The Definitive Fodor’s List of Whole Foods Snacks to Bring on a Plane

Let me help you decide which fancy snacks are worth your money.

I know, I know. Whole Foods is expensive. But guess what! It does not have to be if you are a deal-hunting little sneak like I am (by this I mean that I will not purchase anything over $3.99–you have my word). If you’re travelin’ on a plane and wish to bring your own snacks (smart!) but feel like being a little fancy about it (you deserve it), why not take a little pre-plane trip to Whole Foods, hm? Come on–treat yourself. You’re gonna be stuck on a stupid plane for hours on end–you deserve a snack that isn’t from the airplane fridge. Just to let you know, I got all of this for under $60. See? It’s possible. Follow me.



PHOTO: Carl Yu
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365 Organic Turkey Jerky

I will always recommend turkey jerky to you, no matter where I go and what else there is to buy. It is the perfect snack (if you eat meat, that is)–filling (protein), semi-healthy (turkey!), and most importantly, it’s from Whole Foods and therefore contains no strange artificial flavors or preservatives. At $3.45 (on sale!), this jerky is a deal, ESPECIALLY for Whole Foods. It also has the word “organic” attached to it, and if I’ve learned anything about anything, it’s that “organic” means “perfect.”*

*This is not accurate

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These Gummy Bears That Are Flavored Like Tasty Alcoholic Drinks

When I was younger (but over 21, of course), I looked forward to drinking on planes. And by “younger,” I do mean I still thought about it maybe several months ago. However, I have recently changed my tune, as drinking on a plane makes me leave the plane feeling and looking like I am a member of an undead army marching into battle. It also makes me groggy and pissed off whenever I land at whatever destination I’m visiting. Enter: these little gummy bears –a far cry from actual alcohol but perhaps you can toss back a few of these guys and make yourself sick on sugar and therefore not want to drink. Hmm, actually that sounds bad, too. Here’s why you should buy these: They’re tasty. Eat in moderation!

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Specifically This Banana Chocolate Walnut RX Bar

Yes, that’s right, I am once again recommending RX Bars to you. However, this is different, because I am actually recommending specifically this new flavor of RX Bar to you. Of all the new flavors of RX Bars, this one takes the gold medal for things that taste good when you eat them. The wonderful and classic combination of banana and chocolate is accentuated by the addition of the walnut flavor, making this bar the closest protein bar equivalent to a slice of banana bread. Let the record state that although it’s not THAT close to tasting exactly like banana bread, it is the closest equivalent simply because this is an unachievable feat that absolutely no other snack has ever come close to doing.



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A Flourless Chocolate Cookie From the Bakery

This cookie, similar to a discontinued Starbucks cookie I once loved, descended from heaven into the Whole Foods bakery. It was as if a candle that had burnt out long ago had been relit–and now contained walnuts. This cookie is chewy, chocolatey, and low calorie–I simply cannot ask for more than that. I do not need my cookies to contain flour and I am elated that such a snack exists. Yes, I suggest you take this on a plane. I suggest you take this cookie on a plane, in a car–heck, eat it as you walk. Do not buy just one–you will be upset when it is gone.

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Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Flavor Squares

From the people who brought you vegan butter, please welcome: these cheese snacks. It may be a feel a bit strange trusting something with such a long and vague name, but I will vouch for these “cheddar flavor squares” (??) any day. They are like Cheez-Its that don’t make you feel bad. They’re plant-based, contain zero grams of trans fat, and the serving size is 35 (!!) crackers. These are especially good for friends who cannot have dairy (like me) but still would like to have the experience of eating a cheese-ish cracker, without hurting their little stomachs.

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A Single Oatmeal

Here is a secret tip for you: Bring one of these little oatmeals on your plane, and have a nice breakfast.

You: But I do not have the water portion of the oatmeal. Are you suggesting I eat raw oats? What’re you, nuts?

Me: I’m not suggesting that. Ask your flight attendant for some hot water and stop being mean to me.

Yes, that’s right–they can give you hot water on the plane. I’m sure you knew this, but I didn’t until recently when I passed by the oatmeals at Whole Foods and thought, “Hm, it’d be nice if I could bring one of those on the plane I’m going on but I won’t have hot wat…wait a minute.” And it was in that moment that I remembered that flight attendants could give you hot water–a wonderful realization to have.

Also, these particular oatmeals are tasty. ThinkThin has a variety of flavors with a high fiber count, and Purely Elizabeth Vibrant Oats has interesting flavor combinations, unlike regular instant oatmeals (blueberry lemon made with blue spirulina, an antioxidant-rich plant, for example).

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Parm Crisps

I would like to eat a lot of cheese, but cheese makes me feel bad in my stomach so I can’t do that very often. These little Parm Crisps are a welcome relief in that they’re, honestly, not that bad for you and come in small bags so that you don’t have to take accountability for your own actions and continue eating until they are all gone! They also contain 9 grams of protein per serving and 0 carbs. This is important.

