Food To Take On a Plane

Are you going on a vacation trip this coming weekend? Well, with inevitable flight delays, packing food on the plane became an essential thing; however, it also became a dilemma for some travelers because of tight security when bringing food on a plane.

Therefore, you might be wondering what food you can carry on the plane. Well, here is a direct and straightforward answer.

According to the TSA website, one can bring liquid and gel-like food such as jams, salsa, soups, and salad dressing in carry on only if it measures 100 mL or less. As for solid foods, one can bring snacks such as grain salads, granola bars, sandwiches, dried foods, and many more.

However, if you try to visit the TSA website, the final decision still rests on TSA officers whether an item is allowed to bring through the checkpoint.

As a rule, whatever you pack, you must be considerate on your fellow passenger; therefore, never forget pack foods with strong odor such as kimchi and durian. Hence, you can see below is the list of packable foods that can be brought on board.

Packable Airplane Food

If you want to save money from spending on expensive airport food, make sure you bring your own packable snacks and meals.

In this way, it can also help you avoid eating oily and greasy foods for those who are health-conscious. When preparing airport snacks, there are some things that you need to remember so that the food you will make will not be wasted.

The 3-1-1 TSA rule in the form of liquids and gels is applicable to food; therefore, be cautious when packing these kinds of food on your carry-on.

  • Any liquid such as water, juice, coconut water, and other kinds that are over 3.4 ounces are prohibited
  • Yogurt over 3.4 ounces are not allowed
  • Spreads such as peanut butter, jams, etc. must be contained in 3.4 ounces or 100mL containers.

Aside from these, you should also avoid bringing these types of food since they can cause bothersome to other passengers, such as the following:

  • Apples: some passengers are easily bothered by the crunchy noise they produce
  • Bananas: other people find them to have a strong odor
  • Burritos: some passengers complaint of being gassy when they eat burritos while flying
  • Peanut-based products: you might know that other passengers have severe allergies with peanuts
  • Tuna: yes, it is smelly

Also, be mindful when opening yogurts since they tend to explode at high altitudes; therefore, when you open your packed yogurt, open it verrry slowly so that it will not cause any onboard disturbances.

Otherwise, here is the list of DIY, healthy snacks that can be packed on airplanes, especially if you still have time to prepare, and you are motivated to do so.

Healthy Snacks To Take on Plane

Oatmeal-based cookies

For quick and light breakfast that will not squash or cause a mess, try to pack cookies made from blueberry oats since these are vegan-friendly and are dairy-free.

Banana bread

Another breakfast option that is easily packed is banana bread. For people with a restricted diet, make sure the banana bread recipe used coconut oil instead of butter.

Chicken wraps

One of the best sandwiches that are best during flights is wraps. To make it healthier, you can add some vegetable fillings alongside the chicken. However, if you will be taking longer flights, avoid adding lettuce as this can be easily wilted and cause mess during mealtime.

Fruit and vegetable bento box

This DIY airplane snack is easy to do since all you need is to cut a variety of fruits, vegetables, and some meats. You can also add some slices of bread or crackers as an additional.

For fruits, it is recommended if you opted for grapes and blueberries and as for cheese, parmesan is a perfect choice since it does not give off a strong smell, and lastly, for the meat, you could go for salami, since this type of meat does not need refrigeration.

Chicken salad

Oww, who won’t go for the well-known salad as a healthy food option during flights?

To make sure that your salad will not turn into a mess when you eat it, you need to have a separate container for your dressing (must be 3.4 ounces or smaller) so that it can pass in the TSA security checkpoints.

Another thing, just like in the chicken wraps, avoid adding lettuce as this is easily wilted. Try some alternative greens such as cabbage, kale, and shaved Brussels sprouts.

Asian noodles

Sesame soba noodles are an excellent classic choice if you want to eat something substantial while onboard. You can also try cold noodle dishes or also known as Naengmyeon, for other ideas.

Well, for short flights or you just need quick and no-cook packable airplane snacks, you can include one of these snacks on your carry on:


This is a protein-riched snack that can keep you feeling full for an extended period of time.


You can choose for a whole-wheat option that is both healthy for kids and adults.

