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How to Eat Healthy on a Plane: Planning Ahead & Snack Ideas
As someone who travels frequently for work, I know how difficult it can be to eat healthy on a plane. With limited options and tempting in-flight snacks, it’s easy to fall into the trap of eating junk food.
But eating healthy on a plane is not impossible – with a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy nutritious meals and snacks even at 35,000 feet.
In this article, I will show you how you can still eat well while traveling through the air, plus give you a few healthy snack ideas to help you along the way.
How to Eat Healthy on a Plane
One of the keys to eating healthy on a plane is planning ahead. Before your flight, think about what healthy options are available at the airport and on the plane, and make a plan for what you’ll eat. This can help you avoid making unhealthy choices out of desperation or hunger.
One option is to pack your own meals and snacks. This allows you to control what goes into your food, and ensures that you have something healthy to eat even if the options on the plane are limited.
Some healthy options to pack include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Apples, bananas, carrots, and other fresh fruits and vegetables are easy to pack and can provide a healthy, satisfying snack.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Pack a small bag of your favorite nuts or seeds to snack on during your flight.
- Whole grain sandwiches or wraps: Whole grain bread, wraps, or pitas are a healthy and satisfying option for a meal on the plane. Fill them with protein-rich fillings like chicken, tuna, or hummus, and add some fresh vegetables for added nutrition.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium, and it’s easy to pack. Try to choose plain yogurt and add your own fruit or honey for sweetness.
In addition to packing your own meals and snacks, you can also research the food options at the airport and on the plane. Many airports now have healthy food options, such as salad bars, smoothie shops, and grab-and-go meals.
On the plane, most airlines offer at least one healthy meal option, such as a salad or a grilled chicken dish. You can also ask the flight attendant if they have any healthy snack options, such as fruit or yogurt.
In-Flight Eating Tips
Once you’re on the plane, there are a few tips that can help you make healthy choices.
- Stay hydrated: It’s important to stay hydrated during your flight, especially if you’re traveling long-distance. The air in the cabin is dry, which can dehydrate you quickly. Drink plenty of water throughout your flight to keep your body hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you further.
- Avoid processed snacks: In-flight snacks like chips, cookies, and pretzels are often high in calories, sodium, and added sugars. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, or pack your own healthy snacks.
- Don’t skip meals: It can be tempting to skip meals on a plane to save time or avoid the in-flight options. But skipping meals can cause you to become overly hungry, which can lead to unhealthy choices. Try to eat regular meals, even if it means packing your own food or choosing a healthy option from the in-flight menu.
- Be mindful of portion sizes: On a plane, it’s easy to eat more than you normally would because of the confined space and the lack of distractions. Be mindful of portion sizes and try to eat slowly and mindfully, rather than eating quickly just to finish your meal.
5 Healthy Airplane Snack Ideas
As someone who travels frequently, I know how challenging it can be to find healthy snacks to bring on a plane.
That’s why I’ve got you covered with some healthy snack ideas to pack for your flight:
Idea #1: Homemade Trail Mix
One of the best healthy airplane snack ideas is to make your own trail mix. This allows you to control what goes into your snack and ensures that you have something healthy and satisfying to munch on during your flight. To make your own trail mix, mix together your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Try to choose unsalted nuts and avoid adding too much sugar to the mix. You can also add some dark chocolate chips or coconut flakes for an extra treat.
Idea #2: Energy Balls
Another great healthy airplane snack idea is to make your own energy balls. These portable snacks are easy to make and packed with nutrition. To make your own energy balls, mix together dates, nuts, seeds, and cocoa powder. You can also add some vanilla extract, cinnamon, or coconut for extra flavor. Roll the mixture into small balls and store them in an airtight container. They’ll be ready to snack on during your flight.
Idea #3: Air-Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is a whole grain, which makes it a healthy snack option. Air-popped popcorn is lower in calories and fat than oil-popped popcorn, and it’s easy to pack in a small bag. You can also add your own seasonings, such as garlic powder or chili flakes, for extra flavor. To make air-popped popcorn, you’ll need a stovetop popcorn popper or an air-popper. Simply pour in some popcorn kernels, and let the machine do the work. In just a few minutes, you’ll have a delicious and healthy snack to enjoy on your flight.
Idea #4: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great healthy airplane snack option. They’re easy to pack, and they provide a satisfying and nutritious snack. Some good options to pack include apples, bananas, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and grapes. You can also pack a small container of hummus or guacamole for dipping. Just make sure to pack any perishable items in an insulated bag with an ice pack to keep them fresh.
Idea #5: Yogurt and Granola
Yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium, and it’s easy to pack for a flight. To make a healthy airplane snack, pack a small container of plain yogurt and add your own fruit or honey for sweetness. You can also pack a small bag of granola to sprinkle on top. The combination of yogurt, fruit, and granola will provide a satisfying and nutritious snack to enjoy on your flight.
Can You Really Eat Healthy While Flying?
Eating healthy on a plane is possible with a little planning and creativity.
By packing your own meals and snacks, researching the food options at the airport and on the plane, and following some simple in-flight tips, you can enjoy healthy, nutritious meals and snacks even at 35,000 feet.
Healthy Plane Snack FAQ
Yes, you can bring your own food on most airlines. Just make sure it’s in a secure, leak-proof container, and that it complies with any security regulations at the airport.
Many airports now have healthy food options, such as salad bars, smoothie shops, and grab-and-go meals. You can also look for healthy fast food options, such as salads or grilled chicken sandwiches.
Yes, you can ask the flight attendant if they have any healthy food options, such as fruit or yogurt. Most airlines also offer at least one healthy meal option, such as a salad or a grilled chicken dish.
In-flight snack options can vary, but some healthy options may include fresh fruit, yogurt, or air-popped popcorn. You can also pack your own healthy snacks, such as nuts, seeds, or energy balls.
The air in the cabin is dry, which can lead to dehydration. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water throughout your flight, and avoid alcohol and caffeine. You can also pack a small bottle of water or ask the flight attendant for a cup of water.
Yes, you can still eat healthy on a plane even if you have dietary restrictions or allergies. Just make sure to plan ahead and pack your own meals and snacks that comply with your restrictions or allergies. You can also research the food options at the airport and on the plane to see if there are any options that will work for you.