12 Most Healthy Food Choices in an Airport

12 Most Healthy Food Choices in an Airport

With the increase in flight delays and layovers when we travel, passengers find themselves spending more time in airports – including meal time. While the food tends to be less than stellar, there are healthy options that can keep you energized or help you sleep. These options will keep you satisfied and nourished.

1. Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal

Steel-cut oats keep you full for ages, and add nuts for a protein boost. It’s a healthy offset to your pumpkin spice latte.

2. Dunkin Donuts Egg White Flatbread

Definitely the least nefarious choice on Dunkin’s menu, it packs a protein punch – and it’s delicious.

3. Turkey sandwich

Here’s one of my favorite tricks. Remove half the turkey from the sandwich (they always put too much), and place the turkey into a baggie for later. When you’re hungry, squeeze some mustard onto the turkey slice and roll it up for a tasty, protein-rich snack.

4. Soup

Stay away from the creamy ones and pick vegetable rich ones. Skip the oyster crackers and Saltines.

5. Bagel & cream cheese

Yes, a bagel – but perhaps not in the way you’re used to eating it. Instead of ordering a bagel sandwich, just order a bagel of your choice, sliced, with cream cheese on the side. Using your fingers, hollow out your bagel (leaving some of the bread inside) and spread a thin layer of cream cheese inside the hollow. It packs all the satisfaction of the bagel, but with half the carbs and fat.

6. Fresh fruit

Pick the fruits that look the freshest – apples are a great choice during this time of the year. They also serve as natural breath fresheners. Stay away from pre-packaged fruit cups if you can, as they can be mushy, old, and generally unsatisfying.

7. Flatbread sandwich

The last thing you need before sitting for hours is a heavy dose of carbs, so opt for wraps or flatbreads in your sandwiches. Pick water-rich vegetables (they help with hydration) and protein (to keep you full longer) for your sandwich options.

8. Yogurt

Creamy, full of protein, it can satisfy your sweet tooth and also help you sleep before a red-eye. Choose Greek yogurt if available, and select flavors with the least amount of sugar.

9. Pop Chips

Try to avoid salty foods pre-flight (which cause in and post-flight bloat), but Pop Chips are the lesser of these sodium-laden evils.

10. Salads

Quite obvious. Pick vinaigrette instead of creamy dressing, and skip the croutons.

11. Granola bars

Opt for ones with few ingredients, and ones you can pronounce. Nature’s Valley and Kashi are great picks. Pack them in your carry-on before you leave the house.

12. Water

Pack an empty bottle in your carry-on and fill it up when you pass through security, or order a venti water at Starbucks with your latte (the water is triple-filtered, and they’ll charge you $1 at the most).


So use this guide to pick a healthy option next time you head to the airport to make your flight time a happier experience!

Featured Image Courtesy of Natala Menezes licensed via Creative Commons.

Hitha Palepu


Hitha Palepu is a professional traveler - her role as vice president of operations at SciDose demands a significant amount of jetsetting (and she doesn't complain). A travel and lifestyle writer on the side, she pens her blog Hitha On The Go in addition to contributing to several web publications. In her remaining spare time, Hitha enjoys cooking, reading, and watching her beloved Eagles, Phillies and Washington Huskies. She lives in New York City.

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I really enjoyed this blog and your points are very valuable. It will help a lot, thanks Hitha.


@12most The most healthy food choice in an airport is fasting =)


I was happy to find the California Pizza Kitchen at the LA airport ~ I bought 1 salad & 1 sandwich, While on board my daughter & I shared both dishes. Perfect amount for a coast to coast flight. Thinking it thru and not rushing to 'grab' something really helps. Thanks for all these tips!


Rather recently, I was so relieved to come across a "Natural" food spot in O'hare airport. I was able to pick up some nuts and fresh fruit along with a chicken salad croissant. Eating "junk" while traveling just makes me feel horrible. Thanks for posting this list!


I either pack a protein bar or find a smoothie shop. I see the smoothies as being lesser of the evils even though they can pack a sugar wallop. And their protein boosts are about 2g-4g...where the ones I make at home are 24g to start (then a little greek yogurt and peanut butter really pushes you over the top).

Of course, I am a big nut eater, also. Taking some trail mix, or just carrying walnuts/cashews/pecans takes the edge off, too.

And I eat steel-cut oats at home most mornings, great choice!


My staple at the airport is always a Naked beverage! :)


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