Five easy to store, take on board meal containers

If you travel frequently then you’re probably sick to death of airline food, terminal fast food outlets and petrol station snacks.¬† Especially if you have a food intolerance or severe allergy.¬† Also, it’s true that most of us find controlling our weight and maintaining a healthier diet easier when we have access to familiar food or food that we have prepared ourselves.

For these reasons, it can be even more convenient to take your own food with you, especially if you want to look after yourself better.

Here is a selection of takeaway containers to fill with your own food when travelling on business.¬† We’ve included both hot and cold containers, all offer a tight seal and some are exceptionally lightweight.

Remember:¬†if you’re flying then you won’t be able to take more than 100 ml of liquid through security with you.¬† This includes yoghurt, soups, jellies, hummus and juices.¬† However, you are able to take larger quantities of solid items for snacks and light meals comprising rice, protein, fruit, vegetable, nuts and whole-grains.

Japanese Modern/Traditional Compartmental Bento Box

Japanese Modern/Traditional Compartmental Bento Box 870ml%√Ě√Ź% ChopsticksThis bento box is perfectly segmented for carrying your various lunch, sushi or snack items on to a plane.¬† It is easy to clean and segments can be reconfigured using the removable sections.¬† This box is also extremely light-weight and compact.

Top-tip is to pack your food the night before and place into refrigerator.  Reviewers report that items such as lettuce will keep crisp and the box surprisingly holds a good amount of food.

Suggested (alternative to sushi) food items include; boiled eggs, rice salad, couscous, Greek salad, pasta, bean salad, vegetable wraps, crudites, cold preserved meats slices, smoked salmon, mackerel, cheese squares, protein balls, fruit such as grapes, mixed berries, clementines and kiwifruit.

Note: This box is suitable for a light meal which is perfect for the plane, but not appropriate if you have a large appetite or travelling long-haul across two meal times.  Weight 360 g

Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bag

Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bag, Airtight, Leak Resistant Seal Food Preservation Container for Fruits Vegetables Meat Fridge Food Storage and Kitchen Cooking Utensil (1L)These silicone bags are ideal if your packing space is in short supply.  They are completely airtight and have a leak-proof vacuum seal with a ziplock.

The bags can withstand temperature from -50oC making them perfect to store prepared food in the freezer, taking them out prior to leaving home.  The bags are also microwaving safe, resisting temperatures up to +250oC.

Perfect for continental style mix of foods such as cold meats, cheese, bread, oats, banana & nut mix, fruit salads, whole fruits such as grapes. Items to make in advance for freezing overnight could include Spanish omelette slice, breakfast wraps, scrambled egg and smoked salmon wrap, vegetable and egg muffins.

Made from 100% BPA-free silicone they are durable, lightweight and reusable.  Either rinse in water at your destination or chuck into the dishwasher when back home.  Weighs only 132 g per bag.

Vacuum Insulated Food Flask Stainless Steel Ocean

Black+Blum Vacuum Insulated Food Flask, Stainless Steel Ocean, 9 x 9 x 16 cm

This leak-proof vacuum insulated flask is perfect for hot and cold food provision when travelling.

It has a robust stainless steel body with a twist top to prevent spills and fits nicely in hand luggage or side pocket of computer backpack.  It keeps food piping hot for six hours.  Alternatively, it can keep food cold, without the need for additional coolers, for eight hours.  The flask also comes with a spoon attached by a strap to the flask.

Suggested meals include; noodles with stir-fry chicken, salmon with rice, couscous with beef, and hot or cold pasta-based dishes.  Alternatively, you could also bring an empty flask with you and purchase a soup or hot meal to fill it up once through airport security.

Weight is only 350 g for flask and spoon.  For the environmentally conscious, the flask is made from eco-friendly polypropylene, HIPS, silicone and artificial leather.

Kangcheng Collapsible Camping Bowl Multifunction Food Container

Kangcheng Collapsible Camping Bowl Multifuntion Food Container Sets Space-Saving Box Outdoor Silicone for Hiking,TravellingIf you’re looking to save space, then this one dish collapsible container might be the answer.

It goes flat when empty, taking up little space in your briefcase, handbag or even coat pocket.  The lid is tight with the bowl when filled or empty.  The thick walls are sturdy, so you can store your food without the risk of spilling, and are also heat insulating so you can keep food warm for a short period of time.

This collapsible container is microwave safe and freezer proof withstanding temperature down to -40oC, making it ideal for cooking food within it and refrigerating or freezing the night before your journey.¬† In case you’re wondering, some airport lounges have microwaves for their business travellers to use.

Suggestions for food items prepared the night before include; egg fried rice, Chilli Con Carne with rice, Paella, pasta bake, Thai chicken curry with rice, Frittata and Shepherd’s pie.¬† Also suitable for grain-based or mixed item salads.

