50 Kid-Friendly Airplane Snacks (2023)

Flying with kids can be challenging, but flying with hungry kids is downright daunting! Many airlines have quite limited on-board food these days, and much of it is expensive and perhaps not what a picky kid wants to eat. This means that if you want to avoid the overpriced airline snack boxes and soggy sandwiches, you really need to pack your own meals and snacks when traveling with kids.

What snacks please the kids and also travel well? After hundreds of in-flight hours with my kids at various ages and stages, I’ve had a lot of practice figuring out whichsnacks work andwhich don’t. If you need inspiration for packing snacks for your next flight, look no further!

50 Kid-Friendly Airplane Snacks (1)

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Tips for Snacking & Eating on Airplanes with Kids

Before diving into all the specific snack suggestions, let’s talk about the challenges you might face with kids and snacks on a plane. There are more logistics than you might realize if you don’t travel often.

(Video) 5 Travel Snack Hacks to Level Up your Flying Experience! (TSA Friendly)

1. Consider TSA Liquid Rules

When traveling with snacks in your carry on bag, you’ll have to successfully get them through the airport security checkpoints. A lot of parents don’t think about the fact that some foods like applesauce and yogurt technically are treated as “liquids and gels” for purposes of the TSA rules. That means they need to be in containers that are less than 3.4 ounces. Select carefully!

If you are bringing drinks through security, the liquid rules of course apply there as well. Our family brings empty water bottles and fills them up at a water fountain on the other side. But if you need milk and juice for a younger child, that requires a little more preparation and most likely some extra security checks (Related: Tips for air travel with toddlers and milk.)

2. Pack Snacks to Minimize Spills & Messes

Messes are inevitable on airplanes with kids. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to minimize them for the sake of the flight attendants and airline employees who have to clean up the cabins.

With younger kids, a snack catcher style cup is an essential for serving bite sized snacks like Cheerios and goldfish so the entire snack doesn’t end up on the airplane floor.

(Video) Snack Box for Air Travel! TSA Friendly!

You can also pack snacks in single serve Ziploc snack bags – either for distributing directly to your kids or to use to refill the snack cup. If you prefer a more environmentally-friendly version, Bumkins reusable snack bags are cute and inexpensive for travel.

I also have found traveling with snack-size bento boxes to work well, especially for serving several snacks together as a meal to my kids. The Yumbox MiniSnack box is durable with easy travel cleanup.

One more thing to pack to minimize messes – something to clean them up! We travel with napkins, a couple of paper towels, or even a small hand towel to wipe up the bigger spills. And I never board an airplane without an ample supply of wipes. WetOnes are perfect for wiping down sticky fingers and these travel sized Clorox wipes are essential for disinfecting tray tables (both before and after!).

3. Consider Durability and Spoilage

Before packing snacks for air travel, consider whether they are the kinds of foods that will do well in transit. Many of your child’s favorite things to eat at home just may not travel well.

In order to make mylist below, snacks had to meet two important criteria: 1) not be too messy and 2) last for a long time without refrigeration. As much as my daughter loves strawberries and bananas, we rarely bring them on planes because the potential for messes orstains is just too high. Soft fruit gets squished and bruised.

(Video) Kids Try 100 Years of Airline Food

There are some foods that need to be refrigerated but that can travel safely for several hours until the time that your child eats them – think cheese sticks, yogurt tubes, etc. If you pack these, just make sure you plan to serve them on the earlier side of a longer trip.

4. Stick with the Familiar

Air travel is not the time to try to expand a child’s picky palate. Pack snacks you know your family likes to eat already, so you aren’t in a situation where your child rejects the choices and is hungry or cranky. Familiar foods are also a safer bet, as you know they won’t do something like upset a sensitive toddler tummy.

5. Pack Plenty of Peanut-Free Choices

Peanuts and peanut butter are popular food choices on planes for many travelers because they provide filling protein options that don’t need to be refrigerated. But one important word of warning to keep in mind – on occasion, the airline you are traveling on may announce that your flight is peanut-free if someone with allergies is on board.

