Healthy Flying Tips for Families

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and many people will take to the sky to visit family and friends. Despite appearances—a plethora of fast foods, snacks and lots of sitting around—flights and airports offer plenty of nutritious food and opportunity for activity, if you know where to look.

  • Make sure everyone eats a healthy meal before you arrive. You’ll be less likely to munch on high-calorie snacks just because they’re around or you’re bored.

  • If eating in an airport, it’s worth it to spend the time seeking out healthy foods. Look for salads, fresh fruit, vegetable-based soups, and baked or grilled chicken.

  • While trekking through the airport, take every opportunity for extra movement. Use the stairs, pass on the people movers and carry your own luggage.

  • Instead of sitting around before boarding the plane, use the time to walk. You’ll arrive early enough to fit in 15-20 minutes of walking, so take advantage of it. After all, you’re about to sit for an entire flight!

  • Call the airline 48 hours in advance to see if a meal is offered. Typical in-flight dinners can have as many calories (more than 1,000) as a fast food meal, and even more fat! Special order a low-fat or vegetarian meal. Or, pack your own lunches to ensure you all get exactly what you want.

  • Flying can easily dehydrate you, so drink plenty of water. Drinking one cup per hour in-flight will ward off dehydration and jetlag.
It’s OK to get up and walk through the aisles a few times when you are feeling antsy during a long flight. Allow your kids to do the same (but not so much that it bothers the other passengers).

Are you going to be flying over the holidays? What are some of the ways you stay healthy while traveling?

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When I fly i take and empty water bottle with me and fill it once though the checkpoint. i have also bought a bottle of water at the snack places once though the check point.
My Hubby and I fly a lot and will be flying to Jamiaca early next year. We love to fly but it can be a hasstle at times. Bringing your own food and having plenty to eat is important.We usually stay overnight at a hotel out of town before flying and use the room refrigerator to store our in flight sandwichs and snacks.I usually am given free water onboard the plane but usually carry my own water bottle and fill it before we get on the plane.We may fly to Europe next year so have to be aware of all the regulations. Report
OMG, enough with the sanitizer, this world has gone crazy with that nonsense, no wonder everyone is always sick, you all use that stuff to death and have no immunity anymore!
I fly international twice a year and always order diabetic or vegetarian meals, I walk and walk all over the airports, I bring empty water bottles to fill up before I board flights Report
In addition to walking the aisles, I usually do some yoga stretches to keep my circulation moving. Moving and stretching, along with drinking plenty of water, means no more swollen feet. BTW, many of the Airline magazines have illustrations of in-seat stretches you can do, and longer flights sometimes show a video. The only food I've ever had confiscated was yogurt.
If you forget your protein bars, you can usually find nuts or trail mix at Starbucks -- pricey but beats most of the alternatives. More and more airports are offering healthy alternatives. You might have to walk around to find them, but hey, that's good for you, too. Report
Surprised that there was no mention of sanitizer and a quick wipe of the seats PARTICULARLY the head rest.
Family vacation whe someone is sick in the troup - not a lot of fun!

Bring your own blanket and if possible a pillow and get all the rest on the plane that you can! Report
I fly often and have found that airlines are stingy (and who isn't in todayís economy?) with food and drink. The best thing is to pack plenty of healthy snacks, because typical airport/airline food is pricey (Iím stingy too, lol) and healthy options can be hard to find. I have never been told I was not able to take food (fruit, veggies, bars, etc.) through security, just make sure it is in small baggies in case they want to look at it. If they offer a meal in flight, usually the vegetarian or vegan meal is better prepared and can be lower in calories (watch out for fat). As the article states, flying DOES dehydrates you very quickly, but you are not allowed to bring fluids through security; you are allowed to bring empty water bottles through no problem though. Just fill them up before you take off or in flight. Report
No, not flying anywhere. Would love to spend Christmas at Disney World as we did one year, and had a great four days. Best place to spend Christmas!!! Report
I haven't flown in 12 years and it was all in Canada so I have NO IDEA how things are now. Report
I, too, take protein bars - just in case. More than once I've passed on airport food offerings (or in-flight meals) and enjoyed a protein bar instead.

I also carry travel packs of hand-cleansing towelettes, with which to wipe down the arm rests, tray tables, seat belt buckles, entertainment controls, etc. I think these contribute substantially to the fact that I never get sick after traveling for days on end and keeping up a demanding work schedule while doing so. Report
Haven't flown anywhere in 8 months, now I have two trips coming up in the next 3 weeks! I've managed pretty well the past few trips, but these next two will be the first on my own since I had WLS. I don't expect any issues, just a new situation to manage on my own. Report
Whenever I travel, I bring my own food. Unless you're traveling overseas, most airlines won't give you a meal. If you're lucky, you might get a bag of peanuts or crackers. On longer trips, you might even get a sandwich. That's another reason I bring my own food. it's because the airlines don't feed you anymore.

So, I'll bring my own granola bars, nuts, fruit, bagels and sandwiches. And I have never had a problem bringing my own food onto planes. the only item I've ever had confiscated was a bottle of water I forgot about in my bag.

These days, I prepare for a trip to the airport the same way I prepare for a camping trip. You just never know what you're going to need. So, good scout that I am, I'm always prepared. ;)

Also, if you traveling through an airport they cannot restrict your food, only liquids. I often pack a sack lunch when I fly to avoid having to make an unhealthy choice the day I fly out. Report
We have to get to the airport early and pass through security. Then I walk laps of the terminal while my husband watches the luggage and reads. We always take quality protein bars with us on our trips as you can never depend on finding a healthy and affordable place to eat nor can you be sure you will have time between flights to buy anything. If we know we are going to be stuck somewhere for a meal, we bring a healthy sandwich and piece of fruit to eat. We always check the nutritional information on the things they serve on the plane. Sometimes the calorie count for just the dessert or packaged roll is more than we should eat for a single meal. We just have a small bite if we eat any at all. No need to eat all the butter or dressing either. Report
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