Most younger children get giddy when it’s time to get on a plane — but that anticipation may last only the first 10 minutes. Often, kids are ready to arrive at their final destination even before takeoff. So, plane snacks must do double duty as healthy nourishment and in-flight entertainment.
Here are our favorite dietitian-approved foods that are nutritious and fun and will make it through airport security. None of these items need refrigeration (because, while ice packs are allowed by TSA, they must be completely frozen, which is tricky). We’ve included a few homemade snacks as well as quick-to-grab packaged snacks.
Peanut, nut or seed butter: A serving of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons or 1.2 fluid ounces, which easily fits the TSA limit of less than 3.4 ounces of liquid or gel. Scoop a portion of peanut butter into one corner of a zip-top plastic bag; once on the plane, use kids’ safety scissors (also allowed if the blades shorter than 4 inches) to snip the plastic bag corner. Then the kids (or you) can squeeze out a thin line of peanut butter “frosting” to decorate crackers with silly faces. Or just pack Justin’s Classic Almond Butter or Hazelnut (1.15 ounces) individual packages.
Edamame: Buy these beans frozen in the shell and then pack them in snack bags. Enjoy hours (or minutes) of fun as kids squish the beans out of the shell. A few beans may escape, but most will be eaten.