Ultimate list of our top tried & true on-the-go snacks for toddlers! This list covers all of the best airplane snacks for toddlers – think easy to pack, minimal mess, healthy(ish), and delicious!
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Travel days with little kids can be long and difficult at times. But traveling with hangry kids is just downright scary!
Snacks can be an absolute game-changer both in the airport and on the airplane. The right snacks will keep everyone well-fed and can even provide some good airplane entertainment!
Some airlines will provide free snacks and even meals during long flights. But the free options are usually minimal and not the healthiest.
And anyone who has bought food at an airport or on an airplane before knows how expensive it can be *cringe*.
Packing your own snacks will save you money and will help keep the whole family happy.
I highly recommend packing plenty of great airplane snacks in your carry-on bags to get you through your travel day, and then pack a few more. This way you will have a nice variety and won’t run out of options even if you get delayed or have a long travel day.
Things to Consider When Packing Snacks
Make sure any pouches, yogurts, or liquids that you have are less than 3.4 oz (TSA liquid rule).
I have flown dozens of times with my toddler and have never had any snacks or drinks confiscated by TSA, and we often even bring full, unopened water bottles and/or a sippy cup of milk or water.
I have also flown with breast milk multiple times, both with and without my baby.
Additional screening may be required for certain liquid items, but many TSA agents are accommodating and will provide exceptions to some of the standard rules when they see you traveling with young kids.
Do your snacks need to be kept cold? Will your snacks hold up well during the hustle and bustle of travel?
Mushy bananas and crumbled-up crackers are not very appetizing! If you choose to pack snacks that can be easily broken or smashed, make sure you have a good way to store them.
How Much Mess Do You Want to Deal With
I am pretty sure my one-year-old could make any snack messy, but some are worse than others. Decide how much mess you’re willing to put up with before packing snacks that might create a huge mess.
Bring a pack of wipes and keep them right next to your snacks. Wipes are great to have on hand😉for both before and after snacking.
Best Toddler Airplane Snacks
These items are easy to pack and will stay good at room temperature for extended periods.
- Pretzel sticks
- Mini Rice Cakes
- Animal Crackers
- Wheat Thins
- Veggie Straws
- Chex Mix
- Individual Portions Chip Bags (we like to get baked chips)
- Granola Bars
- Cliff Bars
- Graham Crackers
- Fruit Leathers
- Yogurt Melts – my kids love the Gerber ones, 2 g added sugar
- Zolli Pops – sugar-free suckers recommended by our dentist
Great Options for Younger Children
- Bamba Peanut Butter Puffs – these can get messy
- Teething crackers
- Fruit or veggie pouches
Cold Items & Fruit/Veggies
Lots of healthy travel snacks in this section, but you will need to keep most of these items cold unless you plan to eat them early on in your travel day. If you bring ice packs, try to keep them completely frozen – this will make it easier to get them through security.
- Clementines or oranges (might be a bit messy)
- Quartered grapes
- Apple Slices – run cold water over them to keep them from browning
- Strawberries (might be a bit messy)
- Snap Peas
- Celery Sticks
- Baby Carrots
- Cucumber Slices
- Gogurt or other yogurt tubes and pouches
- Hardboiled eggs
- Cheese sticks
- Babybel Cheese
- PB & J – make homemade uncrustables with this fancy tool
- Energy balls – we make ours with peanut butter, PB flavored protein powder, flax seed, Kodiak oats, chia seeds, and honey (ages 1+ only)
My kids are obsessed with each of these next few snacks. You can buy all of these at places other than Costco if you don’t have a Costco membership.
- Pirate’s Booty – individual bags are great for on-the-go
- That’s It Mini Fruit Bars – simple ingredients, no added sugar
- Pure Organic Fruit Bars – 5g added sugar
- Amara Organic Smoothie Melts – awesome ingredients, no added sugar
We buy snacks from Target all the time for travel and for at home because my kids love them. They offer many tasty options with simple ingredients and minimal added sugar.
- Good & Gather freeze-dried fruit – fruit only, no added sugar
- Annie’s Snack Mix – this one can be a bit messy, but it is so delicious
- Annie’s Snack Variety Packs – bunny grahams, cheddar bunnies, cheddar squares
- Good & Gather Spinach/Carrot Applesauce Pouches – no added sugar
- Good & Gather Raisins – just raisins, no added sugar
- Once Upon a Farm Pouches – kinda pricey, but good ingredients/no added sugar
- Whisps Cheddar Cheese Crisps – good source of protein, no added sugar
- Beechnut Dinos – I think these look & taste like dog treats😝, but my dino-obsessed toddlers like them
- Good & Gather Twisted Fruit Ropes
- Plum Organics Teensy Fruit Snacks – less added sugar & safer for young eaters than regular fruit snacks
Trader Joe’s Travel Favorites
Some of these have already been covered in general above, but the next few items are specific brands/products from Trader Joe’s that are delicious and easy to take on the go.
- Multigrain Crackers
- Bamba Peanut Butter Puffs -these are insanely cheap & great for all ages, less than 1 g of sugar
- Mini Cheese Sandwich Crackers
- Cheddar Cheese Rocket Crackers
- Freeze Dried Fruit – no added sugar or ingredients
- Animal Crackers
- Yogurt Pretzels – my kids love these, but they can be messy & have a lot of added sugar
Toddler Sweet Treats
Travel days can be hard for everyone – if you think a couple of sweet treats will help get you through it, then go for it!
- M&M mini packs
- Mini marshmallows
- Fruit Snacks
- Bite-size cookie packs (mini bags of Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, etc.)
- Fruit Loops
- Chocolate Chips
- Mini muffins
- Snack cups are great for air travel, road trips, and around the house. They are easy for little fingers to use and won’t spill everywhere when they are inevitably dropped, tipped, and thrown around.
- A snack tackle box is a great way to include a variety of snacks and give your toddler autonomy. The Bentgo Box is another good option.
- We used to have one of these snack spinner bowls and my toddlers loved it! They enjoyed spinning it and picking out the snacks they wanted. Unfortunately, we must have left it somewhere because I haven’t been able to find it.
- Disposable storage bags (or reusable) are another option for storing snacks on the go. I like to bring a few extras in case snack packages get ripped open and need to be contained.
On-the-Go Feeding Accessories
- The Yeti Rambler Jr. is the best kids’ water bottle we have found, and we have tried many. It doesn’t leak, the straw folds down so it’s not getting rubbed all over the plane seats and airplane floors, and it holds a lot of liquid and keeps it cold.
- These silicone lids can turn any cup into a sippy cup. We have used them on the little beverage cups the flight attendants give you on airplanes, and they work great.
- Disposable placemats are a great idea for restaurants, food courts, airplane trays, parks, and any other eating surfaces that may not be the cleanest.
- We also love the reusable silicone mat that comes in the Yeah Baby Goods Restaurant bags (awesome small business, check them out).
- My husband thinks this is the most ridiculous purchase, but this banana case keeps bananas from getting brown and mushy in your bag – I think it’s genius!
That rounds out our list of the best airplane snacks for toddlers. Leave a comment with your favorite travel snack. Hope you found some good ideas for your next flight! Happy travels!