There’s nothing worse than being stranded at the airport with nothing but unhealthy fast food options in every corner of the food court. Or stuck on the plane during mealtime with only a bag of pretzels or peanuts for sustenance. It takes a little work to eat well in-transit, but you’ll feel better for it!
Ideally, you’ll want to skip the fast food venues altogether. Instead, seek out places that sell sandwiches, soups, and salads. Most will be sold pre-made and pre-packaged, but you can still find ways to customize and make them as healthy as possible. Choose sandwiches made with whole grain bread (ask for extra lettuce and tomato if you can), salads filled with lots of veggies, and soups made with beans and vegetables.
Many kiosks and cafeterias carry fresh fruit—either cut up in a fruit salad or whole apples, oranges or bananas. You can also find hard boiled eggs, yogurt, cut up veggies, and nuts. If your concourse has a concession that sells out of bulk bins, look beyond their candy selections and mix up a small portion of your own healthy trail mix—with dried fruit, nuts and seeds. At the newsstand, your most nutritious choice is a bag of trail mix. Just beware - those oversized bags may pack as many as 4 or 5 servings.
Stuck at the airport long enough to sit down for a full meal? Look for salads and grilled entrees, and don’t be afraid to special order. Substitute a green salad or steamed veggies for fries, ask for extra vegetables on your salad. Ask for a half portion or share an entree with your travel partner if portion sizes are large.
At Mexican restaurants, ask for sides of black beans, lettuce, and tomatoes in place of heavier ingredients. Opt for fresh red and green salsas for extra veggies. When ordering pizza, choose thin crusts and pile on the vegetables.
Whenever you can, it pays to pack your own food and take it with you to the airport. Keep in mind how perishable the food is and whether or not it will pass through security. Soft cheeses, sandwiches with lots of tomato, pickles or condiments and fragile fruits aren’t great choices when you will be toting them around in your carry-on bag for several hours before eating. Liquids of any sort (including yogurt) will not make it past security. So, what should you bring?