Airport concession-stand snacks might seem a convenient solution to the problem of last-minute sustenance, but they are rarely nutritious enough to give you the right energy – and they always leave a dent in your spending money.
Holiday Hypermarket enlisted the help of nutritional therapist Adam Lloyd to create the ultimate must-eat list of cost-effective foods for comfortable journeys.
Adam commented: ‘It’s normal to grab lots of processed foods when eating on the move, such as sandwiches, sweets and snacks, but this has a big impact on our energy levels.
‘Most grab-and-go foods are packed with refined carbohydrates, which have had nature’s goodness stripped out, so they provide a large and quick burst of energy. But our pancreas responds by pumping out insulin to keep our blood-sugar levels balanced, and these peaks and troughs leave us feeling exhausted and craving more sugary food.
‘As a double whammy, food bought from service stations, airport shops and on the plane is extra expensive, so holidaymakers are racking up a big bill before their holiday has even started.
‘Creating your own plane picnic has the dual benefit of keeping costs low and your family fully fuelled for the journey ahead.’
Preparing your perfect plane picnic is easy when you include the following:
Tasty, small enough to not take up too much room, and packed with fibre, apples will keep you in tip-top condition as you fly and they create very little waste, too.
Budget: £2 for six
Between the healthy carbs, potassium and vitamin B6, bananas have got most bases covered and will keep you feeling energised, even on a long flight. Great on their own or with some natural yoghurt.
Budget: £1 per bunch
High in fibre and great for promoting slow digestion and sustained energy release, berries can pep up any other snack, or work really well on their own. Choose a selection to get the best benefits and try to include blueberries; they really zing up your energy levels.
Budget: £3.25 for a 1kg bag of mixed berries
Whether dairy or soy-based, natural yoghurt is an excellent source of protein and can be easily livened up with chunks of fruit. Choose an unsweetened variety to get all the energy but with none of the unhealthiness.
Budget: £1 per 500g pot
Don’t grab a concession-stand sandwich when, for a few minutes of prep, you can take a brown-rice bowl with you to the airport. An incredible source of complex carbs, brown rice is the perfect base for exciting flavours, so add some veg and a drizzle of miso and enjoy.
Budget: £1.50 per 1kg pack
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body and, in turn, fatigue. Try to eat some salmon or tuna, as these have excellent levels of fatty acids.
Budget: £1 per tin
Leucine helps your cells take in more blood sugar and assists with energy production and eggs are packed with it. As well as protein. Some simple peeled boiled eggs will top up the tanks instantly.
Budget: £1 for six eggs
Put down the milk chocolate and grab something a little darker. The more cocoa in your chocolate, the higher the antioxidant levels, and the happier you’ll feel when you eat it. You really can banish the plane blues.
Budget: £2 per 100g bar
Far better than crisps, popcorn is full of fibre and contributes to a slower energy release. It’s also easy to flavour if you don’t like yours plain, but use something low fat to avoid empty calories and sugar crashes.
Budget: £2 for six 10g packs
Adam Lloyd is a registered Nutritional Therapist (mBANT) and Personal Trainer. He is a registered practitioner with the CNHC (Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council) and is studying a Masters (MSc) in Nutritional Therapy at the University of Worcester.