Diet and Weight-Loss / November 20, 2018

DietDetective.com Annual Airline Food Investigation with Health Ratings 2018-19

By Charles Platkin, PhD

DietDetective.com Annual Airline Food Investigation with Health Ratings 2018-19

By Charles Platkin, PhD, JD, MPH

There will be more than 30.5 million passengers traveling during the 12-day Thanksgiving season according to Airlines for America (A4A). Knowing the “best” and “worst” choices is a valuable tool for any traveler, so Dr. Charles Platkin, the executive director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and editor of DietDetective.com once again studied the best “Calorie Bargains” and “Calorie Rip-offs” at 35,000 feet.

The Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and DietDetective.com has released the 2018-19 Airline Food Study rating foods for eleven (11) airlines. The study assigned a “Health Score” (5 stars = highest rate, 0 star = lowest) based on eleven criteria including health and calorie levels of meals, snack boxes and individual snacks, level of transparency (display nutrient information & ingredients), improvement and maintenance of healthy offerings, menu innovation, food and water safety and cooperation in providing this information. The survey includes health ratings, average calories per airline, comments, best bets, food offerings, costs, nutrition information (e.g., calories and exercise equivalents.) See the full study at http://www.dietdetective.com/airline-food-investigation/.

“This year Alaska Airlines wins the top spot as the airline with the ‘healthiest’ food choices in the sky with Delta right behind, as well as Air Canada and JetBlue,” says Charles Platkin, PhD, JD, MPH, the executive director of the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and editor of DietDetective.com

The average number of calories per menu choice in 2016 was 392, in 2017 it was 405 calories, and this year it is 373, a 32% calorie decrease over last year. Keep in mind, calories are not everything; the study also looks at the nutrients in these foods, as well as innovations moving towards healthy, tasty, inexpensive, sustainable foods.

Here are the major airline food headlines:

Alaska Airlines pulls to the top spot this year as the healthiest airline and inherits Virgin America’s (VA) top spot. The airline worked hard to inherit the food footprint of VA, and surpassed VA by offering better individual snacks and healthier meals.
American and Delta are offering complimentary meals in economy class on domestic flights, something we haven’t seen in more than 15 years.
Airlines are eliminating packages of snack foods and offering individual smaller packages or eliminating individual snacks altogether.
The “Shame on You” award goes to Frontier.
American and Hawaiian Airlines are most improved.
Eating lots of heavy carbs such as pasta with thick, dense sauces, breads, muffins or cakes will leave you feeling lethargic, cranky and not full or satisfied. Your blood sugar levels will spike and then fall, which will negatively impact how you feel. On the other hand, you will enjoy an immediate benefit from eating small meals, lots of raw or steamed veggies, and fruits. The fact that food impacts mood, attitude and behavior has been well documented in the scientific literature. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, eating healthier will leave you feeling sharper and more energetic rather than bloated and lethargic.
Research shows that people typically consume most, if not all of the food that’s placed in front of them. So, avoid snack boxes unless you’re splitting them with a few other people, or it is your main meal.
Water Watch: This year the study includes food and water safety criteria. It’s probably best to avoid drinking water from the tap on a plane, which also means staying away from coffee and tea. Even though the EPA has instituted the Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR) to “ensure that safe and reliable drinking water is provided to aircraft passengers and crew,” there are a couple of reliable researchers who believe there may be harmful bacteria in airline water. This is probably because the water tanks are not emptied very often (you would think they’d be emptied and cleaned at least once a day, but this is not so). So water is just sitting for long periods of time in what appear to be not-so-clean tanks. Buy bottled water in the airport as well as coffee or tea; you can probably ask the flight attendant to heat it up for you.
Here are the food-service offerings from several of the more popular airlines, along with Diet 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): Alaska 4.25 stars, Delta 3.7 stars, JetBlue 3.55 stars, Air Canada 3.45 stars, American 3 stars, United Airlines 2.75 stars, Hawaiian Airlines 2.65 stars, Allegiant Air 2.1 stars, Southwest Airlines 1.6 stars, Spirit Airlines 1.1 stars, Frontier Air .85 stars

Alaska Airlines (www.alaskaair.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Extremely Helpful
Health Score: 4.25 / 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual snacks): 404
Average Snack Box Calories: 471
Average Meal Calories: 404
Average Individual Snack Calories: 271

Comments: The clear leader this year. Alaska Airlines purchased Virgin America, (named the healthiest airline over the last few years) and has definitely taken on some of VA’s healthy approach to food. That said, Alaska has always been committed to food, just not the healthiest. Note that the transition has been taking place over the course of this year with fresh meals program integrated in July and snacks integrated as of Nov. 16. Exact meals from the original Virgin menu such as the PB&J half sandwich, do not appear on the menu, but Alaska’s meals are now on the lighter, better and healthier side, having gone from “Island hash” and teriyaki chicken bowls, for example, to fall harvest salad on coast-to-coast flights.According to the airline, main cabin food options can be reserved from 12 hours to two weeks prior to your flight, which makes planning simpler. Also, the Alaska Airlines website says that all nutrient information is available on its app. However, food and water safety couldn’t be better for an airline focused on better-for-you food. It also needs to pay attention to the coffee and tea served on board.

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 510 calories is a bit high for a “snack” (or even a meal), so it would be best if you either shared the box or had 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. Among individual snacks, the beef jerky is low in calories but very high in sodium. The Fruit & Nut Oatmeal has almost as much protein and is a higher calorie but healthier choice overall.The breakfast offerings are a bit heavy and rich. If you opt for the fruit and cheese platter on the snack box menu, skip the crackers and half the cheese. You could also choose the Fresh Start Protein Platter and eat only one third of the cheese for fewer calories and less sodium. There are fewer lunch/dinner choices this year, but the Fall Harvest Salad is a high-protein low-calorie choice. There are also fewer individual snacks on the menu this year, and a few reasonable ones (if you share) including the popcorn, the oatmeal (mentioned above), the Jerky and the nuts (only if shared).

Food and Water Safety (Questions and airlines response)
Is the airline working on any new food safety procedures other than the required regulations to ensure food safety onboard?
We take the safety of our guests very seriously. In contrast to some carriers, Alaska does not own or operate any food preparation facilities. Our catering service providers are responsible to ensure that facilities, equipment, procedures and preparation techniques are in compliance with local and federal standards and include required hazard prevention protocols. Alaska Airlines Group periodically conducts onsite audits at all catering facilities to ensure compliance with all food safety guidelines.
Can you please mention any key procedures you have to ensure that the water tank on board is regularly emptied and cleaned.
In addition to providing bottled drinking water, we take necessary measures to ensure the aircraft onboard water systems are safe. We comply with EPA’s Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR) to conduct routine disinfection, flushing and testing of the aircraft water system.
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
Aircraft potable water systems are disinfected and flushed on a regular basis in accordance to manufacturers specification and in accordance with the ADWR.
Do you use water to make coffee and tea on board?
Yes

Individual Snacks
Umpqua Oats Himalayan Fruit & Nut Oatmeal $4.50, available on flights departing from midnight to 10 a.m.
255 calories, 4g fat, 47g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 207mg sodium, 19g sugar/55 minutes walking
Creative Snacks Co. Smart Heart Trail Mix $4.50, 3.5 oz. (99 g) resealable bag, 30g per serving
495 calories, 33g fat, 40g carbohydrate, 198g protein, 0mg sodium, 23g sugar/107 minutes of walking
Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Almonds $4.50, 3.5 oz. (99 g) resealable bag, 34g per serving
524 calories, 44g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 20g protein, 291mg sodium, 20g sugar/113 minutes of walking
Krave Original Sea Salt Beef Jerky $2.50
100 calories, 1.5g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 9g protein, 340mg sodium, 10g sugar/22 minutes of walking
Luke’s Organic Sea Salt Potato Chips $2.50
150 calories, 9g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 150mg sodium, 0g sugar/32 minutes of walking
Buddha Bowl Himalayan Gold Popcorn $2.50
100 calories, 4.5g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 150mg sodium, 0g sugar/22 minutes of walking

