Come prepared to make your trip that much easier (and pleasant).
We've all been there. You've arrived early for your flight and your stomach begins to grumble. Afraid to bring anything edible through security for fear of it being flagged, you're now stranded at your terminal with no snacks on hand and the only options nearby are pricey—and likely unhealthy.
Don't let this be you next time you fly. Instead, stock up on some of the healthy (and budget-friendly) options that are TSA-approved to avoid being hangry before you take to the skies. If you have questions about more specific foods, review the TSA's or them on and for answers in real time.
Cheese and Crackers
A classic for keeping hunger at bay, cheese and crackers are both TSA-approved. Just be sure to bring solid cheeses, such as cubes of cheddar or gouda, and avoid those with creamier consistencies which may go against your airport's "no liquids" rule.
Single Serve Packs of Nuts
Pre-portioned packages of nuts make for an easy and mess-free snack option. There are plenty of options available, from sweet to savory, or you can customize them by making your own—like our Smoked and Spiced Pecans or Honey-Glazed Almonds recipes. To be courteous of others, since nut allergies are quite common, only eat nuts in an open space like your terminal instead of in close quarters where it might affect fellow passengers.
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Bring an instant oatmeal packet, or a baggie of dry ingredients that you mixed up at home, through security. Once you're past, go to one of the coffee shops and ask for a cup of hot water, a spoon, and an extra cup. Combine and stir to make an easy whole-grain snack or breakfast.
You can bring fruit through security in both fresh and dry forms. Package your fresh fruit in a way that TSA agents can easily take a peek inside if needed, but most times there is no need for inspection. If you're flying internationally, be aware that there are usually restrictions on bringing foreign fruit into a country, so be sure to finish eating and disposing of it before leaving your plane.
An old standby, snack bars are a simple grab-and-go option for last minute flights. You can buy one of the dietitian-approved store-bought varieties, or easily make your own at home to keep them full of wholesome ingredients.
Disclaimer: The Transportation Security Administration states that the final decision on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint rests with the TSA officer. This means that approval of foods may vary due to individual officers or airport policies, but in general the above recommendations should be permitted.