Full Bellies are Happy Bellies
For me, one of the keys to travelling with happy kids is to make sure you are always fully stocked in the snack department. I find this is especially important when we travel further afield on long haul flights and to more remote locations. Everyone that travels with me always knows that I will come prepared with half a suitcase of goodies, and you never know when they will come in handy.
My kids, even if it is a pre ordered kids meal tend to not really eat much on the plane. We always feed them before take off but the majority of our flights are long haul, and flying through time zones mean I always like to be prepared with lots of options for them to snack on. With regards to airport and airline security, I have never had any issue taking snacks, milk, water or fruit on board when travelling with the kids, they may do some extra levels of testing but I have never been refused when carrying anything. As they are older now, and we try to cut back on plastic consumption we tend to take our own water bottles on the plane, last time these were filled to the max for the car journey and we forgot to empty them out before security but they happily let us empty them out and then refill after security. I tend to always pack liquids and pouches separately so I can quickly pull them out along with our medicine bag.
Since both of mine were breastfed I would just bring myself on the plane. My oldest, however did have formula from around 10 months so I always just travelled with a few bottles of ready made formula, much easier than making up the powder version.With my youngest she just moved straight onto cows milk, which is actually slightly harder to have on board. On long haul flights, either I will fill up a flask with warm milk from a coffee shop before boarding, there is often milk on board the plane too but it might be too cold to help aid sleep and end up waking them up more. This also depends on the airline, for example Easyjet do not have any milk on board.
I have also taken these great cartoons of long life milk on board when they are older toddlers, but they aren’t the easiest to find.
The best place to find them is Morrison’s, Asda and Poundland.
Pouches are a great snack and I always make sure I have a few of these in my bag, whether this is travelling to an exotic location or just going to our local park.
Fruit - I will grab a banana, apple and cut up some grapes, strawberries etc too. Just remember to take these items out before you land in certain countries.
Dry Snacks- Cheerios, popcorn, pom bears, biscuits, raisins, all those ridiculously expensive packets of fruit in various forms we feel we need to buy for our kids are truly worth it when it keeps them entertained for 20 minutes on the plane.
If it is a very long day flight, I’ll also grab a few sandwiches from the airport for them to have too just in case the bread roll and cheese from the plane food is not up to their standard.
Popcorn is always a favourite, especially when they settle in to watch one of their favourite movies.
Cereal bars - good alternative to breakfast, although this is one meal they normally eat most of, especially the fruit and yoghurt.
Favourites - this is the start of their holiday and as long as you know the treats won’t have them bouncing off the plane walls, their favourite biscuits or sweets can work like magic to prevent any wars that may break out in the air.
Once a year, we tend to do a classic all inclusive resort based holiday for which I travel with a lot less snacks as I know the kids generally will be happy snacking on fruit, ice cream and French fries during the day. I do still keep some snacks for example I find after bath time, before we go to dinner they are always really hungry and need something to tied them over before our main evening meal.
This is the main reason behind doing this post. When we have travelled to India, Kenya, Japan, South Africa and the US; I have always gone very prepared. If you ask Mr S, maybe a bit too over prepared. Kenya, South Africa and the US all involved very long car journeys, these iconic road trips have meant though that food and drink is not always available so having snacks and drinks to hand is a must.
With Japan and India, plenty of food and snack options are available however they might no always be familiar ones, or taste like snacks the kids are used to and finally we often stay in remote locations, like the amazing Msambweni in Diani, where the nearest supermarket was around a 45 minute drive away. By being prepared it also puts my over planning head at peace too, and I enjoy the holiday and travel much more knowing that I’m all covered on the snack front.
An example of what I often travel with when we do more off the beaten track holidays is;
- Long life milk, either for the kiddos to drink straight up, have in cereal or I also often ask for the chefs to use this to make fresh milkshakes.
- Long life milkshakes - my favourite brand is Happy Monkey. My kids do not like juices, so milkshake and water is the only drinks I take but obviously fruit shoots or even flavoured water if your little ones enjoy these.
- Croissants/ Brioche - you can often buy these from the supermarkets in individual packets so you can just throw a few into your day bag when you are out and about for the day.
- Custard - my kids love the stuff and it’s great alternative to ice cream if they get a sore throat on holiday from too many cold drinks and ice lollies.
- Long life yoghurt - my favourite for this is the GOGO squeeze yoghurts. We first tried this in America and loved them, so I was very happy when I found them in our local Tesco’s. Top tip - they are not located with the baby Ella pouches, but more likely with the dried fruits and custards section.
- Cereal - my little one loves Coco Pops on holiday, for him that’s the true sign that he is not having breakfast at home. So I either try to take the small individual packets or Poundland also do a small bag of them. For the baby I always take weetabix. Cereal is great for when they wake up in the middle of the night with jet lag, as I find they are easier to get back to sleep on a full tummy.
- Savoury snacks - crisps, popcorn, nuts, Veggie straws, which are actually a cheaper and bigger version of the kiddielicous ones.
- Sweet snacks - biscuits, cake bars, cereal bars, fruit pouches, rice cakes and dried fruits.
- Fresh fruit - we always encourage them to eat fruit with breakfast and I will often take a few pieces with me for the day too as these make the perfect snack.
Generally the kids are pretty good eaters so I worry less about their diet when on holiday, but I feel it always helps to have some of their familiar favourites on the days they do not eat much dinner and also when they wake or sleep at odd times due to the different time zones.
I do also always try to buy local snacks too, one my favourite things to do on holiday is going to a local supermarket, I just love the adventure of it all ;). California was one of my all time greatest snack hauls, I just loved the petrol stations and huge CVS stores along the way, I would always grab a packet of 'chips', m&m's and cookies. Luckily we had a huge car with a central reservation between the seats big enough to store plenty of my buys.