Unless you are flying first class with Emirates, airplane food is usually subpar, loaded with salt and not tasty. The good thing is most snacks are TSA approved and even prepared food can make it through security clearance. Chrissy Teigen once brought an “emotional support casserole” on a commercial flight. While you may not have the space in your carry-on for a casserole, these bite size, packable snacks can fit in your purse so you will never have to resort to filling up on airplane food again.
Nuts: Almonds or any kind of nut are always a smart snacking choice when on-the-go. The SI Swimsuit team is particular to these Salt' n Vinegar almonds. I introduced MJ Day to these about five years ago and she always keeps a bag in her desk for emergencies. (You can often find us snacking on them in the office.) Once you try one, you may feel the need to finish the whole bag so before you head to the airport, throw them in a baggie (preferably one of my favorite silicone, reusable bags) and you’ve got yourself a perfectly portioned treat.
Cheese: Oh, cheese, how I miss you. I unfortunately am not allowed to eat dairy. But I have found some dairy-free alternatives to keep my cheese craving at bay. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to snack on the real thing, throw some in your carry-on and you won't regret it when your stomach starts to grumble at 30,000 feet with only bagged peanuts in sight. My boyfriend’s favorites are these BelGioioso mozzarella snacking bites. If you're dairy free like me, cube up a Daiya Cheddar Blocks and pair it with some Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers for that perfect mid-flight bite.
Protein Balls: So easy to make ahead. These are usually no-bake (SCORE!), quick, poppable treats made with nut butters, oats, chocolate and seeds. My go-to's are these No Bake Energy Bites from Gimme Some Oven and Cookie Dough Collagen Protein Bites from Unbound Wellness. Top these with some sea salt flakes to take them to the next level.
Chocolate: While I do not have a sweet tooth I love anything both salty and sweet. These chocolate bars are made with sea salt so they add a little oomph to every bite. My favorites are this Raaka Pink Sea Salt Chocolate bar and Hu Kitchens Salty Dark Chocolate bar. Both are made in the New York City area so I can just pop in the store and pick them up pre-flight, but you can order from their websites (or Amazon) and have shipped to wherever you may be.
Baked Chickpeas: These are so easy to make in your oven at home prior to leaving for your flight. Try this recipe from Minimalist Baker (my seasoning of choice is this Simply Organic Everything Blend). If you’re in a rush, though, you can buy them pre-packaged at any grocery store or order online. They are just as delicious, sometimes even crispier. I recommend these Biena Chickpea Snacks; pick the flavor that suits your taste buds.
Hot Cheetos: While not healthy, if you need some sort of a cheat snack above the clouds, go for these. I used to scour the airport for them before every single flight (Jo Giunta did the same). We were both quite sad while in Paris when we realized this delicacy was not available at Charles de Gaulle Airport. While I can no longer eat them (they’re not dairy free) my love for them remains.