The BEST Airplane Snacks for Toddlers: 20 Tried and True Favorites

Traveling with a toddler requires a well-stocked arsenal of snacks to keep them both entertained and satisfied.

After over 100 flights with my almost two-year-old, I’ve learned which snacks work best to keep my toddler happy and my sanity intact.

Here’s a list of 20 of our favorite no-mess and no refrigeration airplane snacks, complete with tips on why they’re great for travel and how to best store them.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are a fantastic snack for flights and we almost never fly without them. They are small, easy to eat, and packed with antioxidants. Plus, they don’t make much of a mess.

I always pack couple of small containers of fresh blueberries, which my toddler loves to pick at throughout the flight. Squish them first if you’re worried about choking, which we did while baby led weaning.

2. Smoothie Melts

Healthy Eating Facts for Kids

My son will pretty much always go for a smoothie melt, and after trying them myself, I get why. They’re freeze dried fruit snacks that melt in your mouth, creating virtually no mess. The best ones are made from only fruit or fruit and yogurt with no added sugar.

The best tasting, and also priciest, ones we’ve tried are definitely Amara (they’re also plant-based!), though Beechnut are nice, too!

3. Cheerios

Flying with a toddler

Cheerios are another travel-friendly snack that worked particularly well when my son was about a year old. I could just hold them out on a long car ride or flight and he’d eat them one by one, buying me at least 20 minutes.

They are non-perishable, easy to handle, and fortified with vitamins. They should also be sugar-free. I often carry a small ziplock bag of Cheerios in my carry-on for those moments when my child needs a quick and easy snack.

4. Apple Slices

Pre-sliced apples are a great way to provide a healthy snack without the hassle of cutting them on the go. I usually pack them in an airtight container to keep them fresh. Sometimes, I add a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning.

5. Cerebelly Bars

Cerebelly bars are nutritious and convenient. They’re organic, nut-free, added sugar-free, non-GMO, and are packed with vegetables and nutrients tailored for toddlers’ growing brains.

We even use these at home for breakfast sometimes, and it’s a great road trip snack as well. They come in four flavors and we tend to bring two for each day that we travel since we have some food allergies (like peanut) to contend with, and I know he will reliably eat these.

The only thing I wish for is better quality control. Some of the bars are soft and sometimes they’re hard, which makes me wonder if there’s a packaging issue. To their credit Cerebelly is always willing to issue a refund or replacement for any issues. Get $20 off your first order.

6. Puffs

Puffs are a go-to snack for many parents, and for good reason. They are light, easy to pack, and dissolve quickly, making them safe for little ones to munch on.

Though there are certainly unhealthy ones, there are healthy varieties to choose from as well. Hippeas are made from chickpea, and use plant based ingredients to create cheesy flavors.

7. Pouches

Tips for keeping a toddler happy at a restaurant without screen time

For a mess-free way to get some calories in, we often bring along some pouches. They’re not the most environmentally friendly option, however you can totally get refillable ones and put your own non-perishable fillings in.

Be sure to choose pouches that aren’t in the refrigerated section. My son is partial to Mamma Chia pouches. They are honestly all sooo good, don’t need refrigeration, and none of them have added sugar.

By the way, you are allowed liquids over the limit for young children when flying. Read more about TSA with a baby/toddler here.

8. Raisins

Raisins are sweet, chewy, and easy to pack. They don’t take up much space and provide a good dose of energy. My toddler is also completely obsessed with craisins, though they do have some sugar, as can some varieties of raisin.

9. Crackers or Sun Chips

Healthy Eating Facts for Kids

Simple crackers are always a hit. They are easy to pack and pair well with other snacks like cheese or nut butter. I usually opt for whole-grain varieties for a bit of extra nutrition.

10. Quartered Grapes

Healthy Eating Facts for Kids

Grapes are sweet, crunchy, and fun to eat. They are also healthy and require no prep other than washing and a quick slice so they’re not a choking hazard.

I pack them in a small container to keep them fresh and crisp. Like blueberries, these take some time to eat and keep my toddler occupied for a few precious minutes.

11. Banana

Bananas are one of the easiest fruits to bring along. They come in their own natural packaging and are usually a hit with toddlers. I always make sure to bring a ripe but firm banana to avoid it getting squished in my bag or with bits of it all over my hands. While it’s not as mess-free as apples or blueberries, banana is far from the messiest fruit you could bring along.

12. Mini Muffins

Mini muffins are a great treat that’s easy to make ahead. Bake a batch of banana or blueberry muffins and pack a few in a container. They’re filling and less messy than cupcakes or pastries.

13. Yogurt Tubes

Yogurt tubes are convenient and less messy than cups. I freeze them before the flight so they stay cold and double as a refreshing treat. They also help keep other snacks in my bag cool.

I’m not much of a baker, which is how we end up with mostly cerebelly bars filling this role, but if you are, then this recipe is geared towards toddlers and uses banana as the sweetener.

14. Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are light and versatile. Depending on how big of a mess it may make — you know your toddler best — consider adding a thin layer of nut butter or laughing cow cheese. They provide a satisfying crunch without being too filling, so they’re a great distraction if you’re waiting for a meal to arrive.

15. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit like apricots, mangoes, or apple chips are great for travel. They are non-perishable and provide a concentrated source of nutrients and energy. I usually mix a few different types in a small reusable bag for variety.

16. Milk Containers or Sachets

Healthy Eating Facts for Kids

Unless you’re breastfeeding, finding a way to bring milk is essential for the flight, especially for younger guys who need it to fall asleep. It’s a great source of calcium and vitamin D, and it keeps toddlers hydrated. We usually travel with cold Oatly in a vacuum container or smaller single serve milks or sachets.

With so much salty food and dry air on planes, toddlers often want to drink even more than they normally would, so bring along your milk and water sippy to keep them hydrated at all times.

Here’s how to travel with milk.

17. Veggie Straws

Veggie straws are a fun and colorful snack that toddlers enjoy. They’re less greasy than chips and offer a bit of a nutritional boost. Just watch the salt content, as these can often be quite high in sodium. I like Hippeas brand for veggie straws as well as puffs.

18. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein and easy to prepare ahead of time. They will eventually need refrigeration, so put them in your diaper bag’s cooler pouch or eat them early on in the journey. W

Our little guy is allergic to egg, but if he wasn’t I’d definitely be bringing them along. They’re messier than some of the other suggestions on this list, but help with fullness.

19. Avocado Slices

Avocado slices are nutritious and creamy. I prepare them just before the flight, adding a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning, and pack them in an airtight container. They can be a bit messy, but my toddler loves them.

20. Quartered Grape Tomatoes

Healthy Eating Facts for Kids

My son has always gone crazy for tomato. It packs some nice sweetness while having texture. I won’t pretend these are the least messy option on this list, but they are among the healthiest, and if your toddler isn’t as likely to squeeze out the seeds and will just pop them in their mouth, they can be a great option.

Final Thoughts

Keeping a toddler happy and fed during a flight is no small feat, but with the right snacks, it becomes much more manageable. These 20 snacks are all tried and true favorites from our extensive travel experiences. They’re not only delicious and nutritious but also easy to pack and handle during flights. By keeping a variety of these snacks on hand, you can ensure your little one stays content and you stay sane during your travels. Safe and happy snacking!

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