7 Best Airplane Snacks, According to Dietitians

The holiday season is in full swing, which means many of us will be doing a lot of traveling in the coming weeks. Whether you’re visiting family and friends or just treating yourself to a year-end vacation, you’ll want to make sure your travels are as smooth and stress-free as possible. If you are traveling by plane, one of the ways you can reduce your stress is to plan ahead by packing food that you can snack on during your travel day. Not only does having your own airplane snacks save you money, but it can also help you stick to some of your health goals and feel better during the holidays.

For advice on which foods make the best airplane snacks, we spoke to several dietitians about their favorite things to eat while flying. And if you’re traveling by car for your holiday trip, also be sure to check out The Best and Worst Car Snacks for your next trip.


Beef jerky

beef jerky

“Protein is essential to help you get full faster and stay full longer. But considering how many proteins need to be kept hot or cold, they can be a challenge to travel with,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author The Sports Nutrition Playbook and a member of our Expert Medical Board.

Because this essential nutrient can be difficult to travel with, Goodson suggests bringing your favorite beef jerky with you on your next flight.

“Beef has 10 essential nutrients including high-quality protein, selenium, zinc and iron, making it a nutrient-rich snack to take through the airport or fly high in the sky,” says Goodson.





“As a registered dietitian who travels a lot, I’m all about having nutrient-dense snacks in my carry-on bag! And I love a crunch, so some pistachios like Wonderful Pistachios are a great snack,” says Goodson. .

Not only are pistachios convenient, but they can provide helpful nutrients to your body, as well.

“With 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving, these are the perfect snack to keep me satisfied while traveling,” says Goodson. “Plus, 90% of the fat found in pistachios is the best-for-you unsaturated kind.”

“The trio of protein, fiber, fat may help you feel fuller longer after a snack,” she says.

RELATED: The Best Snacks to Prevent Vacation Weight Gain


Homemade trail mix

dried fruit nuts trail mix

dried fruit nuts trail mix

According to Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FANDaward-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal wholesale author of Family Immunity CookbookHomemade trail mix can be a great snack to take on the plane.

“I use whatever dried fruit, grains, nuts and seeds I have on hand,” says Amidor. “Since a big bag of trail mix is ​​usually high in calories, I divide it into individual snack bags, so I don’t overdo it and have the perfect amount every time.”

As well as helping you avoid the airport convenience stores, which saves you time and money, making your own trail mix in the future can ensure you get some health-promoting ingredients when you travel.

“The nuts have protein and healthy fats, and the dried fruit has fiber—all three nutrients that keep me satisfied,” explains Amidor.


Full results

red grapes

red grapes

Another convenient and affordable snack to take on your flight is some delicious fruit.

“I’m all about eating foods with lots of nutrients to help keep my immune system strong while traveling,” says Goodson. “Whole fruits like apples, strawberries, grapes, and bananas provide me with the nutrients to stay healthy and energetic on the go.”

When it comes to fruit for travel, Amidor specifically loves to pack Wonderful Halo Mandarin. “Halos are rich in vitamin C, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system, and each Halo mandarin has 45 calories and they are hydrating because they are 85% water,” she says.

RELATED: 6 Healthy Snack Ideas To Slow Aging


Protein crops

whey protein powder in a measuring scoop next to protein bars

whey protein powder in a measuring scoop next to protein bars

If you need a quick protein boost to keep you feeling full, but aren’t a fan of meat-based protein snacks like beef jerky, a protein bar can be a great option.

“Protein bars can be a great solution for times when you’re stuck on tarmac, or haven’t been able to get a meal before boarding the plane,” says Goodson. “But be sure to look for bars with a good blend of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to help you stay satisfied in the air until you can find your next meal.”

RELATED: 4 Healthy Snack Recipes to Help Manage Diabetes, According to a Dietitian


Celery and carrot sticks

eating carrots

eating carrots

When choosing your travel snack, don’t forget about the simple combination of carrot and celery.

“Since 90% of Americans don’t meet their daily vegetable recommendations, I try to include them in my diet every chance I get,” says Amidor. “When I’m on a plane trip, I’ll be packing more intense vegetables like celery and carrots that I can eat during my trip.”

According to Amidor, vegetables are also “filled with fiber, antioxidants like the beta-carotene in carrots, and water, which helps me stay hydrated during my travels.”

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