Best snacks for long haul flights

Ultra-long-haul business travel often involves disruption to sleeping and eating routines, especially when multiple time zones are crossed.  Planes now travel vast distances without the need to refuel, 12 to 15 hours flights are becoming common.  Planning ahead with a supply of healthy snacks can help make the time pass more comfortably on these very long journeys.

We Need to Considersnack-foods-img_20160905_100849191

Which snacks should we bring to the airport and which should we purchase after security?

Will we want to eat all the meals served and if not, do we need something to fill the gap?

Which time of day are the snacks covering?   Do we want a breakfast type snack, snacks to have with a drink or feeling bored and need a little stimulation snacks?

What to bring to the airport

I bring from home nuts, fruit and small tasty treats.

Pistachios are delicious, high in protein but slow to consume and for me, perfect with a beverage.

Fruit: apples, seedless grapes and little mandarins.  A plastic bag for rubbish and wet wipes for sticky hands are useful too.

Tasty treats: a small bag of yoghurt or dark chocolate coated raisins. Extra strong mints for sensory stimulation.

What to buy post-securitysnack-food-tower-20141030_111931

Water is the priority acquisition after security.  It can be purchased or if we know our airport has water good provisions, we can bring an empty bottle, to fill from the dispensers in the terminals.  Unless travelling business class there is never enough water available for my needs and if we have a sleep, we can miss out on the service.  During a very long flight, I very carefully top up my water bottle by requesting a second cup of water during the drinks service.

Departure lounges have a plentiful supply of sweets and treats, but small packs of ‘trail mix’ and dried fruits are usually available, occasionally fruit and sandwiches.

Onboard meals can be salty, avoiding snacks high in salt will help us avoid getting dehydrated.

Snacks Served On Board

On very long flights, most airlines offer a snack service between meals.  It can be a ‘help yourself’ selection of crisps, small chocolate bars, biscuits and if we are lucky apples, or something a little more substantial.  A small sandwich or hot snack might be served, but the desirability of these varies enormously.  Bringing our own snacks can give us healthier options and if there isn’t a snack service, or we’ve slept through it, we won’t go hungry.  I have a much happier journey if I can turn away a congealed mini pizza or a box of something that looks like dog biscuits and get out my salad sandwich and fruit.

Tea and coffee aren’t always served as part of the snack, but most flight crew will provide a hot drink if requested.

Remember to Leave Prohibited Food Items On-board

Many countries don’t allow fresh food to be brought through customs.  Fruit, meat and cheese are often best left on the aeroplane, or put in a quarantine bin at Arrivals.

Ultra-long-haul travel can be gruelling.   Arriving in good shape and ready to work, rather than dehydrated and grumpy is essential to get the best out of the opportunities to do business.

© Extravitality 2016

Author: Carol Sadler PhD
Carol is a Nutrition Consultant. She counsels in diet and lifestyle change at Surrey Cardiovascular Clinic where clients have been referred by the clinic cardiologists. Prior to this Carol worked in private practice in Dubai for nine years, where she had various media engagements including Emirates Radio 2 Lifestyle Show monthly ‘phone-in’ on nutrition topics; Gulf News Friday Magazine (weekend supplement) monthly nutrition letter answered; City7 TV appearances on Breakfast Television and Lifestyle Show commenting on nutrition topics. Contributions to local magazines, and organizations, eg Rheumatoid Arthritis Group, Grazia Magazine, Living in the Gulf magazine. She continues to write nutrition articles and blogs, recently writing for Reader’s Digest, and HASTE Academy heart health charity and provides talks on diet issues. Carol is a member of The Nutrition Society, a Registered Nutritionist at the Association for Nutrition, Registration No. 912 and a member of SENSE (self employed consultant Nutritionists group for professional development).

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