Blog - Keto Lifestyle - 3-Day Cooler Bag & TSA Info

3-Day Cooler Bag & TSA Info

Flying and travel with a keto, takes a lot of preparation, organization, and work!  I’m taking 3-days worth of food with us for a 5-hour flight.  Not only do I not have to worry about delays, I don’t have to worry about cooking ketogenic meals for 2 days following our arrival.  I’m already planning on this being a busy, hectic time for us. From past experiences, I have learned that busy+hectic+not at home = mistakes while cooking keto meals!  This allows me to have one less thing to worry about.

First, here is some information that obtained directly from the TSA regarding bringing food for medical reasons on-board an airplane.

  • A cooler containing medically necessary food does NOT count as a carry-on.
  • You need to “declare” that you have food or liquids greater than 3.4oz while in the TSA security line. This means that you just have to tell the TSA agent that you have these items.
  • Coolers are recommended to be no larger than 9″ high x 14″ wide x 22″ long.  They are supposed to be placed under the seats, not in the overhead compartments.
  • Ice packs are preferred over loose ice or ice in plastic baggies.  If the ice melts, you need to keep removing the liquid.
  • You are not required to bring a letter from a physician regarding medical diets, however, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to make the process go smoothly.
  • Here is a phone # for TSA so you can call them yourself! 1-866-289-9673

This is what I am bringing…

The meals are all the same for each of the 3 days.  It was a lot easier to prep that way.  Also, they contain most of the needed fat within the meal so I do not have to worry about weighing extra oil on the side.

Strawberry yogurt + 10g coconut oil

macadamia nut doughnuts

crunchy chicken salad + 10g coconut oil

spinach bites + Walden Farms Ranch for dipping


I write on the lids of some containers (it does not work on all plastics) with a wet-erase marker so I don’t forget to give extra oil.

This is the bag all packed up!  Also included in the bag in the front pocket is a scale, jar of coconut oil, 10ml syringes for giving the oil (already filled with oil), spoon, and scraper.  The plan is to ask for a cup of hot water to melt the syringes of oil.  I also have a letter from our doctors explaining why we need all of this, just in case.


Dawn Martenz

A self-taught keto chef and mom to Charlotte who has been on variations of ketogenic diet therapy for over 10 years for Davet's Syndrome. She's authored 2 ketogenic cookbooks and features new recipes monthly on

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A Keto diet is not a healthy diet for children. Look at the food pyramid online. Children need a variety of fruits and vegetables as well.

Ketogenic diet therapy for difficult-to-control seizures has been in existence for 100 years and shown in several randomized trials to be as effective for children as adults. New applications have also shown benefit including genetic, metabolic and endocrine disorders that don’t respond well to medicines. A well planned ketogenic diet can be very healthy. We advise working with a trained ketogenic specialist and have listed several under the Resources link on our webpage:

Note that the Food Pyramid guideline was discontinued years ago and replaced with MyPlate which is a general nutrition guide for healthy individuals, not those who have the disorders that I mentioned above.

What did the letter sound like? How did you get your daughter to drink coco oil? My daughter gags on it, it is quite a fight. We’re newly keto though, only 3 weeks in.

Hi Dawn, this is so helpful. I have a question. Why do you not mix the oil with the food? Just curious. My daughter is 2.5 years, keto kid since 11 months. For us smoothies works best due to feeding iand sensory issues, but curious to see traveling alternative recipes when flying. I am sincerely petrified in flying with her due to her meal complications.

I never mixed the oil with food while it is sitting for a while because it usually would separate again. Also, my daughter was very picky about the texture of oil in her food and would not eat it if she could taste or feel the oil mixed in. However works best for you is ok!! I am just as scared as you when flying, but I have found that talking with the crew when boarding and letting them know about medical issues has helped a lot. Everyone has always been kind and understanding.

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