What do you need to consider when thinking about Airplane food for kids?
Generally the airline will have a children's menu, and may also have jars of baby food available for very young travellers. If your child is a young toddler, check in advance whether they will be receiving a children's meal or the lesser baby meal.
Sometimes the children's meal may not be something your child would normally eat. Toddlers, in particular, can be notoriously fussy at the best of times. That, compounded with the fact that they are out of their usual comfort zone, as well as being presented with meals at times when they would normally be asleep, can make for a rather stressful situation.
Airline meals can be rather rich, which doesn't always sit well with delicate tummies on a long haul flight. Some children's meals I have seen have also included a number of sugary items, such as flavoured milk, sweet muffins and chocolate bars, which makes them more attractive to children, but it's difficult to burn off the sugar afterwards.
When thinking airplane food for kids you might want to try and subtly remove one or more of the sugary items from the meal tray and stow it away for later!
To the extent that you are permitted to do so (see below), it is a good idea to take a few rations on board for your child to eat, in case the meal provided is unpalatable or your child is asleep at the time the meals are passed round (and you don't want to wake them) or they are ravenous between meals.
Snacks like dried fruit, rice crackers, a couple of bananas and fruit buns will generally last the trip without spoiling. Make sure it is nothing too sweet or too salty.
You may also want to delve into supplies yourself if it is difficult for you to have your meal if you are tending to a toddler or baby. Also, even if your child doesn't feel like eating much, try to ensure that they have adequate fluids – water of course being the ideal to avoid any dehydration.
If you are travelling with a toddler who doesn't have a seat (see more below), expect to wear a certain amount of the meal your toddler is given, as you try and balance your child on your lap and keep hold of the tray. So don't wear your best white t-shirt on the aircraft!
Naturally, it is easier if you are travelling with someone else who is sitting next to you, as you can place the toddler meal on your neighbour's tray table and sit your toddler on your lap for them to feed. However, you may be travelling alone, in which case, if the person seated next to you seems vaguely approachable, ask for their assistance in letting you use your tray table.
Consider taking some disposable bibs for any baby or toddler you are travelling with. Alternatively, consider taking a couple of plastic bibs which can be easily wiped down and put away for the next meal.
I hope that provides you with a little insight into what needs to be considered when thinking about airplane food for kids.