Healthy, Frugal Foods for the Plane

Airports. There is just nothing like them. Think about it for a moment, all over the planet, there are thousands of acres of land, at each, thousands of humans converge for a moment in time with the same purpose; they are there for the sole purpose of being somewhere else. For this brief moment in their lives, they all have the same purpose. Pretty amazing isn’t it.


Anyways, this post is actually about eating in the air, eating well, by packing your own food to be more accurate. There are literally thousands of resources out there telling you what to buy to eat decently at the airport, but sometimes it makes sense to bring our own food.

Why You Should Bring Your Own Food to The Airport

I see three primary motivators for bringing your own food.

  1. You want to eat quality, healthy food.

Let’s be real, we all know that a Subway sandwich is a good option, but almost any meal we make at home is better.

2.   You want to save money.

Airport food is expensive ya’ll! $2.18 for an Granny Smith apple? Sorry, I won’t even pay that for a pink lady!

3.  You don’t have time to grab food between flights.

I’ll admit, often, I would prefer that Subway sandwich to a packed meal, but as a gal who epitomizes the definition of Hangry, if there is a chance I won’t be able to grab food between connections, you can bet your bottom dollar I have contingency food in my carry on!

Airport Foods Have High Standards to Meet

Not just any food makes the cut when your flying, it has a long list of requirements it needs to meet

  1. It must be portable via disposable containers

Tupperware is expensive, I am not about to toss out a good plastic container!

2.  It must require no refrigeration

3.  It must be relatively odorless

Event though you are wedged between two gentlemen who think that your arm rests are in fact their arm rests, my mother says it is still rude for me to bother them with my hard boiled eggs.

4.  It must be quite.

Noisy chomping is gross. It is 3x as gross is tight quarters

5.  It must require minimal movement.

Anything that requires a plastic knife also requires elbowing your neighbor. On second thought, you might get your arm rest back🙂

This rules out 99% of my usual foods, meats, yogurt, apples, carrots, froyo, eggs, popcorn, entire containers of spinach… you catch my drift. So what’s a pinny pinch, health minded, time strapped gal to do?

Eat candy.


Just kidding, but seriously. Below are suggestions for real, whole, foods that meet all of the requirements necessary for eating in the air.

Healthy Plane Foods

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Jerky
  • Soft Fruits – berries, kiwi, bananas, peeled oranges etc.
  • Non-Crunchy Cereal
  • Nuts without Shells
  • Pasta with Tomatoes (Not sauce or cheese)
  • Soft, Non-Pungent Veggies – Zucchini, Squash, Green Beans
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Candy (Ok, so it’s not healthy, but it travels exceptionally well, isn’t noisy, or smelly!)

Do you ever bring your own food on the plane?

What do you bring?

12 thoughts on “Healthy, Frugal Foods for the Plane

  1. Harleys and Heels says:

    Nothing is worse than the person who just ordered Taco Bell and hops on the plane to devour. Come on, man! Give us a break!🙂 I like your suggestions. I fall victim of the candy train, myself.

    • Anne @ says:

      Haha that’s a fabulous example! I think candy and plane trips are made to go together!

  2. emmelineruns says:

    Oops, I totally get myself a coffee and a sandwich. I almost never get coffee from a coffee shop unless I’m at the airport and I get excited to get a Potbelly sandwich since I don’t live near one. It’s like the only thing that helps me get through the experience, I need something positive to look forward to before I have to fly (I hate it)!

  3. fitnessmeetsfrosting says:

    Pahaha #3- wait so every time I bring my chicken Parmesan with a side of broccoli and Brussels sprouts, it’s offensive? Oops.😉 I actually agree with that rule. I’ve been in situations where someone else’s extremely odoriferous food made me feel sick…I have heard you have to be careful about PB&J. My friend has had to throw out her PB&J a couple times (actually she shoved it down her throat lol) because they didn’t want the peanuts (allergies). So weird because they sell peanuts at the airport and some planes still give ’em to you…Maybe they just don’t like her😉 I definitely bring my own food if I can. I’m a grazer and I will NOT spend a bazillion $$ on mediocre foods. Some faves are grapes, apples, mixed nuts, pretzels (or something salty, always crave something salty for some reason), and duh candy.

    • Anne @ says:

      You know, I have always wondered about the peanut thing! I wonder if people with severe allergies inform the airline ahead of time or something?

      You know what I never understood- why they sell pistachios and sunflower seeds at EVERY airport?!? An you think I a messier food??

    • Anne @ says:

      Its crazy! It’s like a theme park or a stadium, you have a captive audience with limited choices!

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