Food & Eating / November 27, 2015

Airline Food Investigation 2015

By Charles Platkin, PhD

It’s time – and according to Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, there will be 25.3 million passengers on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period, the highest number since the Great Recession. This is why  each year I contact the airlines to request nutrition information for the foods they serve economy-class passengers on domestic flights.

Virgin America is still doing a fantastic job of creating healthy and offering strong choices in all categories except for individual snacks. The airline is still the clear leader when it comes to healthier foods, but they could still do much better on the individual snacks. In fact, all the airlines could do better with their snack choices – there is no clear leader.   Following Virgin America there is a tie for second place between JetBlue and Delta, whose foods are comparatively healthier than those of other airlines.

The “Shame on You” award goes to Alaska, Spirit, and Frontier airlines.  Hawaiian Air was not much better, but at least this year they returned an email with some information.  Also, it’s great that Virgin America, JetBlue and Delta are sharing nutritional information for some of their foods.

The average number of calories per food item was 360 in 2012; in 2013 it was 388; last year 397, and this year it’s 400 (399.96), a 3 calorie increase over last year. In addition, they also appear to be decreasing the number of choices they offer.

Here are the food-service offerings from several of the more popular airlines, along with Detective’s comments, ratings (Health Score: 5 stars = highest rating), calories, exercise equivalents (amount of walking required to burn off the food consumed) and personal favorites.

Summary of Health Ratings (5 Stars is highest): Virgin America 4.5 stars, JetBlue 4 stars, Delta 4 stars, Air Canada 3.25 stars, United Airlines 3.25 stars, American 2.75 stars, Alaska Air 2.5 stars, Southwest Airlines 1.5 stars, Allegiant Air 1.5 stars, Spirit Airlines 1.25 stars, Hawaii 1.25 stars, Frontier Air 1 star

Virgin America (www.virginamerica.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Excellent
Health Score: **** ½
Average Calories Over All (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 352.27
Average Snack Box Calories = 394
Average Meal Calories =  408
Average Individual Snack Calories = 259.38
Comments: Average calories for all items on Virgin America fell this year from 386.25 to 352.27 – a 34 calorie drop – that’s good news.  But I still don’t understand why VA doesn’t put all their nutritional information on their website and in the air.  Another year and the snacks are still the same – can’t we get at least one super healthy snack? How about an apple or an orange? But I am impressed that the total for the average meal has dropped by more than 70 calories – a 15 percent reduction.  Nice work.

Best Bets: Avoid the individual snacks, since none of them is very healthy. Even the nuts, which are the best choice, are high in calories if you consume the entire package.

For breakfast try the Udi’s Granola with Yogurt and Fruit, which is a bit high in sugar but overall low in calories at 330. The best snack box is the Protein Meal with hummus, nuts and tuna; the others are a bit high in calories and are not really worth it. For kids, skip the Jet Set Kid Pack if you can, and go for the half peanut butter and jam sandwich (which unfortunately jumped 60 calories from last year). It’s still a better choice.

In general, almost all the meals (as long as they’re eaten as meals and not snacks) are good choices. I was sorry to see the Salmon Ginger Salad go. However, the Ginger Chicken Soba Noodles at only 328 calories is a good choice and high in protein, which will help keep you full longer. If you like tuna, the Provencal Tuna Sandwich is a reasonably good choice with a nice amount of protein and low-fat mayo, The Protein Plate is also a good choice, as is the Vegan Wrap with veggies and humus – powerful from a health perspective. Again, these are meals that will fill you up and help you avoid the junk. The good news is that none of the food goes overboard in terms of calories, so you really can’t go too far wrong.

Individual Snacks

Chex Mix $4.00 (420 calories, 90g carbs, 14g fat, 7g protein, 7g sugars/ 91 minutes of walking)
Sea Salt & Vinegar PopChips (Travel Light)  $3.25 (120 calories, 20g carbs, 4g fat, 1g protein, 0g sugars/ 26 minutes of walking)
479° Popcorn Sea Salt Caramel (Travel Light)  $3.25 (100 calories, 18g carbs, 4.1g fat, 1g protein, 17g sugars/ 22 minutes of walking)
Pringles Grab and Go $3.25 (375 calories, 37.5g carbs, 22.5g fat, 2.5g protein, 0g sugars/ 81 minutes of walking)
Holly Baking Co. Chocolate Chip Cookies $3.50 (360 calories, 52g carbs, 16g fat, 4g protein, 28g sugars/ 78 minutes of walking)
Hail Merry Seasoned Nut Blend $3.50 (450 calories, 17g carbs, 39g fat, 11g protein, 6g sugars/ 97 minutes of walking)
Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons (no price provided) (130 calories, 10g carbs, 11g fat, 2g protein, 10g sugars/ 28 minutes of walking)
Krave Basil Citrus Turkey Jerky $4.75 (120 calories, 16.5g carbs, 0.75g fat, 13.5g protein, 15g sugars/ 26 minutes of walking)

Meals and Snack Boxes

Protein Box $7.00
Bumble Bee lemon pepper tuna, La Panzanella rosemary crackers, Sriracha hummus, The Daily Crave veggie chips, all natural almonds, Summer Harvest Selects cranberry raisin fruit mix. Total = 492 calories, 41.5g carbs, 20g fat, 25.4g protein/ 106 minutes of walking

Hearty Meal  $7.00
Old Wisconsin beef salami, La Panzanella multi grain crackers, Oakfield Farms cheddar cheese, Pennysticks brand pretzels, the Good Bean sea salt chickpeas, and chewy Swedish Fish.
Total = 475 calories, 60.5g carbs, 17g fat, 12g protein / 103 minutes of walking

Jet Set Kid Pack $7.00
Musselman’s unsweetened apple squeezable, White Cheddar Pirate Booty, Old Wisconsin Turkey Stick, Yum Earth Purple Fruit Snacks and a pack of twistable, stickable Wikki Sticks
Total = 215 calories, 39g carbs, 5g fat, 4g protein / 46 minutes of walking

Ginger Chicken Soba Noodles $8.50
Grilled sliced chicken breast, soba noodles, julienne red bell peppers, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, sliced scallions, edamame soy beans, sliced English cucumbers, cilantro sprig, and ponzu ginger sesame vinaigrette.
Total = 328 calories, 12g fat, 32g carbohydrate, 18g protein/ 71 minutes of walking

Peanut Butter and Jam Half Sandwich $4.50
Sliced wheat bread topped with creamy peanut butter and strawberry jam served with Tasty Brand Fruit Snacks.
Total= 350 calories, 8g fat, 58g carbohydrate, 10g protein/ 76 minutes of walking

