Flying and healthy eating don’t easily go together, but it is possible with planning and preparation. Make sure the next time you’re packing for a flight to set aside a few minutes just for travel day food prep. You’ll thank yourself later!
Here are a few of our recommendations:
Go for Nutrient-dense
While I’m known to pack baggies of raw veggies while traveling, carry-ons only have so much free-space. Rather than having to choose between your iPad and a healthy snack, opt for nutrient-dense foods that take up less space. Great options include nuts, dried fruit and homemade bars. These fruit and nuts bars are both easy to make and portable.
Pack Foods that can take a Beating
Your luggage gets carried around a busy airport, drug through security scanners and shoved under the seat in front of you. Rather than worrying about your fresh strawberries getting smashed, pack more sturdy options like apples and oranges. This trail mix has proven itself durable on even the longest flights!
Brown Bag It
It technically doesn’t have to be in a brown bag, but why not pack a full meal? Airports aren’t known for having the best plant-based selections, and even if they do you know you’ll pay an arm and a leg for them. Packing your own meal is a safe way to know that you’ll get to eat something that you can feel good about. Before your next flight, whip up this simple veggie hummus wrap:
- Spread 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite hummus on a whole grain wrap.
- Add your favorite chopped veggies and a handful of pumpkin seeds.
- Fold in the ends and roll into a wrap.
- Wrap in foil to create a portable handheld meal.
Don’t forget the H20
The humidity on flights is extremely low, which causes fluid loss during the flight. It’s important to compensate so you don’t get dehydrated. Most airports now have water bottle filling stations so you don’t have to take on the awkward challenge of filling up at a low-pressure drinking fountain. Staying hydrated while flying keeps you energized and prevents overeating. Make sure your water bottle is empty when taking it through security. Each time you fill up you’re saving yourself from having to overpay for bottled water AND helping out the environment.
If your packing habits don’t allow for carry-on food, luckily there are some plant-based options. Most shops have nuts (pistachios are a personal favorite while traveling), seeds and dried fruit. If you’re looking for a meal, many airports have a Subway where you can build a veggie and guacamole sandwich on whole grain bread. I’ve come across counter-service Mexican restaurants where you can build a filling brown rice, bean and veggie bowl. The last time we were stuck at the airport, we struck gold and found a place that made acai bowls and avocado toast! It may take some searching, but chances are there are some decent modifiable options!