It happens rarely, but it is so important to pack variety of non-peanut snacks for situations like this. (I once found myself at 6 months pregnant on such a flight with nothing but a peanut butter sandwich and learned the hard way!). You really don’t want hungry kids and you REALLYdon’t want to put someone with peanut allergies in a dangerous medical situation. Pack a variety of non-nut choices for flexibility.

6. Pack Extra Food for Flight Delays

Finally, always pack many more snacks than you think you might reasonably need. My kids often eat more on planes than they do at home, probably because they are bored and looking to pass the time.


And air travel is so unreliable that you never know when a simple 2 hour flight might turn into a full day of travel delays. You just can’t always count on airport food choices and airline-provided snacks to get you through a flight cancellation or delay. If you have plenty of extra snacks in your carry on bag, you’ll save your sanity on the food front at least!

40 (Mostly) Healthy Kid-Friendly Airplane Snacks

50 Kid-Friendly Airplane Snacks (3)

So now let’s get onto some snack suggestions. Here are my top picks for kid-friendly airplane snacks that aren’t of the treat variety.

  1. Goldfish
  2. Annie’s Bunnies Crackers
  3. Raisins
  4. Craisins
  5. String cheese
  6. Babybel cheese
  7. Wheat Thins
  8. Pretzels
  9. Almonds
  10. Grapes
  11. Mini bagels
  12. Ritz Bitssandwiches (cheese or peanut butter)
  13. Granola bars
  14. Cereal bars
  15. Fruit leather
  16. Dried fruit pieces
  17. Cheerios
  18. Puffins cereal
  19. Trail mix
  20. Pouches of applesauce or similar (the smaller the better for TSA lines)
  21. Baby carrots
  22. Edamame
  23. Animal crackers
  24. Mini muffins
  25. Apple slices
  26. Pita chips
  27. Celery sticks with peanut butter or hummus (look for single-serve packets of hummus and peanut butter)
  28. Turkey jerky
  29. Chex mix
  30. Clementines
  31. Mini rice cakes
  32. Hard boiled eggs
  33. Graham crackers
  34. Lara or Cliff bars
  35. Triscuits
  36. Rice crackers
  37. Cheese quesadilla bites (refrigerate before your flight and most kids will eat them cold)
  38. Gogurt (or other brand of) yogurt tubes (freeze beforehand if you aren’t going to eat right away)
  39. Popchips
  40. Puffs (great for babies, but my older child loved stealing these snacks from her baby brother too)

Plus 10 Kid-Friendly Airplane Sweets & Treats

Packing a few treats and sweets is essential too. There are times on a stressful travel day where a little sugar rush can help get everyone through or bribery is needed – no judgment!

50 Kid-Friendly Airplane Snacks (4)
(Video) 8 easy travel snacks for kids | Travel friendly food for kids
  1. M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, or Skittles
  2. Marshmallows
  3. Gummy snacks/gummy bears
  4. Bite size cookies (like Mini Chips Ahoy or Mini Oreos)
  5. Jelly beans
  6. Twizzlers
  7. Sweet tarts
  8. Fruit loops
  9. Fruit rollups
  10. Rice crispy treats

What are your favorite airplane snacks? Share your thoughts in the comments.

50 Kid-Friendly Airplane Snacks (5)


50 Kid-Friendly Airplane Snacks? ›

Keep snacks in zippered plastic bags.

Pack snacks in individual portions that are easy to get and hand to kids one at a time. Then hand the empty baggies to the flight attendant when he comes down the aisle. Feel free to take yogurt tubes, fruit pouches and peanut butter packets less than 3.4 ounces through security.

