It was only a few weeks ago that I shared with you some of my ideas for feeding kids on the road. I try really hard to pack snacks/meals ahead of time when I know we’re going to be on the road. Flying is no different although it does present a few extra challenges. We returned last weekend from a cruise and quite a bit of airplane time. I, of course, had snacks with us to make our travel time a little easier on the budget and healthier. Some of the big differences when it comes to packing food for flying vs driving include;
- liquid is a no-no
- space constraints
- no sharp objects
- being respectful of other flyers
- did I mention space constraints?
Keeping those things in mind some of my guidelines for what to avoid;
- greasy or messy foods
- food with a strong smell
- items that require a knife to cut
- anything that will spoil quickly if not refrigerated
- things that spill easily (you most likely won’t be able to carry on liquids anyway)
How you end up portioning the items you’re left with is a judgment call. Personally I am the keeper of the snacks. I know if I give my kids their food to handle it will be gone before we even hit the airport. This also makes it easier when we go through security checkpoints. I know if anything needs to come out and go into the “plastic bag for liquid goodness”. It’s also worth keeping in mind the time that you’re flying. Here’s a great example. On our departing flight we were at the airport for a 12:30pm flight, that means right at lunch time. I had enough food to keep everyone fed with a few things that were purchased. That being said I should have packed a bit more. In contrast our returning flight left at 6am. I was not prepared and nothing at the airport opened until 5:30am. It was crab city. It’s really worthwhile to take a good look at the times you’ll be needing food and plan accordingly.
What to Pack?
I’ve given you ideas about what not to pack but what should you take? Here are 25 ideas to make anyone in your family happy.
25 Snack Ideas for Flying
1. Cut up fruit
2. Cut up vegetables
3. Homemade Ranch Dip
5. Variety of cheeses
7. Dried fruit such as dates, figs, cherries or blueberries
9. Spring Rolls
10. Chips and Salsa
11. Pretzels and Peanut Butter
12. Mixed olives
13. A really good baguette or roll
14. Variety of crackers (you could even make your own!)
15. Funfetti Dip with Animal Crackers
16. Variety of cold cut meats
17. Pasta salad
18. Cold bean salads
19. Chicken salad
20. Mini Muffins
22. Pizza Bites
23. Any kind of bar or brownie
24. Homemade pudding
25. Hand Pies
Bonus item: chocolate boxes because everyone needs something a little sweet!
There are a few other items that I use and keep on hand when packing my bag. First, and maybe the most important, are Wet Ones Big Wipes. I love these so much. They are awesome for wiping off tray tables, hands, and faces. I also collect small plastic forks – not the throw away kind but the kind that are similar to toddler forks. When I’m packing my bag I make sure to have plenty of small sealing containers for dips or smaller items and use larger Zipper bags to keep things together. I discovered on our last trip how valuable these items can be. Our plastic containers that held snacks on the way became great seashell holders. Plastic zipper bags worked great to toss a clean pair of clothes in when we went to the beach swimming (and they didn’t get wet or sandy!).
What are some of your favorite snacks and meal ideas to eat while flying?