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FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
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7/5/13 3:15 P

You don't mention the time of day of the flight or how long you'll be on the plane, but what about making sure that they are full before getting on the plane. If you are on the plane during the time of a meal, then won't the plane be serving a meal?

I went to the UK & Ireland back in 1997 when I was 15 and a half and we had a meal on the plane. Before going to the airport, my parents took me out to eat. I didn't feel hungry enough to need a snack. Then again, that was back in 1997. The last time I left the country was in 2010 and it was to Canada. I wasn't on the plane long enough to need a meal. I ate breakfast before I left, had a snack on the plane (provided by the airline), and lunch when I got to Halifax (going back next year 27 July 2014-9 August 2014).

GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/5/13 3:03 P

To be honest, I am not anti-carb, I am anti-processing, which includes many of the grain-based products so many people love. Larabars are a snack and on their own they are certainly more nutritious than raisins. Cereal, including shredded wheat, undergoes substantially more processing than a Larabar.

Whole grain, almost exclusively wheat, is traditionally used for making shredded cereal biscuits. Unlike flakes, this process starts by cooking the cleaned, whole wheat in water with no other ingredients added. The finished moisture content will be significantly higher than wheat cooked for flaking - about 50%.

After cooking, the grain is cooled and placed in holding bins for tempering. In this case, tempering does more than simply equilibrate moisture within both the batch and individual kernels. The process allows the cooked wheat kernels to become firmer, making subsequent processing easier.

As with flaking, shredding itself is achieved by passing the tempered grain between two rolls. These rolls, however, are much smaller than flaking rolls and one roll will contain grooves to yield the web of shredded grain. One pair of rolls will produce one layer of the shredded grain biscuit. Full-size biscuits require around fifteen or more pairs for enough shred layers.

Once enough shred webs are layered, the mass passes through a cutter. This device's edges are not sharp enough to actually cut, but compress the web into individual biscuits that are joined together. The biscuits then pass through a band-oven for baking down to a moisture below 5%. "

ANARIE Posts: 13,137
7/5/13 2:32 P


Raisins are bad because they're sugary, but LaraBars, which are raisins, dates, and nuts, are good? A mini box of raisins has about 1/3 the sugar of a Lara Bar. And changing the shape of an oat doesn't make it any less of an oat. The processing involved in turning wheat into shredded wheat is no greater than the processing involved in turning dried cherries and almonds into a Cherry Pie Lara Bar.

Obviously, raisins and carrots and cereal aren't enough in and of themselves, but they're definitely a partial solution. You're anti-carb; that's established. That doesn't mean everyone else has to be.

TNSFAN Posts: 41
7/5/13 1:40 P

Thank you everyone for all the great tips! My kids are a bit older (11 and 13) so they need more substantial type snacks these days. I am bringing nuts, almond butter, veggies, and fruit for the first day of flying, but needed something that will not "rot" and be easy to carry for the days to follow. We are traveling to Europe and the protein bars may be a replacement for meals, or just to keep blood sugars in check if we have long waits. I also forgot to mention we are a very tough family to shop for as my hubby has a severe peanut allergy and I am allergic to all fish (sadly no tuna for us, although that is a great and healthy snack).

I was very impressed with the Larabars as their ingredients I could pronounce! I bought an assortment of Lara, Luna, Balance, Zone and Cliff bars. It was kinda pricey, but I thought I better have them try a few before making the commitment to whole boxes. The kids are excited for our "taste test" night to pick some favorites. Thanks again for your fantastic suggestions and articles!!

LISAMI Posts: 33
7/5/13 1:10 P

I like Zone bars - crispy and Balance bars - chewy. Just watch out for the chocolate covered ones, as they can kind of melt (I free them first sometimes).

7/5/13 9:46 A

From what you are describing, you are looking for more of a Meal Replacement (energy) bar not just a high protein bar. This SP gives some good nutrition info to follow when looking for such a bar. The article is old, and on our update list ---since there are many new bars on the market, but the nutrition parameters would be correct.

Other foods you can consider packing: portion packs of pudding, fruit, nuts, trail mix, cereal, peanut butter and whole grain crackers, packaged tuna and crackers. (plastic spoons and forks) You could even pack a drink like carnation instant breakfast, Ensure, Boost, (if you like the flavor).

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 7/5/2013 (13:13)
GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/5/13 8:33 A

Anarie - I think you also need to keep nutrition principles in mind. Raisins and cereal have lots of sugar but not much else going for them - if anything those foods could be too stimulating. Larabars are all natural and have only a handful of ingredients which are minimally processed - they are also available at Costco - 18 bars for $17 last time I visited. I also question the wisdom of eating dry cereal as a snack - the amount of processing involved in extruding grains into shapes like squares or rings damages what little nutrients these foods offer - without milk they are little better than junk food.

