Traveling: Healthy Snacks vs. Airline Food

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If you are like most people, you probably have no issues with sticking to your everyday diet plans until it is time to travel. You will probably be spending days beforehand reading motivational articles about how to not fall off the wagon when traveling. You will end up promising yourself that, this time, you will be better and smarter with your choices while away. However, the challenge starts once you set foot on the plane. Your first test will be whether you choose to give in to the usual unhealthy-and mostly bland-airline food just because it is right in front of you or not.  Believe it or not, the choice you make then and there will set the tone for the rest of your trip. If you are serious about the effort you have been putting in to eat clean and refuse to see it go down the drain, you should consider packing your own snacks to munch on on-board. But, does that mean that airline food is all bad? Not necessarily. 

So, let’s check to see below when to pack your healthy snacks VS when to give in to airline food:

On a Strict Dietary Requirements

Airlines are now more accommodating to all sorts of dietary requirements out there. However, when you are working with a nutritionist and strictly calculating your macros, it can be much more convenient to pack your own healthy meals. You can even use meal subscription boxes like Thin Slim Foods shown on as a highly effective, low carb diet plan that you can easily order online. Make the necessary arrangements before traveling to ensure you receive your meals to pack in your carry on and eat on the plane. This will save you the hassle of meal-prepping, and you can focus on packing and planning your itinerary.

Flying While Sick

The last thing you need is to struggle with stomach aches and digestion issues while flying. So, if you have been dealing with digestion problems for some time, it is healthier to prepare some homemade food and to avoid making things worse by resorting to airline food. Steer clear from any inflammatory ingredients like sugar and dairy, and instead, use fresh produce to cook some healthy meals to take along. If you have been fighting a cold, prepare your own healthy shots using ginger, turmeric, lemon and honey. Remember to stick to the TSA-friendly 100 ml container limit for liquids. 

Going on a Short Flight Duration

If you are going on a short flight, you will probably find it unnecessary to pack your own food. Instead, snack on the fruit or nuts that are usually served on planes for such short flights. If a full meal is served, you can still rely on airline food, but always start with the fiber-rich side salad to make you full and skip the unappetizing stale bread. Drink tons of water for hydration to make sure you are not mistaking thirst for hunger. This should be enough to last you until you land. 

Choose an Airline That is Famous for Healthy Food Options

If you have the freedom to pick the airlines you fly with, use information from studies available online about airplane food and how each airline ranks on this list. Of course you won’t always have the option to go with the best airline, but you can opt for the best available options. You can also check experienced travelers’ blogs for tips and advice on how to guarantee quality food while traveling. You will find information about which airlines care more about providing healthier options for the passengers, as well as their cooking methods to ensure high food standards. 

Consider Your Boarding Destination

If you are flying from a place where contaminated water is an issue, or has a reputation for indigenous epidemic diseases, it’ll be better to take your own snacks in flight. Just to be on the safe side and avoid potential harm, you can shop for pre-packed nuts and unsweetened dried fruits before leaving. If you will be taking a long flight, try to cook your own lunch and dinner if possible, or seek homemade local options that are trustworthy.

Most airports are surprisingly more accepting of the idea of passengers packing ready-made food. Of course, exceptions still apply. However, since people are more mindful than before about their eating habits, it is no longer uncommon to see this. Airline food is not the devil, but as most nutritionists will advise, you need to educate yourself and proceed with caution to make the best possible choices. However, homemade meals and healthy snacks are by far the better while traveling.

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  1. Unless it’s under extreme circumstances, such as not having a single meal prior to getting on a plane, I try to avoid airline food if I can. I’ll accept the complementary almonds, for example, but I’ve never been terribly impressed by their offerings. Best to get my meals in early before heading to the gate.

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