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Savvy Mom: Snacks on a Plane


We're in the midst of peak holiday travel time. One key to successfully traveling with kids is preparation. In these days of limited carry-on luggage and expensive food on airlines (yes, I'm glaring at you, Delta) packing your own food for a flight of any duration is a good way to prevent whining and meltdowns.

Keep it simple, keep it portable, and beware of potentially messy items. I don't understand why some people think trail mix is a good travel snack. The tiny grains are hard for kids to eat and get everywhere, and when raisins go astray and get warm and sat on, well, it isn't pretty. Sandwiches are my staple. PBJ keeps forever and is universally liked. While variations are also popular, the honey in a PBH is sticky, and the banana in a PBB can get gross after a few hours. I'm partial to a St. Paul Bagelry bagel with veggie cream cheese with extra sliced English cucumber.

On the side, skip potato chips; they're easily crushed. A small baggie of sturdy crackers or cookies is a better bet. Fruit and vegetables can be tricky. Be very careful with dried fruit; keep to small portions to avoid belly cramps and nightmare diapers. Clementines are messier than you think, bananas are easily bruised, but apple slices, carrots and celery do pretty well. I also bring a good bar of chocolate, but beware. If your children, like my younger, think chocolate is something to be consumed slowly and taken in and out of the mouth, well, all I can say is pack extra wipes.

My final piece of advice when traveling with kids is this: Enjoy it when it goes well, and ask for help and don't lose it when it doesn't.

What are you favorite travel snacks, or family travel do's and don'ts? I've clearly tested a lot, but could always use more insight!

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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