Ahh, holidays! Weren’t they great before kids were involved? Now it’s basically a change of scenery and often a reduction in your usual resources, but we love it. If preparing for travel with kids sends you into a flurry, I’ve written up my very simple travel food tips below.

Flashback to that time I traveled to Singapore with two 4yr olds and a 2 yr old and no husband.


Pack snacks for the car or flight. I like to keep things really, really simple on travel days.

Options that travel well include:

  • Veggie sticks
  • Celery filled with nut butter
  • Nuts
  • Bliss balls
  • Brookfarm macadamia muesli bars
  • Apples for kids who can bite into whole fruit
  • Dried fruit is higher in natural sugar than whole fruit, but it does travel well and pack a good energy punch, so you could mix some preservative free sultanas or apricots through your nut mix.
  • Cheese and crackers – pack your own, or this might be a good time for the Mainland 4 packs that are ready to go.
  • Rice crackers, popcorn and rice cakes are all great gluten free snack options, but it depends how much you care about the mess as to whether you want to do this.
  • Anzac biscuits – there’s a reason these were made to be sent to war. Indestructible and morale boosting! I love the Well Nourished recipe.

I like to do a lunchbox for each child to go in their own backpacks so they take responsibility for their own food. It’s easy to include a simple sandwich – avoiding things that are temperature sensitive, such as cold meats. I use containers, rather than disposables, so that we have them for trips to the beach or other day trips while on holiday. Don’t forget your water bottles!

General travel tips

  • Check with your airline (or cruise ship, day trip travel company etc) to ensure any dietary requirements can be accommodated. I rather call ahead to check what’s in a kids meal than have to argue about drinking juice or eating jelly mid-flight.
  • If you’re travelling overseas with a budget airline rhyming with Set Jar, you may be surprised to learn that there is no meal supplied in economy at all!
  • I give the boys organic pops (no colours or flavours) to suck in the plane on ascent and descent to clear their ears. It’s also a good distraction for what might be an anxious part of the flight for some kids.

If you have to get up early and go, you could pack chia puddings or overnight oats in recycled jam jars to eat on the run. We also like Brookfarm macadamia muesli bars with a pot of natural Chobani yoghurt as a travel breakfast. Buttered Woodfrog fruit loaf is also a winner.

If you’re going to one of those all inclusive resorts, or planning to eat out every meal because it’s holidays, no need to read any further. And a big raspberry to you!

holiday shopping list

When you arrive:

I have a travel essentials shopping list stored in my phone notes. When we arrive on holidays, I don’t even have to think about what we need, I just refer to my list (or better still send it to hubby!). If your accommodation will receive goods for you, it can also be great to make an online shopping order to arrive before you do. Our older boys wake up early and ravenous. There’s no relaxing family breakfast at a cafe or buffet once everyone is dressed. They must eat NOW, so our basics are heavy on the breakfast items.

This is my list, feel free to copy and paste it into your notes!

  • Bread of choice
  • 2L milk or alternative (I quite like coco quench for a supermarket dairy free UHT option)
  • Plain natural yoghurt
  • Butter
  • Small weetbix
  • Oats
  • 12 eggs
  • Australian honey
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Berries (+ frozen for smoothies)
  • Chia seeds
  • Pasta
  • Mineral water
  • Herbal tea
  • Zip lock sandwich bags
  • Brown rice cakes
  • Popping corn

If you plan to be preparing lunches and dinners, then add…

  • Cos lettuce
  • Celebrate health sugar free tomato sauce
  • Small olive oil
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Cling wrap
  • Favourite vegetables

This covers your basics and then you can do small top up shops depending on what you feel like cooking.

Our youngest is on a restricted diet at the moment, so I plan to pack some of his gluten free items to eliminate stress for me at the other end. This isn’t a big deal for us this time. We don’t have a lot of luggage and we don’t have to go through customs, but obviously take these things into consideration if you’re packing food. Also double bag. Tomato sauce bathers anyone?

Optional extras

Consider packing your reusable coffee cup and a couple of those reusable bags that roll into a tiny pouch, so you can #waronwaste on holidays.

I’ve packed icy pole moulds so I can make a cool treat that Remy can enjoy every day while he’s gluten, dairy and sugar free. I’m also reeeeally hoping our apartment has a blender for smoothies.

You might also consider taking a probiotic for yourself and the kids to support good gut health while you’re travelling and possibly trying different foods and maybe not eating the diet you are used to at home. You should obviously seek professional advice regarding supplementation for yourself or your kids, however our naturopath has recommended these probiotic sprinkles for the kids that taste nice and are easy to add to their food or drink.

Kids probiotic sprinkles

They’re also shelf stable, which is a bonus. I will be taking a Vitamin C + Zinc formula to keep the immune system strong while travelling on a giant flying germ bus full of snotty school children and their overtired parents escaping Melbourne.

Stay tuned for smug beach photos…. xo


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