Snack Boxes

Mediterranean Tapas Picnic Pack (Vegan, Kosher and gluten-free) $6.00
Late July organic multigrain snack chips, Mario snack olives, Truitt Family Foods natural hummus, Madi K’s almonds, Vacaville Fruit Company snackins’ apricots, and Seattle Chocolates 60% Cacao dark chocolate
Total: 510 calories, 28g fat, 60g carbohydrate, 13g protein, 572mg sodium, 17g sugar/112 minutes of walking

Northwest Deli Picnic Pack $6.00
Tim’s Cascade potato chips, Old Wisconsin salami, La Panzanella multigrain crackers, Emily’s Premium Northwest trail mix, dark chocolate Almond Roca, and Glacier Ridge Farms smoked gouda.
Total: 526 calories, 32g fat, 47g carbohydrate, 13g protein, 750mg sodium, 15g sugar/114 minutes of walking.

Kids’ Choice Picnic Pack $6.00
Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Puffs, Old Wisconsin Honey Brown Sugar Turkey Snack Stick, Tree Top Strawberry Applesauce, Kind Kids Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar, YumEarth organic fruit snacks, Wikki Stix Play Pack.
Total: 315 calories, 9g fat, 57g carbohydrate, 5g protein, 265mg sodium, 29g sugar/68 minutes of walking

Signature Fruit and Cheese Platter featuring Beecher’s Flagship $8.50 (available on most flights of more than 2 hours departing between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm)
Two wedges of Beecher’s Flagship cheese along with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar and Brie, fresh fruit, Partners crackers and a Seattle Chocolates Truffle.
Total: 534 calories, 31g fat, 40g carbohydrate, 21g protein, 665mg sodium, 26g sugar/115 minutes of walking

Breakfast (on most flights of more than 3 hours departing before 10 a.m.)

Fresh Start Protein Platter $9.50
Greek yogurt, pita, walnuts, Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, non-GMO turkey, seasonal fruit, and a cage-free hard-boiled egg
Total: 480 calories, 25g fat, 37g carbohydrate, 30g protein, 550mg sodium, 20g sugar/104 minutes of walking

Sunrise Breakfast Sandwich $8.50
Applewood smoked bacon and Havarti with honey butter and apricot preserves with pickled onions on the side
Total: 610 calories, 28g fat, 65g carbohydrate, 21g protein, 570mg sodium, 18g sugar/132 minutes of walking

Lunch/Dinner (on flights of more than 3 hours departing between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.)
Charge Up Protein Platter $9.50
Beet hummus, fresh pita, Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, all-natural grilled chicken, almonds, a cage-free hard boiled egg, and seasonal fruit
Total: 570 calories, 32g fat, 39g carbohydrate, 37g protein, 760mg sodium, 12g sugar/123 minutes of walking

Artisan Chicken Pesto Sandwich $9.50
Fire-roasted chicken, pesto, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, and arugula on focaccia bread
Total: 620 calories, 34g fat, 47g carbohydrate, 31g protein, 860mg sodium, 1g sugar/134 minutes of walking

Fall Harvest Salad $9.50 (available on Coast-to-Coast and Hawaii flights departing between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm)
Maple-miso roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, feta and rotisserie chicken on a bed of baby spinach
Total: 270 calories, 11g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 15g protein, 910mg sodium, 6g sugar/58 minutes of walking

Delta Air Lines (www.delta.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Excellent
Health Score: 3.7/ 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks): 499
Average Snack Box Calories: 556
Average Meal Calories: 588
Average Individual Snack Calories: 179

Comments: Yes, Delta is still doing a good job fn trying to improve its food profile. However, the airline took a step backwards by taking the menu items and nutrient information off its website. I’m sure Delta will claim that its changing the menu so often it’s too complicated. But if food is important to the airline, transparency of food should be as well. List ingredients as well as fats, proteins, carbohydrates and sugar. Last year Delta eliminated many of its individual paid snacks. The free offerings are relatively low in calories but are still not the great choices except for the peanuts (BTW, I wish they didn’t change from the almonds.) Delta continues to work with Luvo, which has a very strong commitment to healthy eating. All the calorie information for the Luvo items are listed on Delta’s menu (and online); I’m just not sure why the airline doesn’t put all nutritional information for all its food on the website and pocket cards. Why not list ingredients, as well as fats, proteins, carbohydrates and sugar. We love what Delta was doing, and the airline is on the right track, but it must be regrouping on food this year.

Best Bets: For a snack, the peanuts are the best choice–even better than the Kind bar or the lower-calorie pretzels. Within the box the best bests are the Multi-seed Crackers, Snapea Crisps, dark chocolate, almonds, hummus, and apricots. You can pass on the rest.

For morning travel, choose the Smoked Turkey & Swiss Sandwich but save the Clif bar for a snack later in the day. For lunch, try the LUVO Harissa Roasted Veggie Wrap or the Casablanca Veggie Wrap. For dinner, choose the Sesame Noodle Salad or the Greek Meze Plate. You can skip the chocolate to save calories and avoid too much added sugar.

Food Safety (Questions and airlines response)

Is Delta working on any new food safety procedures other than the required regulations to ensure food safety onboard?
The safety of customers and employees is always Delta’s top priority. The airline relies on a number of checks and balances to ensure each of its partners adheres to local and federal food safety regulations, including ongoing third-party tests and inspections. These third-party kitchen audits are conducted on a regular basis specifically for Delta, and are above and beyond local/state health requirements and what’s required by the FDA.
Can you please mention any key procedures you have to ensure that the water tank on board is regularly emptied and cleaned.
Before each departure, Delta makes sure that the plane has enough water to service its next trip. If it doesn’t, it’s time to fill up the tank. Delta sources local water from municipal water sources that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a public water system, like the City of Atlanta at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Providers are held to the EPA’s National Primary Drinking Water Standards and must meet them in order to service their communities with drinking water, including residences and businesses, such as local airports.
How often do you empty and clean on-board water tanks?
Each of Delta’s more than 850 mainline aircraft may need to be filled multiple times per day depending on how often and where they fly. That can mean completely refilling the tanks multiple times a day. For example, a flight from Atlanta to Seattle or L.A. would fill up before takeoff and may need to be completely refilled with new water upon arrival on the west coast before returning to Atlanta. But the airline takes even further measures to make sure the water onboard is clean. Delta adheres to FDA regulations and will not board water onto an aircraft at any domestic or international station where the water quality is known to be out of compliance with government standards.
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
Delta’s environmental compliance team helps ensure that water systems are frequently checked on each aircraft. In compliance with regulation, the team disinfects the tank system on every aircraft four times a year, performs water quality sampling once per year, and enters this data into EPA’s Aircraft Reporting and Compliance System. Delta Cabin Maintenance mechanics are responsible for performing the disinfections and sampling. Aircraft water tanks, lines and plumbing fixtures are all included in the disinfection process. Delta disinfects its aircraft through ozonation. The team pumps ozone into the tanks, which instantly kills any bacteria, and then completely flushes out the system and refills it with clean water. It’s the newer, more efficient industry standard. From there, Delta employees on the ground take drinking water service training annually and maintain the water servicing equipment. Taps and surfaces are cleaned between flights.
Do you use water to make coffee and tea on board?
Yes.

Complimentary Snacks (Available on flights of more than 250 miles)
Four choices available on flights of 1.5 hours or more. Choice of pretzel snack mix or biscoff cookie on flights under 1.5 hours.

