When you are traveling on an airplane, it can be difficult to stay healthy and stick to your diet. It is easy to binge and eat all the unhealthy foods on vacation! Thankfully, these healthy meals to pack for the plane ride will give you some ideas for snacks and meals to eat while flying!
Everyone knows airplane food is not great. In fact, one reason it is so bad is because our sense of smell is altered on an airplane, which is a large contributor to our food tasting good. Aside from that, it is not anything more than a typical microwaved meal- and you don’t want that!
So how can you stick to healthy foods, all while fitting everything in your carry on bag? Luckily, there are many ideas for healthy eating on planes!
This guide will provide you with healthy food options, snack ideas, and how to pack and carry all your food items on the airplane! Staying healthy on an airplane does not have to be difficult as your health is a top priority.
Read more about the best carry on bag to hold all your meal items!
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Just Add Water Meals!
There are many meals you can bring aboard that require just water to prepare! When on the airplane, you can simply ask the flight attendant for some hot water. However, this is controversial as water is often considered one of the most unsanitary parts of an airplane.
If you do not want to use the hot water on the airplane, most cafes and restaurants in the airport terminal will allow you to have hot water for free. If you do not plan on using the hot water soon after boarding the airplane, consider putting the hot water in a thermos to save for later!
Here are some suggestions of meals and snacks you can eat on an airplane that only require water:
Quaker oatmeal cups are a quick and easy way to eat breakfast (or any meal!) while on an airplane. They are small enough to pack in your carry on too! Simply ask a flight attendant for hot water or get some at the airport prior to boarding, pour in, stir, and enjoy!
You can also bring packets of oatmeal aboard, but you will need to bring a bowl as well. Remember to bring a spoon (grab a couple at the airport and throw them in your carry on bag), or ask a flight attendant if you forget!
This is one of my favorite items for healthy meals to pack for the plane ride. I know what you are thinking- but ramen noodles aren’t exactly healthy!
Lucky, these chicken ramen soup bowls are organic and made without pesticides or harmful chemicals. All the ingredients are simple, organic, and healthy! Simply add boiling (or hot) water up to the fill line, stir, and enjoy!
Annie’s mac and cheese cups are a great alternative to other unhealthy macaroni and cheese cups. They are made with organic pasta, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Simply add boiling water to the fill line, add the cheese, and you have a nice meal or snack! Annie’s also makes gluten-free cups in case you have celiac disease!
Protein powder is a great way to satisfy your hunger cravings without over eating. You can pack your favorite protein powder in zip lock bags to save for later, or you can get these single-serve protein powder packets!
They are perfectly measured for one serving, and you won’t have to worry about messing around with baggies full of powder. Simply pour the packet into a bottle of water, shake, and enjoy!
Healthy meals to pack for the plane: Breakfast!
If you are traveling during the early mornings, or have an overnight flight, you are going to want something good for breakfast to get you through your traveling day! These breakfast options are perfect to satisfy your hunger early in the morning, while also giving you the confidence you are eating healthy!
These JoyBol smoothie bowls are the perfect breakfast meal on the go. Simply add cold water, stir, and enjoy! No blender or refrigeration needed for this handy meal! With 11 grams of protein, these bowls will satisfy your hunger while giving you essential nutrients to get through your day!
Other flavors include:
This one seems obvious, but it is a classic! You can’t go wrong with cereal, at any time of the time! Bring some cereal cups in your carry on bag for a quick and easy breakfast or snack. You can buy milk at the airport before hand, or simply eat the cereal dry. Remember to bring a spoon, or get a plastic one from the airport food court. If you forget, the flight attendants should have one for you!
You can always bring your own cereal in zip loc bags or plastic containers!
Healthy meals to pack for the plane: Snacks!
The following snacks are perfect for eating on an airplane, and fit perfectly into your carry on bag! Especially if you are on a long haul flight, snacks are key to surviving the long flight! It is important to bring your own snacks so you do not overspend on airport or airplane food. These snacks are healthy, yet tasty!
