TSA Approved Cooler Bag

Traveling by plane on a strict Ketogenic diet can be very challenging. But with a little bit of extra planning, preparation and work, the security check and flight can go relatively smoothly. Fingers crossed for no delays!

Traveling with young kids can be logistically taxing in the first place, and then adding in a restrictive diet can make it seem downright impossible, but it can be done with these tips. 

Few tips:

  • Batch cook your child’s favorite recipes. We brought ziplock gallon bags full of breakfast cookies, chocolate muffins, and pecan waffles.
  • Bring a few items that will be hard to find at a regular grocery store. We brought Plugra European butter and Trader Joes cream cheese. Both made it through security for the flight to Denver, CO from Raleigh, NC but our cream cheese was confiscated on the way back. We also brought a bag of flackers and Lily’s Dark Chocolate (also available at Whole Foods).
  • Create “day pages” of your child’s meal plan and print them out for easy access.
  • Do not pack any liquids greater than 3.4 oz, if you can, mail liquids to your destination (like KetoCal).

Here are a few tips for flying and traveling with a cooler bag of Keto food:

  • Use a soft-sided cooler bag with wheels and a handle. Make sure it is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.
  • Coolers are recommended to be no larger than 10″ high x 14″ x wide 20″ long.
  • Allow extra time for the security line for your cooler of food to be checked by TSA.
  • You will need to declare liquids greater than 3.4 oz. Be prepared to show a letter from your doctor regarding the medically prescribed Ketogenic diet. If possible mail liquids to your destination rather then carrying them on the plane.
  • It is not necessary to have a doctor’s letter, however I recommended it to make the process go more smoothly.
  • A medically necessary cooler bag does NOT count as one of your carry-ons.
  • Use ice packs not loose ice in Ziploc bags. It will melt and then be considered a liquid.
  • Call TSA at 1-866-289-9673 for any questions. They will probably recommend you call the individual airlines for advice.

Get the exact maximum dimensions the cooler bag can be — based on the size of the plane and the size of the seat in front of you. We had to gate check our cooler bag for the small commuter plane to Durango, Colorado from Denver, Colorado. This was a little harrowing, but at least we knew the cooler was definitely going to be on the plane with us, and that the ice packs wouldn’t melt too much on the quick one hour flight.

TSA approved Keto cooler bag
Drake with his Keto cooler bag.

Author: Debra Lane

Debra & Ken Lane maintain this blog to chronicle their son's journey of living with the rare neurometabolic disorder, Glucose Transporter Type 1 Deficiency Syndrome (Glut1 DS for short). And hope to raise awareness and understanding of the non-epileptic form of Glut1 DS. Drake’s Glut1 journey started at the age of 3 with episodes of Ataxia and Dyskinesia. Now at the age of 8 he is 2 years symptom-free — thanks to the right diagnosis and the ketogenic diet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *