For event planners on the go, it's important to have access to energy boosting snacks that are delicious and filling. Without a plan, the tendency will be to grab expensive and high-calorie snacks.
While balanced diets are taken care of during the course of events, running around town in preparation for events and, especially, travelling to other countries, can present some challenges. Not only are there restrictions on what will make it through airport security, some items just won't make it across the border in some countries.
(I remember having the turkey sandwich I lovingly prepared from Canadian Thanksgiving leftovers confiscated when I pre-cleared U.S. customs enroute to IMEX. A few weeks later, my tuna sandwich was confiscated when I passed through customs in Cancun.)
What Won't Clear Security
- Liquids won't make it thorough security at most airports. TSA and Canada Border Services make exceptions for formula and juices for infants and toddlers.
- Non-solid food including gels are carefully restricted. In Canada, non-solid food must be carried in closed containers of no more than 100 ml. Yogurt, puddings, Jello, canned tuna with less than 100 ml of water may be carried past security.
Country Specific Regulations
So what types of snacks can you safely pack in your carry-on? The short answer is it depends as every country has its own restrictions. Some foods will make it through security at your point of embarkation but may be restricted at your destination.
A single poppy seed can cause problems if you're travelling to Dubai but a bagel with poppy seeds won't be a problem when you land at U.S., Canadian or European airports. Restrictions will also vary depending on where you are travelling from and your destination.
- What can I bring into Canada? - Food
- TSA Food and Beverage Guidelines
- My TSA App - Click on "Can I Bring?" and search for the item you would like to bring. (My TSA web version)
- European Union Hand and Hold Luggage Guidelines
- United Arab Emirates Guidelines
Suggestions for Healthy Snacks
All of these snacks will work when you are on-the-go at your home base. They will also work for travel but keep in mind, some items must be consumed before clearing customs at some destinations.
- Pita Bread
- Melba Toast
- Tea Biscuits
- Cup a Soup
- Cup Noodles
- Pasta Salads
- Fresh cut Vegetables - be sure to consume all items that will be restricted by customs at your destination
- Unpeeled fruit wrapped or in a container - be sure to consume all items that will be restricted by customs at your destination
- Canned tuna or salmon - for Canada no more than 20 kg, no more than 3.4 oz tin for U.S.
- Solid or Cream Cheese - less than 3.4 oz for U.S. destinations and 100 ml for Canada *
- Jello or other puddings less than 3.4 oz for US destinations and 100 ml for Canada *
* must be stored with other liquids and gels in zip-locked plastic bag no bigger than 1 oz.
After clearing security, you can pick up juice in tamper-proof containers to accompany your snack. Alternatively, carry an empty water bottle and fill it before boarding the aircraft.