The Best Travel Snack for Kids Is Cereal. Here’s Why.

published Aug 3, 2021
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Packing for a trip with my daughter means a suitcase that’s equal parts clothes, entertainment, and food. The food part is oh-so-necessary to keep little (and big) tummies full and blood sugar levels steady. We bring stuff from home so that we don’t succumb to the expensive snack kiosks at the airport. It’s a mix of shelf-stable snacks, easy-to-eat meals, fruits and veggies that aren’t too delicate for traveling, and a treat or two that can be used to bribe good behavior if necessary.

There’s one snack that’s non-negotiable, though: cereal (and lots of it).

Anyone who is a parent knows the power of some O-shaped cereal to keep little ones happy at restaurants, on airplanes, or when we forget to bring a toy. As she’s gotten older (she’s now 4!), we’ve still made it a habit to bring cereal with us when we travel.

So why is this such a must-pack item for us? Here are five reasons why cereal is the best travel snack for kids of any age.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

5 Reasons Cereal Is the Best Travel Snack for Kids

1. It’s convenient.

We always have cereal at home (our favorites are Multigrain Cheerios or Puffins), so I don’t have to make a separate trip to the store for these travel snacks. Cereal is also inexpensive and we know it’ll last the duration of the trip, regardless of hot temperatures or lack of refrigeration.

2. It’s healthy (sort of).

Some may argue that cereal isn’t all that healthy, but when compared to the cookies, salty crackers, fruit snacks, and other more traditional snacks, the cereal we bring doesn’t contain too much sugar or sodium. Plus, it’s nut-free in case we’re around those with allergies.

3. It’s not too filling.

Even though I recognize the need for snacks, I still want my daughter to eat meals at the appropriate times, whether it’s the sandwich I packed for the plane or the dinner we’re headed out to when we arrive at our destination. Giving her cereal as a light snack usually means she doesn’t get too full.

4. It’s restaurant-friendly.

We sometimes bring along a tiny (less than 1/4 cup) plastic container of cereal to restaurants, and it’s been a lifesaver many times over when the food is just taking a bit too long to arrive. To be honest, I’ve found that most kids ask for snacks merely because they’re bored, so cereal is a good thing to have on hand to keep them from getting antsy.

5. It’s fun!

With O-shaped cereal and a pipe cleaner, you have an instant fun project. My daughter patiently threads the cereal onto the pipe cleaner until it’s full, nibbles all of it off, and starts again. Edible and fun, and all I have to pack to turn this into an activity is a pipe cleaner!

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: The Best Travel Snack for Kids Is Cereal. Here’s Why.