41 Easy Airplane Snacks for Toddlers
- TSA allows formula, water bottles, breast milk, and baby food to pass security in larger quantities than 3.4 ounces.
- Healthy protein options like tree nuts, cheeses, and yogurt tubes are also acceptable items and are great snacks for air travel.
- Pack an empty water bottle or sippy cup, and then fill the container after you pass through security.
When I fly with my little kids in tow, there’s one thing I always overpack in my carry-on. Okay, maybe two things—hand wipes and snacks. But the snacks always take priority.
No one wants to be stuck in a confined space with a toddler in a full-blown, hunger meltdown. When this happens, there’s little you can do to calm the storm. And since flights can be unpredictable, you just never know how long you’ll spend traveling.
Over the years I have learned that snacks are one thing that will keep a toddler entertained and satisfy their hunger. Whether we are waiting for a sibling to finish their dance class, keeping a child occupied during church, or traveling on a crowded plane, snacks always win.
If you’re preparing for a flight with a toddler, you should spend some time gathering a list of the best snacks to bring. Snacks that are new, fun, or just tasty are sure to save you some troubles. Plus. bringing your own snacks is also a great way to save money, as airport food can be expensive.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one shopping list for the best airplane snacks for toddlers, look no further. We’ve gathered a list of our favorite airplane snacks for toddlers to make your shopping trip easy and your flight stress-free.
Preventing Toddlers From Getting Hungry During a Flight
Has your child ever switched from happy to angry very suddenly? Were they hard to reason with and impossible to console? They might have been in the middle of a hunger meltdown.
Hunger meltdowns happen in both adults and children alike and can be a bit of a nightmare. But thankfully they are easy to prevent. On a flight, you’ll want to do anything to avoid this situation.
What might happen if a toddler gets hungry during a flight?
A drop in blood sugar causes hunger. When a child’s blood sugar drops, it sends a signal to their brain that they are hungry. The body then starts producing a hormone that causes physical reactions.
If a child’s blood sugar drops too far, you’ll notice a sudden change in mood. This can result in tantrums, crying, fits of anger, or other odd behaviors. No amount of soothing videos, entertainment, or other tricks will satisfy hungry kids.
It’s possible for your child to experience other types of meltdowns, such as a sensory meltdown, on a plane. But you’ll know immediately if it’s hunger-induced. Hunger meltdowns are quickly remedied with snacks, as they help raise your child’s blood sugar and balance their emotions.
Be sure to pack plenty of toddler snacks in your carry-on luggage. You never know what delays may occur or how long you’ll have before your next flight if you’re connecting to another city. A bag full of snacks will keep you from scrambling when your toddler decides it’s time to eat.
How to Choose Airplane Snacks for Toddlers
There are a variety of snacks on the market available for children. But that doesn’t mean that all of them are appropriate for an airplane setting. You should know what you are and aren’t allowed to bring on a plane before you shop.
Some snacks could make your child too hyper for a confined space. We’re here to help you navigate how to choose the right snacks.
What type of food or snacks are not allowed on an airplane?
TSA has strict policies on what liquids are allowed on a plane. To be sure that your snacks are approved, follow these guidelines:
- Do not bring liquids in containers or food pouches that are more than 3.4 ounces.
- Liquids include creamy items like yogurt, jams, or nut butter.
What types of foods or snacks are allowed on an airplane?
As far as approved snacks are concerned, the possibilities are endless. TSA doesn’t have any special requirements for non-liquid snacks. This doesn’t mean that all snack choices are the best airplane snacks, though.
Many airlines aim to provide a nut free flight. Due to the possibility of someone on board having a severe peanut allergy, try leaving the peanut products at home.
Also, consider how messy a snack might become. Your neighbors and the flight attendants will appreciate the consideration.
What are some healthy snacks that you can bring on a flight?
Many parents want to choose snacks that will keep their children from bouncing off the walls. This is wise, especially in a confined space.
Thankfully, fruits and vegetables are completely fine to take on board. Healthy protein options like tree nuts, cheeses, and yogurt tubes are also acceptable items and are great snacks for air travel.
How to Pack Airplane Snacks for Toddlers
The way you pack your airplane snacks for your toddler is just as important as what you pack. You’ll want the snacks to be easy to access. You’ll also want to avoid creating a huge mess on the floor and seats around you.
