Planes, Trains, and Healthy Travel Food

By Take Control Staff

September 13, 2018

Eating healthy when traveling can be difficult for everyone. There are often unknowns and last minute changes, and we end up making poor choices based on limited options or being in a rush. The best way to avoid those pitfalls is to plan ahead. Planning your travel food can keep you from eating junk food, save you money, and will make travel more convenient.

We’ve put together some ideas to bring along, whether you’re in planes, trains, or automobiles.

Bring Along

  • Water: Bring an empty water bottle on flights– after you pass security you’re free to fill it up at a drinking fountain or vendor in the terminal. Bring a full water bottle for car rides, trains, etc.
  • Fruit – anything that travels well: apples, bananas, grapes, or dried fruit
  • Pre-made sandwiches
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Seeds and nuts – add a little crunch to your snack
  • Pre-popped popcorn – cook it before you leave and have it ready to eat on the plane
  • Yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Any kind of nut butter – peanut butter, almond butter, etc. You can pre pack it in a smaller container or it buy single serving containers.
  • Pita chips and hummus
  • Pre-cut veggies
  • Energy bars – our health coaches like Lara Bar
  • Naturally sweetened sodas, like LaCroix
  • A cooler if you’re driving, to carry your healthy food
  • Towels or hand wipes to clean up

Airports

  • Review your itinerary before you leave, and find out if you have time to eat between flights
  • If you don’t have time to eat between flights, pack some of the bring along items above
  • If you have time to eat in the airport, check the airport web site beforehand and see what restaurant options are there. Check the restaurant menu if it’s posted to plan which healthy items they serve. Look for salads, grilled sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Keep healthy snacks in your carry-on in case your flights change and you don’t have time to eat.

Convenience Stores

  • Check the coolers in the back of the store for yogurt, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, raw carrots and hummus, and vegetable juice.
  • Look for fruit cups, a package of unsalted/ low salt nuts or sunflower seeds, string cheese, jerky, air-popped popcorn, soy crisps, individual box of whole-grain cereal, any fresh fruit or veggies.

Fast Food

Sometimes you get stuck. Look for:

  • Salads, but be careful with the dressing
  • Calorie listings – many fast food places now list calories on the menu – look for items that are 500 calories or less
  • Skip the soda, order water instead
  • If you’re at Subway, get 6” rather than 12” and look for their calorie listings. Use more vegetables and less spreads for toppings
  • Starbucks – they seem to be everywhere, and they have bistro boxes and wraps that are under 500 calories

What are your favorite tricks for healthy eating when you travel? Share in the comments below.

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