Pretzel perfection (80 calories/17 minutes of walking)
Biscoff cookies (120 calories/26 minutes of walking)
Kind Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate Chunk (150 calories/32 minutes of walking)
Squirrel Brand Roasted Salted Peanuts (170 calories/37 minutes of walking)

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

Pringles $3.99 (375 calories/81 minutes of walking)

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

Delta Flight Fuel Tapas Snack Box $8.99
Rondele Plain Cheese Spread (100 calories), TRU Flavors Hummus Dip- Traditional (110 calories) Endangered Species Natural Dark Chocolate (50 calories), Madi K’s Whole Natural Almonds (100 calories), Vacaville Fruit Company Mediterranean Apricots (80 calories) La Panzanella Multigrain Crackers (70 calories), Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps (90 calories), Crunchmaster Multi-seed Crackers Original (60 calories)
Total: 660 calories/143 minutes of walking.

Delta Flight Fuel Crave Snack Box $7.99
Nabisco Original Wheat Thins (220 calories), Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers (100 calories), Hormel Homeland Hard Salami (110 calories), White Cheddar Gourmet Cheese Spread (53 calories), Pepperidge Farm Dark Chocolate Milano cookie (110 calories), Original Skittles (70 calories), Tic Tac FreshMint (8 calories)
Total: 671 calories/145 minutes of walking.

Delta Flight Fuel Crunch Snack Box $6.99
Late July Sea Salt Multigrain Tortilla Chips (130 calories), Naturally Fresh Medium Salsa (15 calories), Jack Link’s Beef Snack Stick ( 43 calories), Madi K’s Hickory Smoked Almonds (107 calories), Toblerone Swiss Milk Chocolate (41 calories)
Total: 336 calories/73 minutes of walking.

Flight Fuel AM (Breakfast available 5 a.m. to 8:59 a.m. on select flights of more than 3 hours or 1400+ miles and in select Caribbean/Latin American markets)

Honey Maple Turkey Breakfast Sandwich – $8.99
Honey maple turkey breast, apple butter, granny smith apple on a pretzel croissant
Total: 507 calories/109 minutes of walking.

Breakfast Protein Box – $8.99
Tillamook Cape Meares cheddar, Tillamook sharp yellow cheddar, hard-boiled egg, muesli snacking rounds, sunflower seed butter, red grapes, strawberry
Total: 641 calories/138 minutes of walking.

Tillamook Cheese and Fruit Box $8.99 (Also available from 9am to 8pm)
Colby jack, Cape Meares cheddar, sharp yellow cheddar, olive oil and grey salt flatbread crackers, natural almonds, red grapes, granny smith apples, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree
Total: 511 calories/110 minutes of walking.

Flight Fuel PM (Lunch / Dinner available 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on select flights of more than 3 hours or 1400+ miles and in select Caribbean/Latin American markets.)

Mesquite-Smoked Turkey Combo $10.99
Mesquite-smoked turkey with gruyere cheese, roma tomato, romaine lettuce and creole mustard and garlic aioli served on a nine grain roll, kettle potato chips, Michel et Augustin cookies and mayo.
Sandwich only: 520 calories/112 minutes of walking
Total: 920 calories/ 199 minutes of walking

Luvo Southwest Chicken Caesar Wrap Snack Box $10.99 (Available westbound on Flight Fuel, Flight Fuel premium and flights to Hawaii)
Chicken in a yogurt Caesar dressing with romaine, tomatoes, corn, black beans, barley, millet, bulgur wheat, and kale, with parmesan spread in a whole wheat spinach tortilla. Served with red grapes, strawberry and Luvo double chocolate chunk
Sandwich only: 390 calories/84 minutes of walking
Total: 535 calories/116 minutes of walking

Luvo Chicken Harissa Wrap Snack Box $10.99
Whole grain salad mix, diced chicken, Harissa vinaigrette, red onion, tomato, lettuce, red pepper hummus in a whole wheat tortilla. Served with red grapes, strawberry and Luvo double chocolate chunk cookie.
Sandwich only: 450 calories/97 minutes of walking
Total: 595 calories/128 minutes of walking

Main Cabin Complimentary Meals

Breakfast

(Available eastbound on select flights departing between 5 a.m. and 8:59 a.m. from PDX, SAN, SEA, SFO to JFK; SEA to BOS, FLL, MCO and RDU; SFO to BOS; LAX to BOS, DCA, JFK. )

Mesquite-smoked Turkey & Swiss Bagel
Mesquite-smoked turkey with Swiss cheese and sliced granny smith apples with honey mustard served on cinnamon raisin bagel, Chobani Greek yogurt and chocolate mini Clif bar
Sandwich only: 335 calories/72 minutes of walking
Total: 485 calories/105 minutes of walking

Protein Pack
Hard-boiled egg, sunflower seed butter, Tillamook Colby jack, Tillamook sharp yellow cheddar, whole grain muesli snack rounds, sliced granny smith apple, red grapes, strawberry
Total: 710 calories/153 minutes of walking

Tillamook Cheese and Fruit Box
Colby jack, Cape Meares cheddar, sharp yellow cheddar, olive oil and grey salt flatbread crackers, natural almonds, red grapes, granny smith and braeburn apples, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree
Total: 511 calories/110 minutes of walking

(Available westbound on select flights departing between 5 a.m. and 8:59 a.m. from JFK to LAX, PDX, SAN and SEA; From BOS, FLL, MCO and RDU to SEA; From DCA/BOS to LAX; From JFK/BOS to SFO)

Smoked Turkey & Swiss Sandwich
Smoked turkey breast and Swiss cheese on a potato roll, fruit cup and chocolate mini Clif bar
Sandwich only: 230 calories/50 minutes of walking
Total: 370 calories / 80 minutes of walking

Protein Pack
Mesquite-smoked turkey breast, Tillamook Colby jack, Tillamook Cape Meares cheddar, sunflower seed butter, whole grain muesli snack rounds, sliced granny smith apple, red grapes and a strawberry.
Total: 683 calories / 148 minutes of walking

Tillamook Cheese and Fruit Box
Colby jack, Cape Meares cheddar, sharp yellow cheddar, olive oil and grey salt flatbread crackers, natural almonds, red grapes, granny smith and braeburn apples, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree
Total: 511 calories/110 minutes of walking

Lunch (Available on flights departing between 9 a.m. and 3:59 p.m.; options also include Tilamook cheese and fruit.)

Beef Pastrami Sandwich (eastbound)
Beef pastrami and Swiss cheese on multigrain bread with a garlic and Creole mustard aioli, topped with romaine and sliced pickles. Served with potato salad and Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree.
Sandwich only: 800 calories/173 minutes of walking
Total: 983 calories/212 minutes of walking

Luvo Casablanca Veggie Wrap combo (eastbound)
Roasted carrots mixed with tomatoes, chopped romaine, wheat berries, brown rice, garbanzo beans, and raisins with green chickpea hummus wrapped in a whole wheat green onion and sesame tortilla. Served with a strawberry, grapes, and Luvo double chocolate chunk cookie.
Wrap only: 430 calories/93 minutes of walking
Total: 575 calories/124 minutes of walking

Turkey Brioche Sandwich (westbound)
Mesquite-smoked turkey breast with cheddar, lemon garlic aioli, Roma tomatoes, shredded parmesan and baby arugula on a brioche roll. Served with carrot & celery sticks and red pepper hummus and a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree.
Sandwich only: 520 calories/112 minutes of walking
Total: 709 calories/153 minutes of walking

Luvo Harissa Roasted Veggie Wrap combo (westbound)
Roasted red peppers, zucchini, eggplant, red onions and carrots, in a mild harissa dressing, mixed with wheat berries, brown rice, chickpeas and golden raisins, with spinach and edamame hummus wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Served with grapes, strawberry, and Luvo double chocolate chunk cookie.
Wrap only: 430 calories/93 minutes of walking
Total: 575 calories/124 minutes of walking

Tillamook Cheese and Fruit Box (eastbound and westbound)
Colby jack, Cape Meares cheddar, sharp yellow cheddar, olive oil and grey salt flatbread crackers, natural almonds, red grapes, granny smith and braeburn apples, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree
Total: 511 calories/110 minutes of walking

Dinner (Available on flights departing after 4 p.m. Dinner includes a Luvo veggie wrap option and Tillamook cheese and fruit).

