Take it to go: here’s the perfect menu for your holiday travels!

Are you travelling this holiday season? We have a whole in-flight menu of ideas for surviving a long plane or car (or train!) trip.

When you’re planning to travel with your kids, snack strategy is key to keeping everyone happy. Eating something light helps to settle uneasy tummies, level out blood sugar and can keep little ones especially entertained on a longer trip… plus, if you’ve ever faced an unexpected delay, you know that having your own food on hand can really save the day. Here are our favourite tips for creating a travel snack pack that’ll really deliver:

  • Water bottles. If you’re flying, you can take them empty through security, then fill them up either at your gate or—for families with babies and preschoolers—as you board the plane. Young children can find takeoff and landing hard on their ears, and flight attendants understand that sucking on a water bottle can help ease the pressure as their ears adjust!
  • For older kids, chewy snacks are great for plane take-offs and landings. Try these homemade fruit chews!
  • Salty snacks: something a little savory can encourage kids to drink up, which is definitely what you want on a plane trip—hydrated kids are happier kids, and it’ll make jet-lag easier on everyone. Try trail mix, pretzels, crackers and cheese, or O-Cereal necklaces—just string o-cereal and pretzels on a string or pipecleaner, and store in a resealable plastic bag until it’s time to travel and enjoy (or for crafty kids, let them make their necklace as a travel activity). If you have a kid who gets motion sickness, stick with nibbling on saltines or cream crackers to calm their tummy. For older kids, peppermint chewing gum or—since it’s the holidays—a peppermint candy cane are also effective ways to fight off nausea.   
  • Fresh fruits and veggies are harder to come by on plane trips especially, but they’re really helpful for keeping kids hydrated. Try a small container of sliced grapes, cucumber, baby carrots or sliced peppers. Don’t forget to eat these up earlier in the trip, when they’ll have some crunch and keep kids occupied. If you’re taking a trip where your kids can lay out their snacks on a tray, considering bringing some dip or hummus for entertainment value and fuller tummies.
  • Easy to munch hand-held snacks are great for longer car trips: think granola bars, energy balls or muffins (we like these oatmeal blueberry ones, and we've got more muffins and quick breads to suit everyone's taste in our archive) 
  • Grab and go meals: think wraps and sandwiches! To ensure long-lasting snacks and quick energy, go for fillings you don't need to refrigerate, like nut or seed butters.
  • Finally, if your long-haul trip is by car or bus, take every opportunity for a snack break… and stretch those legs! Even though you’re not at home at your usual table, it's important to preserve the idea of a structured meal time or snack time. Create a sense of meal time ceremony just by sitting down together wherever you stop, laying out the food you will serve and giving everyone a chance to be together to eat. Even better, BC is home to many off-the-beaten track family farms and farmers’ markets where you can linger over a cup of cider or cocoa and let little ones run wild before you need to bundle back into the car. Here’s a handy locator for all the winter markets in the province.

For more ideas (and smart suggestions for what snacks to avoid!) here’s a great resource from the Kitchn. In addition, this activity guide (and this one too!) from our pals at yoyomama will help take the mystery out of what to pack for little ones so they stay entertained on your journey. If you’re looking for more portable snack ideas for travelling outdoor activities (hello, lucky skiers!) try our power snacks tutorial—and don’t forget to check out our Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram feeds for more daily recipe inspiration! Bon voyage!

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