You made a packed lunch for school. But why should it end there? When boarding a flight, a healthy meal can be tricky to find. And crisps and pretzels only go so far, right? As for most airport food, it’s pretty uninspiring.
Whether you’re jetting off on a holiday to the Caribbean or Mexico, check out the below make-ahead, nutritious and easy-to-eat dishes that’ll make everyone else jealous. Oh, and they all comply with the UK’s strict hand luggage restrictions, too.
We’ve teamed up with nutritional therapist Adam Lloyd to bring you the ultimate plane food picnic using good-for-you, healthy ingredients.
Banana, Apple and Berry Yoghurt
Trying to be a little more health-conscious doesn’t involve loads of work or flavourless options. This delicious yoghurt is thick, fruity and super easy to make using everyday ingredients. It’s almost like eating apple pie!
The star ingredients in here are the apples, bananas and berries. Apples are bursting with natural sugars and fibre to offer a slower and more sustained release of energy than a bag of sweets. As for bananas, they’re loaded with carbohydrates to keep you going. What’s more, they contain vitamins and minerals like potassium and vitamin B6 to keep energy levels up for longer. Lastly, berries such as blueberries used in the below recipe are packed with fibre meaning digestion is slowed down – so you’ll feel fuller for longer.
- 25g blueberries
- 1 apple
- ½ ripe banana
- 2 tbsp oats
- 100g plain yoghurt
- Pop the blueberries, banana and apple into a food blender. Blitz until smooth (so there aren’t any chunks left).
- Stir the fruit puree and oats into the plain yoghurt.
- Place in the fridge the night before you fly.
- The next day, transfer the yoghurt into a 100ml air-tight, leak-proof, and resealable container to meet UK airport hand luggage restrictions.
Hawaiian Tuna Rice Bowl
Who said you have to book a holiday to the islands to enjoy some delicious Hawaiian-style cuisine? It’s packed with whole grain brown rice, tuna (or salmon if you prefer), and fresh veg – carrot, courgette, creamy avocado, salad greens and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Oily fish like salmon and tuna are wonderful sources of protein while omega-3 fatty acids work to decrease inflammation in the body. The brown rice used in this dish is packed with fibre with a low glycaemic index. This helps regulate blood sugar and energy levels during the day.
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 2 spring onions, finely diced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 150g tuna or salmon
- 90g cooked brown rice
- 30g shredded carrot
- 30g shredded courgette
- ½ avocado, thinly sliced
- salad greens
- Using a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, spring onions, honey and sesame seeds.
- Add the fish and peppers to the bowl, tossing until mixed well.
- Stir in the cooked brown rice along with the carrots, courgette, avocado and salad greens.
- Pack this in your hand luggage ready for your flight.
Easy-to-Make Egg, Avocado, Cheese and Spinach Wrap
We love the versatility of a wrap – it’s ideal for breakfast or lunch. One of our favourite hearty and healthy choices is this super-easy egg, avocado, cheese and spinach wrap. It can be whipped up in minutes and is a plane-perfect snack for tucking into on the flight, or in the departure lounge. Plus, it’s a fabulous way to pack more vegetables into your diet!
The yolk and white of the humble egg are loaded with nutrients – vitamins, minerals and proteins. The yolk is rich in cholesterol, fat-soluble vitamins and much-needed fatty acids. What’s more, eggs provide leucine which aids in cells’ absorption of blood sugar to fuel energy production.
- non-stick cooking spray
- 50g baby spinach leaves
- 2 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 4 whole-wheat tortillas
- Spray a non-stick pan and warm gently over a medium-high heat.
- Tip in the spinach and fry, stirring, until wilted.
- In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and egg whites. Pour the eggs into the pan and fry, stirring, until cooked. Add a little seasoning.
- While the eggs are cooking, lay the wraps out on a clean surface. Divide the cream cheese among the four wraps and spread along the centre.
- Spoon a quarter of the egg mixture into the centre of each tortilla.
- Garnish with four slices of avocado, tomatoes and fold, burrito-style. Slice in half and serve.
Looking for a healthy sweet and salty snack? Look no further than popcorn drizzled with melted dark chocolate. It’s part dessert, part snack – and totally mouth-watering. And so much healthier than a packet of crisps.
Unlike crisps, popcorn provides loads of fibre meaning it offers a more gradual release of energy. In turn, this makes you feel more satisfied for longer. So, when that chocolate craving strikes, rather than reaching for milk or white chocolate, go for dark chocolate instead. Did you know it has more cocoa than other chocolate types and more antioxidants? These cut down feelings of fatigue by boosting blood flow and pumping oxygen to the muscles and brain.
- 25-30g bag of popcorn
- 100g dark chocolate
- Empty the popcorn into a large bowl.
- Pop the dark chocolate in the microwave until melted.
- Once melted, drizzle the dark chocolate over the popcorn.
- Toss the popcorn so it’s completely covered with chocolate.
- Allow to sit at room temperature until the chocolate has firmed up. To speed things up, simply place the bowl of chocolate popcorn into the fridge.
- Pop into a clear plastic bag or airtight, sealed container for the flight.
Eating healthily while travelling is easier than you first thought. So, skip the airport snacks and bring your own instead. They cost less than those from the airport and will save you any pre-flight hassle at the newsstand. No longer will you find yourself at an airport buying a pricy burger for breakfast!