Greek Meze Plate (eastbound)
Grilled chicken breast, tomato, cucumber, tabbouleh, feta, green and Kalamata olives, carrot and celery sticks with tzatziki sauce and a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree.
Total: 340 calories / 73 minutes of walking

Sesame Noodle Salad (westbound)
Sliced grilled chicken over noodles, tossed with carrots, red peppers and cucumber in a sesame soy dressing.
Total: 265 calories / 57 minutes of walking

Tillamook Cheese and Fruit Box (eastbound and westbound)
Colby jack, Cape Meares cheddar, sharp yellow cheddar, olive oil and grey salt flatbread crackers, natural almonds, red grapes, granny smith and braeburn apples, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree
Total: 511 calories/110 minutes of walking

JetBlue Airways (www.jetblue.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Somewhat Helpful
Health Score: 3.55 / 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks): 323
Average Snack Box Calories: 414
Average Meal Calories: 430
Average Individual Snack Calories: 142

Comments: This year, JetBlue has changed its selection of EatUp snack boxes – all but the PickMeUp are new offerings.The EatUp Cafe, which comprises all of their fresh meal options and was previously available only on limited routes, has been refreshed and expanded to more flights. This is a great step toward having healthy options for all travelers,but they should definitely have this offering on all flights of more than 3 hours. The individual snacks are relatively low in calories as well as nutritional value (so not very good for you). The airline continues to post nutritional information for its snack boxes and meals on its website, but they don’t post the nutritional information for individual snacks. It is on the packaging, but it should be on the website too (no one is looking while they’re passing the snacks out – trust me). Again the airline should offer actual meals on more flights. As far as food and water safety, no exceptional additional procedures.

Best Bets: There are no healthy or better-for-you individual snacks. Also, as a constant reminder, the individual snacks are free, and the JetBlue team is generally friendly and will not say no to requests for extra portions. As for the Eat Up boxes, the Pick Me Up is lowest in calories but not necessarily the most nutritious. The Savor Up box features hummus, multigrain crackers and bean dip with Greek yogurt, and while it’s high in calories, it’s loaded with good nutrition (e.g. fiber and protein). Also the FuelUp box is pretty good, with the almonds, dried apricots, apples, and an RX bar. Have it as a meal though, not as a snack, and skip the biscotti to reduce low-nutrient calories. If you’re on a flight that offers the Eat Up Café, the Chia Seed Pudding and the Mediterranean Salad Shaker are good choices. Skip the Ham & Cheese Croissant, which is very high in calories and sodium.

Food and Water Safety
Are you working on any new food safety procedures other than the required regulations to ensure food safety onboard other than the required regulations?
JetBlue partners with its food production kitchens throughout the network to ensure adherence to all food safety guidelines including HACCP, FDA and USDA regulations where applicable. JetBlue conducts food safety and food quality audits multiple times per quarter. Our in house culinary compliance team visits each catering location multiple times per month to ensure food quality and food safety guidelines are met. All ingredients are tracked from their origin, and strict logs are kept for all raw ingredients and finished products.
How often do you empty and clean on-board water tanks?
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
JetBlue is in full compliance of all requirements outlined in the EPA’s Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR).
Coffee and tea is made from onboard water
Yes

Individual Snacks (all are free)
PopCorners Popcorn chips
(120 calories, 4g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 115mg sodium/26 minutes of walking)
Terra Sweets and Blues Potato Chips 1 ounce bag
(140 calories, 7g fat, 17g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 115mg sodium/30 minutes of walking)
Cheez-It crackers 1 package
(210, calories, 10g fat, 24g carbohydrate. 4g protein, 410mg sodium/45 minutes of walking)
Rold Gold Pretzels – Original Tiny Twists 1 ounce Bbag
(110 calories, 1g fat, 23g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 450mg sodium/24 minutes of walking)
Belgian Boys Choc O’ Chip Cookies
(130 calories, 4.5g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 55mg sodium/28 minutes of walking)

EatUp Boxes ($8-$9; (Available on flights of more than 2 hours)

FuelUp $9 (Protein Packed Snack Box)
Chocolate Sea-Salt Rx Bar, Wonderful Roasted Almonds, Field Trip Jerky Cracked Pepper Turkey Stick, Old Wisconsin Natural Cut Beef Stick, Vacaville Fruit Dried Apricots & Apples
Total: 435 calories, 21g fat, 43g carbohydrate, 22g protein, 584mg sodium, 26g sugar/94 minutes of walking

SavorUp $9 (Vegetarian, Kosher), (Mediterranean Inspired Snack Box)
TRU Flavors Traditional Hummus Dip, Kangaroo Brand Sea Salt Pita Chips, TRU Flavors Roasted Poblano cCheddar Bean Dip with Greek Yogurt, La Panzanella Multi-Grain Crackers, DiBella Blueberry-Lemon Biscotti, Mario Herb & Spice Seasoned Pitted Snack Olives
Total: 460 calories, 20g fat, 59g carbohydrate, 13g protein, 940mg sodium, 7g sugar/99 minutes of walking

PartyUp $9
Pop’d Kerns Sea Salt Popcorn Kernels, Fig Newtons, Old Wisconsin Natural Cut Salami Slices, Whisps Parmesan Cheese Crisps, Milk Chocolate M&M’s
Total: 471 calories, 23g fat, 52g carbohydrate, 10g protein, 691mg sodium, 21g sugar/102 minutes of walking

PickMeUp $8
Trio of Wisconsin cheeses: Green Onion, Smoked Gouda, Sharp Cheddar; Dried Cherries, Crackers
Total: 290 calories, 18g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 16g protein, 810mg sodium, 9g sugar/63 minutes of walking

EatUp Café $6-$12 (Available only on select flights longer than four hours, to/from: New York JFK, and Boston and Fort Lauderdale. Not available on overnight flights.)

*EatUp Café is available only on flights between:

New York (JFK) to/from Aguadilla (BQN), Burbank (BUR), Cancun (CUN), Cartagena (CTG), Denver (DEN), Grand Cayman (GCM), Havana (HAV), Kingston (KIN), La Romana (LRM), Las Vegas (LAS), Liberia (LIR), Long Beach (LGB), Los Angeles (LAX), Mexico City (MEX), Montego Bay (MBJ), Nassau (NAS), Oakland (OAK), Palm Springs (PSP), Phoenix (PHX), Ponce (PSE), Port Au Prince (PAP), Port of Spain (POS), Portland (PDX), Providenciales (PLS), Puerto Plata (POP), Punta Cana (PUJ), Reno (RNO), Sacramento (SMF), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), San Juan (SJU), Santo Domingo (SDQ), Seattle (SEA), St. Lucia (UVF), St. Maarten (SXM), Santiago (STI)

Boston to/from Aruba (AUA), Barbados (BGI), Cancun (CUN), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Long Beach (LGB), Los Angeles (LAX), Mexico City (MEX), Montego Bay (MBJ), Nassau (NAS), Oakland (OAK), Phoenix (PHX), Port Au Prince (PAP), Portland (PDX), Providenciales (PLS), Puerto Plata (POP), Punta Cana (PUJ), Sacramento (SMF), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), San Juan (SJU), Santo Domingo (SDQ), Seattle (SEA), Santiago (STI)