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Snack Break Snack Tray

Okay, so, this thing needs to be refrigerated and therefore it is imperative that you remember to eat it earlier in your flight (or right away). The reason I am suggesting it, in particular, to you is because of one thing and one thing alone: They sell things like this on most plane snack menus and I always want one but it’s like $8.99 for some reason (the reason being you are on a plane and trapped so you’ll pay it). This one is sold at Whole Foods for–get this–$4.99. This price is unheard of–I almost didn’t believe it. First of all, it contains an arguably large amount of food (for Whole Foods) for such a low price. This snack tray is a perfect little angel and wins for Special Deal of This Article.

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Back to Nature Cashew Almond Pistachio

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the three best nuts in one bag, at the cheapest price of bags of nuts Whole Foods has available to buy. Honestly, $7.99 for a bag of nuts that contains no garbage nuts, this snack is a true treat. The almonds are salted and therefore you do not have to worry about them “tasting bad.” The cashews are SEA salted, and are therefore EXTRA special. And the pistachios are pistachios, and therefore perfect just as they are (AND they are shell-less–such a convenience!). There are no added oils in this lovely bag–the nuts have been dry oven-roasted, making for a filling and healthy and not-bad-tasting plane snack.

INSIDER TIPThey don’t serve peanuts on planes anymore because of many having nut allergies, but this doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own. Just be polite and keep them to yourself. Also, do not even think about emailing me about this to scold me.


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Ozery Family Bakery Muesli Morning Rounds

I’m just going to say it–sometimes you just need to shove a fat piece of bread into your mouth, and sometimes that time is “when you are on a plane.” Well, friend, do not waste your calories on Bad Bread–please welcome the Morning Rounds breakfast bun, made with fruits and grains without TASTING like it’s “made with fruits and grains.” The fruits and grains are subtle–it’s definitely more bread than fruit. The best part? It’s a real thick bread AND it’s only 170 calories and 31 grams of carbs. Like, what?! Are you kidding me? I’ll take two! And then I will shove them right into my mouth, on my plane. Yum.

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Peeled Snacks Organic Baked Pea Crisps

I’ll shout it from the top of a building–I love a baked pea crisp. It’s a vegetable that feels like a cracker, and I am here for it, as they say. This particular pea crisp stands out from the pack, as it is flavored with the best kind of salt–that’s right, I am of course talking about sea salt.

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Just Some Strawberries

I know you’ve heard of these. I don’t doubt that. Everyone knows strawberries. However, I cannot sit here and make you a curated list of snacks to take on a plane, from Whole Foods no less, and not suggest an ACTUAL fruit or vegetable. So I chose: strawberries, the sweet candy angel of the fruits. If you need a little sweet treat, but don’t want to reach for one of the million chocolate snacks I have suggested in this article, strawberries might be for you, my friend.

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Square Organics Protein Bars

From the moment I was given a sample of one of these bad boys last summer at the Whole Foods by my work, I was in love with them. I am not to shy to admit it! I am in love with a protein bar shaped like a little square! Sue me! Honestly, these things are special little treats–they taste like candy and they’re not horrible for you (this is my #1 credential for a snack).

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Enjoy Life Soft-Baked Mini Cookies

First of all, if I’m eating soft-baked cookies, I’m already enjoying my life, so great job on naming your product, guys! These cookies are very good and the best part about them is that they come in their own little pouches so that you can stash a few in your carry on and leave the rest at home (unless you want to bring the whole box–that’s up to you). And besides, these cookies are filled with ancient grains! And they are allergy-friendly. Good cookies!

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Chocolate Peanut Buttery Pretzels

Hm, this is an interesting little guy, I must say. You’re not expecting to pop one into your mouth and immediately and overwhelmingly taste peanut butter, but this is exactly what happens. Like, okay, yes, it SAYS “peanut buttery” chocolate, but it’s more chocolatey-peanut butter, to be honest—but the peanut butter is certainly the dominant flavor. However, I stand by these strange pretzels as a good snack. They’re the right amount of savory and sweet combined into one tiny little thing.

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Soft Baked Banana Chocolate Mini Cookies

Okay, yes, there is another soft-baked cookie on this list. Don’t get mad at me about it. I’m only human. As for this soft-baked snack, all I have to say is: Oh, dear GOD, these things are DELICIOUS. There is no way of convincing me that these weren’t a gift to the universe, baked by God in heaven, and made specifically for me personally to tell you about. These tiny and squishy cookies are excellent and conveniently packaged in little pouches so, once again, you can stash them in that carry-on and be good to go. These cookies are SOFT as HELL and GOOD as HECK and they contain “nutrients from vegetables.” (What? Cool!)

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Beanfield's Bean Chips

Ah, bean chips–wonderful bean chips.

I can’t deny it–I love a good bean. The world was made a better place when bean chips (chips made primarily out of–you guessed it–beans) began to exist in the world, and specifically, my world became brighter the moment I first ate a Beanfield’s bean chip. I’m not going to mess around with you here–although there are several different flavors (the most notable being Pico de Gallo, Sea Salt, and Nacho), they all do taste like beans, as well. But seeing as though the flavors pair well with beans, this is not a problem in the slightest. Also, beans are delicious and everything should taste like beans. These chips are packed with protein, fiber, and the carb count is pretty dang low. Eat two bags–or don’t. I will, though.