Veggie Wrap $8.00
Lemon cilantro tortilla, white bean hummus with curry, curry pepper lime potato salad, Major Grey chutney, arugula, carrot julienne, English cucumber slices, cherry tomato halves, and Italian parsley. Fruit salad with pineapples, red grapes, and mangoes.
Total= 300 calories, 9g fat, 46g carbohydrate, 8g protein / 65 minutes of walking

Korean Chicken Sandwich $9.00
Grilled flat bread panini, savory Korean flavors of gochujang and grilled bulgogi style chicken breast, chopped Romaine lettuce, sliced scallions, chopped Roma tomatoes, English cucumbers, and sliced radishes.
Total= 500 calories, 16g fat, 68g carbohydrate, 25g protein, 14g sugars/ 108 minutes of walking

Provencal Tuna Sandwich $8.50
Albacore tuna salad tossed with extra virgin olive oil, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest, low fat mayonnaise, sliced cage free hard boiled eggs, sliced red onion, roasted red pepper strips, sliced Roma tomatoes, Bibb lettuce, cornichon pickles in a multigrain bun.
Total= 470 calories, 22g fat, 43g carbohydrate, 25g protein, 9g sugars/ 102 minutes of walking

Artisan Cheese Plate (Travel Light) $8.25
Red seedless grapes, fontina, brie, and sharp cheddar wedges, seasonal dried fruit, and gluten free olive oil and sea salt crackers.
Total= 410 calories, 25g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 18g protein, 14g sugars/ 89 minutes of walking

Mexican Cheese Plate $8.50
Gluten free corn crackers served aside Swiss, cheddar, and brie cheeses, with green and red grape bunches, candied fig, and guava paste.
Total= 450 calories, 25g fat , 37g carbohydrate , 24g protein/ 97 minutes of walking

Protein Plate $8.50
Cage free hard-boiled egg, sharp cheddar cheese, fontina cheese, grilled chicken breast slice, red grape tomatoes, red grape cluster, carrot, celery, and cucumber batons, wheat mini pita rounds, and served with edamame hummus.
Total= 410 calories, 15g fat, 33g carbohydrate, 28g protein, 8g sugars/ 89 minutes of walking

Udi’s Granola with Yogurt and Fruit $7.50
Fruit yogurt served with Udi’s Gluten Free Granola and a fruit cup of pineapple, mango, grapes, orange, strawberry.
Total= 330 calories, 11g fat, 54g carbohydratae, 7g protein, 34g sugars/ 71 minutes of walking

Grilled Chicken Sandwich $9.50
Grilled chicken breast, fresh spinach leaves, sundried tomatoes, grilled zucchini slices, basil pesto and fresh parmesan cheese on a wheat baguette, and served with a Mexican oblea candy for dessert.
Total = 617 calories, 20g fat, 69g carbohydrate, 41g protein / 133 minutes of walking

Ginger Beef Wrap $7.50
Ginger marinated beef, green pepper, jicama, tomato, Italian lettuce and Monterrey cheese strips with ginger dressing, all wrapped in a fine herb tortilla and served with pico de gallo and quinoa salad on the side, and a Mexican candy for dessert.
Total = 328 calories,12g fat, 32g carbohydrate, 18g protein / 71 minutes of walking

Delta Air Lines (www.delta.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Excellent
Health Score:  ****
Average Calories Over All (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 512
Average Snack Box Calories = 712
Average Meal Calories = 546.3
Average Individual Snack Calories = 320
Comments: Delta continues to work with Luvo (www.Luvoinc.com), which has a very strong commitment to healthy eating. All the calorie information for the Luvo snacks is listed on Delta’s menu (and online); however, it would be wonderful to also list the other nutrient information, because some people are just not calorie people.  Complimentary snacks are now available on trips of more than 900 miles, not 600 – all the more reason to think about the food you’re going to eat before you start your travels.

Best Bets: For the free snacks (on flights of more than 1.5 hours) the peanuts are the best choice. None of the “for sale” individual snacks is a good choice – still – same as last year. If you do get the nut mix, make sure to share it with at least two others. The snack boxes are very high in calories too. However, there are some good choices within the EATS Tapas box; you can certainly eat the hummus, bruschetta, olives, almonds, apricots and dark chocolate. Skip the rest, and make this a meal, not a snack.

The reality is that Delta is a big airline and has a complicated menu. It changes depending on where you are flying, so make sure to check below and online to see the food choices before you’re in the air.  Of the breakfast options, on almost all flights you will see the continental breakfast. It’s 300 calories, but you can skip the muffin and save calories.  If you’re on a transcontinental flight, your best bet is the LUVO Fresh Breakfast Medley (without the muffin). For Lunch/Dinner on regular westbound flights, the LUVO Grilled Chicken Wrap, and on eastbound flights the LUVO Roast Turkey & Havarti Wrap, are good choices (the sandwiches are available in reverse from last year). Again, you can skip the cookie to save calories.  For Lunch/Dinner transcontinental flights the LUVO Quinoa Crunch Wrap Snack Box is a good choice and will fill you up; you can skip the cookie to save calories if you want.  Don’t fall for the high calories in the Roast Beef Slider Combo or the Black Angus Burger.

Complimentary Snacks (snacks available on flights over 900 miles)

Choice of peanuts, pretzels or Biscoff cookies
Peanuts (70 calories/15 minutes of walking)
Pretzels (45 calories/10 minutes of walking)
Biscoff cookies (120 calories/26 minutes of walking)

Passengers on shorter flights receive a single complimentary snack of Biscoff cookies in the morning and pretzels in the afternoon.

Individual Snacks (Served all day on flights of more than 2 hours or 900+ miles)

Mrs. May’s Cran Blueberry Nut Mix $5.99 (860 calories/186 minutes of walking)
Pringles $3.49 (375 calories/81 minutes of walking)
Haribo Gold-Bears Gummi Candy $2.99 (450 calories/97 minutes of walking)

Snack Boxes (Available all day on select flights of more than 2 hours or 900+ miles)

EATS Treats $7.99
Old Wisconsin Beef Salami Slices (90 calories), Nabisco Wheat Thins (70 calories), Rondelé Peppercorn Parmesan Cheese Spread (136 calories), Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish Crackers (100 calories), Welch’s Fruit Snacks Mixed Fruit (80 calories), Oreo Cookies (100 calories), Tic Tac Fresh Mints (10 calories).
Total = 746 calories/161 minutes of walking.

EATS Tapas $8.99
Stacy’s Pita Chips – Simply Naked (130 calories), GoPicnic Garden Hummus Dip (87 calories), Dipin Bruschetta – Pepper & Artichoke (30 calories), Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers (60 calories), Dancing Deer Cookie Nibbles – Sweet Lemon (100 calories), Vacaville Mediterranean Apricots (80 calories), King’s Roasted Almonds (130 calories), Varda – Dark Chocolatier (30 calories), Olympos Pitted Greek Olive Mix (50 calories).
Total = 677calories/ 146 minutes of walking.

