The Diet Detective: Airline Snack Facts

Here are some ideas for snacks you can bring or buy in the airport:

  • Water: Buy it after the security checkpoint to take onboard. Dehydration can cause or exacerbate hunger, jet lag and fatigue.
  • Cereal: Kashi, Shredded Wheat or other low calorie cereals. Look for portable, low-calorie choices, under 120 calories per cup. You can also look for cereal in a cup--portion controlled 1.5-ounce packs that are easy to store and easy to use.
  • Fruit and salads: Stick with fruits like apples and oranges that can withstand some rough treatment. You can even bring a banana if you put it in a container such as a banana saver ( Grapes or almost any other fruit can be carried in a plastic container. Also, they often sell cut up fruit or salads in the airport. They're a bit more expensive than bringing your own, but at least they're healthy alternatives to what is served onboard.
  • Energy bars: Although they tend to be high in calories and fat, they are generally better than a slice of pizza or a candy bar at the airport. Choose Larabars; they have nothing but healthy ingredients.
  • Frozen VitaTops: They're healthy, low calorie, and by the time you're ready to eat one, it will be defrosted and taste fresh. (
  • Nonfat yogurt: Yogurt is a great portable snack. You can purchase it after you go through security.
  • Sandwiches: Pre-cut them into portion-controlled sections so you can pull them out at different times during the trip without making a mess. Chicken, turkey, cold cuts and cheese (on 100 percent whole-wheat bread) are all great options for sandwiches on the go.
  • Soy chips and PopChips: Yet another portable, low-cal, high-fiber snack. (, )
  • Peel-and-eat tuna and salmon cups: Chicken of the Sea makes these easy-to-open cups that give you a quick protein source. With no draining required, this wild-caught tuna or salmon is perfect for on-the-go lunches and snacks.
  • Nuts: They're a good source of protein, and they help fend off hunger. Portion them into 1-ounce bags (about 160 calories each).
  • Dried or freeze-dried fruit and vegetable snacks: Eat dried fruit in moderation; it's high in calories. (e.g.,,,
  • All Natural Fruit Roll Ups (no sugar added): Check out Stretch Island Fruit Company's Original Fruit Strips, FruitaB? and Smoooshed Fruit Rolls (
  • Whole Wheat Crackers: Make sure to get 100 percent whole-wheat crackers such as Ak Mak (, Dr. Kracker (, Mr. Krispers (
  • Beef jerky: Especially if you're a low-carb fan, but not if you're watching your sodium.

Looking for tips to make your travels healthier? Check out the Diet Detective's Last-Minute Vacation Diet Cheat Sheet. Go to

Charles Stuart Platkin is an Active Expert , nutrition and public health advocate, author of the best seller Breaking the Pattern (Plume, 2005), Breaking the FAT Pattern (Plume, 2006) and Lighten Up (Penguin USA/Razorbill, 2006) and founder of Integrated Wellness Solutions. Sign up for The Diet Detective newsletter free at

Copyright 2010 by Charles Stuart Platkin

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