Making healthy food choices in airports

Do you struggle with making healthy food choices in airports? I do. In between running to catch a flight or waiting for a connection after flying for hours, the last thing on my mind is eating right. I just need FOOD and usually that means the first edible-looking object in my line of vision. Regrettably, when I am in an airport, numerous non-optimal options abound.


Let us be honest. Who cares about calorie counts and portion sizes when you are hungry? Do   you think about fiber-rich whole grains and lean meats like turkey while you are being cross-examined by a TSA agent or are scrambling to collect your belongings after they pass through the screening area? I don’t.

At my tipping point, I need hot food to vanquish my raging hunger headache and cold sandwiches and wraps don’t do the trick. So when I get close to my gate, convenience is what counts.


Unfortunately, the greasy, salty, high sugar and fatty menu items from fast food outlets often are more prevalent than their healthy counterparts. Admittedly, I try to resist them and some days I manage to stay disciplined; on others, I simply give up.

Since I’ve had two trips back to back this week, I deliberately snapped pictures of some of my airport meals in order to keep track of what I ate. I’m sharing the pictures below so you can help  me rate my choices.

Cheese bagel and cream cheese with Naked orange juice. (I skipped the butter and jam). Grade B-
Cobb salad. Grade A
Cobb salad. Grade A
Bread pudding with cinnamon topping and soda (Ginger ale). Grade C.
Scrambled eggs and ham with bacon on the side and whole wheat toast. The drink was hot chocolate. Grade C
Scrambled eggs and ham with bacon on the side and whole wheat toast. The drink was hot chocolate. Grade C

So how did I rank? Maybe a C+ or B-?

How do you usually do? Please share any tips that may help and other travelers.

11 Replies to “Making healthy food choices in airports”

  1. At least there is an effort…I give you a B-.

    I agree with you, most things are so COLD it makes you want to ask them to pop it in a microwave, but of course that’s not possible.

    Great pics!

  2. It’s really hard to say because I am on a no meat, no dairy, minimal sugar low carb kick. I am more drawn to both salads but I would say, B-. The old me would say, A+ plus sushi if the Airport gives that as an option.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! No dairy, minimal sugar and low carbs I can handle if I must but no meat? I lift my hat to you on that one. Kudos!!

  3. I love how you rated the cobb salad grade A with all that delicious looking bacon. I think the worst was probably the bread pudding and the soda. It is really hard to eat well when you travel. My philosophy is choose the best of the bad options and eat clean when you get home.

    1. I didn’t finish the bread pudding. It tasted like cardboard so I just had the topping. All in all, sometimes you just have to admit defeat my dear. But yes, the cobb salad was yummy!

  4. Yes, I don’t think commercial travel time is the best time to be on a particular diet unless medically necessary, but in terms of making healthier choices generally, there are lots of options. There are proper restaurants in some airports as well that serve a la carte dishes cooked a la minute but those, where available are generally expensive. We actually prefer to eat BEFORE heading to the airport but if we have a crazy red eye flight or are short on time, We generally go for eggs for breakfast or the fast food options and a alcoholic drink or few. We’ve got a kid. It’s best to travel very relaxed for our usual transatlantic long hauls.

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