Traveling with kids - Part 1: Snacks!
Our number one suggestion for traveling with toddlers and kids? Bring snacks! No, seriously. All the snacks. The last thing you need on a long travel day is a hungry child, and sometimes meals aren’t nearly as regular when we’re away from home.
Shown are some unique snack ideas you may not have thought of, including freeze dried peas and strawberries, crunchy cheese (Moon Cheese brand - break apart for younger toddlers), sunflower seed butter cracker “sandwiches,” soft dried cranberries and chocolate chips. None of these require refrigeration, but if you bring perishable items you might want to consider a PackIt bag or small cooler depending on how you’re traveling.
When planning snacks for a trip, consider the following:
Do babies need snacks on trips? The most important thing for babies when traveling is breast milk or formula. Snacks are ok - but not required - for babies 6+ months. Small foods like O’s cereal can keep baby occupied; they just need a pincer grasp to pick up really small foods (10-12 months).
Traveling with kids - Part 2: Activities!
While bringing snacks is imperative during travel with kids, it’s also important to bring something for them to do! Our Feeding Littles team member Sarah, a former preschool teacher, travels very often with her kiddos (now 3 and 7) and has been using these activities for years. Again, head to our Amazon shop under Travel Activities and Snack Gear to get them for your next trip! We have lots of other activities and ideas in there too!
Shown are a variety of activities - keep in mind your child’s stage and abilities when choosing them for your kiddo. Many of these are especially good for plane travel.
Judy also recommends heading to the dollar store for little toys or trinkets your kiddo hasn’t seen before. Even something as simple as a calculator can keep them occupied since it’s novel and different.
Fold down the end of pipe cleaners to keep them safer, and always be careful with small objects kids may put in their mouths.
What about tablets or screens during travel? Well, for many families, screen time is much more liberal on long car rides or plane rides, especially since traveling isn’t an every day thing. Sometimes travel is about simply surviving while getting from one place to another, and an educational app, movie or show can really help with that. Kids usually have a longer attention span for shows or movies as they get older, and it can definitely make traveling a lot more enjoyable, but you’ll have to decide how much screen time is appropriate for your family during travel.
Want more travel activity ideas? Check out Susie’s awesome Travel Kit and Travel Ideas highlights over at @busytoddler.
Flying with kids? We have one word for you: SNACKS.
Here are our minimums in the snack department when we fly as a family - longer trips may require even more snack options!
We always bring reusable water bottles that we can fill once past security. Lately we’ve been digging the Hydroflask kids straw bottles and we always label them in case they get left behind. Check out our Amazon shop for a complete list of our favorite straw cups! The labels shown are from Mabels Labels.
We also bring one type of fruit or veggie, either fresh or freeze dried. These freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe's are crunchy and aren’t as concentrated in fruit sugar or as sticky as regular dried fruit (although we dig dried too - just be consistent with teeth brushing!). Freeze dried is great for kids who love a little crunch. They’re also shelf stable so they’re perfect for travel. Babies can have them if they’re soft and easily dissolvable/chewable - the strawberries are probably the safest.
We always bring a beige crunchy “interesting” food that will keep their attention for a bit, like Annie's Homegrown bunnies, veggie straws or crackers. We don’t serve these foods every day - but we do serve them sometimes - and to our kids they’re a little unique!
Lastly, something filling! We actually brought a Larabar on this trip for the kids and I tried these Enjoy Life Protein Bites - we wanted to test them out and show them here for those of you dealing with top 8 allergies! Holy moly, they're delicious! They’re kind of like a chocolate dessert with a nice protein boost, and for families who need a quick, portable option that doesn’t include top allergens they’re awesome!
Other protein/fat combo options good for young eaters on planes include string cheese or Babybel cheese, sunflower butter sandwich or homemade energy balls.