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Health & Nutrition

The Best Airplane Snacks

Airplane snacks that are healthy during flights

The Best Airplane Snacks

When flying, it can be hard to plan your meals and snacks for the day, since airplane snacks aren’t always nutritious and the day’s schedule is not what you’re used to. Plus, your appetite might increase, especially if you’re on the plane for hours and don’t have anything to keep you occupied. That’s when the need for airplane snacks can be dire.

If you’re getting ready for a flight, you want to bring the healthiest airplane snacks possible to settle those munchies. Can you take snacks on a plane? Yes. So, pack them the night before or day of traveling so you’re prepared. There are not always healthy options for snacks when on the plane or to purchase at the airport, so most often good airplane snacks come from home.

There may be times when you have to grab something from the airport, in which case a plain Greek yogurt, oat or protein bar, jerky, fresh fruit, or some cheese, hummus, peanut butter and crackers may be helpful. 

Yet, in general, you can bring your own snacks with you as long as you make time to meal prep at home prior. Trust us, you’ll be thankful once sitting on the plane (or even at the gate in the airport!). These are the best airplane snacks to pack in your travel bag.

The Best Airplane Snacks to Take on a Plane

Nut Butter and Crackers

You won’t want to travel with dairy and have it sit out for a few hours, so swap cheese for nut butter and pack healthy whole grain, wheat or gluten-free crackers. The combination is high in protein, healthy fat, fiber and electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. So you will feel fuller for longer when on the flight. Go with unsalted nut butter and look for crackers that are low in sodium too (so, don’t go with sea salt flavored crackers, for sure!), as the high altitude can cause you to hold water weight and swell.

Protein Bars or Snack Bars

Both kinds of bars are good picks when they are not perishable and have nourishing ingredients that satisfy hunger well and also are easily digestible. Some protein bars containing whey may irritate some people, and oats, nuts and seeds as a protein base may be healthy, easily digestible alternatives. 

Still, a combination of both kinds of bars is ideal, and it depends on what else you’re bringing amongst airplane snacks and how filling the total is. Look for snack bars that have good complex carbs, fit into an ideal calorie range per serving, and are lower in sugar, especially added sugars. Fiber is crucial. For protein bars, go by the same rule but add in about 15-25 grams of protein per bar, which will provide enough fuel to act as a meal or filling snack.

Fresh Fruit and Roasted Chickpeas 

Fresh fruit that isn’t mushy is great as airplane snacks, such as apples, bananas, oranges kiwi and pears. Avoid berries, which will get soft and probably won’t taste great after being stuffed in a bag and in the heat. Fruit has good fiber to boost satiety and some fast-acting carbs for energy, which you need to get through the airport after landing. 

Pair it with protein though, like roasted chickpeas or edamame, which you can make at home with your own seasonings or buy at the store. Just be careful with sodium and stick to one portion if they’re store brand and are heavy on the sodium. Another solid option for crunchy healthy airplane snacks is a bag of kale chips, which you can also make in your kitchen with nutritional yeast and spices for that classic cheesy texture and heat. 

A Hearty Sandwich

Bringing a sandwich on an airplane is easy and it packs well, plus it allows for a good selection of rich protein and fiber. Choose a fiber dense bread like whole grain or wheat, or a gluten-free bread that is hearty and seed based to fill you up fast and hold you over longer. Just don’t go with something too heavy on fiber, especially if you are prone to digestion issues. You want to keep your stomach settled when on board. 

A peanut butter butter sandwich keeps well in your bag, no matter how many hours you’re spending prior. A turkey and cheese or hummus and veggies sandwich could work if it’s only been out for three or so hours, but if you’ve got a long flight, the PB or PB & J will be your best bet, since it’ll stay fresh and tasty.