Fort Lauderdale to/from Las Vegas (LAS), Lima (LIM), Long Beach (LGB), Los Angeles (LAX), Quito (UIO), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO)

Chia Seed Pudding $6 (Available on flights between 5:57 am to 7:59 am. Domestic eastbound and westbound routes only. Chia seeds with Greek yogurt, gluten-free steel-cut oats, coconut milk and maple syrup, topped with fresh berries.)
Total: 330 calories, 23g fat, 27g carbohydrate, 7g protein, 20mg sodium, 8g fiber/71 minutes walking

Mediterranean Salad Shaker with or without Feta Cheese $12 (Kale, red quinoa, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, chickpeas and feta cheese [packaged separately and can be omitted], shaken with homemade tahini dressing.)
Total, without cheese: 270 calories, 13g fat, 30g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 310mg sodium, 3g fiber/58 minutes of walking
Total, with cheese: 310 calories, 17g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 10g protein, 460mg sodium, 3g fiber/67 minutes of walking)

Cheese & Crackers $10 (Selection of four cheeses, dried apricots, honey. stick and sea salt olive oil crackers)
Total: 530 calories, 29g fat, 47g carbohydrate, 23g protein, 640mg sodium, 1g fiber/114 minutes of walking

Turkey & Pepper Jack Sandwich $12 (Sliced turkey breast and pepper jack cheese with arugula and sun-dried tomato aioli on a rustic baguette)
Total: 440 calories, 15g fat, 48g carbohydrate, 32g protein, 1010mg sodium, 2g fiber/95 minutes of walking

Ham & Cheese Croissant $12 (Sliced ham and fontina cheese on a butter croissant, with a side of Dijon mustard)
Total: 540 calories, 29g fat, 41g carbohydrate, 27g protein, 1380mg sodium, 2g fiber/117 minutes of walking

Air Canada (www.aircanada.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very Helpful
Health Score: 3.45 / 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals and Individual Snacks): 346
Average Meal Calories: 351
Average Individual Snack Calories: 324

Comments: Not too many changes this year. The meals are relatively healthy and available for trips that are more than 2 hours long, Providing real meals after only 2 hours is not typical, most airlines start offering real meals after 3 or 4 hours. I appreciate that Air Canada has its menu (exactly as it appears in the air, see here>>> ) online; however, they should add nutritional information and ingredients. Also it’s nice that they offer meals but no snack boxes. People tend to eat the entire snack box, which is typically high in calories and low on nutrients. The airline has ended its relationship with the food company, Luvo, and replaced them with a company called Freshii.

Best Bets: For breakfast, the Greek yogurt is still a good option and will probably fill you up. The Avocado Smash Box with fresh guacamole, hard-boiled egg, green apple slices, and
multigrain muesli bread sounds amazing and also offers 23g of filling protein to keep you energized. Honestly, that is the kind of food every airline should be offering. Skip the egg sandwich. The Chicken Soup is a low-calorie choice for a snack that will fill you up, but be wary of the 950mg of sodium if you are salt sensitive. The Celery & Carrots with Ranch Dip (if you use no more than half the dip) is still an OK choice. The hummus is an OK choice if you share itt and the guacamole appears to be healthy, but the Tostitos offer little nutritional value. The almonds are a large portion, but still a better choice then most of the individual snacks.

If meals are available, the Pangoa Bowl and the Kale Caesar Wrap are high-nutrient/ low-calorie choices. The California Roll is a light offering that’s low in fat and calories. It would also make a great snack! The Greek Chicken Wrap is also a high protein, lower calorie option, but very high in sodium.

Food and Water Safety (Questions and airlines response)
Is the airline working on any new food safety procedures other than the require regulations to ensure food safety onboard?
We follow industry standard on food safety procedures and regulations. We have regular Medina audits conducted at our caterers and suppliers.A required regulation as per Nov. 1, 2018 is that we are not allowed to board who fruits onto U.S.-bound flights. We’ve implemented updated specs to adhere to these regulations.
Can you please mention any key procedures you have to ensure that the water tank on board is regularly emptied and cleaned. How often do you empty and clean on-board water tanks?
Air Canada adheres to the requirements of Health Canada’s Potable Water on board Trains, Vessels, Aircraft and Buses Regulations as well as the guidelines for Passenger Conveyances.
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
Air Canada samples every aircraft 4 times per year, in addition to the random testing conducted monthly by Health Canada.
Do you use water to make coffee and tea on board?
Yes

Individual Snacks (Available on most flights 2 hours or longer)
Celery and carrots with ranch dip $5.00
230 calories, 8.2g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 1.6g protein, 770mg sodium/ 50 minutes of walking
Cheese and crackers (Available after 10 a.m.) $4.00
320 calories, 20g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 18g protein, 315mg sodium /69 minutes of walking
Krispy Kernels Salted Cashews $3.00
400 calories, 31.2g fat, 14.3g carbohydrate, 14.3g protein, 210mg sodium/ 86 minutes of walking
Krispy Kernels Natural Almonds $3.00
290 calories, 25g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 9g protein, 0mg sodium / 63 minutes of walking
Pringles Original Grab and Go $3.00 (190 calories, 13g fat, carbohydrate, 1g protein, 200mg sodium / 41 minutes of walking
Twizzlers Licorice $3.50
938 calories, 1g fat, 233.88g carbohydrate, 0g protein, 125mg sodium, 175g sugar/203 minutes of walking
Sabra Hummus with Rold Gold pretzels $4.50
380 calories, 23g fat, 37g carbohydrate, 9g protein, 810mg sodium/ 82 minutes of walking
Sabra Guacamole with Tostitos Rolls $3.50
220 calories, 15g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 370mg sodium/ 48 minutes of walking
Maynards Swedish Berries gummy candy $3.00
359 calories, 0g fat, 89.6g carbohydrate, 0g protein, 51.3mg sodium/ 78 minutes of walking
Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup $3.00
200 calories, 1g fat, 2g carbohydrate, 0g protein, 950mg sodium / 43 minutes of walking
Made Good Organic Dark Chocolate and Cherry Fruit and Nut Bar $3.00
160 calories, 7g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 3mg sodium/ 35 minutes of walking
Hershey’s Mix- Sweet & Salty snack $3.50
270 calories, 15g fat, 33g carbohydrate, 6g protein, 320mg sodium/ 58 minutes of walking
Kit Kat King Bar $3.50
380 calories, 20g fat, 48g carbohydrate, 4g protein, 60mg sodium / 82 minutes of walking
Milano croissant with cocoa cream filling $3.00
210 calories, 10g fat, 26g carbohydrate, 4g protein, 100mg sodium / 45 minutes of walking

Breakfast (Available on most flights 2 hours or longer from 5am to 10 a.m. only)

Avocado Smash Box $7.95
Fresh guacamole, aged cheddar cheese, hard-boiled egg, apple slices, multigrain muesli bread, chili flakes
Total: 590 calories, 24g fat, 74g carbohydrate, 23g protein, 700 mg sodium, 17g sugar/127 minutes of walking

Breakfast Sandwich $5.50
Egg, back bacon and processed cheddar cheese on an English muffin.
Total: 230 calories, 8g fat, 29g carbohydrates, 16g protein, 580mg sodium, 2g sugar/50 minutes of walking

Liberté vanilla 2% Greek yogurt $1
Total: 90 calories, 2g fat, 11g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 30mg sodium 11g sugar/19 minutes of walking

Available All Day (on most flights 2 hours or longer)

Made Good Organic Chocolate Banana Granola Minis $4.50
Total: 416 calories, 14g fat, 60g carbohydrate, 4g protein, 8g fiber, 40mg sodium/90 minutes of walking