What food can you take on plane for kids? ›

13 Kid-Friendly Travel Snacks to Bring on Your Next Plane Ride
  • No-bake energy bites. ...
  • Fresh vegetables and dip. ...
  • Fruit and vegetable chips. ...
  • Crispy chickpeas. ...
  • Egg muffins. ...
  • Smoothies. ...
  • Pasta salad. ...
  • Easy homemade crackers.
Jul 10, 2017

What food travels well on a plane? ›

The Best Foods to Pack for the Plane
  • Salty Snacks. These days, even sub-par peanuts are no guarantee on your flight. ...
  • Hearty Sandwiches. A big sandwich is the ultimate answer to flight-friendly eats—it's easy to pack and fills you up. ...
  • Pasta! ...
  • Grain or Lentil Salads. ...
  • And Don't Forget a Few Sweets.
May 21, 2015

What snacks can I take on a long haul flight? ›

It's a great way to make sure that you stay hydrated, and it doubles as a useful souvenir.
  • 10 Great Snacks for Long Flights. Below, you'll find a list of some of our favorite snack ideas for long-haul flights. ...
  • Trail Mix. ...
  • Dried Fruit. ...
  • Homemade Sandwiches. ...
  • Hummus. ...
  • Granola Bars. ...
  • Cheese and Crackers. ...
  • Fresh Fruits and Veggies.
Jan 28, 2022

How do you pack snacks for kids on a plane? ›

Keep snacks in zippered plastic bags.

Pack snacks in individual portions that are easy to get and hand to kids one at a time. Then hand the empty baggies to the flight attendant when he comes down the aisle. Feel free to take yogurt tubes, fruit pouches and peanut butter packets less than 3.4 ounces through security.

Can I bring juice for my child on a plane? ›

Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag.

What is the best homemade food to take on a plane? ›

Travel Meal Ideas

Homemade sushi with nori sheets, gluten-free grains (or a spread if you prefer grain-free) and veggies. Collard wraps. A big salad with lots of veggies, nuts/seeds and beans/meat. Marinated tofu/meat/tempeh and roasted veggies.

What is good snack for travel? ›

Bring These 30 Healthy Snacks On Your Next Road Trip
  • Beef jerky. This road trip snack is packed full of protein, which is one of the best ways to satisfy your hunger. ...
  • Popcorn. ...
  • Hard-boiled eggs. ...
  • Protein bars. ...
  • String cheese. ...
  • Carrots. ...
  • Grapes. ...
  • Hummus and celery.

What snacks are not allowed on a plane? ›

Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked bags. Liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not allowed in carry-on bags and should be placed in your checked bags if possible.

What is the best packed lunch for a plane? ›

If you're looking for something heartier that will satisfy you until you land, pack sandwiches, breads or savory scones, or a bean, grain, or pasta salad (light on the mayo). For an easy handheld meal, this make-ahead Pressed Sandwich with Prosciutto and Broccoli Rabe is just the thing.

What is the 3 1 1 rule? ›

Each passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols.

What is the best sweets to take on a plane? ›

A firm, sturdy cookie (like shortbread), a bar cookie, or some type of candy seems to be a good choice. Also, for a long flight, consider packing your dessert in a sturdy container, like a cookie tin, and if possible, include it in your carry-on bag.

What snacks should I pack in my suitcase? ›

Snack Ideas for Your Carry-on
  • Beef jerky.
  • Trail mix.
  • Protein bars.
  • Carrot chips.
  • Cheese and crackers.
  • Cheese and meat stick combos.
  • Roasted chickpeas.
  • Granola.
Jan 11, 2023

Can I bring a bag full of snacks on a plane? ›

Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked baggage. TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine.

Is there a limit to how many snacks you can bring on a plane? ›

There is no limit to the amount of food you can bring on board, as long as it can fit in your carry-on luggage! You can also pack your food any way you'd like — in a lunch bag, in resealable plastic bags, in Tupperware, etc.

Can you bring kids food pouches on a plane? ›

Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag.

Can kids take water bottles through airport security? ›

Water for babies is allowed in reasonable quantities in carry-on bags. Remove this item from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings. Please see traveling with children for more information.

