Travel Light: Eating Well While En Route

road trip

Whether traveling home to your family or to an exotic beach getaway, there's no doubt a lot of people will be on planes, trains and automobiles over the next two weeks of holidays. Believe or not, it's not hard to eat well en route no matter what the sky demons throw at you. First and foremost, be prepared and go wherever you're going armed with a plan. Consider the time of day that you’ll be traveling as well as the duration of your flight.

It's breakfast time. If you’re grabbing an early morning flight, you need to be prepared for a terminal breakfast. Here’s my famous “One-Stop Breakfast”: Dash into Starbucks or any coffee shop for a venti skim latte. Yes, it really is half of a healthy breakfast. It’s a shot of espresso along with roughly 9 ounces of milk that will cost you about 200 calories. Then grab a banana or any other fruit. There, you’re done! Or Starbucks has great breakfast sandwiches, just make sure you pick one that's under 250 calories (like the reduced-fat turkey bacon one) and oatmeal that's only 160 calories. Now you won’t be sitting at the gate or on the tarmac, starving!

Lunch and dinner are really nutrition twins when it comes to travel. The two top choices are a sandwich (choose a turkey on whole wheat with mustard and lettuce) or a salad with a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing and grilled chicken. You can find these at most any airport. Starbucks, which is everywhere, makes a good stop because they list the calories on their packaged sandwiches. Plus, they have snack and meal boxes like the Protein Bistro Box, which are calorie controlled. Just keep it to less than 400 calories for a lunch or dinner.  

Snacks. Don’t forget snacks! Pack them at home and take them with you, so you're never far from a nutritious, satisfying snack. They’re lifesavers for when you’re stalled on the tarmac or delayed in the terminal. Excellent snacks include cut up veggies or a piece of fruit, an energy bar such as Luna toasted nuts and cranberry, Balance honey yogurt, Kashi TLC granola bar or Fiber Love (keeping fiber up is key to staying full). One of my other favorite bars is the Cascadian crunchy granola bar, which comes with 2 per pack and under 200 calories, so you can pair it with yogurt for breakfast or spread out the 2 pieces throughout the flight. Good protein choices include Justin’s nut butter and 2 Fiber Rich crackers or 2 mini Babybel Light or Laughing Cow Light and 2 Fiber Rich crackers. KIND bars are also good, but make sure you choose one without chocolate coating so it doesn't melt en route! 

Wherever you are, I hope you have a healthy and happy holiday! 

Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN


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