Hey there! I’m Meghan and I blog over at Stir and Scribble. I’m a recipe developer, baker, and a new mama. Rachel has asked me to share some tasty treats for traveling with a toddler. Thanks for having me and here’s to hoping the Burks have an amazing vacation.
There are plenty of resources for suggested “healthy-snacks-to-instantly-make-your-toddler-a-patient-angelic-traveler” – this is not necessarily one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that giving your little one a bag of sugar will make him a better traveler either. My favorite things about travel snacking (even as a semi-grown-up) are eating lots of things that are not part of my regular diet and trying new things, Snacks are part of the adventure. Travel food for toddlers should follow those same spirits.
Here are a few tips and suggestions:
Pack plenty of snacks, in small portions. Toddlers are basically master-snackers anyway, but dividing their food into small containers or bags will help parents and babes alike. You won’t have to worry about a handful of goldfish crackers sliding all over a tray table or onto the floor of the car.
Get creative with the packaging too – a special box or cooler just for the wee-one makes regular foods special. Decorate small bags with magic markers, twist-tie paper bags or pack snacks in leftover Easter eggs. This also makes eating part of their in-flight entertainment.
Think Outside the “Snack”. Somehow snacks always end up as their own really too specific category, but if your little one loves pasta or steamed sweet potato at dinner time don’t be afraid to pack them as snacks. Luckily pasta, beans and steamed vegetables are fine at room temperature. Just be wary of anything that might have a particularly strong odor (I’m looking at you, broccoli) unless you want the other passengers kicking the back of your seat.
Research also suggests that traveling is a good time to introduce new foods as kids are already out of their normal routine. Try including fruits or vegetables that your kiddo has previously refused or hasn’t tried yet.
Include Indulgences. Lollipops can be great for tiny travelers during flight take-offs and landings to prevent ear discomfort. And if your traveling by car with your littlest strapped into their car-seat, it’s a good time to safely introduce the treat. Try to pick a variety low in sugar and (obviously) don’t make sweets the only snack!
Another great way to include sweet treats is to mix them with healthier snack in a sort of “Toddler Trail Mix”. Mini marshmallows tossed with bite-sized crackers, cereal, freeze dried fruits, and yogurt puffs are good for adults too.
Be sure to pack plenty of fluids and take as many breaks to stretch as possible along the way.