Fruit & Cheese Plate – $8.49 (Available 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on flights of more than 3 hours actual flight time or 1400+ miles)
A selection of Wisconsin cheeses: sharp cheddar, Edam and smoked Gouda complemented with olive oil and sea salt crackers, dried apricots, seedless red grapes, Ghirardelli Dark Sea Salt Soiree, and heart-healthy, omega-3 rich California walnuts.
Total = 550 calories/119 minutes of walking.

Breakfast (Available 5 a.m. to 8:59 a.m. on select flights of more than 3 hours actual flight time or 1400+ miles)

Roasted Turkey Sandwich – $8.49
Sliced tender roasted turkey breast combined with sliced muenster cheese and baby spinach on a lightly buttered fresh muesli roll with honey mustard and mayonnaise on the side.
Total = 560 calories/121 minutes of walking.

Continental Breakfast Plate – $6.99
A light fare breakfast option, including perfectly delicious Yoplait Greek Yogurt, Fieldstone Bakery Granola, mini lemon yogurt muffin and seedless red grapes.
Total = 300 calories/65 minutes of walking.

Lunch / Dinner (Available 9:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. on select flights of more than 3 hours actual flight time or 1400+ miles and in select Caribbean/Latin America markets.)

Roast Beef Slider Combo $9.99 (Westbound & Eastbound Flights – Hawaii and Transcontinental)
Freshly sliced roast beef on two La Brea Bakery slider rolls layered with romaine lettuce and Havarti cheese with sides of horseradish aioli and Dijon mustard. This combo is paired with Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Chips and a Dancing Deer Baking Co. Toffee Almond Cookie.
Total = 750 calories/162 minutes of walking
Sandwich Only Total = 430 calories/93 minutes of walking

LUVO Grilled Chicken Wrap $9.99 (Westbound – EATS, Transcontinental Westbound and to Hawaii)
Spiced grilled chicken, crisp romaine, avocado, roma tomatoes, red onion and herb aioli wrapped in a turmeric flaxseed tortilla. Served with a multi-seed coconut chocolate chip cookie. Total=530 calories/114 minutes of walking

LUVO Roast Turkey & Havarti Wrap (Eastbound – EATS, Transcontinental Eastbound and from Hawaii) $9.99
Sliced roast turkey breast, Havarti cheese, quinoa and black rice salad, arugula and edamame hummus, wrapped in a tomato flaxseed tortilla. Served with a multi-seed coconut chocolate chip cookie.
Total=570 calories/123 minutes of walking
Sandwich Only=440 calories/95 minutes of walking

Transcontinental Flights Only in Delta Comfort +  (JFK to/from LAX, SEA & SFO)

Breakfast (Available between 5:00 a.m. and 8:59 a.m.)

LUVO Fresh Breakfast Medley (Westbound & Eastbound / EATS) $10.99
Cage-free hardboiled egg, side of sweetened chia ricotta, sliced Fuji apples, an organic strawberry, organic chocolate and multi-seed mini-muffins. Served with Luvo Organic Green Earl Grey tea.
Total= 520 calories/112 minutes of walking

LUVO Breakfast Cobb Wrap Snack Box (Eastbound /EATS) $10.99
Cage-free hardboiled egg, crisp turkey bacon, romaine, shredded cheddar cheese and avocado hummus wrapped in a spinach flaxseed tortilla. Served with Luvo Organic Green Earl Grey tea. Total= 690 calories/149 minutes of walking
Sandwich only:  550 calories/119 minutes of walking

LUVO Breakfast Egg & Quinoa Wrap (Westbound /EATS) $10.99
Cage-free hardboiled egg, quinoa and black rice salad, Asiago cheese, arugula, and red pepper hummus in a spinach flaxseed tortilla. Served with Luvo Organic Green Earl Grey tea.
Total= 640 calories/138 minutes of walking
Sandwich only:  540 calories/117 minutes of walking

Lunch / Dinner (Available 9:00 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

(Transcontinental Only)

Black Angus Burger $9.99
A 6 oz. Black Angus burger served on a corn dusted Kaiser bun. This hearty, flavorful delight is accompanied with mild cheddar cheese, roma tomatoes, romaine lettuce, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
Total= 960 calories/207 minutes of walking

LUVO Quinoa Crunch Wrap (Westbound & Eastbound /EATS) $10.99*
Fresh, crunchy vegetables, avocado, edamame hummus and quinoa and black rice salad wrapped in a spinach flaxseed tortilla. Served with a multiseed coconut chocolate chip cookie.
Total= 540 calories/117 minutes of walking
Sandwich only= 380 calories/82 minutes of walking

(Atlanta, JFK, or Minneapolis to/from Hawaii only)

Asian Noodle Salad with Wonton Strips (Atlanta, JFK or Minneapolis to Hawaii) $8.99
An infusion of Pacific Rim flavors. Sliced grilled chicken on top of lo mein noodles tossed with chopped cilantro, chives, sesame seeds and Asian dressing. This is served with wonton strips on the side.
Total= 540 calories/ 117 minutes of walking.

Chicken Caesar Salad with Dressing $8.99 (Hawaii to Atlanta, JFK, or Minneapolis)
Grilled seared chicken breast, tomato, lettuce, Caesar dressing, carrot, Parmesan cheese. Total=350 calories/ 76 minutes of walking

Davanni’s Pepperoni Deep Dish Pizza $8.49
Crust, whole milk mozzarella cheese, naturally smoked pepperoni and imported Pecorino Romano cheese.
Total = 430 calories/ 93 minutes of walking.

JetBlue Airways (www.jetblue.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very helpful
Health Score: ****
Average Calories Over All (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 327
Average Snack Box Calories = 513
Average Meal Calories = 483
Average Individual Snack Calories = 157.75

Comments: Not much has changed with JetBlue except that the calorie count for the snack boxes is up by an average of 30 calories from last year. The individual snacks are still low in calories and nutritional value. The airline is showing progress, however, by posting nutritional information for its meals (See: http://www.jetblue.com/flying-on-jetblue/snacks-and-drinks/nutrition-facts/). All the other foods are packaged, so they must not feel the need.

