Food/snacks for Airplane

Updated on November 08, 2011
R.T. asks from Rochester, NY
16 answers

We will be taking a vacation soon (can't wait - going to Orlando!) and I am trying to figure out what snacks to pack for the plane...and how to pack them. I tried looking up information for the airline/TSA but I didn't see anything related to food you can bring. I plan on having granola bars and was thinking of bringing grapes, crackers, hummus, veggies...but not sure what I can pack it in, or what is allowed to bring from home? (My son is 3). Thanks!

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answers from New York on

I have a 2 yr old son and found that it's more important to keep him entertained than to feed him. But I did buy a drink at airport to help with his ears from popping. For snacks, I brought his faves like Gerber's cheese puffs, fruit leather, seaweed, cookies, clementine, multi-grain bread. Brought couple of NEW books and NEW toy/car/train...also portable dvd player works great. Waiting time at terminal...he liked to walk/run around, play with other kids, look around. (Lollipop or gum might help too with the ears.)



answers from Chicago on

We have flown several times.. we have not had any issues with brining any foods through.. PB & J sams, veggie straws, fruit snacks.. I have to watch the sugar for my little one so they don't get too hyper..

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answers from Kansas City on

I have schlepped what seems like entire grocery stores on flights for my soon-to-be 4 year old son (about 12 flights so far, and another one on monday). In fact, when we traveled to Italy last year I had a humongous bag dedicated entirely to snacks! It weighed a ton but I had to make sure to have enough for both 10-hour plane rides and our week-long stay in three cities because I didn't want the hassle of having to go to the market for "kid stuff" there.

That said, I have been surprised at what they let me bring. I've never had a food turned down (including juice boxes, single-serve milk boxes, applesauce cups and yogurt squeezes - they are unopened and TSA does a swab test on them). Any other non-liquid food was carried in any condition, e.g. didn't have to be original or sealed packaging.

The only time I purchase "gummy snacks" for my son is for flights so he knows them as plane treats and I serve them to him during take-off so he'll be chewing something. Other than that we have the standard issue fig newtons, crackers, twizzlers, granola bars, chocolate soymilk; basic portable snacky stuff that's not too messy or involved.

One thing that surprised me when I flew with him two months ago was being allowed to take ice through security. My son had finished his drink but we have a pretty great thermos that kept the ice so cold it didn't melt and I didn't realize it until we were almost to the scanner. I explained my oversight and asked the TSA agent if I could dump it out to send the thermos through. He opened it, checked that it was just ice and said go ahead. Apparently, explosives don't freeze so ice is fine.

Oh and ALWAYS have an emergency lollipop stashed that they don't know about! On a flight from Philadelphia this summer I didn't need it for my son but offered it to the parents of a late 2/early 3 year old who was having a meltdown. Problem solved.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The last time we were at the airport we were not allowed to bring our bagged lunch thru the security gate. I've flown and been able to take small quantities of food that are in the original sealed packages (like a granola bar, snack sized gold fish, 100 cal paks) Food can be purchased once you have passed thru the security gate and may be taken on the plane.

Here's a link to the tsa website that deals with food

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would pack Chex mix. it's great and travels well.

I don't know if you are allowed to bring food through security still. I believe you have to purchase your food and drinks AFTER security.


answers from Jacksonville on

As long as you aren't leaving the country you should be able to bring whatever you want.

We always bring raisins, goldfish and a box of cracker, never had a problem yet. :)



answers from Kansas City on

I actually talked to customer service when we flew on an airplane in September. We flew Southwest, and they said we could bring any snack we wanted, but no drinks. My son took a bag of chips and they didn't say anything. I'd pack it in ziplock plastic bags just so there aren't any issues with anything. Also, after they told me we couldn't bring drinks on the plane, people were bringing their pops and Starbucks that they had purchased in the airport, and no one said anything to them. Have fun!!



answers from Albany on

I have a child with severe food allergies so I get a medical note to bring food on the plane but I don't think it is needed for snacks. Here is what I've observed over the past few years. Every airport is different despite the rules. Many airports that are more kid friendly (aka family lines like Phili, Atlanta, etc.) are great at letting you through with lots of stuff. But I've flown out of airports that aren't as familiar with young kids like Tampa and Sarasota. These airports made me and others around me without kids, throw out lots of stuff. I had to throw out almond butter which was more then the allowed solid amount, an ice pack and some hummus in Tampa. That is why I now travel with my doctors letter because I have to make my own hummus due to food allergies and I can't rely on finding food in the airport. To date I have found one bag of chips for my child and some fresh fruit but the rest has ingredients that she's allergic to.

