Great travel snacks for toddlers: toddler snack ideas for day outs, the beach, road trips hiking and plane travel.
Snacks appear on all my tips for traveling with kids, may they be about a trip to the beach or an international flight because, let’s be honest: ‘hangry’ toddlers are a thing!
Snacks for toddlers are also useful on the go for problems other than tuntrums:
On the plane, snacking can help your kids reset ear pressure, just chewing and swallowing
In the car, dry snacks can help settle an upset stomach or prevent or help motion sickness
On the beach, snacks can help keep kids hydrating and replenish energy, especially after long time in the water
On hikes, kids snacks help keep the energy up and may make a difference between a completed hike and a frustrating wander!
Whatever family trip you are planning, kid-friendly snacks are a family travel must-have. These are our favorite toddler-friendly snacks for on-the-go families!
Important: before offering a new food to your child, always check with your practitioner the suitability of that specific food to your child’s age, allergies, intolerances etc. This is list is to suggest snack ideas only and it is exclusively based on what works for our kids. This is not medical advice.
Great on the go snacks for toddlers
Carrot sticks or baby carrots
My children love carrots either on their own or dipping them in hummus of philadelphia cheese.
Their favorite format is baby carrots and carrot sticks, which I usually prepare myself peeling organic carrots from the grocery store.
It only takes a minute to prepare them and I noticed they tend to stay fresher than those in the shop, especially if we use keep-fresh zip lock bags or sealed lunchbox containers.
Not all kids like sliced cucumbers (I have one that does and one that doesn’t) but if you do, they are a fantastic way to keep them hydrated, reinstate salts if they have been sweating and get some vitamins in.
Sweet cherry tomatoes can be a lovely snack too and if you mix them with the cucumber, you even have the start of a kid-friendly Greek salad!
I usually slice them in half expecially if offering them in the car, for safety.
Grapes are another lovely snack, especially if you can get the seedless variety. Depending on the age of your kid, you may want to slice them.
Sliced apples are another favorite snack when on the go.
I prefer organic apples, well washed, sliced in 4 and with the core taken away but the skin on.
If you are planning on staying out a long time, you can add a little lemon juice to them to prevent them from browning. The taste is also lovely with that little extra citrusy twang!
Blueberries and raspberries
Easy to carry and offer, with no peeling required, berries are one of healthiest snacks for toddlers on the go and my kids always gobble them up in no time!
My son adored hummus and I like it too as it is an easy way to add pulses to their diet and get them to eat more vegetables, if you use it as a dip.
My kids love dipping in it carrots, cucumber and raw fennel in particular. Delicious!
I refer to my daughter as the ‘rice cake monster’ as she il like the Cookie Monster but with rice cakes!
Just be careful with the variety you choose: while they may all seem very innocent, those with yogurt coating may contain huge amounts of sugars and even saturated fats!
Double-check the ingredients on each packet when choosing your go-to rice cake brand.
Small ham and cheese sandwiches
Mini sandwiches are a great on the go food for kids. I usually make numerous very small ones that can be eaten in two or three bites, to minimize waste.
Homemade granola bars
Granola bars and an energy rich snack perfect for active kids. I prefer to make my own rather than getting them from the store as I can control what goes into them in terms of grains, seeds and the type/amount of sugar.
I follow this granola bar recipe from Ireland which always comes out delicious.
Pizza is the go-to snack for Italian kids and if you make it at home, it is not as unhealthy as it may seem!
I make pizza once a week and always prepare a little extra so we can use it as an on the go snack.
Made with just flour, olive oil, yeast, water, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, there is nothing not to like about it and is a mess-free, nutritious snack for kids of all ages
My daughter is fond on the Starbucks box with apple, grapes and cheese and this is why we now make our own and recommend it to everyone as an easy on the go snack.
Cheese that works for us is cheddar, babybel cheese, Italian caciotta and any mild hard cheese that comes in mono portions or can easily be sliced in cubes or bars.
Mono portion yogurts and fruit pouches
Yogurts and fruit pouches have been our on the go snack for toddlers for ages and are still now a great way to give them a little treat and hydration in a super handy format.
Just be careful with the amount of sugar.
While some brands have a sugar-conscious approach, others load up their yogurts especially with tons of sugars which can be bad for health and also make tantrums worse.
Another favorite toddlers’ snacks for us were raisins. Our favorite come in mono portions that are useful to keep a check on the sugar intake (yes, I am overly conscious about it!)
If your kids love and can eat nuts, we find almonds a fantastic snack for pretty much any time of the day.
Hard boiled eggs are a fantastic snack for kids as they are easy to carry, easy to eat, mess free and can be eaten cold.
If your kids eat eggs, then they may adore frittata! Super easy to make and carry, it can be eaten cold and you can have it on its own, in a sandwich or you can plump it up with extra vegetables and potatoes for a full nutritious meal.
I have a tuna loving child and a tuna sandwich is a great snack for her. I particularly like to make the sandwich with raw tomatoes too, the Italian way: a lovely combination!
Smoked salmon sandwich
Smoked salmon is another great snack idea for kids: my children love it in particular in wraps – so much, that I can even sneak in some salad leaves without them complaining!
More than a snack this is a full on travel food for kids but a wonderful one especially for days on the beach. I love to make ours with hard boiled eggs, tuna, raw carrots and olive oil: super fresh, healthy, filling and delicious!
Snacks for toddlers’ days at the beach
The best snacks for a beach trip with a toddler or young kids are those that keep them hydrated and can replenish the energy used in the water. In particular, we love:
- Homemade pasta salad
- Tuna and tomato sandwiches
- Smoked salmon and salad wrap
- Ham and cheese sandwich
- Raw carrots/celery /fennel/cucumber and tomatoes with hummus or kid-friendly guacamole
- Sliced apples
Toddler snacks for the plane
Great toddler snacks for the plane keep children busy chewing, are not too salty and also comply with airline and immigrations policies (not all fruit can come on board, especially if whole).
Snacks we love for the plane are:
- Rice cakes
- Mini sandwiches (ham and cheese, tuna and tomato)
- Sliced vegetables such as carrots, celery and fennel
- Sliced apple (whole apples may not be allowed)
- Fruit pouches
About to fly with a toddler? Read our tips to keep toddlers busy on the plane here!
Hiking snacks for toddlers
Good snacks for hiking pile up the energy intake. Those we love the most are:
- Homemade granola bars
- Salmon and salad wraps
- Ham and cheese sandwiched
- Sliced apples
- Raw vegetables with hummus or guacamole
- Trail mix
- Hard cheese
About to go on a family hike with small kids? Find our tips for hiking with kids here.
I hope you found these toddler snacks ideas useful. Happy day out with the kids!