Airplane Food 101

We’ve all heard of BYOB right? (bring your own booze) Well, today I’m all about BYOAF. Bring your own airplane food. Last week I flew from LA to NYC and had about .08 seconds to prep for the trip since it was so last minute and found myself on the plane, without anything to eat, for 5.5 hours. Ouch.

Food menus on domestic flights leave a LOT to be desired. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to pay $9 for a cheese plate that has about 2 slices of cheese on it! Usually, if I have about 30 minutes to prep, I’ll assemble a bag full of airplane food to make it through. So, if you’ll be traveling this summer and jetting off to fun destinations and want to bring your own airplane food… here’s the skinny on what to pack for a flight:

Airplane Food | What to eat on a plane

Nuts: There’s always a handful of almonds in my bag for a quick fix. Plus they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, good fats and protein!!

Chocolate: Depending on what’s in my pantry, I’ll grab a handful of chocolate to bring on a plane. Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars from Trader Joe’s are a staple… but really anything to satisfy a sweet tooth will work.

Fresh Fruit: Grab a few pieces of fruit that will stand up to the flight. Apples are a great options, bananas too! Just be sure not to bang them around when you’re getting settled on the plane. I’ll even bring options like peaches, nectarines or cherries since I know fresh fruit will be the first thing I go for when I sit down, and that way I can eat it before it has a chance to bruise.

Pretzels: I need a little something salty from time to time, so pretzels, or peanut butter stuffed pretzels do just the trick! Just a few though, too much salt on a plane can dehydrate you.

Dried Fruit: Make a grab bag of your favorite dried fruits, you can even toss in some extra chocolate or nuts and have your own personal trail mix.

Cheese: Essentials for anytime I travel. I’m a cheese queen. And a bite of any cheese can quickly turn my mood around!

Tea: There’s really nothing worse than a flight that has only 1 tea option and it’s usually boring. I’ll bring my own tea bags on a flight so I can ask for a hot cup of water and whip up my own at a moments notice! Also…. drink tons and tons of water!! You’ll feel so much better when you land.

Whole Grain Salad: I always bring some kind of grain salad on a flight to really have some substance. This pesto caprese quinoa salad is a great option as it will keep you full and it’s seriously delish! You could also bring an Asian Chicken Slaw, Spring Pea and Farro Salad, or a BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad!

Happy Traveling!

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  1. Maria

    I am headed to Austin tomorrow so this is perfect timing! Great ideas!

  2. Heather Christo

    I love this- We are getting ready to tai a long international flight with the kids and I was just lamenting about having to pack enough snacks to get is through- great choices!!!

  3. Traci

    Every time I remember to bring my own airplane food I am thankful, and every time I don’t remember, I become jealous of someone else on the plane who has packed some sort of delicious looking airplane-sized feast. I love the idea of bringing those little cheeses and your own tea bags.

    • Gaby

      the cheese + tea are my favorite little additions 🙂 and so easy!

  4. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    So smart! I used to always think about what I’d need to bring for the kids, but never really thought about food for myself for some reason! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  5. .Helen Kennedy

    I think this will apply to long bus trips too. My husband and I are travelling to Belgium by bus and Eurostar next month, and this looks as if it will work for tbe 7 hour journey.

    • Gaby

      100% for bus trips!! works like a charm 🙂

  6. Emily @ Life on Food

    I travel all the time and have to have snacks with me. I hate it when I forget. I am super grumpy when hungry but even more grumpy when there is nothing I want and it costs a ton of $$$. I haven’t done chocolate covered apricots before but I see them in my future soon.

  7. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Healthier, more cost effective, tastes better, and you feel better = totally agreed with brining your own food and love your ideas!

  8. Airplane Food 101 | ShoutYourSite

    […] We’ve all heard of BYOB right? (bring your own booze) Well, today I’m all about BYOAF. Bring your own airplane food. Last week I flew from LA to NYC and had about .08 seconds to prep for the trip since it was so last minute and found myself on the plane, without anything to eat,   …Continue Reading […]

  9. Monika

    I love the idea of bringing a bag of my own personal trail mix. Never thought of the grain salads, but they sure sound like a great idea too.

  10. Happy Valley Chow

    I wish I would have read this post when I was flying between Indiana and Minnesota 8 times, thanks for the recommendation!

    Happy Blogging!

  11. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

    These do look so much better tasting and healthier than what you might find in a pinch at the airport! I love these ideas – great variation too!

  12. Michelle Jones

    I really have never even thought of bringing my own tea…genius! I would LOVE more recipes for on the go from you! Especially ones that will keep in a lunch box and not have to be reheated like the quinoa salad.

  13. Brenda

    Since when have you been able to take food on an airplane ? They will not even let you past the first check in with a bottle of water . I know you can buy food at the airport and take that on the airplane but I didn’t know you could bring food from home…..

    • Gaby

      Oh I always bring food from home. They for sure won’t let you bring water – but I’ve never had a problem bringing food 🙂

  14. Liz

    Just remember when you bring fruit to leave the sticker on, and declare that you have fruit 🙂

  15. Liren

    I pack my own tea bags too! Makes such a huge difference, even when you get to the hotel! So glad I’m not the only one who travels with a bag full of food 🙂

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  17. Kara

    I always bring a whole avocado and grab a plastic knife from one of the airport fast food places to slice it open, then use Stacey’s pita chips to scoop into the avocado. It is so good!

  18. Wdani

    Hi, how do you get the stuff specialy the chees and fruits through the security checks? They tell and write its not allowed- one time (2013) my sun (4years old) wanted to eat the last 2 Babybells after the security check put the told him he have to throw them away 🙁

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