To minimize the mess with dry snacks, put your child’s snacks in a snack catcher cup. This type of snack cup is a snack container that limits spills. When your child reaches in and pulls a handful of snacks out, the rubber lid helps limit the amount they can pull out at once.
Another great idea is to use Bento box snack containers. These boxes have separate departments, making it easy to separate small servings. You can also use single serving snack bags if you don’t have a Bento box.
For beverages, pack an empty water bottle or sippy cup. You can fill the container after you pass through security.
Don’t forget to bring wipes to disinfect the tray tables and hand sanitizer for your child’s hands. A pack of baby wipes will also provide an option for easy cleanup.
Can You Bring Milk or Other Liquids on an Airplane
Does your little one still drink formula or breast milk? Or are you concerned about your child having a drink for the plane? Thankfully, the TSA makes special exceptions for parents traveling with young kids.
What are the TSA rules when bringing milk bottles and other liquid foods on a flight?
If you’re traveling with an infant or toddler, you may bring breast milk or formula with you on the plane. TSA’s traveling with children guidelines states they allow formula, water bottles, breast milk, and baby food to pass security in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces. However, they must be removed and inspected separately at security.
Pack these items in a separate bag for easy inspection as you go through the security line to avoid extra delays. TSA will also only allow a reasonable amount of food and beverages through security. This means you cannot pack 14 pouches of baby food for a one-hour flight.
Be reasonable about the amount of liquids that you pack, and you should breeze through without significant issues.
Must-Have Airplane Snacks for Toddlers
Now let’s get to the section you’ve been waiting for. We know you need to grocery shop for the best toddler airplane snacks before you take flight. And you probably still have to create your list of airplane activities for toddlers.
Take our list of snack ideas with you as you grocery shop to make snack-buying simple. Here are our favorite snacks for toddlers separated by category:
Dry snacks make great airplane snacks for toddlers. These items don’t require any special packing, and they are usually easy to throw in a snack container or straight into your carry-on bags. Many of them come in single-serving options as well.
Here are some dry, plane snacks your toddler is sure to love:
- Baby puffs
- Chex Mix
- Rice cakes
- Granola bars
- Wheat Thins
- Yogurt melts
- Ritz crackers
- Pirate’s Booty
- Veggie Straws
- Puffed cereal
- Pita crackers
- Graham crackers
- Goldfish crackers
- Cheese sandwich crackers
- Bread and jelly sandwich (go light on the jelly to avoid a mess)
The TSA allows you to bring an ice pack in your carry-on bags. This means you can also include refrigerated items like fresh fruit and cheese in your snack bag.
The airplane snacks we included on this list will be fine if kept in a cold cooler bag with ice packs for a few hours. Just be sure to keep your cooler bag zipped shut so that all your snacks don’t become warm and spoil.
- Yogurt tubes
- Baby carrots
- Celery sticks
- Apple slices
- Cutie oranges
- Babybel cheese
- String cheese
- Hard boiled eggs
- Cucumber slices
- Strawberries (cut to make them less messy)
- Grapes (cut in half or quarters since whole ones are a choking hazard)
All passengers on the plane will thank you if you don’t pack snacks for your toddler like Mountain Dew and candy bars. A hyper child is a hard one to contain in a small space. We recommend bringing some healthy snacks your kids love instead.
Granola bars, for example, make great toddler snacks when your child wants something sweet. Granola bars don’t have as much sugar as most candy bars.
Here are a few of our favorite healthy toddler airplane snacks that are also a little sweet:
- Fruit leather
- Juice boxes
- Mini muffins
- Animal crackers
- Vitamin C lollipops
- Applesauce pouches
- Yogurt covered raisins
- Fruit snacks with real fruit juice
- Trail mix with chocolate chips
What snacks or foods can help prevent airplane ears in toddlers?
Airplane ears refers to the pressure that builds up in your ears at take-off and landing. Adults can usually relieve the pressure by yawning or swallowing. Kids, however, have a harder time relieving the pain and pressure.
Getting your child to swallow will help their ears to “pop.” Some helpful items to try are lollipops, ice chips, or gummies. You can also encourage your child to take small bites of any snack and take sips of water through a straw.
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