Beat Those Airplane Hunger Blues With Travel Snacks  

Don't get caught hungry next time you fly. Pack healthy, portable snacks in your carry-on bag to ward off the mid-flight munchies.

Airline Snacks

Fares may be increasing, but airline budgets are shrinking and so are the amenities, especially the snacks. While some airlines continue to offer free peanuts or pretzels, others charge $5 for a fat-laden snack box, or provide nothing to eat at all. So, plan ahead next time you travel and pack security-friendly treats to give you that boost of energy whether you're mid-flight or delayed on the runway.

Nutrition Perils
Dehydration is probably the most common malady, and it can leave you feeling cranky and fatigued–as if you weren't cranky and fatigued enough already! Drink plenty of water or juice while you're in the terminal waiting to board, or ask for a beverage once you're in the air. Skip the alcoholic and caffeinated beverages because they dehydrate you even more. Fresh fruits can also help keep you hydrated, although you might want to avoid foods that give you gas because a change in altitude can make gas pains worse.
Fluid retention often occurs when you're flying due to lack of activity and poor circulation; eating salty snacks can also contribute to puffiness and swelling. To keep fluid retention at a minimum, drink plenty of water and avoid salty snack foods.
Low blood sugar can be a problem for people who have diabetes or hypoglycemia, most likely due to not being on a regular meal schedule. Planning ahead and bringing snacks is essential if you are prone to low blood sugar.


Food Rules
Most of the Transportation Security Administration rules for carry-on foods and beverages focus on liquids and gels: You are permitted to carry on one 1-quart clear zip-top plastic bag holding 3-ounce or smaller containers of liquids or gels. (Medications, breast milk and baby formula are exceptions.) Solid foods are generally fine, but you may not be able to get through with containers of foods that are more "gel-like" such as peanut butter, jelly, and puddings. Single serving packets of condiments are okay, as long as you have put them in your zip-top plastic bag. All food must be wrapped securely or put into a spill-proof container. You can bring the food in an insulated container, but you can't bring a gel pack or ice pack to keep it cold.

Store-bought Snacks
Rather than pay the high prices for high-fat, high-sodium snacks in the airport shops, run by the grocery store before you leave and stock up on some of these healthy items:
•Carrots and celery sticks
•Cereal in single-serving boxes
•Cheese, such as string cheese or individually wrapped 1-ounce bars
•Dried fruit
•Fresh fruit
•Granola bars
•Instant oatmeal packets (ask for hot water once you're in flight)
•Nuts or seeds
•Whole-grain bagel with light cream cheese spread
•Whole-grain crackers


If you want to make some tasty snacks for the journey, see Airline-Friendly Snacks.

MyRecipes.com
May, 2008
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