It is summer and many college students are going back home (or somewhere fun) by plane. Summer is one of the busiest times of the year for flying (check it out: Thanksgiving and Christmas are not the busiest times to fly) and that could mean getting stuck on a layover or just delayed for ages. And if you are hungry to start with, how will you feel after a six-hour delay?
Airport food is not often what you would call healthy. One of six iceberg lettuce salads in various stages of wilting at a snack bar is not exactly going to hold you over, or even pack a meaningful nutritious punch. What is a clever, healthy girl to do?
You could start with fruit. Apples and bananas provide sugar to boost your energy while you wait and give you some fiber to keep you sated. Most snack bars or cafeteria type places have fruit. If you can get a cheese stick, too, all the better–it will provide a little protein, calcium, and some fat, which will help keep you satisfied longer.
Or you could make the walk to one of the three Starbucks in your terminal–but not for coffee. Starbucks serves oatmeal with your choice of toppings and oatmeal is something that could certainly keep you full and happy (if that sounds like a stretch, at least it will prevent sad, hungry feelings).
Neither of these easy options available? Then, it may be time to splurge on a little meal at one of the in-terminal restaurants. Try to find the least processed food available–for instance, at a Mexican food joint, brown rice and whole pinto beans is better than white rice and refried beans. Oil and vinegar is better than any packaged no-fat vinaigrette or dressing for a salad. Or if you are looking for something sweet, get a slice of banana bread or a muffin (more or less a nutritionally sound as a slice of cake) somewhere that makes pastries on-site, since these will likely be a) fresher and b) may contain fewer preservatives.
It is never ideal to be stuck in an airport, but when you are, make the most of it by providing yourself with real, quality food (at least, what passes for that at an airport). The upshot is if you ward off your hunger, you may be spared the airline food.