Healthy Travel: Bringing snacks through security

insulated lunch bagAh, the beginning of the year. That time when everything seems so shiny and new, and anything is possible! I will absolutely exercise three times a week, I will eat healthy, I will drink less caffeine, I will, I will, I will…..

If your resolution involves eating healthier, airport food is not exactly your friend. While some airports are really trying to have lighter fare available, it’s still a crapshoot. And let’s be honest—do you really want to eat a salad from a fast food restaurant? Me neither!

I’ve advocated for bringing snacks on trips for practical reasons for a long time—you could get stuck on a plane and have nothing to eat. But it’s good to pack your own food for health reasons too. The same reason they say bringing your lunch to work is usually better than eating out extends to travel too. While trying to eat better is not a New Year’s thing for me—I’ve been off the bread and sugar train since November—it’s still tricky to find healthy things through security that will taste good and stay fresh. Here are some tips:

Be prepared with materials. If you are bringing things that should be refrigerated, make sure you have a small insulated bag plus Ziploc bags for ice. If you are bringing things that can be left at room temperature, you can use something fancy if you want (like this adorable mini lunch box) but Ziploc bags work just fine.

Use grapes as ice. Put everything in a small insulated bag. Freeze your grapes, and they will act like a cold pack. Once you get through security you can get some ice. Your food should stay cold for several hours.

Bring substitutes. If there are substitutes for foods you are staying away from, bring those with you. I always have Splenda with me, and for this trip I will probably bring some bread made with coconut flour.

Take an empty water bottle. I will definitely be bringing my Contigo water bottle and filling it up once I get through security.

Here are the snacks I will be taking on my trip this week:

  • Kirklands Extra Fancy Unsalted Mixed Nuts. A great mix, super tasty. We buy them at Costco, but they are also available on Amazon.
  • Coconut bread. I use this recipe. It’s pretty tasty and holds together very well. Great for sandwiches and burgers.
  • Almond crackers with peanut butter. These are similar to Almond Thins but homemade with almond meal using this recipe. I make a little sandwich with sugar-free peanut butter. Yum!
  • Carrots. Tasty, crunchy, and portable. Enough said.
  • Cheese sticks. I actually freeze these, and when snack time rolls around they are perfectly thawed.

In addition to these snacks I will also be utilizing my tips for eating healthy on the road I posted back in November.

Readers, any healthy eating resolutions? What are you bringing with you on trips?



  1. Can you get peanut butter through security? I thought that was on the list of items not allowed

  2. @Daniel I think if you’re bringing through a container of just peanut butter you might have a problem. I have brought peanut butter crackers through for years and never had an issue.

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