Airport Food Is Finally Getting a Healthy Makeover

airport food courtIf you've ever been stuck with your kids for hours on ends waiting for a delayed flight, you know how crappy the food options at the airport can be: pizza, burgers, fries. But a new survey brings welcome news for families traveling by air this holiday season: Food options at most airports are getting healthier. An impressive 83% of the restaurants at the 15 major U.S. airports feature at least one healthy high-fiber, low-fat vegetarian option on their menus, up from only 57% about 10 years ago.


It's great that there's been some healthy improvement in airport food – and here's hoping the trend continues – but I have to say, one health-minded vegetarian option really doesn't sound like enough to pat ourselves on the back about. Do we really think a single measly hummus sandwich in a sea of pizza and burgers will make us all healthier? And haven't there long been relatively healthy boxed sandwiches and prepackaged salads available at many airports?

So no, I'm not ripping up my flight itinerary and throwing it up in the air like confetti in celebration. But I do like the idea that we're looking at the food in high-trafficked public places and deciding they need a makeover. And it's good we're realizing that airports, in particular, could stand to be healthier. And by that, I don't mean just the food.

After all, we travelers spend an awful lot of time trapped in airports, sitting passively in uncomfortable chairs at our gates, waiting for our flights to board as we mindlessly play games on our smart phones and read the same magazine articles over and over and over again. What airports really need to be healthier is a way for us to throw our carry-on bags in a locker and get up and move around. They need ... fitness centers!

The idea actually isn't so far-fetched. It turns out, in the past few years, some airports have actually already done just that.

Honestly, I don't remember seeing a fitness center during my travels (maybe it's because I have traveled much less now that I've had kids, and when I do, I've been busy doing multiple reps hoisting them). But I think this is a great idea – and could do far more to improve our health than offering a few alfalfa sprigs in a whole wheat pita pocket as an alternative option to buffalo wings. What's that? My flight is delayed? Page me on the Stairmaster!

Are you generally able to find healthy food options at the airport, and would you ever work out while waiting for a delayed flight?


Image via mick62/Flickr

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