One of the hardest parts about traveling with kids is making sure you pack enough toys and treats to keep them entertained while you’re traveling to your destination. It tends to be especially difficult to find healthy snacks for kids when you’re on the road or at an airport. From the junk food at the gas station to the fast food stands in the airport, keeping your kids tummies’ satiated without jeopardizing their health can be a real dilemma.
Healthy Snacks for Kids While Traveling
Your best bet is to pack healthy snacks at home before you leave for your trip. Here are some healthy snacks for kids that you can pack ahead of time without worrying about the food spoiling or, worse, getting tossed out at the security gate.
1. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is preserved fruit, so no worrying about those apples going brown or your grapes molding. Sweet treats like dried mangoes or all-natural fruit leather are tasty and easy to travel with.
2. Trail Mix
While your kids might not jump in glee over a pack of almonds, they may be excited about a pack of trail mix, where a few M&Ms get tossed into the mix. Nuts are an easy way to tide kids over until mealtime, and while the few candy M&Ms they eat may not necessarily be healthy, the other ingredients in the trail mix bag make up for it.
If your kids are anything like us, then they probably enjoy munching on salty snacks like chips. A healthy alternative is to pack an all-natural, skinny version of popcorn, which is sold by various brands at the market. Usually, these brands of popcorn are low in fat, calories, and sodium, making them a healthy food for your child to munch on when they’re in need of a snack.
4. Granola Bars
Granola bars can be the sweet and salty snack your kid will go crazy for. While not all granola bars are healthy, look for brands that offer fiber-rich or protein-rich versions that have around 6 grams of sugar or less per bar. Because granola bars tend to be sleek, they’re easy to slip into your carry-on bag pocket or in your handbag, making them a convenient travel snack.
5. Fruit Chips
Similar in concept to dried fruit, fruit chips like apple chips or banana chips are a great alternative to fresh fruit. Fresh fruit can get messy or go bad if it’s left in a warm car or pressed up against a bunch of luggage on the plane. Fruit chips are dry and packaged in convenient, small bags that you can whip out for the little ones whenever hunger strikes.
6. Nut Butter Pouches
Pouches of packaged nut butter like almond butter or peanut butter make for a super, travel-friendly snack that your little one can eat with a bag of crackers or pretzels. Simply squeeze the nut butter out of the pouch onto whatever food your child is eating it with; no need for a butter knife or any utensils.
7. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Fruit and granola bars are great, but sometimes your kid just wants some chocolate. We can definitely relate to the feeling. A dark chocolate peanut butter cup is a healthy alternative to a chocolate candy bar and will satiate your child’s sweet tooth.
8. Oatmeal Cups
If you’re hopping onto an early morning flight, packaged oatmeal cups can be a lifesaver. Most flights will offer a beverage, at which point you can ask for hot water. Simply pour the hot water into the oatmeal, stir, and voila, you’ll have a healthy breakfast snack for your child.
Don’t Forget to Pack These Items
While healthy snacks for kids are essential when you’re traveling, don’t forget other important items when you’re packing your family’s luggage. A first aid kit containing band-aids and antibiotic cream for minor accidents and boo-boo’s is always a good idea. It may also be wise to pack a bag of ginger chews, especially if this is your child’s first flight and you think they could feel sick on the flight. Last but not least, if your child is young and flying on a plane, bring along a pack of gum for the plane’s landing; chewing gum can help with your child’s earache from the pressure change.