Healthy High Protein Airplane Travel snacks


The complete list of approved foods you can take in your carry-on bag. These snacks are healthy, high in protein, and delicious. Plus, they can help you stick to your weight loss plan, even while traveling.

Last week I took a flight to Boston for the Boston Marathon! It was very important for me to eat healthy on the flight because I was about to run 26 miles, and the healthier I can eat, the easier it is for me to run. (Seriously, have you ever tried to run after a junk food binge?! LOL. I definitely feel like a slug.

So, I headed to the grocery store. My main goal was to find some quick, portable, airplane friendly protein. Carbs are easy to find, and I rarely need to go out of my way to get some carbs. So, protein had to be a priority.

ideas for healthy airplane snacks

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Protein ideas for your carry-on (shelf stable, room temp):

  1. Turkey Jerky
  2. Built bar/protein bars
  3. Quest Chips
  4. 100 Calorie Nut packs
  5. String Cheese (if you’re OK eating this at room temperature, which I am!)
  6. Single serving nut butter
  7. Portable Protein packs
  8. Laughing cow cheese wedges (OK at room temperature, and I use it to dip carrots in.)
healthy airplane snacks cold

Other protein ideas to eat right away, or keep cold inside an insulated lunch bag

  1. Hard boiled eggs
  2. Laughing cow cheese
  3. String Cheese
  4. Pre-made salads

And here’s the carry on bag, airport/airplane friendly healthy carbs:

  1. Roasted seaweed snack
  2. Smart Food Popcorn bags
  3. Guacamole container
  4. Rice Cakes
  5. 100 calorie pretzel bags
  6. Packaged pickles
  7. Fruit cups like pomegranate seeds, pears, peaches, etc.
  8. Fruit like apples, oranges, or berries. (bananas and pears do NOT travel well)
  9. Dried fruit (Dried apricots, raisins, craisins, dried pineapple, peaches, mangos)
  10. Roasted chickpeas

When the flight attendant offers you a snack, here’s my favorite airline options:

Delta's healthy airplane snacks on board
  1. Nuts !
  2. Granola bars

What I don’t like to take on the airplane:

  • Liquified foods like yogurts and applesauce. While I understand you can take these in single serving, under 3 ounce options, I find it easier to not bother at all. Most yogurts are 5+ ounces, so I just don’t consider it at all.
  • Tuna packets, not everyone likes the smell!
  • Muffins- MESSY!!

TSA Guidelines

Truthfully, you can bring almost ANY food through TSA within the continental United States (here’s their complete food guidelines). Almost any food item can be in your check-on bag. For your carry-on bag however, some food could be subject to further screening.

The general list of approved carry-on foods are:

  • bread
  • candy
  • cereal
  • Solid cheeses
  • Solid Chocolates
  • Coffee beans/grounds
  • An Empty thermos or water bottle
  • Cooked meats, vegetables, or seafood
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • dried fruit
  • Fresh eggs
  • Gum
  • Nuts
  • Pies and cakes
  • Pet food
  • Pizza
  • Salt
  • Sandwiches
  • Snack bars
  • Solid snacks
  • Spices
  • tamales
  • Tea

Those that are allowed in a carry on bag, but may require additional screening include:

  • Canned food
  • creamy cheese (under 3.4 oz)
  • Chocolate (under 3.4 oz if creamy)
  • Creamy dips/spreads (under 3.4 oz)
  • Fruits or veggies (unless flying from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands to the United States)
  • Fresh meat or seafood (if packed in ice, ice must be solid)
  • Frozen food (if packed in ice, ice must be solid)
  • Gel Ice packs- must be frozen solid. If partially defrosted, must met the 3-1-1 liquid requirements)
  • Honey (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Hummus (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Ice cream (Must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Jams and Jellies (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Juice (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Maple syrup (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Oil/Vinegar (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Peanut butter (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Protein powder (must be able to remove from your bag to screen, preferably in a see-through bag.
  • Salad dressing (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Salsa (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Soda (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Soup (must be under 3.4 oz)
  • Yogurt (must be under 3.4 oz)

What is the 3-1-1 liquids requirements.

  • 3.4 ounces or less per container
  • 1 quart size, clear, plastic, zip top bag (all liquids must fit in bag)
  • 1 bag per passenger

Hope that helps! What would you bring on your next flight to stay on your diet?

Healthy high protein airplane snacks

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