These Planters P3 Protein Packs are a perfect snack to satisfy your hunger, while being healthy at the same time! Each pack has 3 different snacks, all high in protein to keep you fuller, longer.
There are a number of options:
Individual trail mix bags are a perfect snack for long plane rides. Trail mix is full of nutrients and protein, to satisfy your cravings while being a healthy alternative! Make sure you ask your neighbors if they have any nut allergies before opening the pack, though!
You can even get your own trail mix in bulk from the grocery store, and divide it into separate bags before the flight. Either way, it is a great healthy snack!
You can choose from all types of mixes such as:
You can’t go wrong with a good protein bar to keep you full during a long flight. My favorite protein bars are Quest Nutrition Protein Bars. They have tons of flavors and over 20 grams of protein! I love how they taste, and they keep me full in between meals.
Quest even has other options such as:
Other Snack Ideas
- Stacy’s Pita Chips
- Baked crunchy cinnamon apple chips
- Quaker rice crisps
- Chickpea puffs
- Yogurt crisps
- RX Bars
- Luna bars
Don’t forget to pack 1-2 extra snacks that are your favorites- even if they are unhealthy! Keep only a couple unhealthy snacks within reach, so you can satisfy your craving, while still being health-conscious, without sacrificing what you enjoy!
Plus, if you are having a not so great travel day, you might want an extra special treat!
Airplane Food Storage
So you have all your snack and meal ideas, now where should you put it all? these airplane food storage ideas will help you keep all your food organized and fresh throughout your travels!
Reusable sandwich bags are a perfect way to both store your snacks, while also helping to reduce waste! The possibilities are endless of what they can store: popcorn, cereal, chips, fruit, pretzels, you name it! They are leakproof, and have a zip lock top, so none of your precious snacks will spill into your carry on bag.
Having a collapsible water bottle during your travels is not only a great way to stay hydrated, but is also a great budget travel tip to save you hundreds! If you think about how much money water bottles are at the airport, you can quickly rack up some bills.
After you get through airport security, fill up your water bottle at the water fountain for free! Make sure it is completely full before going on the plane. Now you have fresh water for the plane ride!
This snack container is a great way to hold all your snacks in one place, so you are not rummaging through your carry on bag looking for a specific bag of chips. These are great to hold nuts, snacks, drinks, and more! Having all your snacks all together will make traveling less stressful, especially if you have children!
Don’t forget, you can always bring a small insulated cooler bag as a carry-on! If you are planning to bring snacks or meals that need to be cold, consider bringing a cooler as one of your carry on items.
In here, you can always bring yogurt (as long as it is under 3 ounces), sandwiches, cheeses, etc.! If you are on a long haul flight, this will definitely come in handy! Plus, you can use it as a cooler if you are going to the beach or pool on your vacation!
Airplane Food Restrictions/Regulations
Don’t forget many foods are considered liquids and much not be over 3 ounces in your carry on bag. These foods include:
- Creamy cheeses
- Liquid chocolate
- Creamy dips and spreads (salsa, quest dip, etc.)
- Gel ice packs
- Jams and Jelly
- Maple Syrup
- Peanut butter
For more information, go to the TSA website
Additionally, if flying internationally, there may be separate instructions for flying with produce. Check with your airport and country’s regulations.
Keep in mind that if your carry on bag has a lot of food in it, your bag may get pulled for inspection. Don’t worry if this happens- it is just precaution and regulation! A TSA agent once told me that if you have more food than can fit into both of your hands, your bag will be pulled.
This does not mean you can’t take the foods with you (unless they don’t meet regulations), so don’t panic!
Read more about how to get through the airport security line faster!
Thank you for reading healthy meals to pack for the plane ride! What are some of your favorite travel snacks? Let us know in the comments section below- we would love to hear from you!
For more information on what to bring on an airplane during a long flight, read our guide of the top carry on items!