Best Bets: This is the third year in a row that JetBlue has not done much with its snacks-still  nothing much in terms of healthy individual snacks, and no nuts (maybe because of peanut allergies?). And keep in mind, just because the individual snacks are free doesn’t mean you should take more than one. If you buy the New York Nut Factory Omega-3 Mega Mix you need to share it with at least 3 other people, and avoid the jerky if you’re sodium sensitive.
As for the meal boxes, Pump Up has healthy ingredients (Mary’s Gone Crackers-Original, olives, humus and raisins) but remember that it’s a meal and should not be eaten as a snack. Skip the other meal boxes, which are high in calories and fat and offer little in terms of nutrition. If you are on a flight that offers the Eat Up Café, the Yogurt and granola, the Kale & Quinoa Salad, the Spicy Soba & Korean-Style Chicken, and the Veggie Platter are all good choices. Skip the Grilled Chicken and Brie Sandwich, which is very high in calories and low on nutrition.

Individual Snacks (all are free)

PopCorner-Caramel (130 calories/28 minutes of walking)
Skeeter Nut Free Chocolate Chip Cookie (130 calories/28 minutes of walking)
Keebler Elf Grahams Original (120 calories/26 minutes of walking)
Snyder’s Mini Pretzels 100 Calorie Pack (100 calories/22 minutes of walking)
Terra Blues Potato Chips 1-ounce bag (130 calories/28 minutes of walking)
Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips (80 calories/17 minutes of walking)

À la Carte Snacks

Field Trip Beef Jerky $4.50 (100 calories/22 minutes of walking)
New York Nut Factory Omega-3 Mega Mix $4.50 (472 calories/102 minutes of walking)

Meal Boxes (Available on flights of more than 2 hours)

Perk Up $7.00
Whole Grain Cheez-it Cheddar Cheese Crackers (130 calories), KIND Granola Bar Oats & Honey (150 calories), Gilman White Cheddar Cheese Stick (90 calories), GoGo Squeez Applesauce – AppleApple (60 calories), Yum Earth Naturals Fruit Snacks (70 calories).
Total = 500 calories/108 minutes of walking.

Shake Up $7.00
Stacy’s Pita Chips (130 calories), Rondele Peppercorn Parmesan Cheese Spread (86 calories), Vermont Smoke & Cure BBQ Beef Jerky Stick (45 calories), Cranberry Almond KIND Bar Mini (110 calories), New York Nut Factory Roasted Salted Cashews (123 calories).
Total = 494 calories/107 minutes of walking

Pump Up $7.00
Pick Pocket Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (84 calories), Mary’s Gone Crackers (80 calories), Olives Basil & Garlic (50 calories), Enlightened Broad Beans Sea Salt (100 calories), 2 Degree Chocolate Banana Mini Snack Bar (100 calories).
Total = 414 calories/89 minutes of walking.

Fill Up $7.00
PretzelHaus Soft Pretzel (190 calories), Heritage Spicy Brown Mustard Dip (50 calories), Field Trip Turkey Jerky (45 calories), Plain M&Ms Fun Size (80 calories).
Total = 365 calories/79 minutes of walking.

Pick Me Up $7.00
Trio of premium cheeses: sharp cheddar, garden vegetable, and Gruyere, Dried Cherries, Crackers.
Total=280 calories/60 minutes of walking
Eat Up Café (Available only on flights between New York or Boston and Los Angeles, Long Beach, or San Francisco, and flights between Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles or San Francisco)  $3-$12-Prices for the individual items were not available

Chobani Yogurt and Granola
Fat-free plain Chobani yogurt served with granola and a side of honey.
Total=210 calories/45 minutes of walking.

Cheese Plate
An assortment from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese: Aged Flagship, creamy Dutch Hollow Dulcet, peppery Marco Polo, and Jamaican Jerk-seasoned No Woman. Served with Beecher’s Original Crackers, honey, and fresh grapes.
Total=510 calories/110 minutes of walking.

Grilled Chicken and Brie Sandwich
Grilled chicken, brie, arugula and cranberry mustard on a rustic roll, served with a side of fresh fruit.
Total = 680 calories/147 minutes of walking.

Savory Sirloin Sandwich
Top sirloin steak, red-wine caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese, spinach and horseradish cream on a rustic roll, served with a side of fresh fruit.
Total = 600 calories/130 minutes of walking.

Spicy Soba & Korean-Style Chicken
Korean-style grilled chicken and buckwheat soba noodles with sesame-seasoned carrot and cucumber slaw, a hard-boiled egg and spicy chili glaze.
Total = 580 calories/125 minutes of walking.

Kale & Quinoa Salad
Cannellini beans, dried blueberries and cranberries, quinoa, and grape tomatoes over chopped kale and spring greens, served with white balsamic vinaigrette.
Total = 320 calories/69 minutes of walking.

Air Canada (www.aircanada.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Excellent
Health Score: (***1/4)
Average Calories Overall (Meals and Individual Snacks) = 327
Average Meal Calories = 343.6
Average Individual Snack Calories = 311

Comments: The staff is VERY helpful in getting the information out, which is nice, and shows that Air Canada cares about its food. It keeps calorie counts low for meals. That’s the good news. The bad news is that when I look for healthy choices, defined as high in nutrient value, there is not a lot to choose from.

Best Bets: For breakfast, the Greek yogurt parfait is good – and will probably fill you up. And while the egg sandwich has bacon, it’s still low in calories. If you’re looking for a snack, pick the Chicken Soup. It’s more like a meal than a snack – a good thing. The cashews or almonds need to be shared.  The Celery & Carrots with Ranch Dip (if you limit the dip to no more than half) is also a good choice. While the hummus sounds healthy, the pretzels offer little nutritionally, and you’d be better off having a meal if meals are available. The Chicken Club Wrap is good; it has turkey bacon, which is better than regular bacon.  I would skip the falafels. On flights of more than 4 hours departing from Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, the sushi is a very good choice.

Individual Snacks, available on flights of more than 1.5 hours
Celery & Carrots with Ranch Dip $5.00 (130 calories/ 28 minutes of walking)
Cheese & Crackers $4.00 (180 calories/ 39 minutes of walking)
Krispy Kernels Trail Mix $3.00 (322 calories, 70 minutes of walking)
Krispy Kernels – Salted Cashews $3.00 (403 calories/ 87 minutes of walking)
Pringles Original Grab and Go! (Only on Express Flights) $3.00 (285 calories/ 62 minutes of walking)
Twizzlers Licorice $3.50 (833 calories/ 180 minutes of walking)
Hummus with pretzels $4.50 (380 calories/ 82 minutes of walking
Maynards Swedish Berries $3.00 (359 calories/ 78 minutes of walking)
Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup $3.00 (200 calories/ 43 minutes of walking)
Clif Organic Trail Mix Bar $3.00 (200 calories/ 43 minutes of walking)
PUR Mints $2.50 (60 calories per 20 tablets/ 13 minutes of walking)
Kit Kat King Bar $3.00 (320 calories / 69 minutes of walking)

Breakfast

Breakfast Sandwich $5.50
Egg, back bacon and cheddar cheese on an English muffin.
Total = 260 calories/ 56 minutes of walking.

