Healthy Eating

The Healthiest Airplane Travel Snacks

A little pre-planning can go a long way when it comes to travel!

By: Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC

Traveling and healthy eating don’t always go hand-in-hand. Between the super-sized (and overpriced) candy bags that are sold and the airport kiosks to the flight delays that force people to snag whatever greasy sustenance people can get their hands on, it can certainly be a challenge to eat healthily when flying on an airplane. 

The good news is, with a little know-how, it is entirely possible to stick to your healthy eating goals while traveling 30,000 feet up in the air. So, skip the bag of grab-and-go junk, and read on to find the healthiest airplane travel snacks that are portable, pack a punch in the nutrition department, and (perhaps most importantly) taste delish! 

5 Healthy Packable Airplane Travel Snacks

Packing your own snacks when you are going to be flying may not be top-of-mind while you are gathering your best travel outfits and searching for your passport. But tossing some healthy packable airplane travel snacks can be heaven-sent if those pesky hunger pangs strike when you are nowhere close to an airport kiosk, and the travel attendants have their seatbelts fastened. And, let’s not discount travel delays and other unexpected events that can leave you wishing for a nosh. 

Ahead are some good-for-you healthy packable airplane travel snacks that are easy to eat when you are coasting up in the clouds. 

Protein Bar

Protein bars may be the most obvious choice for packable snacks, and for good reason. As a portable protein option that doesn’t require any refrigeration, these convenient bars can offer some serious satisfaction when hunger strikes. Just choose options that are lower in added sugar, and you should be well on your way to traveling healthfully. 

Some healthier options include: 

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit that is made with no added sugar can fuel your body with antioxidants to support your overall health. And if you become less regular in the bathroom department when you are traveling (as many of us are), the natural fiber found in the fruit may help you go number two a bit easier. Bonus? Dried fruit can satisfy even the fiercest sweet tooth, allowing you to skip the candy craving. 

RELATED: 95% of People Aren’t Eating Enough of This Nutrient

Roasted Pistachios

Protein, fiber, and healthy fats are the macronutrient trifecta when it comes to components of a satisfying snack, and pistachios check all three of those boxes. Snag a bag of flavored pistachios (like sea salt and vinegar) for a delicious and good-for-you sub for potato chips. Your tummy and taste buds will thank you for it. 

Cheese Crisps

Cheese crisps are made with real cheese and are a great way to include protein in your snack routine without having to worry about refrigeration or spoilage. Snacking on cheese crisps can give your body some serious protein, making for a great addition to any carb-packed snack. 

Instant Oatmeal

For a heartier airplane snack, bring along a packet of instant oatmeal (a variety made with little added sugar). Once you are up in the air, ask the flight attendant for some hot water and a cup. Mix your oats with the water, and you have a stick-to-your-ribs snack right at your fingertips. Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, making it a great choice to support both gut and heart health when you are on the go. 

Here are some great instant oatmeal options that are made with wholesome ingredients and are lower in sugar: 

Healthier Airport Snack Options

If packing snacks has completely slipped your mind before you made it to the airport (it’s ok — it happens to the best of us), all hope is not lost. Among the fried and sugary snacks on the airport store shelves, there are some hidden gems that are as good for you as they are delish. 

If you are close to boarding your plane and you don’t want to risk hearing tummy grumbles once you are airborne, here are some healthy airport snack options you can explore. 

Fresh Fruit

Many airports now offer fresh fruit as a snack. From a pre-washed and wrapped pear to a cup of ready-to-eat grapes, the fresh fruit options appear to be plenty. While this may be a pricier option, it will be well worth the investment if you get them for the nutrients you get from each bite! 

Hard Boiled Eggs

While we wouldn’t recommend eating hard-boiled eggs on the airplane (they can give off an odor that may offend your airplane neighbor), snacking on one or two pre-boarding can give you a boost of protein and many nutrients like vitamin B12 and iodine. These eggs are usually sold pre-shelled, so you don’t even have to worry about making a mess when you eat them.


As long as the yogurt you are grabbing doesn’t contain large amounts of added sugar, yogurt can be a great airport snack that is sold in many airports. The protein and carb combo can help keep you going when you are running to catch your next flight! 

Pre-Planning When Traveling Can Go A Long Way 

If you are trying to keep your healthy lifestyle in check when you are taking a trip that requires flying, know that with a little pre-planning, attaining your goal is entirely possible. The few minutes it takes to remember to pack healthy snacks can be a lifesaver when hunger strikes during your travels. And if you happened to forget to pack your snacks (or you already ate them all), thankfully, there are some healthy options that you can buy right at the airport too!