Snack boxes are the best airplane snacks, period.
They’re the ultimate snacking delivery system for the chronically-organized hungry human, and it doesn’t matter if how old you are.
They’re a playful variation of the bento box. Originating in Japan, a bento box is a type of lunch box that sometimes contains divided compartments for the assortment of items within. Similarly, a snack box separates a variety of finger foods providing a perfect selection of treats on which a traveller can munch en route.
No longer just for your friendly neighbourhood fisherperson, creative snackers have converted tackle boxes into snackle boxes (snackle, because who can resist a portmanteau?).
However, and I can’t emphasize this point enough, you need to stick to new, unused, and clean containers. I don’t think the dried bait on last summer’s hook is going to add quite the seasoning you’d like for this little snack creation. Ditto for bead organizers or plastic divided boxes for embroidery thread.
Essentially, though, a snack box can be created from any type of vessel that allows for the storage, transport, and most importantly, division of various snacks.
The divided compartments are convenient for keeping items separated by flavour, texture, or moisture content (or just for anyone picky who doesn’t like when their food touches).
My personal snacking philosophy is that a portion needs to satisfy certain munching requirements to effectively satiate hunger (or, if we’re being honest, boredom). Each box should include things that are salty, savoury, sweet, and fresh.
Fresh ingredients in with the other treats only if the box will be consumed in a timely manner. Otherwise, sticking to items that don’t require refrigeration might be best.
Best airplane snacks: Salty options
Best airplane snacks: Savoury options
• Cheese (pre-wrapped cheese like Babybel or Laughing Cow limits the chance that it will get “sweaty” in the box)
Best airplane snacks: Sweet options
• Chocolate pieces
• Yoghourt raisins
• Dried blueberries or cranberries
• Gummy bears
• Hard candies
Best airplane snacks: Fresh options
• Baby carrots
• Celery sticks
• Cucumber slices
• Apple slices
• Orange segments or “smile” wedges
The best part about the snackle box is that it can be easily customized for travellers of any age (or appetite)! Each traveller can have their own box, organized however they might like.
Packing an airplane snack box for a child?
• Avoid anything too sticky, spicy, or crumbly
• Let them help choose the contents (to avoid mid-air meltdowns)
• Unwrap anything pre-packaged ahead of time
• Use mini cookie-cutters to make the food more fun
For a more mature palate, feel free to increase the spice and worry less about potential messes. But regardless of age, ease of snacking is the name of the game.
Stick to finger foods and nothing that requires additional utensils or napkins. (I’m looking at you, honeyed figs.)
Always remember the importance of public snacking etiquette while travelling. If you’re cracking open a snackle box in your own vehicle or in a busy airport terminal with plenty of airflow, you probably don’t need to worry.
If, however, you’re on a contained bus or airplane, it’s courteous to avoid anything too pungent. Consider leaving the olives, pickles, smoked salmon, and eggs out of the box if proximity to strangers is on the itinerary.