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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Mile High Munching


Have you ever been stuck on an airplane with no food? Getting stuck on an airplane is not fun to begin with, but if you are on a long flight or spend hours on the runway delayed, it can be downright miserable. If you are on a short flight, this may not matter very much, but longer flights or unanticipated delays do require you to plan ahead and pack something to eat. Gone are the days of in-flight meals unless it is a really long flight, so it is up to you to plan ahead!

I went to Greece a few months ago and was boarded at 5 PM only to sit on the plane for 10 hours and returned to the gate at 3 AM with a cancelled flight. I proceeded to wait in the gate area until 5 PM for my flight to take off. We finally boarded and waited another 2 hours on the plane before it finally took off for a nice 10 hour flight to Athens! The main problem was that for the entire 10 hours (the first time) we were not offered meal service or even beverage service! If you had not packed some food, you were out of luck.

If you have little ones, you know how important it is to pack snacks. However, even big “kids” like me need to eat every 3-4 hours so I don’t get cranky, too. Try to pack nutritious foods. Airport stores and restaurants will have plenty of less nutritious foods to choose from, but if you pack your own healthy snacks, you won’t have to rely on their less than desirable selection. Carbs are important, but also look for some nonperishable protein sources to keep you fueled for the long haul.

Here are some ideas for snacks to pack in your carryon:
• Trail mix (you can make it yourself and put in baggies!)
• Nuts
• Dried fruit
• Fresh fruit
• Whole grain crackers and individual cups or tubes of peanut butter
• Beef jerky or sticks (or buffalo or ostrich jerky)
• Nutrition bars: look for a combo of carbs, protein, and fat (My favorite brands are: Kashi, Luna, Zone, Pria, Power Bar Nut Naturals)
• Laughing Cow Cheese (it is one of the only nonperishable) and whole grain crackers
• Chocolate!

In times of stress, it is always good to have some comfort food, and chocolate always comforts me!

The new FAA regulations say you cannot bring water through security, but luckily they let you purchase it from the gate area and carry it on the plane. Yes, you will pay more for it, but if you are sitting on a plane for hours and all they give you is a small cup during beverage service, you will be glad you did it.

For more information on the FAA regulations, click here.

Safe and Healthy Travels!
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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