Skotidakis 0% fat Greek yogurt parfait with strawberry and granola $3.00
Total=160 calories / 35 minutes of walking.

Made Good organic chocolate banana granola minis $4.00
Total = 360 calories (4 minis) / 78 minutes of walking.

Fruit and cheese plate $7.95
A selection of Swiss, cheddar, brie and herbed Havarti served with Lavash crackers, red grapes and green apple slices.
Total = 450 calories / 97 minutes of walking.

Quaker Oatmeal $4.00
Maple and brown sugar oatmeal.
Total = 210 calories/45 minutes of walking.

Meals, available on flights of more than 2 hours

Penne and Meatballs $7.50
Penne pasta in a tomato sauce with all-beef meatballs, parmesan and oregano, served with a dinner roll.
Total=450 calories / 97 minutes of walking.

Rustic Pepperoni Pizza $7.45
Tomato sauce, sliced pepperoni and mozzarella cheese atop a hand-stretched crust.
Total=490 calories / 106 minutes of walking.

Smoked Meat Sandwich $7.95
Montreal-style smoked meat with pickles and yellow mustard on rye bread.
Total=340 calories / 73 minutes of walking.

Chicken Club Wrap $7.45
Roasted chicken strips with citrus black pepper mayonnaise, turkey bacon, plum tomatoes and iceberg lettuce on flatbread.
Total=360 calories / 78 minutes of walking.

Falafel Wrap $6.95
Falafels with red peppers, baby spinach, tzatziki, and red onions in a whole wheat wrap.
Total= 370 calories/ 80 minutes of walking.

Pan-Asia Fresh Sushi $8.95 (on flights 4 hours or longer departing from Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver)
A combination of California, Spicy California and Vegetable Salad Sushi Rolls.
Total=450 calories / 97 minutes of walking.

United Airlines (www.united.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Helpful
Health Score:  *** 1/4
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 454
Average Meal Calories = 467
Average Snack Box Calories = 535.5
Average Individual Snack Calories = 388

Comments: Hmm… the snacks and snack boxes are moving in the wrong direction – more calories, not fewer. But the meals are getting lower in calories. The breakfast offerings are strong, but lunch and dinner are so/so.

Best Bets: Among the individual snacks the Sweet & Savory Bistro Blend Trail Mix is a good choice only if you share it with three others  Get the Tapas snack box, which is high in calories but has many healthy foods, including almonds, olives, hummus and bruschetta-just toss out the cheese spread. You should also share it unless you’re eating it as a meal. Skip the Classic and Select snack boxes.
For breakfast, your best bet is the Fresh Start Breakfast Selection or the oatmeal. Too bad they took the egg out of the breakfast offerings – that was good nutrient-wise.  Skip the ham baguette. For Lunch/Dinner, while high in calories, the wrap and salad combo is best; skip the country bowl even though it’s low in calories. And definitely skip the Italian sandwich at 741 calories.

Snack Shop (Available on most flights of more than 2 hours)

Individual Snacks

Chex Mix $3.99 (420 calories/91 minutes of walking)
Haribo Gold-Bears Gummi Candy 4-ounce box $3.99 (360 calories/78 minutes of walking)
Buddha Bowl, Organic Popcorn Himalayan Pink Salt popped in coconut oil $3.99 (550 calories/ 119 minutes of walking
Pringles Original Potato Crisps 2.6-ounce can $3.99 (375 calories/81 minutes of walking)
Sheila Brownie Brittle 2-ounce bag $3.99 (240 calories/52 minutes of walking)
Wild Garden Hummus Dip & Multi Grain Pita Chips $3.99 (210 calories/45 minutes of walking)
Sweet & Savory Bistro Blend Trail Mix 4-ounce bag $5.29 (560 calories/121 minutes of walking)

Snack Boxes

Snackpack (Duos) $4.49
Graham crackers, Nutella Hazelnut Spread, Whole Natural Almonds & Dried Apricots.
Total = 391 calories/84 minutes of walking

Classic $7.99
Hormel Hard Salami, Dairyfood White Cheddar Cheese Spread, WOW Baking Snickerdoodle Cookie, Swedish Fish, Fun Size Plain M&Ms, Acacia Cream Crackers, Deep River Kettle Chips.
Total = 599 calories, 31g fat, 67g carbohydrate, 13g protein, 1047mg sodium, 2g fiber/129 minutes of walking

Select $8.99
Hormel Genoa Salami , Glacier Ridge Farms Smoked Gouda Gourmet Cheese Cup, Mediterranean Snacks Cracked Pepper Lentil Crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks, Chlostro di Saronno Crunchy Amaretti Cookie , MadiK’s Hickory Smoked Almonds, Marzetti Honey Mustard Sauce.
Total = 536 calories, 27g fat, 58g carbohydrate, 16g protein, 1226mg sodium, 4g fiber/116 minutes of walking

Tapas $8.99
Mario Pitted Snack Olives, Herb & Spice Seasoned, La Panzanella Rosemary Croccantini Cracker, 4-pack, Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry Fruit Flavors, MadiK’s Whole Natural Nonpareil Almonds, Heritage Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta, Torino Olive Bites, Pick Pocket Dips Traditional Hummus, Rondelé Peppercorn Parmesan Cheese Spread.
Total = 616 calories, 36 g fat, 54g carbohydrate, 15g protein, 1172 mg sodium, 6g fiber/133 minutes of walking

Bistro on Board (Available on flights of more than 3.5 hours within North America and to Latin America) Fresh selections may vary due to product availability.

Breakfast (Available on most flights departing between 5:00 a.m. and 9:44 a.m.)

