Last January, I was heading back to school with a suitcase loaded with allllll my favorite snacks when tragedy struck: my dark chocolate covered espresso beans were taken from me by airport security. Heartbreakingly, the plastic container somehow set off the scanner and appeared to be coated with explosive powder (it wasn't, pinky promise). Big yikes. Running late for my flight, I said a tearful goodbye to my espresso beans and ran to my gate, thankful I still had the rest of my snacks. 

As a frequent traveler and someone who lives a 5+ hour flight from her school, I spend a decent chunk of time on planes each year. Because of this, I've learned a thing or two about what snacks will pass through security and keep you from having to eat prepackaged airplane food that lacks nutrients and flavor.

TL;DR: Snacks vs. the TSA  

Nearly all types of solid food are allowed, and all liquids must be under 3.4 ounces and stored in a quart sized bag. Yes, this includes alcohol and nut butters (trust me, trying to sneak a whole peanut butter jar through the TSA does NOT work). 

Buying snacks once you're past security is always an option, but more often than not, airport food is overpriced, unhealthy, and there are limited options. Also, it's best to stock up foods that you know won't bother your stomach, because the high altitude of plane flights can sometimes cause nausea and bloating. 

For these reasons, I always pack enough food to get me through 3-4 days of travel, just in case I somehow end up stranded in an airport. It's happened to me before, and I learned my lesson. Eating Auntie Anne's pretzels for 3 meals in a row is something I never want to do again, no matter how delicious the cinnamon sugar pretzel bites taste.

1. Whole or Dried Fruit 

Whole Foods Market, vegetable aisle, watermelon, mango, juice, veggies, Green, lettuce, Vegetables, fruit aisle, cabbage, salad, Organic, organic fruit
Shelby Cohron

You can't go wrong with fresh fruit. Easy to carry, delicious, and packed with key vitamins, fruit is one of the best travel snacks, hands down.  #SpoonTip: pre-cut your fruit and store in in tupperware to avoid dealing with annoying peels.

2. Protein Bars

Because duh. Protein bars are super portable and tasty, and the HUGE amount of variety means there's (at least) one for everyone. Lately, my go-to brands have been RXBAR, Oatmega, and HealthWarrior

3. Nut Butter 

The ultimate on-the-go snack. Rich in healthy fats and protein, nut butter packets are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while energizing your body. #SpoonTip: try Justin's new maple cashew butter or cinnamon almond butter packets.

4. Oatmeal

rice, oatmeal
Timary Malley

Catching a painfully early flight? Avoid skipping breakfast by packing instant oatmeal, a disposable cup or bowl, and whatever toppings you like. #SpoonTip: ask the flight attendant for hot water and a spoon to make your oatmeal mid-flight. 

5. Rice Cakes 

I'm convinced rice cakes are one of the best inventions known to man. These crunchy circles are a perfect canvas for a variety of snack ideas like PB&J toast or pizza, and they're also great to eat plain when you need a quick, filling snack. 

6. Trail Mix 

nut, sweet, dried fruit, almond, cereal, walnut, raisin, granola
Sophie Pinton

If you're like me and you love to munch on something while watching your favorite rom com or TV show, trail mix is definitely the way to go. Make or buy your own trail mix, toss it in a Ziplock, and bam: you've got a delicious & nutritious snack that passes TSA rules. 

7. Jerky 

Known for its unique flavors, beef (or vegan!) jerky is a great, portable way to get the protein you need while flying. Try packing a variety of flavors and taste-testing them with friends! (or yourself, Spoon won't judge)  

8. Flavored Popcorn

Maybe you couldn't cop that first class ticket of your dreams, but you CAN make your flight better with fancy popcorn. Try Pipcorn as a yummy, good-for-you complement to your favorite movie. 

9. Chocolate 

chocolate, coffee, candy, sweet, milk chocolate, milk
Christin Urso

Chocolate is a staple in my diet, and I honestly don't think I could survive without it for more than 3 hours. Plus, the health benefits of chocolate will keep you feeling refreshed and satisfied during your travels. 

10. Emergen-C

Even though it's *technically* not a snack, Emergen-C packets have a permanent spot in my travel bag. When mixed with water, these tiny packets provide vitamins and immune support to keep you from getting sick. Planes are pretty much germ factories, so it's a good idea to take extra care of yourself while flying.

Without fail, some combination of these snacks always make it into my carry on bag. There's nothing worse than being hungry on a plane, and these snacks will definitely keep the #hanger at bay.