Whether you’re off on a quick three-hour regional flight or a ten-hour jaunt over the Atlantic, what you eat and drink at 40,000 feet will affect how you feel when you land. But sometimes, the lack of airport restaurants or limited in-flight foods, leaves you confused about your food choices. These 5 tips can help you prepare for your travels, ensuring a healthful and energized start to your trip.
Planning is key.
Have a go-to travel pack ready and filled with non-perishable items, such as nuts, seeds, popcorn, and nut butter packets. Protein-packed snack options will keep you full for longer, beating that mid-flight hunger. My favorites are Barney Butter Almond Butter, Good Bean Roasted Chickpeas, and Seapoint Farm Dry Roasted Edamame.
If you must purchase a snack en route, make healthy choices.
If you’re stuck at the airport or on the plane without a snack, look for whole fruits and nuts. Most airlines will offer apples, pears, or bananas, and packaged nuts (but be cautious of serving sizes). Look for whole, unsalted nuts, like Blue Diamond Whole Almonds, sold at Hudson News and other small vendors.
For breakfast, look for whole foods with few ingredients.
Stay away from the closest fast food breakfast sandwich, and instead look for oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, or plain, unsweetened yogurt. Starbucks offers to-go oatmeal cups with plain nuts or fresh blueberries, and will usually sell yogurt parfait as well (just skip the granola!). Other vendors, like Cibo, will also offer to-go oatmeal cups, like Purely Elizabeth, and packaged hard-boiled eggs.
For lunch or dinner, choose a sandwich or salad.
For sandwiches, look for whole wheat bread, and lean, low-sodium proteins, like roasted turkey, coupled with tomatoes, lettuce, or other vegetables when possible. If you’re in the mood for a salad, look for mixed greens with veggies and chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or even sprinkle on some of those Good Bean chickpeas you brought with you. Ask the flight attendant or cashier for a lemon to help dress your salad, and use less of the packaged dressing.
Dehydration is a common problem when flying, due to the low humidity levels inside the cabin. To combat this, avoid alcohol (which will dehydrate you even more), and drink lots of water throughout the flight.