Collapsible Folding Lunch Box with 3 compartments

Collapsible Folding Lunch Box with 3 Compartments, Airtight, Leak Proof, Microwave, Freezer and Dishwasher Safe, BPA Free Silicone Food Storage Containers - Bento Box Lunch Box for Adults and Kids

For those of us with a larger appetite but with little room to spare, then the collapsible folding bento-style lunch box is another option.

It is also made from silicone, so is microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher and freezer safe, and won’t hold onto smells or tastes.¬† Simply cook your food, if possible in the container, and store them either in the freezer or refrigerator until your journey commences.

The separate compartments not only keep the food items separate but it also provides a portion control system if you are on a weight loss or maintenance diet.

Ideal meal items which comprise three food groups include;

  • Vegetable couscous salad, chicken or tofu satay, and banana muffin.
  • Spicy lamb kofta’s, red & wild rice salad, and peaches with a serving spoon of yoghurt.
  • Filled tortilla wraps, cheese with crackers, and fruit salad.
  • Pasta & pesto salad, cold meats or cheese, mixed dried fruit & walnuts.
  • Leaf salad with pitta fingers & hummus, mixed bean salad, dried apricots with cheese cubes.
  • Chicken with stir-fry vegetables, noodles, mango and pineapple slices.

Although this is a collapsible option, it is heavier in weight than the items above.  Weighs 460 g.  Accompanied with a spork.

©  2019 Executive Travel Vitality


Kathy Lewis, R.Nutr, BCApSc, MSc, MBA,
Author: Kathy Lewis, R.Nutr, BCApSc, MSc, MBA,
Kathy Lewis, Consultancy Director, enjoys a multidisciplinary career based on a portfolio of achievement.  Kathy is a Management Consultant for Executive Travel Wellbeing and Stress, Health Promotion Specialist, Consultant Nutritionist (Registered Nutritionist and World Public Health Nutritionist) and a Chartered Marketer with over 25 years of experience.   Her specialist areas include executive stress and wellbeing (including jet-lag and travel wellness),  travel nutrition, travel policies, corporate vitality, employee engagement, marketing and internal communications. Kathy holds several relevant degrees, Masters in Applied Psychology (MSc) with distinction for her research in Executive stress and maladaptive coping behaviours looking specifically at clinical work-based stress and the impact on healthy lifestyles, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), with distinctions achieved in Management Accounts, Statistics and Project Management, completed with a research-based dissertation in the marketing of healthy options in catering establishments, and a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and Food Science.Over the last 25 years, Kathy has worked as a consultant and advised in various industries, from travel, health and food to financial services and telecommunications, on nutrition, executive wellbeing, workplace health, change management, internal communications and employee engagement. She has worked with a variety of clients across local government, NHS, educational institutes, NGO’s, national and multinational companies. As a Management Consultant (post-MBA) Kathy was required to travel to several locations each week and in 2002 began her masters in Applied Psychology (& Health Promotion) as a result of observing the stress in senior managers.  She was awarded a distinction for both her research on work-related stress and maladaptive behaviours and her course work.  Prior to this, Kathy spent many years working with catering establishments to provide healthy options, and prior to this working in diet and fitness centres, following her degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science in 1989.   Combining all areas of experience and expertise was the obvious way forward, and subsequently founded the concept of business travel vitality and wellbeing. Kathy is a former Consulting Editor for Readers Digest Association Inc (USA) and Readers’ Digest UK (Vivat), as well as the former founding Non-Executive Editor for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Food, Drink and Agriculture group. As an author, she has written a number of publications and a variety of articles in consumer publications and professional journals, with guest media appearances on a number of radio shows, including the BBC, London and regional radio.  She enjoys public speaking on a range of topics and is a regular speaker at professional events. Kathy is also the Vice Chair of The Caroline Walker Trust, Founder of the International Forum for Health Promotion and Education, a board advisor for the Tessa Sanderson Foundation and Academy, the Vice-Chair/former Chair for the Financial Services Board at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, former Trustee/Non-Executive Director for the Association of MBA’s (where she chaired the Governance Committee and was a member of the HR Committee and Strategic Working Party), former Honorary Secretary for the Institute of Health Promotion and Education, a founding Council Member of the Association for Nutrition. Kathy was also a committee member for the Food, Drink and Agriculture group at the Chartered Insitute of Marketing and a current Non-Executive Director at NZ Engineering. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Association of MBAs, Institute for Travel Management, Association for Woman Travel Executives, Nutrition Society, SENSE, World Public Health Nutrition Association, Association for Nutrition (UK) and International Travel Writers Alliance.  She is a former member of the Institute Institute of Directors, Royal Society of Arts and Institute of Health Promotion and Education.

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