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Airline Food Update: Healthy In-Flight Snacks

United-Continental-flight-snacks.jpgAir travel is fraught with opportunities for diet disasters, whether you are traveling for business or pleasure. Even if you make it safely through the airport food court, you’ll still have to confront the temptation of in-flight snacks. Some airlines offer freebies that are difficult to pass up; snacks on others are roughly $2-$7. You may have to bring out your credit or debit card for the wisest choices, but here are the best healthy snacks on each of the major domestic airlines in economy on short flights over two hours.

Share your favorite healthy snacks for flying—whether they are from home, the terminal, or purchased in-flight—in the comments below.


Continental’s economy class doesn’t offer complimentary snacks on short flights, so you won’t be tempted to nibble something just because it’s free. If you purchase a snack ($1.75-$4.75), the roasted almonds or beef jerky are healthier choices than the tempting M&M’s, Pringles, or pretzel dips.


When you travel economy on Delta, choose the complimentary protein-packed peanuts or low-fat pretzels over the cookies. If you’d rather fill up on free beverages, stick with water, coffee, or tea and skip the sweet soda pop.


Jetblue-flight-snacks.jpgIf you’re craving salt, resist the popular Doritos Munchies Mix in favor of the low-calorie PopCorners Popcorn Chips or natural Terra Blues Chips. For something sweet, the animal crackers will satisfy with less fat and calories than the cookie options.

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No complimentary snacks are offered on United’s short, economy class flights, but they offer plenty of snacks for purchase. The least expensive choices—chocolate bars and Pringles ($2.99 each)—are the most unhealthy, so consider splurging a bit for one of the fresh menu options, like a fruit and yogurt parfait ($5.49). If you go with a Snackbox, pick the light option ($6.99), which includes unsweetened applesauce, lemon pepper tuna, and a few low-cal goodies.

US Airways

If you get the munchies on a US Airways flight, you’ll have to open your wallet. Opt for the roasted almonds, blueberry pomegranate trail mix, or organic multigrain chips ($3-$5) instead of the chocolate chip cookies, Pringles, or M&M’s ($3).

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Photo Credits: Courtesy jetBlue and United Continental

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