Whether it’s a long-haul plane flight or one that seems only as long as it took to figure out how to log into the in flight wi-fi, it’s not uncommon to have a craving or two. The snacks served on some commercial planes often fall short of being rated five stars in those healthy option categories and many travellers may be left asking, what are the best snacks to take on a plane?
Interestingly, health practitioners advise not to travel on an empty stomach, particularly those who are susceptible to motion sickness, and that it’s a good idea to continue to eat a snack that is small, light, and low in fat, throughout your trip.1
Before the flight
But therein lies the challenge – when we think of snacks that can be taken on board, we may inadvertently reach for something that is high in fat, salt or sugars. These sorts of snacks can leave us feeling sluggish and tired. To combat this, health practitioners suggest that we look into snack foods that are low in sugar and contain a good amount of protein.2 And this is where snacks made from whole foods, such as chickpeas or fava beans, can be one of the best snacks to take on a plane.
These sorts of snacks also pass the “on board test” so to speak, where airlines are happy to accommodate pre-bought or pre-made snacks brought on board by passengers, as long as they come wrapped or sealed in packaging.
During the flight
Protein also helps us to feel fuller and more satisfied and can have the added benefit of helping us to eat less of possibly unhealthy filler foods offered in flight. But, if we do happen to find ourselves digging in to the airlines’ somewhat gluggy version of pad thai (which is not outside of the realm of possibility), knowing that we have snacked on a wholefood rich in protein, such as chickpeas or fava beans, means that we will have potentially helped aid the digestion of that meal, due to the fact that one of chickpea’s proven health benefits have been to aid healthy digestion.3
And finally, after the flight
When we finally get to end of what may have been a craving-filled flight, it is not an uncommon complaint to hear that after they disembark, some passengers feel lacking in energy and generally tired. There may be a range of reasons for these sensations, however a final added benefit of having a light meal or a light snack on the plane that is protein rich, can be that it helps to keep your energy up after you disembark or adjust to a new time zone.4
When it comes to travel, we may all have our own tried and tested routines, and some may or may not include a healthy option. But as the mainstream focus shifts more and more on the long term impacts of what we eat and how it makes us feel, it’s worth looking at the many 5 star health rated snack foods on shelves in supermarkets and health food stores that offer a protein rich, low salt, low fat alternative to sugary or salt laced snacks.
So when it comes to pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight snacking, whether it’s from Sydney to Melbourne or from Brisbane to Singapore, we have a growing range of healthy options that can help us avoid feeling tired and sluggish, and instead help us to feel satisfied and energised at our final destination.