Before you head out the door, bags in hand, do some research on the terminal(s) you'll be travelling in and out of to get a better sense of what kind of food will be on offer. The more you know about what will be available to you, the better you can prepare. Restaurants, cafés, bars, stores and fast-food outlets are often listed by terminal on airport websites, so have a quick peek before you go, and make a list of your best bets for healthy grub.
One of the best ways to ensure you have at least a few healthy options while in transit is by packing your own snacks. Think high-protein, low-sugar and easy-to-package and transport. Raw nuts, apples, oranges, veggie sticks and string cheese are all good options that provide fibre, protein and nutrients without filling you up too much.
Don't be afraid to ask for substitutions at restaurants to boost the health quota of what you're eating. Request dressings and sauces on the side, ask for fish or meat to be grilled rather than fried, request extra veggies on a sandwich instead of the cheese, or ask for a side of salad instead of fries or onion rings. Many places will be accommodating, but more so at sit-down restaurants versus food courts or smaller vendors.
If you're in a pinch and just need to get something into your system, then prepackaged sandwiches can be an OK choice. Opt for the vegetarian choice, and either eat half or eat it open-face to cut back on excess carbs.
Many coffee chains now offer oatmeal as an option, which offers fibre without the fat. Yogourt, which is a good source of protein and calcium, is also available at many cafés. These options will satisfy without being too heavy, and they're easy to eat on the go.
The less processed, the better when it comes to airport food, and luckily, if you know where to look, you can find it. Many vendors in airports (kiosks and convenience outlets especially) offer fresh fruit like bananas, apples and oranges, packages of raw almonds, individual packs of cheese and even boiled eggs. These are all great grab-and-go items that will satisfy, offer nutrients and leave you feeling full without excess sodium and empty calories.
If you're going to an unfamiliar airport or weren't able to do any advanced research about amenities, then look to an app to help you navigate what food options are available. GateGuru is a free app for iPhone, Android and Windows that helps organize all your travel but that also shows you what shops and services are nearby, so you can easily find something to eat that suits your needs.
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