Making time to prepare nutritious snacks to take to the airport will guarantee your energy levels and keep your spending money safe for your holiday.
Alongside nutritional therapist Adam Lloyd, Holiday Hypermarket has curated the ideal list of affordable foods that are as tasty as they are good for sustained energy.
Adam noted: ‘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.’
To create a cost-effective and energy-rich journey-day menu, you’ll need to include the following foods:
Fibre-rich and tasty, apples are the perfect plane snack for keeping bugs and fatigue at bay. The slow energy release they provide is invaluable on longer flights, too.
Budget: £2 for six
Potassium and vitamin B6 are just two reasons to stock up on bananas for your backpack. They are also a great source of carbohydrates, so you’ll find yourself energised and alert when you touch down.
Budget: £1 per bunch
Promoting slow digestion, thanks to their high fibre content, berries are a tasty treat that’s hard to beat. Eat alone or with natural yoghurt for an added protein punch.
Budget: £3.25 for a 1kg bag of mixed berries
Ditch the sandwiches and make a brown-rice bowl instead. The complex carbohydrates in rice are vital for slow energy release. Add in some vegetables and maybe some oily fish and you have a perfectly balanced meal.
Budget: £1.50 per 1kg pack
The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidant levels, which are essential for fighting potential bugs on a plane. Dark chocolate also helps with serotonin release, which will make you feel happier throughout your entire journey – definitely worth swapping out the milk chocolate for.
Budget: £2 per 100g bar
Packed with leucine that contributes to better energy production, eggs are more than just an excellent protein source. Perfect on their own, simply boiled and peeled, or added to a rice bowl, eggs give a lot and cost very little.
Budget: £1 for six eggs
Bringing down inflammation in the body and eliminating fatigue, omega-3 fatty acids are found in large doses, in oily fish. Tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel are all excellent sources – you can also include flaxseed in their picnic to get the same benefits.
Budget: £1 per tin
When you fancy a little crunch, don’t reach for crisps when popcorn is so much better for you. Full of fibre, it will help with sustained energy release and can be flavoured with sweet or savoury options.
Budget: £2 for six 10g packs
Soy or dairy natural yoghurt brings a huge protein punch to any plane picnic and is the ideal sweet treat. Mix it up with some berries or bananas for a more filling snack, but try to avoid sweetened varieties as the sugars will cancel out the benefits.
Budget: £1 per 500g pot
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.