July 1


How To Find Healthy Foods At The Airport

By Alexa Sooter

July 1, 2021

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Here’s A Simple Guide to Making Healthy Food Choices At The Airport

How To Find Healthy Foods At The Airport

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It’s hard to eat healthy when you’re on the run. And I just mean when you’re doing your day-to-day running around.

It’s even harder to eat healthy when you’re traveling, especially by plane. Most airports offer fast food and one or two chain restaurants, if you’re lucky.

Some of these places try to offer healthy options. But “healthy” means different things to different people. And that makes it hard for fast food chains and restaurants to keep up with everyone’s unique needs.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid fast food temptation at the airport. And, should you have to buy food, there are a few ways to find something suited to your dietary needs.

How To Find Healthy Foods At The Airport

First Things First For Healthy Eating

The easiest way to eat healthy while flying is to make sure you know how to eat healthy. It’s not a good idea to change your dietary requirements while you’re planning a big trip.

After all, you’re already under pressure from arranging travel plans. Don’t add more stress by changing how and what you eat at the same time!

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Sometimes you can’t help it, of course. You might discover a food allergy you have to work around. Or someone might suggest a new eating plan that works wonders for you. So your new eating habits might have to start right away. 

Just remember that changing any habit takes time. And sometimes it’s a lot more than the 28 days some people claim to start a new habit.

So if you’re learning how to eat healthy and traveling at the same time, be kind to yourself. Expect to slip up. Just don’t use it as an excuse to go wild at McDonald’s!

Pack A Lunch

The most obvious solution to eating healthy while traveling by air is to pack your own food. Most flight guidelines today only restrict the amount of fluid you can bring into the airport.

So you should be able to pack a tailor-made breakfast or lunch into your carry on. You can either pack an entire box lunch to go, or you can grab a protein-packed meal-replacement bar

Check Menus Beforehand

Most fast food places and chain restaurants put their menus online. And I can tell you from personal experience that this is a life saver. It helps that you can look up a list of available restaurants in most airports too!

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Before any flight, I look up which eateries I’ll have access to, and then I look up their menus. Most of the time, I can find a couple of things on every menu that fit my dietary needs.

That takes all the pressure away when I’m standing at the counter, trying to order with a crowd of hungry travelers behind me! Plus it ensures that I’m making a truly healthy food choice… not just one that “sounds” healthy on the menu.

Adding one more step to your pre-travel plans probably doesn’t seem worth it. But when you’re rushing through the airport with a rumbling belly, you’ll be glad you did it!

How To Find Healthy Foods At The Airport

What To Do At The Airport To Find Healthy Foods

Preplanning makes everything easier. But what if you run out of time before your flight to pack a lunch? Or you forgot to check things out ahead of time?

Not to worry there’s still plenty you can do to find a healthy meal at the airport!

1) Avoid The Obvious Temptations

You might think this one is too obvious. But when you’re anxiously looking for your gate and your stomach is rumbling, it’s hard to resist temptation. Especially when that temptation might include cinnamon buns or french fries. 

So when you see the familiar logos that you know spell trouble, keep walking. Don’t stop “just to check.” You know they’re not going to have the healthy food you want to eat.

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2) Stay Hydrated

It sounds odd, but people often confuse thirst for hunger. And when you’re power-walking through terminal C, it will be even harder to tell the difference.

Deli kiosks and duty-frees sell water bottles every hundred feet or so in most major airports. But there’s an even easier (and more sustainable) solution!

Pack an empty water bottle into your back. I say empty because TSA guidelines restrict the amount of fluid you can bring into airports. So pack an empty, reusable water bottle in your bag and fill it at a drinking fountain once you’re past security.

Then, when you’re moving through the airport, do the “lip check.” If your lips are dry, drink a little water and wait about 20 minutes. If they’re still dry, repeat.

Staying hydrated will keep you from eating when you’re not actually hungry. And, on top of that, staying hydrated helps reduce the effects of jet lag. It’s a win-win solution!

3) Fill Up On Protein

If you’re traveling all day, you’re going to need some food that keeps you feeling full. Before you turn to carb-loading, however… don’t forget about protein!

Protein is perfect for helping you stay feeling full and fueled for hours. If you have a morning flight (or layover), protein is an especially good choice for breakfast… since it will sustain you through your day of travels.

Plus, protein is pretty easy to find, even in airports. Look for eggs, lean meats, and protein-topped salads. In a pinch, even beef jerky will do the trick!

4) Remember Your Healthy-Eating Needs

“Eating healthy” doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. So it makes sense that finding healthy food isn’t as simple as asking the cashier, “What’s healthy here?”

You’ll have to make your selections based on your personal needs. This means you’ll have to keep them in mind when you’re browsing a menu.

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Starbucks oatmeal is a great low-sugar option that you can top with nuts or fruit. It’ll fill you up and give you the carb-based energy you need to get through your flight with a smile. But it’s the last thing you want to eat if you’re looking for a low-carb option.

The Starbucks bacon and gruyere egg bites, on the other hand, have the protein and fat you need if you’re cutting back on carbs. They pack 19g of protein to keep you running, and they taste amazing.

How To Find Healthy Foods At The Airport

The Takeaway

Traveling can be a little scary. It doesn’t matter if you’re booking your first flight or if you fly every weekend… There’s always the fear you’ll forget something or miss your plane.

But eating healthy on the go doesn’t have to be scary. A little pre-planning goes a long way. And if you’re already past the stage where you can pre-plan, there are easy steps you can take to ensure you eat right for your needs.

Just remember to keep your specific healthy-eating needs in mind. And don’t give in to the temptation when you sprint past McDonald’s!


eating healthy at the airport

Another Reason To Stock Up On Protein – Both At The Airport & At Home

Stocking up on protein is a great way to not only find a healthy meal at the airport…

It’s also a great, no-effort way to trim some fat off your belly.

That’s because studies have shown that when you eat more protein… 

It signals your body to burn more fat.

And it’s especially good while traveling, since eating more protein DOESN’T require working out or any extra time just grab some beef jerky at one of those newsstands on your way to the gate.

If that sounds good and simple to you…

Here are 2 more easy ways to burn more fat that require almost no extra effort on your part… 

And that you can do from the semi-comfort of your airplane seat:

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Alexa Sooter

About the author

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