Snacks to Stay Healthy when Flying

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

airplane-snacksIt can be difficult to find healthy choices at the airport and on the plane. So, it is always best to try to bring some of your own snacks!

I am planning to take a trip across the Atlantic in another month, and started planning my nutrition strategy.

I brainstormed about healthy snacks that will get through security and travel well. Here’s what I came up with….

Top 10 Healthy Snacks for the Airplane

  1. Kale Chips: I spotted kale chips at my local grocery store the other day. They are portable, and a terrific way to squeeze in some vitamins and minerals. Beware as some can contain high amounts of sodium. If you can’t find them at your grocery store, you could always make your own, and then package in vacuum packs!
  2. Trail mix: Try making your own with your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and seeds.
  3. Oatmeal: At first this may seem strange, but don’t forget that you can just add hot water to make a nice breakfast or snack.
  4. Protein Powder: This is another one that you can just add water to (or milk) for a quick protein source while traveling. Just make sure to choose a lower sugar protein powder that doesn’t contain a long list of processed ingredients. I like Sun Warrior brand vegan protein powder.
  5. Protein Bars: Try Greens Plus Vegan Bars, Raw Revolution, Think Thin, and Sweet and Savory Pro Bars are just a few of my favorites. Just be careful of the sugars in many protein bars, and watch out for unnatural ingredients. Even if a bar contains sugar, I look for that sugar to come from dried fruit primarily.
  6. Fiber Bars: By now, you’re thinking, “enough of the bars already!” However, bars are portable and convenient for travel. We just have to be extremely picky about which bars we choose. I like Gnu Flavor and Fiber bars for the fiber. Or, you can make your own bars with ground oats, flax, chia seeds, and fruit.
  7. Seed Crackers: For munching and crunching. Mary’s Gone Crackers makes a quinoa and sesame seed based cracker.
  8. Almond Butter

    Justin’s Single 80 Calorie Packs

    Plantain Chips: This is a favorite of many of my traveling friends. I would just caution you to be ware of the high amount of oil that can be found in many chips. Still, most plantain chips contain less fat than potato chips.

  9. Single Packets Almond Butter: Eat by itself or add to the crackers for a balanced snack.
  10. Fresh Fruits and Veggies: Seek out fresh fruits right before you board the plane. Vegetables can be a little harder to find, but sometimes you can get a simple salad. Others have been able to get their fresh fruits through security, but when traveling international, you are not supposed to bring produce into other countries.

Do you bring snacks when you travel?


  1. healthspringwc

    Oats is best of all the option, it provides a complete diet.

  2. Sue

    I alway bring my own snacks for flights. Since I’m a Zone girl from way back, I bring Dr. Sears Zone bars and shakes. They contain balanced amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat and they keep me feeling at my best. I also bring along a few of the Trader Joe’s single small handful packs of almonds or cashews. Another tip, once you get past security screening buy a bottle or two of water. I seem to get stuck on a lot of bumpy flights where the seatbelt sign stays on which means the drink service never happens. It helps a lot to stay hydrated when flying.

  3. Spectra

    Huh–I never thought to bring oatmeal on a plane, but that’s a good idea. I usually bring a baggie of carrots and an apple and a baggie of nuts. I didn’t know you could buy premade kale chips now…I’ve always made my own. They’re very easy to make and you can customize the flavors.

  4. George

    Popcorn is also a great, healthy snack, especially when on the go. Check out Hudson News locations and you can find Rocky Mountain Popcorn! For the ultra healthy, pick up a bag of Naked – light on salt, but strong on taste!