American Society For Nutrition

Traveling and Nutrition

Traveling and Nutrition

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice
Posted on 09/24/2009 at 03:20:53 PM by Student Blogger
By: Alison K.

Your flight is at 6:00am and you have to take the A line from 190th street to JFK airport. You've got too much luggage and time is ticking! You're also starving. Upon arriving at the airport, your choices are limited and that's being generous. From McMuffins to a classic Old Fashioned from Dunkin', you know this is going to be a tough call. At one coffee stand, you sight what probably looks like the saddest bunch of bananas on the planet.

Why are food choices so incredibly unhealthy while we are traveling?

Clearly this goes not only for traveling, but in general the food choices when eating out in the United States. However, for me at least, I notice this most when I am in an airport at some crazy hour ill-prepared yet again for a flight to or fro the West Coast. There are a few tricks I've been able to work on since I've been flying back and forth from the East and West the last couple of years.

  • You can in fact bring a water bottle with you on the plane. It just has to be empty when you go through security. A lot of people don't seem to realize this, and then you don't really feel like spending 4$ for a bottle of water. You opt to wait to get your free 4oz glass of water from the flight attendant, which is really not optimal for hydration.
  • You can bring your own food—produce even—as long as you are traveling within the United States. Last time I flew to the East Coast I stopped by the Farmer's market on my way to the airport and loaded up on a few things, which kept me really happy during my flight! Neighboring passengers were clearly jealous. 
  • Try to think about this in advance. This works for me at least. Oftentimes I wait until the very last minute and then I end up putting stale bread in my purse thinking I'll actually eat it if I get hungry enough, which inevitably results in me buying some crazy steak burrito when I finally cave. 
As always, share your knowledge with others. I think this has been my overall message of all my posts. When fellow passengers are googley eyed over your beautiful avocado on your next red eye, give them a heads up that they can be just as healthy and prepared as you are—saves a ton of money, too!