Dried fruits

These are less-hassle to pack since you will no longer worry them to be squashed and crushed, unlike real fruits. Moreover, according to some travelers, eating dried berries are useful in lessening jet lags.

Slices of fruits and veggies

Pack slices of your favorite fruits and vegetables as this is much healthier than eating sweets like candies and chocolates.

For people who opted for instant snacks, you can also make by just adding hot water from the drinking service. Some of the popular instant snacks are the following:

Instant noodles

Look for instant noodles that have low-sodium content since this can exacerbate dehydration, especially for long travel hours.

Instant oatmeal

Pack some instant oats, or you can pour it inside a thermos with your favorite toppings such as fruits and nuts.

Miso soup

To keep you warm while onboard, bring a sachet of instant miso soup and then dissolve it in a ¾ full cup of hot water, you can also prepare the soup in a thermos with a lid so that it will not cause any spills during turbulence.

Unhealthy Snacks


Chewing too much gum can cause bloating, gassy stomach, and diarrhea, and these three things are the most avoided condition everyone would not want to experience during flying.


Chips contain high sodium content. That is why it is prohibited for passengers with swollen feet because salt can cause fluid retention.


Coffee can cause dehydration in the body and can irritate the bladder as well. That is why some people avoid drinking coffee while onboard to avoid irritated bladder while on the flight.


Eating burritos onboard makes it one of the worst foods to bring on the plane, do you want to know, why?

Here are some of the reasons: spicy foods can cause an upset stomach, meats are harder to digest, and beans and onions can cause a gassy stomach.

Candies and Chocolates

snacks to take on plane

Indeed, candies and chocolates are fun for our sweet tooth, and they are a great way to share for fellow passengers; however, sugary food such as these kinds are bad for your teeth.

Aside from this, candies have low nutritional values but very high in calories, which is not suitable for people with a restricted diet.

Food To Pack For Long Flights

I think no one can survive long flights without eating something while on a flight.

Whether you are a picky eater, follow special diet restrictions, or you just don’t want the idea of feeling hungry while on board, especially on longer flights, well, this post is right for you.

Just consider these food items listed below so that you can include them on your next travel galore.

Dried fruits and nuts

Dried fruits and nuts come hand in hand, especially for longer flights since they can be easily slipped on your carry on luggage.

Some travelers recommend a mixture of trail mix, mixed nuts, and fruit strips; thus, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and some essential elements good for the body.

GoPicnic Boxes

Travelers went hyped over these GoPicnic Boxes since these are made from natural and ready-to-eat meals that can be handy for long hours of flight.

What’s good about these GoPicnic Boxes is that they do not need refrigeration nor heating to eat them. Therefore, try to grab GoPicnic Boxes to see if they are really worth the hype!

Crackers and Hummus

These duos are one of the best food to pack during long travel flights since you just need to add hot water on a pack of hummus powder, then add some dried bean, and then it’s ready to eat.

Granola Bars

If dried fruits and nuts are not available, you can pack some granola bars as an alternative.

Make sure you pack different granola bars so that you can just grab one if you need an extra boost of energy.

Another thing to look for is the protein content of the bar, make sure it has several grams so that it can keep you full for longer hours.

Sandwiches and wraps

Buying a sandwich or a wrap at the airport is another way to fill your hungry stomach while on a flight; however, you can just make your own pack sandwich at home to save some bucks from spending pricey food at the airport.

Make sure your spread is placed on not more than 3.4 ounces container to avoid banning in the security checkpoints.

Hence, preparing and packing snacks and meals for long flights needs proper planning to make it simple and easy to do. Well, you can see below are some helpful tips on how to achieve it in the most hassle and stress-free way.

How To Prepare Snacks For Long Flights

Read these four helpful tips to make your trips stress-free and most, especially hunger-free by preparing and packing these snacks and meals on your carry on baggage.

Tip 1: Prepare a real meal

Of course, no one would survive just eating snacks while flying for 12 to 16 hours without eating a proper meal.

Therefore, it is indispensable to bring along one bigger and heavier food item that will serve your main meal throughout the flight.

Make sure the meal you will prepare does not contain meat or any dairy so that it will not spoil quickly.

