Over the weekend, my husband and I flew from DC to California with our almost-two-year-old, Lane.
He might look angelic, but he does not like being confined to small spaces and generally prefers to move at around 50 mph. So a 5+ hour flight was going to be a challenge. As it happened, our flight was delayed for over three hours, so a long trip ended up being even longer.
I'm happy to report that we survived and that we only had to endure a couple of meltdowns on the plane. Because Lane's attention span is still so short, our entertainment options were limited. Fortunately we were flying Virgin America and got a lot of mileage out of the indvidual entertainment screens (he didn't really actually watch anything, but he loved pushing the buttons on the screen and playing with the little videogame controller). Snacks were a big part of our strategy for keeping him entertained, so I thought I'd share the foods that helped save the day.
I prefer travel snacks that are not too messy and are reasonably healthy. We definitely employed the classics like graham crackers, string cheese, cheerios, and raisins. But a few more recent discoveries helped us to mix things up.
First up, the apple-carrot crushers from Trader Joe's:
These pouches contain a mix of apple, carrot, and pumpkin puree. They have no added sugar and count as a serving of vegetables in my book. Lane loves eating from the pouch. I'm pretty sure you can bring these on the plane under the baby food exception for liquids. We did not put this to the test, however, as we had to bust this out to keep him happy during the security line (at 5 am--have I mentioned that it was a very long day?)
Next, for a mid-morning snack on the plane we went for the Happy Baby yogurt snacks:
These do have a little added sugar, but they are mostly yogurt and fruit puree. They can kill a fair amount of time if you dole them out one by one, and Lane loves all of the flavors.
For a supplement to lunch, we broke out the Snapea Crisps:
These are sort of like glorified potato chips, but they are made from peas, so they are sort of like a serving of vegetales. They are also satisfyingly crunchy. I'd recommend bringing these in a plastic container to keep them from getting crushed.
And finally, the snack that saved us from ceaseless whining for the last hour and a half of the flight:
Lane kept demanding crackers, but was furious when I attempted to offer him graham crackers. At this point our arsenal of snacks was running low, so we ordered a bag of Chex Mix from the Virgin America food system (you can purchase meals and snacks onboard). It magically did the trick, and he happily munched on this for over 15 minutes. This bag of Chex Mix (plus the extra money we spent so that Lane could have his own seat) was the best money we spent on the trip.
Now we are happily settled at my parents' house, and Lane has been enjoying Nana's homemade lasagna and Grandpa's famous french toast, so we have a break from worrying about food. Anyone have any new snack ideas for our return flight next weekend?