Fresh Start Breakfast Selection $5.99
Fresh fruit, gruyere cheese and zucchini bread.
Total: 205 calories/44 minutes of walking

Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal $5.99
Cranberries, brown sugar and butter.
Total: 340 calories/73 minutes of walking

Harvest Ham Baguette with Maple Spread $8.99
Sliced ham and cheddar cheese with whipped maple syrup cream cheese spread on a sweet brioche baguette.
Total: 562 calories/121 minutes of walking

Southwestern Bistro Scramble $8.99
Scrambled eggs with roasted potatoes, butternut squash, black beans and leeks, topped with shredded pepper jack cheese, roasted tomato salsa and chopped herbs.
Total: 390 calories/84 minutes of walking

Chicken Chorizo Breakfast Scramble $8.99 (Available only from Guam to Honolulu)
Scrambled eggs, chicken chorizo, roasted poblano peppers and potatoes, with shredded Monterey and cheddar cheeses, scallions and cilantro
Total: 579 calories/125 minutes of walking

Lunch and Dinner (Available on most flights departing between 9:45 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

Artisan Cheese Selection $8.99
Four-cheese selection with crackers, grapes, honey, and chocolate.
Total: 484 calories/105 minutes of walking

Wrap and Salad Combo $9.49
A half-wrap with grilled chicken, avocado, roasted corn medley, romaine lettuce, sliced carrots and buffalo cream cheese spread. Accompanied with jicama and cabbage slaw with freshly cut bell peppers, carrots and a side of jalapeño ranch dressing. Paired with seedless red grapes and a Godiva chocolate to finish.
Total: 601 calories/130 minutes of walking

Rustic Italian Sandwich $9.49
Our take on a classic: sliced salami, ham and provolone cheese with a creamy basil pesto spread on a baguette.
Total: 741 calories/160 minutes of walking

French Country-style Bowl $9.99
Slow- cooked beef with roasted carrots, onions, and parsnips with steamed white rice
Total: 318 calories/69 minutes of walking

American Airlines (www.aa.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:   Very Good
Importance of Food: Average
Health Score:  ** ¾
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 429.25
Average Meal Calories = 519.20
Average Snack Box Calories = 398
Average Individual Snack Calories = 359.50

Comments: AA’s average snack calories have gone down significantly – good work. However, for one of the largest airlines in the U.S., overall the choice of healthy foods is not great. While the offerings are not bad, it would be great, now that they’ve merged with US Airways, if they just hunkered down and focused on the food.

Best Bets: For individual snacks the hummus and chips are your best choice. Skip the snack box unless you toss the salami and cheese. The Chicken Cobb Salad is a very good choice -so long as that’s all you eat. The Asian chicken wrap is a bit high in calories but not terrible at 620. For breakfast on flights of more than two but less than three hours (see below) there’s not much to eat; you can get the snack pack and at least the almonds will fill you up. On flights of three hours or more, the Breakfast Sandwich is an OK choice. The fruit and cheese plate is a good mix of fruit and nuts, and the cheese can be OK if you share it with your seatmate.

Individual Snacks and Snack Boxes (Available on flights of more than 2 hours departing between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

Gardetto’s Original Snack Mix $5.00 (750 calories/ 162 minutes of walking)
Kosher Trail mix $5.00 (455 calories/ 98 minutes of walking)
Goldfish Cheddar & Pretzel Mix-Up $2.00 (190 calories/ 41 minutes of walking)
Hummus & Chips Gluten free $4.00 (147 calories/ 32 minutes of walking)
Pringles potato chips $4.00 (375 calories/ 81 minutes of walking)
HannahMax Cookie Chips $4.00 (240 calories/ 52 minutes of walking)

Tapas Snack Box $7.99
Genoa salami, peppercorn Parmesan cheese, olive oil crackers, pitted olives, almonds and mints. (398 calories/ 86 minutes of walking)

Breakfast (Available on flights of more than 3 hours departing between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.)

Fruit and Cheese Plate $8.79
Fresh fruit served with almonds and walnuts, Brie, Cheddar, Muenster cheese and a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Raspberry square. Served with gourmet crackers.
Total: 596 calories/ 129 minutes of walking

Continental breakfast $4.99
Plain bagel served with cream cheese, fruit preserve, a granola bar and a banana.
Total: 420 calories/ 91 minutes of walking

Turkey & Swiss croissant $6.99
Sliced smoked turkey and Swiss cheese on a croissant.
Total: 650 calories/ 140 minutes of walking

Fresh and Light Meals (Available on flights of more than 3 hours departing between 9:46 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

Asian Chicken Wrap $9.99
Sliced chicken, broccoli slaw and mixed greens in a mandarin orange wrap, accompanied by oriental sesame dressing. Served with kettle chips.
Total: 620 calories/ 134 minutes of walking

Chicken Cobb salad $9.49
Chicken breast, romaine lettuce, turkey bacon, corn, tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles. Served with creamy ranch dressing.
Total: 310 calories/ 67 minutes of walking

Alaska Airlines (www.alaskaair.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Terrible
Health Score:  ** ½
Average Calories Overall (Meals and Snack Boxes) =  537
Average Snack Box Calories = 399.5
Average Meal Calories = 606

Comments: For the first few years of the survey Alaska Airlines was excited to be a part of the mix. Now, they say they want to opt out. Too bad Alaska – this is not an opt in-or-out kind of thing.  Just because you’re not happy with the results, you can’t pull out.  Interestingly enough, the average number of calories in their foods has skyrocketed from 444 to 537. The calories in an average meal also went up significantly from 456 to 606.  I was looking over Alaska Airlines’ website, and under its snack section they have the following under the header Healthy Snacks: “Our inflight snacks are a little different, we offer a range of snack boxes that are free of Trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG.”  They’ve actually added the term “Healthy Snacks” since last year – and it’s not entirely accurate.  While having no MSG, HGCS or trans fat is good, there are many products that have eliminated those ingredients and are still not healthy – basically, it’s a marketing ploy.  Keep in mind, all nutritional information for Alaska Airlines has been calculated by our staff registered dietitian.

Best Bets: Among the snack boxes, the Mediterranean Tapas hasn’t changed much from last year and is still the healthiest choice. It has olives, hummus, almonds, dried fruit and even a dark chocolate bar. But keep in mind that 497 calories is a bit high for a “snack” (or even a meal), so it’s best if you share the box or have it as a meal replacement. For kids, the snack box may be tempting, but it’s always better for children (and adults) to eat a real meal than it is to “snack” aimlessly. FYI, the beef jerky is low in calories but very high in sodium. As far as breakfast goes, you have one high calorie, unhealthy choice and a somewhat healthy Fruit and Cheese plate.  For the cheese plate, skip the crackers and half the cheese.  For dinner your best bet is the
Homestyle Chicken Dinner at 453 calories.

Meals and Snack Boxes

Mediterranean Tapas Picnic Pack (Vegan and gluten-free) $6.00
Late July organic Multigrain Snack Chips, Mario Snack Olives, Truitt Family Foods Natural Hummus, almonds, apricots, dark chocolate.
Total = 497 calories/107 minutes of walking.

Northwest Deli Picnic Pack $6.00
Kettle Brand Sea Salt Potato Chips, Old Wisconsin Salami, La Panzanella Multigrain Crackers, Sahale Fruit & Almond Snack, Dark Chocolate Almond Roca, Glacier Ridge Farms Smoked Gouda Cheese Spread.
Total = 526 calories/114 minutes of walking.

