Snack Safe: Foods to Fly With

Let Turbulence be the Only Rumbling On Your Next Flight—Not your stomach!

I am the kind of girl who’s always got a snack in her purse. I’ll forget my keys, iPhone, and credit card but always have a Ziploc full of pretzels lingering at the bottom of my Longchamp. So maybe it’s not surprising that I’ve held up an entire TSA security line to Aruba because I had a tub of Moroccan hummus in my purse—hey, it isn’t technically a liquid and the small crudité platter in my carry on needed someone to hang out with!

As it turns out, many travelers, myself included, wrongly assume that the TSA’s only food restriction is against liquids. But you may not be aware that many other things can also violate the TSA’s precautions. According to TSA the rule states, “food items brought through security must be either be whole, natural foods (like an orange), or be placed in a container or otherwise wrapped up.” However, the snack snobs at the airport also consider sauces, jams, and pastes to be liquids. Undoubtedly, this confuses things a little.

So please, learn from my mistakes. Place any items you’re unsure about in checked baggage, ship them in advance or leave them at home if they are liquid or gel and more than 3.3 ounces. Until then, here are some food travel suggestions to get you through spring break.

Do’s

  • Cheese and Crackers: A classic combination that will keep you full all the way to Florida.
  • Trail Mix: Packed with protein, a healthy trail mix will curb your appetite during travel and prevent you from overeating once you’re on the road. Pick a mix packed with almonds and dried fruits.
  • Edamame: Pack frozen and they’ll be defrosted and fresh by the time you take off. Also, you’re lying if you don’t think popping edamame out of their shells is kind of fun.
  • Avocados Sandwich: Avocados are safe to fly with because they’re “contained.” They’re also soft enough that you could easily cut into one with a flimsy plastic knife that is TSA approved. Spread it around on a piece of bread and sprinkle on some salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself a delicious and filling sandwich.

Don’ts

  • Salad dressing: This one you could probably get away with as long as you pour it over your salad before you eat it. Just make sure you don’t tote around the full bottle.
  • Wine, liquor and beer: Wait until you get through airport security to stock up on liquor.
  • Salsa (and Hummus): Now this is a real shame, what are you supposed to eat with your tortilla chips? If you really must stock up on your favorite Mexican dips, TSA suggests mailing them home instead of attempting to fly with them.
  • Maple syrup: Unfortunately all you’ll have to remember your formal trip to Canada by are the Facebook pictures and that giant hickey on your neck.

This article was originally published in Baked Magazine’s Spring 2014 Issue

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Hi! I'm Katie. I’m happiest when I’m exploring new places, lying on the beach or eating fresh foods (and if that were all to happen at once, I’d be set!).

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