Thursday, July 7, 2016

Airplane Food

As an rv-ing family, we drive to about 99.9% of our destinations, but sometimes driving just isn't very practical. And on those occasions, we fly. I like to travel in the rv for so many reasons...sleeping in our own beds, eating our own food, saving money on airfare and hotel and (extra bonus) I just love a great road-trip. But some things are worth the hassle of flying, one of those things....HAWAII!! Yes, Hawaii is definitely worth the airfare and all of travel prep.

But when you have a kid with food allergies, it does require a little extra work. All well worth the effort for us. Our airplane food situation worked so well this time, I thought I'd share some tips.

Plan one main meal, and keep it as cold as possible before you travel. 

For this trip I made BLT's & leftover Pizza Bread: Freeze rolls, and pack frozen. Bag cheese, bacon, tomato slices separately. Pizza Breads: Pack frozen and allow to thaw. Other great options are turkey sandwiches, cold plates with roasted chicken (served cold) or pasta. Just try to pack in the protein as much as possible for the long travel day ahead.

Side dish ideas: mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, olives, apples, cucumbers, kiwi, strawberries, pretzels (with honey mustard dip), carrot cake muffins.

Treat: homemade peanut butter cups.

I used the lunchboxes we already use for the kid's school lunches. These ones are the yumbox brand, and I love them for lunches because they don't leak. You can pack yogurt, applesauce, fruit--anything-- in each compartment, then just close the box, and NO leaks! Love them! But if you don't already have them, they are a bit pricey. So you can use ziplock disposable containers, bento boxes, or any other compartmentalized containers you like. For travel, I DID NOT pack liquid or yogurt-like foods, because I wasn't sure how strict they would be about the security regulations, and I didn't want any issues at all.

Bring snacks that pack the most lasting punch and travel easily. I made muffins, oatmeal raisin cookies, and cheese slices (for cheese and crackers). Also, sweet/spicy nuts, almonds, homemade trail mix, dried banana bites, apples (check your state & destination state's laws for fruit) and chips.

Our method:
1. Freeze any components possible (sandwiches, pizza, breads, muffins, cookies).
2. The day of travel (as close to departure time possible) pack your lunchboxes.
3. Pack in insulated backpack. This will be one person's carry on. Mine had a zipper pocket on the front, which I used for my wallet, ID, phone etc. so this was my main carry on. Use a frozen ice-pack (or two) for the drive to the airport. We wanted to keep our food as cold as possible! Pack empty FREEZER SIZE ZIPLOCK BAGS in your food bag, so you can make new ice-packs after you get through security.
4. Distribute other (non-cold) snacks to all family members' carry on backpacks. This makes it possible for everyone to have snacks on the flight, and keeps one person from carrying it all. I also put a pack of sanitizing wipes in each bag to keep airplane germs away.
5. Pack an empty thermos for each traveler.
6. When you arrive at the airport, leave the icepacks in your car. They won't let them through security.
7. After going through security, visit any restaurant or drink station and ask for ice (for your ziplock bags). We always offer to pay, but many times they will give it to you at no charge. Remember, ziplocks are not perfect, and the melting ice may melt a little over a long journey. I didn't over-fill, and ours worked great.
8. Fill thermoses with water, so each traveler has their own drink.
9. Have a great flight and enjoy the delicious meal! Extra bonus: NO HIVES!! Woo-hoo!!!

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