Fruit and Cheese Plate $8.50
A selection of Swiss, cheddar, brie and herbed Havarti served with Lavash crackers, red grapes and green apple slices.
Total: 450 calories, 26g fat, 33g carbohydrate, 22g protein, 570mg sodium / 97 minutes of walking

Quaker Oatmeal $4.00
Maple and brown sugar oatmeal.
Total: 210 calorie, 2.5g fat, 42g carbohydrate, 5g protein, 250mg sodium/45 minutes of walking

Meals (Available on most flights 2 hours or longer that depart before 10 p.m.)
(Not available on Embraer aircraft)

New Yorker Beef Sandwich $8.95
Roast beef with peperonata, red onions, arugula, and smoked mozzarella on an onion baguette
Total: 300 calories, 15g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 21g protein, 810mg sodium, 2g sugar/65 minutes of walking

Macaroni and Cheese $7.50
Homestyle macaroni served in a cheese sauce with dinner roll.
Total: 490 calories, 21g fat, 56g carbohydrate, 19.3g protein, 828mg sodium/ 106 minutes of walking

Rustic Pepperoni Pizza $7.95
Tomato sauce, sliced pepperoni and mozzarella cheese atop a hand-stretched crust.
Total: 630 calories, 26g fat, 80g carbohydrates, 24g protein, 1680mg sodium / 136 minutes of walking

Greek Chicken Wrap $8.50
Greek chicken strips, red and green bell pepper, red onion, black olives and cucumber on a flatbread, with greek dressing and lemon sundried tomato mayonnaise.
Total: 360 calories, 10g fat, 46g carbohydrate, 19g protein, 930mg sodium/78 minutes of walking

Pan-Asia Fresh Sushi $8.95
California roll
Total: 260 calories, 4g fat, 48g carbohydrate, 6g protein, 560mg sodium / 56 minutes of walking.

Kale Caesar Wrap $8.50
Kale, parmesan, quinoa, chickpeas and tomato on whole wheat flatbread, with creamy caesar dressing
Total: 480 calories, 27g fat, 47g carbohydrate, 13g protein, 800mg sodium / 104 minutes of walking

Pangoa Bowl $13.50
Brown rice, chicken, guacamole, black beans, corn, aged cheddar, salsa fresca, fiery buffalo bbq sauce
Total: 290 calories, 8g fat, 34g carbohydrate, 23g protein, 570mg sodium / 63 minutes of walking

American Airlines (www.aa.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Helpful
Health Score: 3 / 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks): 416
Average Meal Calories: 589
Average Snack Box Calories: 415
Average Individual Snack Calories: 191
After Dec 1: Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks):496
After Dec 1: Average Meal Calories: 626
After Dec 1: Average Snack Box Calories: 530
After Dec 1: Average Individual Snack Calories: 191

Comments: American has taken a page from some of the other airlines and started a partnership with Zoes Kitchen. The new items will be available for purchase on most domestic flights longer than 3 hours beginning Dec. 1. Zoes is a clean food company focusing on a Mediterranean diet. This is an amazing step for an airline that has been completely asleep when it comes to food. Nice job, American!

Here is the bad news: When Zoes comes onboard, the food is cleaner,but higher in calories, something to note.The airline is still not publishing any food or nutritional information on its website–absolutely nothing. This is a strange move leading to even less food transparency and providing travelers with no ability at all to plan their meal. Also, for the food and water safety question, American’s spokesperson provided a lame response. January 2019 calorie information will be added to the menu onboard.

Best Bets: The Continental Breakfast offering with Chobani Yogurt is a good choice (only until Dec 1st, after which it’s a high calorie belgian waffle), the Breakfast Sandwich is OK, and the Breakfast Plate is also good nutrient-wise. If you purchase a lunch or dinner, the Gruben Sandwich seems to be the best option. The Humus Dou, is high in calories but a good choice to share with two or three people. It may have a few extra calories, but they’re mostly high-quality . As for the Fresh and Light meals, give away the cookie; it makes the “light” part of the meal disappear. None of the snack boxes are recommended. Avoid the free or paid individual snacks, and probably avoid the coffee or tea until a more relevant statement is issued by American.

Food Safety (Questions and airlines response)
Are you working on any new procedures other than the required regulations to ensure food safety onboard?
Can you please mention any key procedures you have to ensure that the water tank on board is regularly emptied and cleaned.
How often do you empty and clean on-board water tanks?
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
Do you use water to make coffee and tea on board?

Airline Spokesperson: “For the water, I don’t think I’ll be able to answer all the questions or go into great detail, but we use municipal water and the tanks are cleaned on a regular basis.”

Complimentary Snacks (Available on flights of more than 250 miles)
Mini Pretzels
80 calories/17 minutes of walking
Biscoff cookies
120 calories/26 minutes of walking

Individual Snacks (Available on flights of more than 2 hours departing between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.)
Pringles Grab and Go $4.00
375 calories/ 81 minutes of walking

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

Continental Breakfast Box (Ending Dec. 1) $4.99
Chobani Greek vanilla yogurt, Made Good chocolate banana granola bar and fresh blueberries.
Total: 195 calories/42 minutes of walking

Continental Breakfast Box (Starting Dec. 1) $6.99
Sweet vanilla Belgian pastry waffle, Nutella, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Total: 560 calories/121 minutes of walking

Hummus Box (Ending Dec. 1) $5.00
Hummus, Crispbreads, Dark Chocolate
Total: 220 calories/48 minutes of walking

Power Bites Snack Box $9.00
Lorissa’s Korean barbeque beef jerky, Glacier Ridge Brie cheese spread, Rustic Bakery tart cherry crisps with cacao nibs, Divina fig spread, Skinny Dipped almonds with dark chocolate and Whisps parmesan cheese crisps.
Total: 368 calories/79 minutes of walking

Tasty Treats Snack Box (Starting Dec. 1) $5.00
Nabisco Wheat Thins crackers, CLIF Bar chocolate chip mini bar, Clever shortbread emoji cookies, Welch’s Fruit Snack mixed fruits, Glacier Ridge Farms asiago cheese spread, Wonderful roasted and salted almonds.
Total: 670 calories/145 minutes of walking

All Day Offerings (Available on flights of more than 3 hours departing between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

Fruit and Cheese Plate $8.99
Red and green grapes served with smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, Monterey jack cheese, Acacia gourmet cream crackers and For the Love of Peppermint mini chocolate bar.
Total: 600 calories/130 minutes of walking

Zoes Hummus Duo (Starting Dec. 1) $9.99
Chickpea hummus, kalamata olives, basil pesto, fresh cucumber slices, fresh carrot sticks, pita cocktail rounds Crispbreads, Dark Chocolate
Total: 700 calories/151 minutes of walking

Breakfast (Available on flights of more than 3 hours departing between 5 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.)