Edited by: GDBEAR65 at: 7/5/2013 (08:34)
ANARIE Posts: 13,137
7/5/13 2:37 A

The thing about protein and energy bars is that they don't take very long at all to eat. Traveling with kids, I would want something that serves double duty, feeding them AND keeping them occupied. Those little mini-boxes of raisins are super-light to pack and carry, and you can play games like challenging them to eat half a raisin at a time or something. Baby carrots are a good, filling, slow food, and so is whole-grain cereal, especially things that come in little squares or rings.

Starkist makes prepared lowfat tuna salad in a pouch that is very handy, especially if you can find single-serve cracker packets to serve it on. That's what I carry when I go hiking.

All of these things have the added advantage of being much less expensive per meal/snack than most protein bars.

If you do want bars, see if you can find Luna minis. I've only seen them at Costco, but then I haven't looked hard other places. They're about the size of snack-size candy bars. There are also the Clif Kidz bars-- I eat those; they're similar in size and calorie count to a typical small granola bar, but lower in sugar and higher in protein. I'm not a fan of the chocolate chip kind, but the brownie-style ones are quite good.

I'm contemplating a 42-hour train trip, myself, so these things are on my mind!

GETSHORTY Posts: 1,370
7/4/13 10:25 P

I like to have a salty sweet mix on hand to deal with whichever taste urge might come up, so my recent favorites are Luna's Peanut Honey Pretzel, Clif Mojo's White Choc Macadamia and Peanut Butter Pretzel, and Kind Bar's Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan (OK, that one's not salty, but it's SO good!)

STDWYNWEN SparkPoints: (11,698)
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7/4/13 3:16 P


I can recommend Muscle Milk Lite bars for a snack.
170 calories
15g Protein
110mg Sodium
8g Sugar
Zero Lactose

The Chocolate Peanut Caramel is pretty tasty.

GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 574
7/4/13 2:03 P

You're very welcome.

We always bring a variety of bars with us whenever we travel. You never know when you might need a quick snack. Back in 2007, while on vacation, we went on all day tour that included lunch. We were picked up at the hotel at 7am but we didn't have lunch until 3pm. Thankfully I brought along a couple of Larabars. At the time my wife was hypoglycemic, so without the Larabars she would have passed out long before we got to lunch. It never hurts to be prepared.

TNSFAN Posts: 41
7/4/13 1:19 P

Wow! Thanks a bunch! I hadn't thought about the snack verses meal replacement option. I really appreciate the recommendations. With flying nowadays, one never knows how much or "if" food will be available. The term "food" is also used lightly when flying. I think it is wise for me to plan for both snacks and full meal replacement as we are taking three flights totaling 16 hours.

I am much stronger and make better decisions when nourished. I really do not want to weaken and pay $6 for a can of Pringles or $5 for a cup of Oreos...which was the only food available on the last 5 hour flight I took.

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7/4/13 12:20 P

If they are for snacks, then Larabars would be fine - I think your kids would enjoy them too as they are tasty and have a nice texture. If you're looking for a meal replacement type of bar, I would recommend Zero-Impact bars from VPX. They can be a bit dry but overall they taste good and there are no artificial ingredients, furthermore they are formulated not to raise blood sugar levels more than the normal rise you would see with a balanced meal. The Zero Impact bars are expensive but are probably the best meal replacement bar on the market and at 400 calories per bar, your children will probably need only half at a time.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,102
7/4/13 12:02 P

honestly i think it's a personal taste thing. balance yogurt honey peanut bars taste like the inside of my mouth so i like them, but i am not fond of other balance flavors. some clif i like, some i don't. same for lara and luna. i am typically more fond of the peanut flavors, but that's just me.
do check out target's website periodically for coupons. the only one i see now is for clif builder bars, but i printed out a manufacturer coupon for lara bars that i paired with a grocery store sale and got 3 bars for $2.25. and the paper often has coupons as well. as soon as you find a flavor you like, buy the box of that flavor when it goes on sale and you can get an even better deal.

TNSFAN Posts: 41
7/4/13 11:49 A

I am planning for a very long flight. I would appreciate some recommendations of healthy and tasty protein bars for myself and my two kids. I want to add in some protein bars to the bag of "healthy snacks" I plan on dragging on that plane.
I was standing in front of a huge selection of Lara bars, cliff bars, Luna bars and had no idea what to try. Also, at $1.30 each I didn't want to just buy a bunch I would end up tossing in the garbage. Thanks for your recommendations!

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