Kids on a Plane (with Organic Snack Recipes)

From Lisa Barnes

So we’re headed to the East Coast to visit family (and see a Red Sox game). It will be great once we get there. However anyone ever traveling with (or unluckily, near) small children knows how touchy and anxious the plane flight can be. Even if you’ve packed all the old favorite (and new) books, games, stickers, toys, DVD’s, etc. it may still not work for a child who is confined for more than an hour.

I’ve been stockpiling and preparing snacks now that only peanuts and “cereal bars” are the only edibles offered any more (unless you are flying first class). And you can’t bring in liquids, gels and other food type textures (forget the yogurt, hummus dip and apple sauce). Some of the items in our (large!) carry-on include: bananas, apples, carrot sticks, trail mix, dried spicy peas, yogurt covered raisins, and fig bars. In addition here are a few recipes for things my children (and husband and I) will enjoy en route. In addition I’m sure we’ll be buying food (an actual meal) in the airport (an activity for the lay-over, right?)

Organic Cherry Almond Granola
This is from my baking friend, fellow mom and food blogger Amy Andrews. It is the perfect crunchy snack for on-the-go packing or enjoyed at home in your child’s favorite cereal bowl with milk. It also makes the perfect top layer for a yogurt parfait.

Makes 5 ½ cups

Granola base
2 cups organic rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup organic sliced almonds
1/2 cup organic unsweetened grated coconut
3 tablespoons organic flax meal
1 cup dried cherries

Granola syrup
2 tablespoons organic, expeller pressed canola oil
3 tablespoons organic agave nectar
3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Line a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper. In large bowl combine the oats, almonds, coconut, and flax meal.

In small bowl whisk together canola oil, agave nectar and maple syrup. Add the vanilla and salt. Pour over oat mixture and stir with wooden spoon to combine.

Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet pan and spread to an even layer. Bake for 1 hour stirring every 20 minutes until golden in color. Remove cookie sheet pan from oven and add the dried cherries. Stir to combine and let cool. (At home, enjoy as a topping to organic yogurt or as a cereal with your favorite milk or nut milk.) Store airtight.

Organic Apple Crisps
An alternative to boring potato chips, this simple treat satisfies a child’s need for crunch. Having a mandolin provides convenience and accurate cuts for even baking. However a careful, steady knife works as well. The apples crisp because of the low heat which dries out the moisture. Once in the oven these need no attention (just remember to turn off the oven overnight), until it’s time to pack them (or eat) them in the morning.
Makes about 48 apple crisps.

2 large organic apples such as Fuji or Braeburn
2 tablespoon evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 200°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Stir together evaporated cane juice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Using a mandolin or a steady hand cut the apple vertically in to 1/8 inch thick rounds. You do not need to core or peel the apple. The seeds will fall out or can easily be removed from apple slices once cut.

Place apple slices on baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Bake in the middle of the oven and cook for 1½ hours. Rotate pan and cook an additional hour. Turn off heat and leave pan with apples in the oven overnight if not dry and crisp.

Loosen chips with a spatula to remove from parchment paper.

Tip:
Shake it Up! The easiest way to lightly and evenly sprinkle sugars and spices is to transfer to a spice shaker. Having a specially marked shaker for cinnamon and sugar saves time when making other snacks such as cinnamon toast or spicing up plain yogurt. This is also a “neat” way to get children to help with decorating and flavoring tasks.
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Ripe Oats © James Virgin | Dreamstime.com
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