Can you bring your own water bottle on a plane? ›

Tip #2: Reduce waste and save some money by bringing a reusable water bottle. So you can't bring H20 or any other liquids more than 3.4 oz. (well there are some exceptions) through security, but you CAN bring an empty bottle. Just fill it up on your way to boarding your flight after screening.

Can I take children's Tylenol through TSA? ›

You can bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts as long as it is screened. You can travel with your medication in both carry-on and checked baggage. It's highly recommended you place these items in your carry-on in the event that you need immediate access.

Can I eat my own snacks on a plane? ›

Are you allowed to bring your own food on board a plane, or eat your own meal while waiting for your flight to depart? Yes, you are!
What foods can you and can't you bring through security?
Chips, cookies and chocolate barsWine, beer and liquor
Tea bagsSoup
2 more rows

What is the healthiest food to eat on a plane? ›

Healthy plane snacks for your next trip
  • Fresh fruit. ...
  • Salad. ...
  • Home-made pasta or rice bowl. ...
  • Dehydrated soup. ...
  • Muffin/banana bread. ...
  • Green smoothie shots. ...
  • Veggie sushi. ...
  • Bonus Travel Tip: Drink plenty of water. Stay away from the carbonated drinks while flying.
Mar 8, 2023

How do you keep food good on a plane? ›

If the food you're traveling with needs to stay at refrigerator temperatures, pack it in a cooler that can be counted as checked luggage. For longer flights, or times when you suspect there may be delays, consider freezing the item you're flying with, especially if it's a meat, casserole, or soup.

What do flight attendants like snacks? ›

Best Gifts for Flight Attendants
  • Starbucks gift cards in small denominations.
  • Box or bag of Chocolate.
  • Single serve bags of candy (think M&Ms, Hershey's Chocolate Bar, etc.)
  • Mini granola bars (such as KIND bar minis)
Apr 28, 2022

What foods keep well without refrigeration? ›

Canned and jarred foods are great idea to keep on hand when you don't have refrigeration because of their long shelf life.
  • Canned Soups.
  • Canned Chili.
  • Canned Vegetables.
  • Canned Fruits.
  • Canned Olives.
  • Canned or Jarred Pasta Sauce.
Nov 23, 2021

Why is peanut butter not allowed on planes? ›

Think twice before packing that jar of peanut butter on your next flight. The Transportation Security Administration declared peanut butter to be a liquid substance, which now means you are now not allowed to bring large containers of it onto planes.

Can I take homemade sandwiches on a plane? ›

Yes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow you to bring sandwiches through airport security in your carry-on baggage. If the sandwiches aren't already pre-packaged, they should be wrapped or placed in a resealable bag or container with a secure lid.

What do I need to put in clear plastic bag at the airport? ›

containers must hold no more than 100ml. containers should be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures around 20cm by 20cm. contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed. the bag must not be knotted or tied at the top.

Can I bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich through TSA? ›

"Solid foods, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, are allowed in carry-on bags with no quantity limitations or packing requirements," the TSA Twitter account replied.

What is the 3-1-1 rule for TSA? ›

You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

Can you take unopened water through TSA? ›

The 3-1-1 rule is, of course, that liquids must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces or less; they must be placed inside a single, clear plastic bag; and only one plastic bag is permitted per passenger.

Can you take unopened soda through airport security? ›

Carbonated beverages are allowed in checked bags, but they may explode due to changes in air pressure. Carbonated beverages are not allowed in carry-on luggage because bottles and cans are larger than 3.4 ounces.

Can you bring a cooler lunch box on a plane? ›

Checked Bags: Yes

If the food is packed with ice or ice packs in a cooler or other container, the ice or ice packs must be completely frozen when brought through screening. If the ice or ice packs are partially melted and have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they will not be permitted.