I can say that most airport food places now sell little packets of hummus with carrots or flat bread. There are tons of snack types of foods though the dry snack foods are the ones that have never been a problem for us getting through security. And I have had to spill out water at the Baltimore and D.C. Airports. So I bring here camelback water bottle, dump the water in the garbage can and then buy a bottle on the other side and fill it up. You could always use the watershed fountains to refill.

So my advice... Pack a zip lock of dry snacks or pre packaged dry snacks. It's easier to keep them all in one place and easier to show th TSAs if there is an issue. Pack a refillable watere bottle for your child. Buy milk, juice and things like fruit, yogurt, hummus and cheeses in the terminal before loading the airport. You can find bananas, grapes and apples at most places and I've seen yogurts and hummus. I bring veggie sticks, freeze dried fruits or dried fruits like raisins and apricots. Good luck. I think that when you look back on it all, you will have over prepared and everything will go better then expected. Always does for me!



answers from Minneapolis on

Anything that is not liquid or squeezable. I think I would avoid the hummus. That may set up a red flag. We always did granola bars, craisins, cheese on crackers or PB on crackers. I don't know about the grapes.



answers from Los Angeles on

trail mix
bottled water (but you will have to carry them through security check
empty then fill them up on the other side before boarding
fruit rollups? (could be messy. bring wipes)
granola bars
those little cheese n' cracker pre packaged things
don't know if they'll allow drink boxes (you can find the teeny ones @
Dollar store
put all this in a back pack
Have a fun, safe trip!



answers from Cleveland on

You can also bring pretzels. Just keep them in a baggie.



answers from Seattle on

Your snacks are fine but get the 2 oz single serving sealed packs of hummus. I wouldn't try to pack your own even in super-teeny tupperware.

Here's the link to the TSA website you'll find helpful:

Noteworthy on that page is this statement: "Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) and are not required to be in the zip-top bag."

Pack your snacks in a bag or tupperware. Food doesn't count in the "one quart bag per person" category.

Enjoy your holiday! Sound like so much fun!



answers from New York on

I seriously do not think you need all that food. Some entertainment and a
snack should do it. The flight can't be much more than three hours. By
the time you take off, get settled, color or play some games, have a snack,
it will be time to land. Have fun.


answers from Dover on

I previously packed snacks but that was pre-911. When I have flown since then, I got the impression that you couldn't pack anything. After you go through security, you could purchase a drink and/or snacks at their ridiculous prices.

I don't know if I am right or wrong but you should be able to ask your airline.



answers from New York on

I haven not had a problem with snacks and even a lunch box size cooler bag with a small cool pack (and really you don't need more snacks than that for a short flight). My kids love string cheese as a snack. They will let you through with a bottle of milk for a baby or toddler ( they make you open it and use a test strip to check it). On one occasion they let me take 1 juice box on the plane (no concessions at a small airport) but usually I bring an empty sippy cup for each kid and get a drink after security or even on the plane. The real problem I had with my son when he was 2.5 was he kept peeing through his pull ups on the plane--get overnight pull ups or diapers and bring a change or 2 of clothes. I have traveled with my kids, now 5.5 and almost 3, every summer and we avoid the on the plane diaper change if at all possible. Also, a few small new toys (like matchbox cars or maybe an airplane board book) go a long way. By 3 my son was excited about traveling on the airplane so if may be more fun than you think!



answers from Chicago on

We fly with our kids quite a bit. I've never had an issue with bringing food through security and onto the plane...with any liquids, if they are for the child, TSA will run a swab test over them. If they aren't for him, they may make you toss them.

Honestly it's easier just to bring a couple of empty sippy cups for him, and buy milk and water once you get through security. You should be able to bring all of your snacks through no problem. Don't make the mistake of waiting until you get on the plane to get drinks though - these days you're lucky if the drink cart even comes by! Ok that's an exaggeration (though it has happened to me several times on shorter flights)...but you'll probably need something for him to drink way before that drink cart ever gets to you.

Great idea from Debi S. on the gummy snacks and emergency lollipops - I ALWAYS have those handy! Have a great trip!!

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