Fuel for your Flight: Kid Friendly Protein Bites

An upcoming flight with my two little ones has me searching for some protein-packed snacks that will sustain them (and my sanity) as our trio travels on a jet plane across the Atlantic to visit family in the States. They say experience is the best teacher, but my past traveling experiences with my two munchkins have taught me a lot about what NOT to do when flying as a solo parent on such a journey. What goes in their mouths makes such a MONUMENTAL difference about what kind of behavior comes out of those two, wiggly bodies. Airports are packed with vendors offering enticing food that promises “comfort” to weary travellers like us, but they are really only full of grease and sugar, which is the last thing they, I mean, we, need. So to keep the whining, crying, and all fits to a minimum on these travel days, I pack some alternative snacks full of protein to nourish us. These snacks are great for little fingers, and not having to deal with that icky feeling from junk food and sugar crashes is even better!! I mean, the seven hour time difference x 2 kids is enough for one momma!

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup of pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of honey

Since my girls were helping me, I premeasured my ingredients into bowls to make the task easier.  Also, I didn’t want the German writing to throw people for a loop. I discovered while making this, my littlest one can eat the walnuts pretty easily without me having to crush them, so I am definitely adding those to the snack pack for the trip as well.

Begin by putting the almonds, cashews, and walnuts, whole, into a food processor and blend. I only have a manual one, so I used my blender instead. The manual one doesn’t get the nuts fine enough and the finer they are, the easier it is to roll into a ball later.

Next, add the oats, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and dates and mix again. You can also use other dried fruit like prunes if you want, but I chose dates because they are softer, and I just really like the taste.

Last, add the chocolate chips and honey and blend. I put a few peanut butter chips in mine, too, as I think chocolate always needs a little bit of peanut butter to make the perfect taste sensation and satisfy my taste buds. However, this is just a personal preference...the hubby likes it, too. In addition, you can always add more chocolate chips if you fancy more of a sweet, chocolate taste.

After you are finished putting everything in the food processor, form the mixture into balls in your hands. I spoon mine out and then shape into a ball. It may be a little crumbly at first, but it will work into a ball after rolling it in your hand.

If you find that it is just not sticking, then you can always add more honey to make it come together in a ball. Since I am taking them on the plane, I put a little extra honey so it would be easier for the girls to hold and bite.

Lastly, store them in an airtight container in the freezer to help maintain the shape. Did I mention how fabulous these are? Well, THEY ARE!!! And no need to feel guilty about eating more than one because they aren't that bad for you, and the protein is great for a transatlantic trek.

I never understood the power of protein until I went to a prenatal class here, and they reccommended eating a higher protein diet to relieve some of my nausea in pregnancy and to consume something that takes a little longer for my body to break down, thus giving me much needed energy! And it worked! That discovery has carried over to others aspects of my life, and protein makes a vast difference on how I feel and react to a strenuous day of travelling. Give it a try when you are in an airplane seat and see if a high packed protein snack makes a difference for you.

So tell us campers, what foods do you pack on your long flights? Do you have any good protein snacks for trips to avoid the fast food chains and carb overload that airports offer?? Join the conversation on our Facebok page!