Healthy Eating on the Fly

Instead of grabbing a burger from the food court, turn a few ingredients from home into the best plane snacks you’ve ever eaten. Here are some suggestions for travel snacks made with foods that can help you fight anxiety and airplane germs as well as keep you hydrated and relaxed throughout your flight. 

Pack your meals in reusable containers and save them for snacks on the flight home. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t travel with stinky foods like fish, eggs, or strong cheeses—everything else is fair game. Happy travels!


Airplanes are a breeding ground for germs, so ward off cooties with a flu-fighting salad. For a probiotic boost, start with a base of Greek yogurt and then stir in some lemon and grated ginger or garlic for their antibacterial properties. Top with hydrating cucumbers and cooked lentils or beans like white beans or chickpeas for a natural source of zinc. You can roast chickpeas with turmeric and chili powder for additional germ-fighting abilities. Top the lentils or beans and cucumbers with spinach (more vitamin C!) and any immune-boosting herbs you have, such as basil, mint, or parsley.

Infrequent Flyer

If planes make you anxious, pack a snack that may help calm your nerves. Fill a jar with diced roasted sweet potato and kale, both are a source of the feel-good hormone serotonin (if you don’t have sweet potatoes, or want another calming boost, add farro for a similar effect). Finish the snack with herbs like basil and pumpkin, or sesame seeds. Both contain nutrients that could help lessen anxiety. Separately pack a homemade vinaigrette that has miso for gut health or calcium-packed tahini to help keep you calm and toss it all together midair. 

Midnight Snacker

Leftover proteins or tofu are great snacks for a red-eye flight because they’re packed with tryptophan, which promotes the production of melatonin, meaning it’ll help you sleep through your flight. Grab other holiday leftovers like carrots, radishes, or leafy greens and stack them on top of the turkey for more sleep-promoting nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. 

Rise and Shine

Overnight oats are a great way to start your early morning travels. Mix oats with nut or cow’s milk, seeds like chia or hemp, and frozen berries; refrigerate the night before your flight and top the mixture with crushed almonds or pistachios before you head to the airport. Berries are hydrating and will keep your skin nourished at 30,000 feet, plus they’re packed with germ-fighting vitamin C. Oats and nuts will keep you full for the flight, too. 

Short Haul Snacks

If your flight is a quick one, or you’re traveling by car, you can still eat healthily. Toss sliced vegetables such as carrots, jicama, or cucumbers with spices like Tajin, or a mix of lime juice, salt, and chili powder. Or pack a container of hummus or a Sun Basket dip for your vegetable sticks. Sliced fruit like apples and pears that can be dipped in plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese (don’t forget to toss apples and pears in lemon juice to prevent them from browning quickly). If you prefer a salty, crunchy snack make your own trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.