Breakfast Platter $8.99
Grapes, granny smith apple wedges, hard boiled egg, sharp cheddar cheese, muesli morning snacking rounds and almond butter.
Total: 510 calories/110 minutes of walking

Breakfast Sandwich (Ending Dec. 1) $8.79
Egg slices, turkey bacon, Cheddar cheese and tomato on a croissant. Served with honey-
mustard dressing on the side.
Sandwich ony: 535 calories/116 minutes of walking
Honey mustard dressing: 140 calories/30 minutes of walking
Total with dressing: 675 calories/146 minutes of walking

Zoes Egg & Turkey Bacon Sandwich (Starting Dec 1)
Egg slices, turkey bacon, fresh arugula and Calabrian aioli on a waffle brioche.
Total: 440 calories/95 minutes of walking
Fresh Meals (Available on flights of more than 3 hours departing between 9:46 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

Chicken Artichoke Wrap (Starting Dec 1) $9.99
Whole-wheat tortilla with chicken breast strips, artichoke hearts, arugula, roasted tomatoes with basil, sliced mozzarella cheese and whipped cream cheese. Served with a chocolate chip cookie.
Total for meal without cookie: 660 calories/143 minutes of walking
Total for meal with cookie: 860 calories/186 minutes of walking

The Gruben (Starting Dec. 1) $9.49
Marble wheat with barley bread with turkey breast, manchego cheese, mediterranean slaw and feta parsley spread. Served with a Chocolate chip cookie
Total for meal without cookie: 520 calories/112 minutes of walking
Total for meal with cookie: 720 calories/155 minutes of walking

Chicken Caesar Wrap (Ending Dec 1) $9.49
Chicken breast, romaine, shredded carrots with Parmesan cheese on a grilled tortilla
with cream cheese spread. Served with Caesar dressing on the side.
Sandwich only: 423 calories/91 minutes of walking
Caesar dressing: 160 calories/35 minutes of walking
Total with dressing: 583 calories/126 minutes of walking

Holiday Turkey Chutney Sandwich (Starting Dec 1) $9.99
Smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, cranberry chutney and baby arugula on pretzel bread. Served with
honey-mustard dressing on the side.
Sandwich only: 447 calories/97 minutes of walking
Honey mustard dressing: 140 calories/30 minutes of walking
Total with dressing: 587 calories/127 minutes of walking

Complimentary Main Cabin Meals (Available on coast-to-coast flights between JFK-SFO and JFK-LAX)

Breakfast (Available on flights departing between 5 a.m. and 9:45 a.m)

Breakfast Platter
Grapes, granny smith apple wedges, hard boiled egg, sharp cheddar cheese, muesli morning snacking rounds and almond butter.
Total: 510 calories/110 minutes of walking

Snack Box
Yogurt, Granola, Blueberry Muffin Top and Fresh Apple Slices
Total: 340 Calories/73 minutes of walking

Vegan Snack Box
Coconut Chia Oats, fresh blueberries, almonds, walnuts
Total: 450 Calories/97 minutes of walking

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

Fruit and Cheese Plate
Red and green grapes served with smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, Monterey jack cheese, Acacia gourmet cream crackers and For the Love of Peppermint mini chocolate bar.
Total: 600 calories/130 minutes of walking

Protein Snack box
BBQ Chicken Wrap, Ranch Dressing, Potato Chips and Cinnamon Churro Brownie
Total: 715 Calories/154 minutes of walking

Vegan Snack Box
Red Pepper Hummus, Pita Rounds, Carrots, Celery & Dark Chocolate
Total: 435 Calories/94 minutes of walking

United Airlines (www.united.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Helpful
Health Score: 2.75 / Stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks): 360
Average Meal Calories: 532
Average Snack Box Calories: 462
Average Individual Snack Calories: 199.5

Comments: United, is still not paying attention to the call for good, clean, nutrient-dense foods. It is the 4th largest airline in the U.S. but has very few good choices for passengers. Also, while they at least have the foods they serve (with photos) on their website, there is still no nutritional information available. The good news is that they do have an ingredients list. You can take a peek here–but they’re not very “clean.” The individual snack choices are generally not healthy, the snack boxes could be much more food/healthy thoughtful, and the meals are average to OK. I do like the fact that the airline has started to offer oatmeal for breakfast and the Mezze sampler for lunch (which is vegan by the way). Also, nice that the individual snack calories have decreased, but why go from a grilled chicken to a breaded (or fried) chicken sandwich? Not the right direction.

Best Bets: Among the individual snacks, the hummus is the best choice, and it would be a good idea to avoid the other choices. 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, the Overnight Strawberry Almond Oats is an OK (to reasonably good) choice, but leave out some of the granola topping if possible. Avoid the other breakfast choices. For Lunch/Dinner, the Mezze Sampler is your best bet and should keep you full. Avoid the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich; it looks processed and the breading implies fried. The Banana Bread Pudding is NOT a meal, it’s a full=on dessert and not something you want to eat on the plane. Parents should avoid the Kid’s Snackbox. Not sure what the airline is thinking with these snack choices. And the free snacks may seem free, but they’re not; there is a physical cost to eating them.

Food and Water Safety (Questions and airlines response)
Are you working on any new food safety procedures other than the required regulations to ensure food safety onboard?
Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and United Airlines is committed to serving our customers the highest quality of food and beverages in the air. We adhere to industry standards to ensure we serve safe and reliable drinking water to passengers and crew members. Our onboard potable water supplies, systems and processes meet or exceed industry and government standards.
Can you please mention any key procedures you have to ensure that the water on board is regularly emptied and the tank cleaned. How often do you empty and clean on-board water tanks?
We disinfect and flush every aircraft at least once every 90 days using an Ozone disinfection system which disinfects the entire system, from fill port to faucet.
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
We utilize a vigorous program that complies with Federal EPA regulations. In addition to the disinfection program, United monitors water quality by testing samples at EPA-approved laboratories – every single plane in the fleet is tested annually.
Do you use water to make coffee and tea on board?
No response from airline, but yes.

Complimentary Inflight Snacks

Byrd’s Maple Wafers
70 calories, 3g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 90mg sodium, 8g sugar/15 minutes of walking

Pretzels
60 calories, 0g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 150mg sodium, 0g sugar/13 minutes of walking

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

Individual Snacks
Think Jerky $4.99 (100 calories, 2g fat, 5g carbohydrate, 16g protein, 380mg sodium, 5g sugar/22 minutes walking)
GourmetNut Power Up Antioxidant Mix $4.59 (280 calories/60 minutes walking)
Lillie’s Q Sea Salt & Black Pepper Kettle Chips $3.49 (150 calories, 1g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 200mg sodium, 0g sugar/32 minutes of walking)
Haribo Gold-Bears Gummi Candy 4-ounce bag $4.59 (420 calories/78 minutes of walking)
Pringles Original Potato Crisps Grab & Go 2.36-ounce can $4.59 (375 calories/81 minutes of walking)
Dipin Classic Hummus and Crispbreads $4.99
Classic hummus: 50 calories, 9g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 150mg sodium, 0g sugar
Crispbreads: 110 calories, 6g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 125mg sodium
Total: 160 calories, 35 minutes of walking
M&M’s Milk Chocolate Candies $3.99 (230 calories, 9g fat, 35g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 35mg sodium, 31g sugar/50 minutes of walking)
Kettle brand sea salt potato chips $3.99 (150 calories, 9g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 115mg sodium, 0g sugar/32 minutes of walking)

Snack Boxes

Tapas $9.59
Almonds, breadstick crackers, bruschetta, dark chocolate sea salt caramel, flatbread crackers, hummus, mint, olives, parmesan peppercorn spread
Total: 495 calories, 26g fat, 49g carbohydrate, 17g protein, 1088mg sodium, 11g sugar/107 minutes of walking

Classic $9.59
Cheddar cheese spread, Oreo cookies, crackers, pretzel crisps, root beer float marshmallow, salami, twizzlers.
Total: 496 calories, 26g fat, 62g carbohydrate, 13g protein, 1270mg sodium, 19g sugar/ 107 minutes of walking

Select $9.59
Beef jerky, dark chocolate espresso almonds, TRU FLAVORS fiesta chili lime dippers, gummy bears, sea salt crackers.
Total: 510 calories, 23g fat, 72g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 195mg sodium, 42g sugar/ 110 minutes of walking

Kids’ Snackbox (comes with activity sheet) $5.59
Apple sauce, beef stick, cheddar crackers, fruit snacks, graham snacks Total: 350 calories, 10g fat, 60g carbohydrate, 4g protein, 436mg sodium, 26g sugar/76 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 a.m. and 9:44 a.m.)

