Travel snacks should be packed in your hand luggage as an alternative to sweets, crisps, chocolate, cakes and other unhealthy options. Airports are full of shops temping you into buying unhealthy foods that are packed with empty calories. Swap chocolates, sweets and crisps with dried fruit, mixed nuts and seeds, oatcakes, yoghurts, beef jerky and low fat muesli bars.
You shouldn’t feel obliged to eat the food provided on the plane. You can pack your own meals and snacks to eat on the plane. Sandwiches, cold pizza, salads and noodle pots are good options to replace main meals.
The best things to drink are water, water with fresh lemon, fruit squash, watered down fruit juice and fruit or herbal teas.
Alcohol can disrupt sleep, cause dehydration and contain empty calories. If you want to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, make sure you drink plenty of water afterwards.
It’s probably best to try a herbal sleeping pill before you travel rather than trying them for the first time on a flight. However, they can cause disruption to your sleep pattern and can exacerbate the issue of dehydration. You are better off setting your clock to the destination time and using relaxation strategies to help you sleep.
The most important nutritional challenge during short haul is hydration. You will still be susceptible to dehydration whether you are flying long haul or short haul. It’s still best to avoid excessive intake of sugar and processed snacks but going without food for a couple of hours will not do you any harm!
Avoid greasy fast food, fried foods, alcohol and fizzy carbohydrate drinks before flying as these can cause bloating and wind. Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and baked beans can also cause digestive problems and are best avoided on the day of travel.
You are allowed to take food on a flight. The only thing to bear in mind is if you have any food left over after you land, check whether customs allows you to take it into the country, particularly if its fruit, vegetables or meat. You’re not allowed to take water through security but once you’re in the departures lounge you can purchase water to take on the flight with you.