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sep 14 2012

6 Snacks That Are Perfect for Air Travel

Nuts and dried fruit make great plane snacks (Courtesy @bastique/Flickr)

A few weeks ago, I asked you what your favorite plane snacks were and 24 of you responded with some smart suggestions than ran the gambit from the type of snacks that are best in transit to savvy tips for keeping those edibles fresh. Can I just say how impressed I was by how healthy your suggestions were? Not a single person recommended potato chips (kale chips did come up a couple of times, though). Here were my favorites suggestions—plus, some handy ideas for how to package your goodies for the road.

The snack: Cheese (Brie, pecorino romano, gouda), dried fruit like cranberries and apricots, and nuts, grapes, and crackers.

Why I love this: First of all, who doesn't love cheese? It's savory, satisfying, and unless you're bringing one of those super-smelly varieties on the plane, it's not so odiferous as to upset your neighbors. Nuts and dried fruits also last, package, and travel very well, not to mention provide a sustaining snack.

The snack: Cream cheese on a bagel with some fruit of choice.

Why I love this: Bagels are high in fiber and carbohydrates, which means that they will keep you feeling full for a long time. And because carbohydrates stimulate serotonin production, they can help lessen anxiety and promote sleep. Make it an even healthier snack by choosing a whole wheat bagel, which has more fiber than its white counterpart.

The snack: Oranges. They are protected by the peel, and are instantly refreshing. Put a few (unpeeled) in a ziplock bag with a paper towel and you have a place to put the peels and wipe your hands (or your kids) if it is juicy!

Why I love this: Not only is it a refreshing snack, but it's jam-packed with Vitamin C which provides a nice boost to the immune system at a time when you need it most (yes, airplanes are a breeding ground for germs, but a strong immune system will keep you healthy).

The snack: Sturdy, raw vegetables like celery, carrots, broccoli, asparagus and cauliflower with a nut butter, hummus or salsa dip.

Why I love this: They're low in calories, almost completely odor-free, and bursting with vitamins. Eating these veggies regularly will keep you super-healthy in the long term, but in the short term they'll help with digestion and keep your immune system healthy, which, as we discussed above, is a desired trait in any snack that's designed for air travel. Just make sure that your dip conforms to the TSA's 3-1-1 rules for liquids (or that you buy it once you're past security) or it'll be confiscated at the gate.

The snack: Instant oatmeal packets, just ask for cup of hot water from flight attendant.

Why I love this: It's a hot snack that you don't have to pay through the nose for, it's incredibly transportable, and it's high in fiber and protein that will keep your tummy feeling full for hours. Mix in some trail mix to make it more interesting.

The snack: Kale chips

Why I love this: Kale is bursting with vitamins A, C, K, and antioxidants. Yes, it's also full of the oil that was used to cook it, but it's a way healthier snack than a big bag of potato chips.

Plus: 4 Savvy Tips for Keeping Snacks Fresh:

Cut sandwiches in half and wrap separately to keep them fresh in case you decide you don't want the whole thing at once.

Make sandwiches with a kind of bread that won't get soggy easily. Jason recommends sprouted grain bread. I also like baguettes for that reason.

If you bring a sandwich, pack frozen grapes as well to keep cool and to provide a refreshing snack.

You should buy wipes that fit in your handbag, as well as extra zip lock bag (or two) to put all of your trash in.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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