March 30, 2011

Traveling Food {Naptime on the Road}


By the time you read this we will be halfway through our vacation in Charleston. (Burglars take note, our house is still occupied so don’t even think about it!) When I travel with my daughter I always pack a bagful of snacks for the road and grocery shop wherever we land. Not only does this save money, it also helps us steer clear of the junk food/fast food traps that prey on desperate parents with hungry children. Here are some of my favorite eats and tips and I encourage you to share yours. We all can learn from each other when it comes to traveling with kids!

Airplane Food

Beverages: Since water is not allowed pre-security I simply pack my daughter’s stainless steel water bottle and fill it with fresh water once we get to the gate. It is important to stay hydrated during long flights and she does not understand the phrase “wait for the flight attendant.” I save the rest of the water bottle for myself.

Snacks: Our favorite in-flight snacks are bags of pretzel rods, Trader Joe’s fruit flakes, Trader Joe’s cinnamon animal crackers and Cascadian Farms organic granola bars. The key to all of these is that they are not crumbly and they don’t melt. There is nothing worse then have crumbs all over the seat and a kid with sticky fingers on a long flight! I try to be mindful that there might be kids with allergies on our flights so I save the peanut butter crackers for later.

water bottle

Layovers: Airplane waiting areas can be fried food heaven. Luckily, my daughter and I are always up for a soft bagel with cream cheese at Dunkin Donuts. I like to believe this is healthy-ish and is much better than the golden arches. My daughter is also a big fan of yogurt so sometimes we grab a yogurt smoothie at a place like Au Bon Pain if they have one in our terminal (hello LaGuardia domestic!). My only weakness is Chick-Fil-A. Since I never, ever have it in the northeast I am like a moth to a flame when I spot one in an airport. (Thankfully, we are not flying through Atlanta for this trip!)

Groceries Upon Arrival

Beverages: This trip we have a little kitchenette in our hotel room, a serious slice of heaven for traveling parents. I stock our mini-fridge with sparkling water. (My daughter loves “bubbles,” don’t ask.) I also buy a small container of 1% milk, fresh squeezed orange juice and a block of Horizon Organic Vanilla Milk boxes. My daughter doesn’t like juice boxes so I luck out with just filling her water bottle with tap water most of the time.

Lunch Food: Our hotel serves breakfast (aka Belgian Waffle feast) so I stick to buying lunch foods. Every day at breakfast I swipe a few pieces of fruit for the day, usually a banana and apple. It it always great to have fresh fruit without storing it in the hotel room where it gets smelly. We usually eat out for dinner. I pick-up whole wheat bread, organic peanut butter and jelly (strawberry, please) and a few boxes of microwavable Annie’s. This way I know I can always make a sandwich to take with us for lunch or heat up a warm bowl of mac if we are in the room for a mid-afternoon siesta. I also pick up a box of whole wheat pasta, basic marinara sauce and carrot sticks, just in case we stay in for dinner.

Snacks: My daughter shares my childhood obsession with peanut butter crackers so I buy a box of 12 6-packs. I always stash a pack in my purse for her mid-afternoon snack. I also buy a four-pack of Stonyfield organic yogurt smoothies (strawberry, please) since, as I mentioned, she loves her yogurt! For a sweet treat I pick up a bag of Tate’s cookies. They are our favorite cookies in the whole wide world so why go without for even a week? Our snack stash wouldn’t be complete with a fresh box of granola bars. My daughter loves them so much she takes one to school for snack nearly every day at home.

Containers: My regular LLBean tote is my go-to traveling bag. It is the most durable bag I own and is so easy to clean. Also, it squeezes under plane seats really well! Since we’ve outgrown baby food I stick to bringing 1 munchkin snack trap for the plane, a stainless steel waterbottle with her Inchbug label and a small Diapees & Wipees pouch I use for carrying snacks in my purse. I find that the simpler the better!

Oh, and I never forget to pick up a handful of Tootsie Pops for the week. They are not organic, but let’s face it, sometimes they really get me out a jam!

3 Responses to “Traveling Food {Naptime on the Road}”

  1. In Appreciation says:

    This is the coolest list. It’s useful for commute travel, too. Thanks again for these practical ideas!

  2. Never underestimate the power of a lollipop! Actually, since sucking lollis and chewing gum can help alleviate ear pressure on the plane, I freely distribute both to my kids during take-off and landing.

    On last summer’s road trip (to the Bates reunion!), I packed a loaf of wheat bread and individual 1 ounce packets of Peanut Butter & Co. in different flavors. PB sandwiches are a great totable, non-perishable snack!