Ideally, bring some healthy snacks with you. Montana Macro•Balance Snacks™ can be easily packed into a carry-on bag, briefcase, or purse. The protein bars are satisfying and can prevent you from making other less worthy food choices. The soups & oatmeal can be easily mixed with a cup of warm water found at any food counter or even on board your flight. However, even the best packer will occasionally find him/herself with no snacks on-hand and at the mercy of airport food. These strategies and options at some typical airport food vendors should help:
- Starbucks offers some reasonable options: Oatmeal (without the dried fruit add-on) and “Protein Boxes” filled with hard boiled eggs and fruit, or egg white, turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches (even the whole wheat muffin is not a bad option).
- McDonalds has a wide variety of salads. Choose one with grilled chicken and low fat vinaigrette dressing. The Premium Bacon Ranch with grilled chicken is a good option. When ordering a salad, generally avoid excessive cheese, creamy dressings, or dried fruit toppings.
- Clear broth based soups can be filling and reasonably healthy, although often high on sodium. Au Bon Pain serves a Garden Vegetable soup filled with carrots, green peppers, zucchini, and broccoli florets. If you add a grilled chicken breast to this, it becomes a reasonably balanced meal or snack. Most larger airports offer some food service options where you can order a grilled chicken breast, even if you order it as a sandwich and decide to discard the bread.
- Kiosks and newspaper stores have packaged almonds, fresh apples, and, with increasing frequency, non-fat Greek yogurt. Avoid the prepared yogurt parfaits (laden with sugar) and those yogurts with fruit already mixed in. All packaged foods should have a nutrition label with all the information you need to make a good choice. Be aware when purchasing “healthy” snack bars; some have inordinate amount of carbs with very little protein pay-off. Quest Bars are quite well balanced and Atkins bars can offer some reasonable options, but neither are widely available in airports. Think Thin bars and Kind Bars are a bit more carb laden, generally contain more calories and are lighter on protein, but are an option when you can’t find a better alternative and are available in most airport newspaper shops. Most airport food service vendors sell fresh apples, oranges and bananas.
- Avert your eyes when you stroll past a Cinnabon cart. All those empty carbs will not make you a happy traveler!