How to Eat Healthy While Flying
Jun 11, 2015

How to Eat Healthy While Flying

Sometimes hunger strikes in the oddest of places. If you have traveled by air at some point in your life, you know the airport qualifies as one of those places. You can spend an entire week planning and packing for even the shortest of trips just to arrive in the terminal and wish you had remembered to pack something for your stomach. You look around the terminal to see where you can grab something quick and somewhat healthy. You know the peanuts, pretzels, or beverage options while flying will not suffice, so you just try to do your best with what you’ve got. We’ve all been in this position.  Next time you travel have an action plan.  Below are some tips that work to ensure that you eat healthy while flying.

Bring Snacks with You

Take into account the car ride to the airport, the time just to get to your terminal, flight time, layovers, additional car rides, and wait times. This can make for a very long day. Pack almonds and protein bars in your carry on for quick healthy fat and protein options that will leave you feeling satiated. Also pack a bottle of water, additional protein bars, protein shake packets, more nuts and seeds into your suitcase for the extra support and hydration once you have landed. Dried fruit, like apricot, cranberries, mango, dates, and other nuts and seeds, such as pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pumpkins and sunflower seeds are convenient. Beef, turkey, or venison jerky is a relatively lower-calorie, higher-protein snack option. Look for the less processed brands to help lower your sodium intake.

Research your Terminal Options

Once you know which terminal you’re flying out of, do some research. If you plan ahead and know where the healthy options are, you’re less likely to make poor choices when you travel. Look online for all airports in which you are traveling for a list of eateries. There may be online menus, depending on the airport. If you have not packed a snack, and don’t want to eat at a restaurant, you could always buy whole foods like bananas, apples, nuts, yogurt and dried fruit for snacking instead of fast food menu items. Although, in the airport, produce is not always fresh, it’s still the better option. Some airports have “markets” that offer fresh made-to-order salads, or the option to create your own meal from fresh fruits, yogurts, cheeses, and breads. Avoid the chicken or tuna salads, as they tend to be packed with mayonnaise. Pass on the sides, like cookies, and chips and reach for the produce instead.


Always pack bottled water in your suitcase to grab once you have landed. It is very common to become dehydrated while traveling, especially via air. Due to the high altitude, the in-flight atmosphere will be drier. Low fluid intake, particularly from water, can also leave you susceptible to illness. Aside from being a lot of empty calories, alcohol can dehydrate you. Avoid in-flight alcohol and opt for bottled water, or tea.

If you take just a few minutes to plan ahead you can certainly eat healthy during air travel. The action plan above will help you to be health conscious and take charge of your diet, regardless of the options. There will always be a chance to create your own options by doing your research, and not leaving home empty handed before you travel. Enjoy your trip!

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