Healthy snack options for your next flight

July 7, 2012

Jonnell, Registered Dietitian

I know that many of you will be taking a trip this summer that includes a flight of several hours.  When I have a longer flight, I like to take food with me that I know I will enjoy and that leaves me feeling energetic when I arrive.  As I am not a frequent flyer, I took the time to refresh my knowledge of rules and regulations for items to be carried on the plane.

  • Liquids:  Bottled water and beverages cannot be brought though security.  You can either purchase water or other beverages in the secure boarding area or you can bring an empty reusable bottle and fill it in the secure boarding area.  There are exceptions to this rule such as in the case of medically necessary liquids, formula, or breast milk.
  • Gel foods:  Foods such as peanut butter, jelly, and salad dressings are allowed but only in limited quantities (3.4 ounces) and then only the quantity (along with other gels/liquids in your carry-on) that can fit into a quart-size zip top bag.
  • Solid foods:  Solid foods (e.g. nuts, crackers, sandwiches) are allowed but should either be prepackaged or be wrapped (except in the case of whole fruit).

Healthier options that meet these regulations include:

  • PB&J sandwich on whole grain bread (once the peanut butter and jelly has been made into a sandwich it is considered a solid food item)
  • Small packages of unsalted or lightly salted nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Whole grain crackers or chips
  • Whole fruit such as apples or bananas
  • Small packets of nut butter (Justin’s Nut Butter packets are slightly over 1 ounce)
  • Small whole veggies such as sugar snap peas or cherry tomatoes
  • Pouches of applesauce (GoGo squeeZ is only 3.2 ounces)
  • Granola bars (look for bars with less added sugar that do not contain hydrogenated oil)
  • Fruit “leather” made with fruit (Stretch Island Fruit Strips or Clif Kid Z Fruit Rope)

Hydration:  Plan on either purchasing water or filling up a reusable bottle in the secure boarding area; dehydration can make you feel fatigued

Other food items you’d like to bring?  Search for your item at:

More information found on this topic at:

I’d love to hear of other healthy food items that you like to pack when you travel.