Tip 2: Pack assorted snacks

Some people prefer mixing something salty and something sweet whenever they eat snacks.

However, to make it nutritious some people prefer packing cheese as a protein source alongside cheddar crackers and some pretzel snack for a taste of something salty.

A pack of grapes or berries for something that can keep your body hydrated.

Others recommend packing some granola bars on which you can grab whenever you feel hungry and can trim down your hunger if you still have fewer hours left before you get off the plane.

Tip 3: Keep yourself hydrated

One helpful tip to save money from buying water at the airport is to bring giant water bottles, which you can request for a refill every time the flight attendant passed by.

In this way, it can help you keep hydrated throughout the flight since the cool aircon ceiling can dehydrate your skin as well as your body.

Since flying for long hours can be stressful, you can also bring tea to help you relax and calm down, just ask for a cup of hot water to brew your tea.

Tip 4: Chill a few food items

Freezing food items such as grapes and cheese the night before your flight can extend their shelf-life as this can be used as an ice pack.

Make sure you plan to eat these items midway on your flight so that by the time you will eat them, they will be defrosted and perfect to dig in.

Another thing you would like to consider when packing meals and snacks for your flight is the containers. Make sure when you pack your food in a container, it would not consume much space on your luggage.

It can be reusable and eco-friendly. Therefore, when packing airplane snack, try to use these following items.

Collapsible Tupperware

Vremi Silicone Food Storage Containers with BPA Free Airtight Plastic Lids

One very good example of a collapsible Tupperware is the Vremi Silicone Food Storage.

This Tupperware is made from BPA-free material that is non-toxic, odorless, nonstick, and easy to clean.

This is also good for keeping dry or wet foods such as baby foods, cereals, fruits, and many more.

Eco-friendly Snack Bags

ChicoBag Snack Time rePETe (Recycled PET) Bags

There are a lot of snack bags available in any shops; however, this ChicoBag Snack Bag is a perfect choice for traveling since this reusable bag can even pack snacks in a smaller possible way than a collapsible Tupperware can do. Make sure it is clean before you put your snacks inside the bag.

Reusable spork

Tapirus 5 Spork of Steel Utensils Set

If you are looking for something that can be used as a spoon, fork, and knife, you can try this ultimate spork mess kit set, the Tapirus 5 Spork of Steel Utensils Set.

Therefore, instead of using a plastic spoon and fork that can bend and break anytime, try investing in reusable sporks that can be used every time you travel.

Airplane Snacks And Packing Tips For Everyone

Each of us has a different diet modification when it comes to the food we eat.

Some people are vegetarian, and others are vegan. Some people prefer gluten-free food. Some have a medical conditions. Other passengers travel with their kids. And lastly, there is a group of people who can eat everything.

However, before we talk about that, you must first know these quick and very informative packing tips that will come handy for every traveler.

  • Pack only foods that are good for room temperature
  • No bringing of liquids such as juice and some gel packs and yogurt that does not fall the liquid rule 3-1-1 of TSA.
  • Avoid bringing foods that give off smelly or snacks that are too noisy to eat such as tuna, burritos, and pistachios
  • Make sure you pack foods that are hydrating such as watermelon, grapes, and cucumbers
  • If you are traveling with your kids, make sure the snacks that you will pack must be fun to eat for kids as well.

On the other hand, here is a table to show you the list of foods that every type of passenger can dig into, whether it is just a short flight or longer flight.

Passenger TypeShort TripsLong Flights
Gluten-freeCheese bento box alongside with some fruits and veggiesCaesar salad with either kale or cabbage instead of lettuce (since they rot easily)
VegetarianBlueberry oat muffins or you can replace blueberry with your favorite fruitChickpea salad
VeganDried fruits and nuts, such as dried apples with almondsDairy-free crackers or pita bread, avocado hummus
With KidsGranola bars, cereals, some favorite dried fruits your kids would love to eatSandwiches, wraps, pasta
Who Eats EverythingMuffins, banana breadPack any food you want as long as it passes the TSA security checkpoints  

What to read next:

Is It Better To Fly On An Empty Stomach?

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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