Country Kitchen: Handy Snacks While Flying

Country Kitchen: Handy Snacks While Flying

By Mary Emma Allen

Since my husband and I travel so much, especially on airplanes, I'm often asked what we do about snacks. At one time I wrote a column about travel foods and dining so have always been interested in this topic.

I am surprised by the number of people who don't carry some food with them when they're flying. Nowadays meals are served less frequently on flights and the snacks sometimes are solely beverages. Flights can get delayed and you might not have time to pick something up in airports.

I've also found that people on special diets often don't carry emergency rations with them. I recall one flight when we sat near the galley and observed the flight attendant scurrying around looking for food other than pretzels for a passenger. Apparently one of the passengers was a diabetic and was in need of a meal or snack.

Why this person didn't have a snack with her was something I didn't understand. When we traveled with my diabetic mother-in-law, even in the days when meals were served, we always carried extra snacks. These came in especially handy when we did have a flight delay and had to sit on the runway for more than an hour.

Of course you usually can purchase snacks at the airports. However, sometimes you simply don't have time if you have a tight schedule between flights or they're running late.

When packing snacks for flights, your space is limited. You also need to consider items that carry well and won't become messy.

Healthy Snacks

Plan to carry along healthy snacks. There are numerous non-perishable ones that don't have to be refrigerated.

*Gorp is easy to carry and generally appeals to children. Prepare bags of gorp beforehand with nuts, cereal, fruit bits, and other items. If you use smaller sandwich size bags, these can be tucked into a pocket, purse, brief case, or diaper bag. There also are small bags of ready made gorp you can buy.

*Cheese and crackers - You can get these pre-packaged or pack a few chunks of cheese in a plastic bag and some crackers in another. Cheese sticks are ideal for a travel food. Crackers crush easily; however, I find the sleeves of crackers often carry well. Since I like pretzels and cheese, these come in handy for me.

*Fruit - I've found apples carry well and are easy to eat. If I take bananas, I try to find firm ones and eat them first before they have a chance of getting crushed. Oranges carry well, too, but can become juicy to peel and eat. Tangerines are easier to deal with. My husband often takes a small bag of grapes to snack on. The little boxes of raisins are great for youngsters.

*Cookies - Generally these aren't considered the healthiest of foods. However, they often are good to have along. The small bags of cookies carry well. But you can package cookies you've made at home.

*Food bars - These come in so many types and can be tucked into a pocket, purse, tote bag with ease.

*Peanut butter and crackers - The packages of crackers with peanut butter work well for travel. Often, too, I put some peanut butter in a small, tight container and bring it to have with crackers.

*Pretzels - These frequently are given out on flights. However, they also are great for children. My grandson likes the large twisted pretzels.

*Fruit & gelatin cups - The small fruit, gelatin, applesauce, and pudding cups do very well as travel snacks.

*Energy or fruit drinks - Generally you receive a beverage on most flights. However, you may have a longer wait than usual or a delay when you'd like a beverage. If you do purchase a sandwich at an airport, it's more economical to have your own beverage or water bottle.

These are just a few ideas I've found that work for me. I'd enjoy hearing from readers about snacks they find easy to carry and good to have along on trips.

Article (C) 2004 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

Mary Emma Allen has been writing cooking columns for 40 years. She and her family compiled a cookbook to preserve their food heritage. She teaches workshops to show others how to do this, along with scrapbooking their family recipes. Visit her web site for more cooking articles. Contact her at

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