crackers
- Peanut Butter Bites
- Chocolate – not healthy but if it keeps them happy do it
- PB and J Sandwiches – don’t eat if there is an allergy on board
- Babybel – but keep cold
- String Cheese – but keep cool
- Cookies – non chocolate so you don’t have to deal with the melt i.e. oat and raisin.
- Juice Cartons
- Milk cartons – but these both will need to be tested going through security