Eating Healthy at the Airport


Airport EatingWe’ve all been stranded in the airport with a 4 hour layover at some time or another. And no matter how hard we try, there’s just no way to keep the stomach from growling for that long. But it’s hard to eat healthy when airports seem to be jammed wall to wall with fast food restaurants and Cinnabon.

Tips for Healthy Eating

1. Bring Your Own

Although airport security won’t let you bring liquids through, feel free to pack a Thanksgiving super in your carry-on. But really. If you can, pack your own, healthy, cheaper snacks to chomp on while you wait for your flight. Great snacks include items such as trail mix, fruit, and protein bars. Those options will last you through the whole day. But if you’re thinking of a meal as soon as you cross the security threshold, considering packing yourself a turkey sandwich or wrap. Peanut butter bagels are also another great option for those who are short on time when packing.

2. Search for the Healthier Chains

There are a lot of options. If you have the time, do a lap of the food court area and see what’s available to you. You might be surprised to find that McDonald’s and Burger King are not your only options for a quick bite. Look for restaurants that offer items such as fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, and salad. Try to avoid chains that are heavy on the fried food or combo meals.

Some chains with healthy ordering options include: California Pizza Kitchen, Wolfgang Puck Express, Au Bon Pain, Jamba Juice, and more!

3. Order Wisely

If you can’t find a super healthy place to order from or if you’re in too much of a hurry to try, you can always order healthier options from anywhere. Even KFC won’t give you a heart attack if you are careful about what you order. Some restaurants such as Starbucks will list the calories next to the food item to help guide your selection.

Here are a few quick tips to cut calories, no matter where you order:

– Choose grilled, not fried—Drop the fried chicken and order the grilled option and save yourself from heartburn.
— Ask for dressing on the side—Dressing hides all the calories in a salad and often restaurants douse your lettuce with far too much. As for it on the side and you can pick just the right amount.
— Select whole wheat or multigrain bread—Do we really know what’s in white Wonder bread? At least we know there’s some sort of nutrition with whole wheat or multigrain.
— Ask for a fruit or vegetable as your side—French fries don’t count. A baked potato without butter or sour cream does.
— Order vegetable pizza—And then use an extra napkin to absorb what extra oil you can.

Order Light!

Hold out your hands—do it. All your meals should fit in the palm of your hands. Combo meals and restaurant serving sizes have skewed our perception of what’s enough food. We really don’t need much. No matter what your ordering or where, keep your intake low and you should be fine.

Anna Albi is a graduate from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she received a B.A. in Creative Writing with an additional major on Professional Writing. She is currently

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pursuing her Masters of Arts in Professional Writing, also at CMU. Feel free to reach out to her through Google+.

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