Kids’ Choice Picnic Pack $6.00
Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Puffs, Old Wisconsin Turkey Snack Stick, Tree Top Cinnamon Applesauce, My Super Snack Chocolate Chip Granola Bar, YumEarth organic fruit snacks, Wikki Stix Play Pack.
Total = 335 calories/72 minutes of walking.

Oberto Beef Jerky $6.00 (240 calories/52 minutes of walking)

Signature Fruit and Cheese Platter featuring Beecher’s Flagship $7.50 (available on most flights of more than 2 hours and flights departing from Hawaii after 9:30 a.m. )
Two wedges of Beecher’s Flagship cheese along with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar and Brie. Your cheese plate includes fresh fruit, Partners crackers and a Seattle Chocolates Truffle.
Total = 582 calories/126 minutes of walking*

Breakfast (on flights of more than 2.5 hours departing before 9:30 a.m.)

Chicken Apple Sausage Skillet $7.00
Slices of flavorful chicken apple sausage are mixed with fluffy scrambled eggs, home-style potatoes, diced red pepper, and topped with parmesan cheese.
Total = 671 calories/145 minutes of walking.*

Lunch (on flights of more than 2.5 hours departing between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.)
Tom Douglas’s Turkey Sandwich with Espresso Mayo  $8.00
Roast turkey, peppery arugula and smooth provolone meet up in a soft, slightly sweet bun made memorable with espresso mayo – delivering a toasty-smoky flavor and a nod to the Seattle coffee scene. Served with thick-cut potato chips, this sandwich is a celebration of big flavors just the way Tom likes it.
Total = 693 calories/150 minutes of walking.*

Dinner

Tom Douglas’s Roast Turkey with Veggie Hash $8.00  (on flights of more than 2.5 hours departing after 4:00 p.m. from Seattle and Portland.)
Turkey and a seasonal hash of roasted sweet potato, onion, and kale. Highlighted with an herb butter and topped with seasoned bread crumbs, this is comfort food at 30,000 feet.
Total = 532 calories/115 minutes of walking.*

Homestyle Chicken Dinner $8.00  (on flights of more than 2.5 hours departing after 4:00 p.m. excluding dinner flights from Seattle and Portland.)
Roasted chicken with home-style gravy is served alongside mashed potatoes and crisp green beans.
Total = 453 calories/98 minutes of walking.*

Meals on Flights to and from Hawaii departing before 9:30 a.m.

Island Hash $7.00
Start your day with a dash of aloha. Our Island Hash blends island-style potatoes, onions, and peppers. Served with scrambled eggsand a side of Portuguese sausage.
Total= 634 calories/137 minutes of walking

Tom Douglas’s Red Miso Ginger Chicken $8.00
Sliced, grilled chicken glazed in luscious sauce flavored with ginger, pineapple and red miso is highlighted by tangy sesame carrots atop a bed of ginger and garlic fried rice
Total= 693 calories/150 minutes of walking

Meals on Flights departing from Hawaii after 9:30 a.m.

Huli Huli Chicken Skillet $7.00
Chicken, stir-fry vegetables and steamed rice – and all topped off with a uniquely Hawaiian specialty, savory and sweet Huli-Huli sauce.
Total= 592 calories/128 minutes of walking

Southwest Airlines (www.southwest.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Terrible
Health Score: * 1/2
Average Calories = 108

Comments: Not much variety and not much in terms of nutritional value.

Best Bet: Go for the nuts and skip the pretzels and other items.

All the snacks are free of charge

Honey or dry-roasted peanuts (70 calories/15 minutes of walking)
Pretzels (50 calories/11 minutes of walking)

On select flights (this was not confirmed by the airline)

Ritz Crackers (200 calories/43 minutes of walking)
Wheat Thins (100 calories / 22 minutes of walking)
Nabisco Cookie (120 calories / 26 minutes of walking)

Allegiant Air (www.allegiantair.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Helpful
Health Score:  * 1/2
Average Calories Overall (Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 386.22
Average Individual Snack Calories = 421.16
Average Snack Box Calories = 316

Comments: The media representative was better than last year. However, the airline has eliminated many of its healthier selections, including chips and salsa and the fruit and cheese plate as well as its very high calorie Italian sandwich and other not-so-healthy snacks.  There are few choices on this airline – there should be more.

Best Bets: Other than the humus, the snack boxes are not great in terms of health (and not just calorie-wise).  Avoid the Deli Snack Pack and don’t let your kids near the Wingz Kids Snack Pack. Among the individual snacks, nuts are the healthiest choice.

Individual Snacks
M&Ms Peanut (3.4 ounces) $3.00 (490 calories/106 minutes of walking)
Nut Medley (4 ounces) No Price Provided (496 calories/107 minutes of walking)*
Pringles (2.6 ounces) $3.00 (375 calories/81 minutes of walking)
Gardetto’s Original Recipe (5.5 ounces) $4.00 (206 calories/44 minutes of walking)
Blue Diamond Wasabi Almonds (4 ounces) $4.00 (680 calories/147 minutes of walking)

Snack Boxes

Deli Snack Pack
Snyders of Hanover Mini Pretzels (100 calories), Glacier Ridge Farms Smoked Gouda Gourmet Spreadable Cheese (70 calories), Kings Delicious Mountain Trail Mix (130 calories), DiBella Biscotti Caramello Latte (70 calories), Old Wisconsin 0.5 oz Beef Snack Stick (50 calories), Mentos Mint Single (10 calories).
Total: 430 calories/93 minutes of walking. **

Hummus Snack Pack
Wild Garden hummus accompanied by whole-grain pita chips.
Total: 210 calories/45 minutes of walking.**

Wingz Kids Snack Pack
Goldfish Baked Giant Grahams Chocolate, Ritz Peanut Butter Cracker Sandwiches, Professor Zim Zam’s Extraordinary Sweets Jelly Jets.
Total: 309 calories/67 minutes of walking.**

Hawaii Flight Menu (Customers traveling within or from Hawaii)

Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion Chips, 2-ounce bag (280 calories/60 minutes of walking)

Spirit Airlines (www.spirit.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:  Terrible
Health Score: * 1/4
Average Calories Overall (Individual Snacks and Snack Boxes) = 422.5
Average Individual Snack Calories =409.5
Average Snack Box Calories = 540

Comments: Paraphrasing spokesperson Paul Berry, the airline believes it’s doing passengers a favor. Their media department is arrogant and snarky – they just don’t care, maybe just like the airline? This year, because they didn’t like their previous rating, they decided to not participate. I guess if you drop the price low enough anyone will fly on anything. Again paraphrasing Mr. Berry from last year: passengers should bring their own food and drinks. But in my opinion, the airline has a responsibility to serve foods that are healthier. As a passenger you don’t have too many options if you don’t bring your own food. Why not offer 3 or 4 healthy foods?

