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What’s the Deal with Airplane Food Rules Anyway?


Healthy Airplane Food
Ever since the rules of the game changed back in 2008- and by rules of the game, we mean flying game- traveling has become much more of an ordeal for some. Airport restrictions have reached a fever pitch in security- want to bring some R.O water on the plane? Nope- could be explosives.  Oh, but that less than 100 ml bottle of hair spray is fine, after all you might need to touch up before getting off the plane to the masses who await. Food and snacks are hit and miss for getting on the plane…but you can certainly bring in the $10.00 bottle of water you purchased inside the terminal, or the $15.00 bag of chips.

Now, for the record, we are ALL about protecting ourselves and making sure every security measure is taken for passengers to be safe and sound up in the skies.  But hasn’t it all gotten a little ridiculous to you? You know what we say around here- “laugh at the ridiculousness of seriousness“.  This would be a perfect time to do just that…so all together now: “Hahahahahahahaha. Hah. Haha. Haaa.”   Only problem is that it isn’t so funny when you are traveling and can’t have access to any foods you actually want to eat, or any beverages that don’t come in plastic bottles.  The options for food on planes aren’t very good options at all- they might even pose health concerns (and by might, we mean definitely.)

You may recall from my previous post back in 2010 (where does the time go??) that certain foods to carry on are big no-nos (such as hummus or almond butter, which fall into the “gel” category) but that we can certainly manage to pack delicious, healthful luncheswhen we travel as long as they play by the rules.

You can avoid carrying your food in plastic containers and bags by using nifty little storage goodness like this and this. They are airplane safe AND won’t seep sketchy toxins into your bod.  Here are some of our fave, airplane friendly snacks for your munching considering:

Question of the Day: How do you prepare for flying? What snacks do you bring and what do you avoid?

17 responses to “What’s the Deal with Airplane Food Rules Anyway?”

  1. Nanda says:

    Most of the time I’m flying with my boys. We go to Brazil and it can be almost 20 hours with layovers. My first rule is to take a few stainless steel water bottles, I use the water fountain, flying attendants hate having to give you that much water. For food I take nuts, fruit, crackers, popcorn, almond butter sandwiches, boiled eggs. We usually have one meal at restaurant before our longest flight.

  2. Shannon says:

    Travelling is a nightmare for me and I travel for work a fair amount. I get sick almost every time I travel so it’s not great. I often go hungry when I fly just because of trying not to eat. So I do travel with my water bottle and fill it up as I go and try to pack muffins or snacks and nuts that I’ve put together but I haven’t found a good solution.

  3. Samantha Angela says:

    It can be a bit of a pain, but it’s not too hard to avoid gels and liquids and still take a healthy lunch or snack on a plane.

    I forgot about a full stainless steel bottle of water that I had in my carry-on before my flight out of Pearson this month. I ended up having to chug a litre of water back in a few seconds so I could make it through airport security.

  4. Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) says:

    I didn’t know almond butter and hummus were considered gels! I’ll have to keep that in mind the next time I take a long flight. I usually pack seeds and nuts but I always worry that someone on the plan will be allergic to the nuts I’m eating and have a reaction. I find quinoa salad is a good thing to bring because you can add the dressing at home and as long as you use the right veggies it won’t get too soggy.

  5. Steph says:

    From my experience, getting food onto a plane can be hit or miss and I’ve had to scarf my fresh food pre-security once or twice. I’ve been in some airports that did a second search on the way onto the plane and even made us throw out the food and water we purchased after the first screening. I’m heading overseas this week and I’ll be be bringing mainly sealed food (Larabars, trail mix, single-serve vitamin C poweder, single-serve Vega) with me to be safe but I’ll bring some of fresh fuit as well. I can’t leave home without my water bottle and tea.

  6. Marilene says:

    I usually pack muffins or homemade granola to satisfy my sweet tooth. For savoury food, sometimes a frittata loaded with veggies or a bean/quinoa salad. Also a sprouted grain wrap with guac and loads of veggies usually passes off as airport food :)

  7. Jo says:

    I just hate flying, period, and do my level best to avoid it whenever possible! Thanks heavens train travel doesn’t have such strict food security.

  8. Val says:

    I usually bring wraps or some variation on a rice/quinoa bowl (without too much sauce) for an airplane meal. I also pack snacks – usually a reuseable sandwich back of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, plus some bar snacks like Larabars. I also usually bring some protein powder (usually a mix of hemp, Sunwarrior and spirulina) which can be mixed with water or juice for a quick dose of protein.

    I also have a ritual of my ‘last’ green smoothie in my travel mug as I head to the airport, to be finished before I reach security.

    If I’m going to the US, I’ll limit what I bring to sealed packaged items and food which I will eat before going through customs.

  9. Dana says:

    I always have a 22 Days Chocolate Cherry Bliss Bar with me, homemade jerky, cut up veggies and fruit. Sometimes I will pack homemade muffins and protein powder so I can make a drink.

  10. Gillian says:

    I was at Heathrow the day all of these new liquid rules went down. A terrifying memory of the airport being covered by media, “Hell at Heathrow” on the TV news and shoving whatever we could into our suitcases as nothing could be taken on board!

    Since then, in terms of food for travel, I usually pack almonds and protein bars. I find travel plays havoc on what I eat so my best bet is to eat less on the flight and hydrate!

  11. Patrice says:

    Ditto on the stainless steel water bottle. And an Emergen-C packet I case I think I’ll want a sweet.
    I used to travel 3wks/month, usually to economically depressed areas, and pretty much always had a purse full of food. Quinoa can easily be made in the hotel coffee pot, nuts and nut butters are key. <3oz container of Braggs or miso are welcome treats too.
    Though I try not to eat gluten anymore, homemade setain travels extremely well (depending on what you put in it)
    and is a great resource.

  12. Suzanne @ RollWithIt says:

    We always try to pack a meal and snacks (especially with a toddler). I’m always stopped at security, but have nothing to hide so I’m used to it now. Worst they made me do was drink my own pumped breast milk!

    Did you hear about the needle found in the pre-packaged sandwich on an Air Canada flight this week. Another reason why you should bring your own meal!

  13. Martina says:

    Seriously just read the title of that blog entry at first as “what’s the deal with airline peanuts?” HAHA! Airplane snacks can be tricky, but I try to avoid things that are smelly. I’m a lover of smelly foods, but people tend to get so uppity if I crack open a tin of sardines around them.

  14. Tt says:

    I always make a baggie with a mix of instant oatmeal, protein powder and dried fruit- then i get a big cup in the airport and just need hot water on the flight! Dry roasted edamame, fresh fruit (apples, banana) and justins nut butter packets, energy nuggets, and who knows what else!

  15. FLO YO says:

    What airport are you at? 10 dollar water and 15 dollar chips? I get yo hyperbole but damn nutri-girl, don’t hate on the airports so much!

  16. Maya says:

    Hi Meghan,
    My fav flying rule is the aerosole cans are allowed (as long as they have a lid!!) & one cigarette lighter policy that we have here in Australia! Not sure what it is for you guys, but isn’t that ridiculous! You can’t bring in a water bottle, but you can have a potential weapon!!

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