Can I bring a lunch bag through TSA? ›

Yes, you may pack food in your carry-on or checked bag, but remember all food must undergo x-ray screening. Foods that are liquids, gels, or aerosols must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule. TSA officers make the final decision on whether certain items are permitted into the secured areas of the airport.

What is the normal rate of descent for an airplane? ›

Descend at the optimum rate for the aircraft being flown until 1,000 feet above the assigned altitude, then descend at a rate between 500 and 1,500 fpm to the assigned altitude. If at any time, other than when slowing to 250 KIAS at 10,000 feet MSL, the pilot cannot descend at a rate of at least 500 fpm, advise ATC.

How quickly can a plane descend? ›

It depends on the altitude the plane was flying at when the depressurization occurred. Airliners can descend over 8,000 feet per minutes if needed. A descent from 35,000 feet at that rate would have you down to 11,000 feet in 3 minutes or less.

How many feet per minute do planes descend? ›

Idle descent in many jets is around 3,000 feet per minute until reaching 10,000 feet. There is a speed restriction of 250 knots below 10,000 feet, therefore the flight management computer will slow the aircraft to 250 knots and continue the descent at approximately 1,500 feet per minute.

What cookies do they give you on a plane? ›

“Biscoff cookies are iconic, and they're one of our most popular snacks onboard.” United and American Airlines eventually started serving them as well, but Delta and Biscoff are such particularly happy partners that the airline began serving Biscoff cookies stamped with the Delta logo in the late 1990s.

Can you take unopened sweets on a plane? ›

Can you take sweets on a plane? Yes, you can take sweets in your hand luggage, provided they are not liquid or semi-liquid in consistency.

Can I take a tin of sweets on a plane? ›

Rules at the Security Check-point in the airport

All kinds of snacks such as biscuits, chips, candy and other things that have a solid form, are permitted to be brought through the security check area. However, the goods must be closed in a sealed bag, and it must be clear to the security staff what the bag contains.

Can you take food on a plane for kids? ›

Dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, cereals, cracker, pretzel and cookies are all good options. Creamy items such as jams, peanut butter and yogurt however, are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces or less per item and will need to fit into a quart-sized bag.

Can I take food for my child on a plane? ›

Baby food is allowed in reasonable quantities in carry-on bags. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

Can you take food for toddler through airport security? ›

You can take through airport security any amount that is needed for your baby or toddler to eat or drink on a flight. Consider how long your flight is and how much your baby / toddler will really need and then add a bit extra in case of any delays!

What food can a 2 year old take on a plane? ›

  • Raisins – or other dried fruit.
  • Cheese crackers.
  • Fruit squeeze pouch – apple is usually a popular one.
  • Blueberries.
  • Toast strips/soldiers – Cut into strips and spread a little butter on.
  • Cooked pasta – Convenient for snacks on the go or as a full meal.
Mar 20, 2023

Can I bring my child's water bottle on the plane? ›

Water for babies is allowed in reasonable quantities in carry-on bags. Remove this item from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

Can you take kids snacks in hand luggage? ›

Cakes, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and other completely solid foods are fine to take through airport security. Some items need to be treated as liquids; jam, hummus, syrups, honey and guacamole all have to be under 100ml and have to fit in that tiny plastic bag with other liquids.

Do toddlers have to take shoes off TSA? ›

Children 12 and under can leave their shoes, light jackets and headwear on during screening. Children will not be separated from their parent/guardian. Remove infants and children from strollers and car seats and carry them in arms through the walk-through metal detector.

What do you feed a toddler at the airport? ›

Sandwiches, water and plain foods are going to be much better for them as they will be sitting down for long periods of time. If you are stuck at the airport due to a delay with little food try and find some fresh fruit at the cafe's.

Do under 2s get food on a plane? ›

Thankfully, it is easy to order a baby or child meal. Baby meals, if available, can be requested for an infant between 0 and under 2. Baby meals are puréed food jars. Child meals are for children over 2, who are in their own seat.


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