With school being out for summer, we know vacation is on the brain! The summer months are probably when most of us will take some time off and head to the airport, which might mean pushing healthy eating to the side. Even the most health-conscious travelers can find it difficult to choose healthy options while on the road or at the airport. However, times like these are when our bodies need nourishing and energizing food the most! See our following tips for having a happier and healthier summer.
BYO Snacks and Meals
This is the easiest suggestion to make good choices while traveling. A few well-planned snacks and meals can really help decrease the stress of finding a place with healthy choices that also won’t break the bank. If you are flying, the TSA allows almost all food items through the security checkpoint, so long as none of them are liquids in amounts exceeding 3.4 ounces. Great items to take to the airport include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (while flying within the continental United States)
- Dried or freeze dried fruit (without added sugar)
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut butters in the pre-portioned snack packs (Less than 3.4oz)
- Whole-grain pretzels & crackers
- Air popped popcorn
- Trail mix
- Snack bars (with minimal added sugar like KIND Nuts & Spices or Lara bars)
Don’t have enough room to pack extra snacks for the airport? Scout it out! Most airports list restaurants and kiosks online, so take some time to research what healthier options are available to you. Everyone has been in a situation where they just choose whatever is convenient because they’re so hungry they can’t think straight. Going in with a game plan can be extremely helpful against making last minute food decisions that might not have been the healthiest choice. Try to choose something that provides a good amount of protein and dietary fiber, like a leafy greens salad with salmon or a veggie burrito bowl with brown rice and beans. If you have the time, try to choose food options in another terminal to get in a few extra steps.
Try to avoid highly caloric beverages as much as possible. A lot of beverages, whether they are coffee drinks, juice, or soda, can be loaded with added sugars. This provides a lot of calories with absolutely no nutritional value. Be sure to always check the Nutrition Facts label to see if what you’re expecting is what you’re actually getting. It's also vital to stay hydrated during traveling so make sure you are drinking enough water to prevent dehydration. Bring an empty, refillable water bottle from home and fill it up with water the second you get through airport security.
For more healthy eating tips, contact the Thorek Memorial Hospital Food & Nutrition Department.