Best Bet: The cup of noodle soup at 290 calories is the only choice that will feel like a real meal. Watch out for the Nuggets & Nuts at 600 calories, and all the muffins are at least 400 calories-not the best choices unless you split one (if you’re the type of person who can do that). Bringing your own food is actually the best option.

Snacks
Jumbo-Size Combos Cheddar Cheese Pretzels (entire bag) $4.00 (840 calories/181 minutes of walking)
Kings Delicious Spirit Mixed Nuts $3.50 (600 calories/130 minutes of walking)
King Size Peanut M&Ms $3.50 (480 calories/104 minutes of walking)
Nissin Cup Noodles Chicken Flavor $3.50 (290 calories/63 minutes of walking)
Pringles Grab and Go! $2.50 (375 calories/81 minutes of walking)
Otis Spunkmeyer Wild Blueberry Muffin $2.50 (400 calories/86 minutes of walking)
Otis Spunkmeyer Banana Nut Muffin $2.50 (440 calories/95 minutes of walking)
Oatmeal Raisin Chewie (120 calories / 26 minutes of  walking)*
Chips and salsa (140 calories / 30 minutes of walking) *

Café Snack Pack $6.50
Wheat thins, cheese spread, almonds, Craisins, Oreos, and Mentos
Total = 540 calories/117 minutes of walking*

Frontier Airlines (www.flyfrontier.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Terrible
Health Score: *
Average Individual Snack Calories = 356.14

Comments: Last year the PR / Media team behaved shamefully. They did not provide nutritional information either last year or this year; they were radio silent.  So, Frontier, how about getting a few healthy food choices?  A meal?  A snack box?

Best Bets: Bring your own food. There is nothing healthy here; however, if you’re not sodium sensitive you can grab the jerky.

Individual Snacks (Available on flights of more than 200 miles)
Almond M&Ms $2.99 (480 calories/104 minutes of walking)
Twizzlers $2.99 (833 calories/180 minutes of walking)**
Rice Krispies $2.99 (180 calories/39 minutes of walking)**
Haribo Gold-Bears Gummi Candy $3.00 (450 calories/97 minutes of walking)
Chex Mix Traditional $2.99 (210 calories/45 minutes of walking)
Pringles Original Potato Chips $3.00 (220 calories/48 minutes of walking)
Jack Links Beef Jerky $2.99 (120 calories/26 minutes of walking)

Hawaiian Airlines (www.hawaiianairlines.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Not Helpful
Health Score: * ¼
Average Calories Over All (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks) = 588
Average Meal Calories = 954
Average Individual Snack Calories = 452
Average Snack Box Calories = 417

Comments:  Wow, they have lots of snacks! And this year I was surprised that the airline actually sent over some nutritional information for its snacks – much better than last year. They claim that getting the info for the other foods would cost $17,000 -which is ridiculous.  The provider has exact recipes for these foods; otherwise they would taste different each time, and they don’t. The airline could easily get a nutritionist to do the menu analysis. But, since they didn’t, the calories for all the meals were estimated by Diet Detective nutritionists.  Hawaiian is one of the few airlines to serve free food on domestic flights. But watch out-their food is high in calories.

Best Bets:  There are no healthy snacks (or meals either), but if I had to pick one – gosh – the popcorn — nah.  Bring your own.  For the complimentary meals try to go light on the breads, treats and dressings.  In the end, it would be best to eat before you go, or else you might wind up feeling lethargic and cranky after one of these calorie-heavy meals.

Individual Snacks
Hawaiian Host Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts (600 calories/ 130 minutes
Island Princess Caramel Macadamia Nut Popcorn (600 calories/ 130 minutes of walking)
Island Princess Mele Macs (1120 calories/ 242 minutes of walking)
Kona Furikake Chips (480 calories / 104 minutes of walking)
M&Ms Regular (420 calories/ 91 minutes of walking)
M&Ms Peanut (480 calories/ 104 minutes of walking)
Pringles (375 calories/ 81 minutes of walking)
Primo Popcorn (Movie Butter) (413 calories/ 89 minutes of walking)
Rice Noodles (spicy or mild) (351 calories/ 76 minutes of walking)
Snickers (440 calories/ 95 minutes of walking)
Taro Chips (560 calories/ 121 minutes of walking)
Winchester Ham Jerky (original or spicy) (400 calories/ 86 minutes of walking)
Salted Macadamia Nuts (550 calories/ 119 minutes of walking)

Gluten Free Box
Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks (90 calories / 19 minutes of walking), Crackers (60 calories/ 13 minutes of walking), Welch’s Fruit Snacks (80 calories/ 17 minutes of walking), hummus (67 calories / 14 minutes of walking).
Total = 417 calories/ 90 minutes of walking)

New York to Hawaii
Penne Bolognese with olives and parmesan cheese, mixed green salad with Italian herb vinaigrette dressing, Sweet Treat. Prior to arrival: Fresh fruit & sweet treat.
Total = 956 calories/ 206 minutes of walking**

Hawaii to New York
Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs with sugar snap peas, pimento and steamed rice, mixed green salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing. Sweet Treat. Prior to arrival: Cheese and crackers, fresh fruit & sweet treat Total = 1266 calories/ 273 minutes of walking**

North America to Hawaii
Brunch flights (departing before 10 a.m.)
Egg, cheddar, and mushroom breakfast sandwich on flatbread with Tim’s Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion Chips and complimentary Koloa Breeze Rum Punch.
Total = 736 calories/ 159 minutes of walking**

Lunch/Dinner flights (departing after 10 a.m.)
Pau Hana Snack Mix (150 calories/ 32 minutes of walking)

Penne Bolognese with olives and parmesan cheese, mixed green salad with Italian herb vinaigrette dressing andSweet Treat
Total = 890 calories/ 192 minutes of walking

Late night (redeye flights)
Pau Hana Snack Mix (150 calories/ 32 minutes of walking)

Hawaii to North America
Brunch flights (departing before 10 a.m.)
Egg, cheddar, and bell pepper breakfast sandwich on Hawaiian sweet bread, Tim’s Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion Chips, fresh fruit, Sweet Treat and Complimentary Koloa Breeze Rum Punch
Total = 1074 calories/  232 minutes of walking

Lunch/Dinner flights (departing after 10 a.m.)
Pau Hana Snack Mix (150 calories/ 32 minutes of walking)

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs with sugar snap peas, pimento and steamed rice, mixed green salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing , and Sweet Treat
Total = 925 calories/ 200 minutes of walking

*Estimated by Diet Detective Registered Dietitian
**Estimated by Diet Detective Staff


Tags:  airline food diet food travel




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