Chorizo Breakfast Sandwich $7.99
Cage-free fried egg, pork chorizo patty and smoked cheddar cheese on a ciabatta roll.
Total: 480 calories, 28g fat, 34g carbohydrate, 21g protein, 870mg sodium, 2g sugar/104 minutes of walking

Overnight Strawberry Almond Oats $6.99
Coconut oatmeal with yogurt, shredded coconut, chia seeds and strawberry compote, topped with almond coconut granola.
Total: 450 calories, 25g fat, 53g carbohydrate, 10g protein, 55mg sodium, 14g sugar/97 minutes of walking

Banana Bread Pudding $8.99
Banana bread pieces and butterscotch chips baked in vanilla egg custard, topped with oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Made with Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Total: 530 calories, 19g fat, 79g carbohydrate, 11g protein, 520mg sodium, 51g sugar/114 minutes of walking

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

UNO Pepperoni Deep Dish Pizza $9.99
Pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, Romano cheese and tomato sauce in a deep dish crust.
Total: 630 calories, 35g fat, 55g carbohydrate, 21g protein, 1220mg sodium, 4g sugar/136 minutes of walking

White Cheddar Cheeseburger $9.99
Beef patty and white cheddar cheese on an asiago bun. Served with Sir Kensington’s ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise on the side. Lettuce, tomato and pickles available upon request.
Cheeseburger only: 550 calories, 13g fat, 39g carbohydrate, 30g protein, 810mg sodium, 3g sugar/119 minutes of walking
Add Kettle brand sea salt potato chips $3.99
150 calories, 9g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 115mg sodium, 0g sugar/119 minutes of walking
Total: 700 calories, 22g fat, 55g carbohydrate, 36g protein, 196mg sodium, 3g sugar/151 minutes of walking

Chicken Parmesan Sandwich $9.99
Breaded chicken, mozzarella cheese and basil marinara sauce on an Italian-herbed ciabatta roll.
Total: 430 calories, 14g fat, 46g carbohydrate, 25g protein, 1170 mg sodium, 3g sugar/93 minutes of walking

Mezze Sampler $9.99
Seasonal wheatberry almond salad, red pepper hummus, whole almonds and triangle pita pieces
Total: 501 calories, 30g fat, 48g carbohydrate, 14 g protein, 515mg sodium, 14g sugar/108 minutes of walking

Hawaiian Airlines (www.hawaiianairlines.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Somewhat Helpful
Health Score: 2.65 / 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Meals, Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks): 419
Average Meal Calories: 502
Average Individual Snack Calories: 389
Average Snack Box Calories: 342

Comments: This year the media spokesperson tried to help get us some information. However, much of the nutritional information still had to be estimated by Diet Detective nutritionists. The airline’s individual snack calories decreased from 582 last year to 389, but are still generally foods to be avoided. The Kitchen & Love foods are nice exceptions. The airline’s meals are also lower in calories, down from 971 to 502. Finally they are moving in a better, healthier direction over all. Nice work. Now we need to get more accurate information, and the airline needs to offer even more healthy meals.

Best Bets: Among the snacks, choose the Hummus & Pita Chips or the new Kitchen & Love farro or quinoa options. They are really the best choices among the individual snacks, All the others are very high in calories. You might think the Salted Macadamia Nuts would be a good choice, and they do have healthy properties, but only if you split them with 5 other people or have them over the course of a few weeks. The two oatmeal options are lower in calories but are probably high in sugar, while the beef and cheese sticks (the lowest-calorie individual snack option) are high in saturated fat and sodium.

Also, keep in mind, you will probably get a very high calorie, unhealthy free meal on your flight, so go light on those snacks. Don’t be fooled by the Gluten Free Box; while many of the individual items (such as the hummus and roasted chickpea snacks) are OK healthwise, it’s still high in calories and out-of-touch with current food trends.

For the complimentary meals, try to go light on the breads, treats and dressings. Your best bet calorie-wise, if it’s available, is the Penne Pasta Bolognese Sauce and green salad, but skip the cookie. The breakfast/brunch options are also OK if you skip the macadamia nuts. In the end, it would be best to eat before you board the plane; otherwise you might wind up feeling lethargic and cranky after one of these calorie-heavy meals. Just say no, and bring your own food.

Food and Water Safety (Questions and airlines response)
Is the airline working on any new food safety procedures other than the required regulations to ensure food safety onboard?
Can you please mention any key procedures you have to ensure that the water tank on board is regularly emptied and cleaned.
How often do you empty and clean on-board water tanks?
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
Do you use water to make coffee and tea on board?

Airline response: At Hawaiian food safety is a top priority at all of our kitchens and we have an audit program to regularly review the food safety records at each of our vendors.

Individual Snacks
Fruits of the Island Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nuts $6 (458 calories/99 minutes of walking)
Hawaiian Chip Company Taro Chips Original Flavor $8 (560 calories/121 minutes of walking)*
Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips (140 calories/30 minutes of walking)
Island Princess Caramel Macadamia Nut Popcorn $4.50 (600 calories/130 minutes of walking)
Island Princess Royal Crunch $5.50 (700 calories/151 minutes of walking)
Kitchen & Love Farro Grilled Vegetables and Herbs Quick Meal $6 (250 calories/54 minutes of walking)
Kitchen & Love Quinoa with Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Quick Meal $6 (250 calories/54 minutes of walking)
Kona Furikake Chips $7 (480 calories/104 minutes of walking)
Kunoa Hawaii Grown Beef Bar $4 (50 calories/11 minutes of walking)
M&Ms peanut $3 (480 calories/ 104 minutes of walking)
Nissin Cup Noodles chicken flavor $4 (290 calories/63 minutes of walking)
Pau Hana Snack Mix $6 (420 calories/91 minutes of walking)*
Pringles $4 (375 calories/ 81 minutes of walking)
Primo Popcorn (Movie Night Butter Flavor) $6.50 (413 calories/ 89 minutes of walking)
Samurai Brand Dried Mango (350 calories/76 minutes of walking)*
Samurai Brand Furikake Popcorn (360 calories/78 minutes of walking)*
Snickers $3 (440 calories/ 95 minutes of walking)

Snack Boxes

Gluten Free Box $7
Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks (90 calories), Crackers (60 calories), Welch’s Fruit Snacks (80 calories), hummus (67 calories), turkey stick (70 calories)*, cookies (120 calories)*
Total: 487 calories/131 minutes of walking*

Hummus & Pita Chips $4
Hummus (67 calories), Milton’s Gluten Free Crispy Sea Salt Baked Crackers (130 calories)*
Total: 197 calories/43 minutes of walking*

Main Cabin Meals

Continental Breakfast Bag (Hawaii to JFK)
Fresh fruit cup, corn cheddar cheese and red pepper muffin, Upstate yogurt, granola and Aloha Mac chocolate macadamia nuts.
Total: 430 calories/93 minutes walking*

Cold Snack Bag (JFK to Hawaii)
Asian slaw sandwich with hard boiled egg and cucumber slices on panini focaccia roll served with Aloha Mac chocolate macadamia nuts.
Total: 458 calories/99 minutes of walking*

Brunch Box (Hawaii to West Coast)
Upstate yogurt, corn cheddar cheese and red pepper muffin, red grapes, green grapes, granola.
Total: 347 calories/75 minutes of walking*

Brunch Box (West Coast to Hawaii)
Upstate yogurt, sour cream and chive tea loaf, red grapes, green grapes, granola.
Total: 357 calories/77 minutes of walking*

Lunch/Dinner (Hawaii to West Coast)
BBQ chicken sandwich on Hawaiian sweet bread served with sweet maui onion Hawaiian style potato chips.
Total: 510 calories/110 minutes of walking*

Lunch/Dinner (West Coast to Hawaii)
Roast beef sandwich with cheddar cheese and dijon mustard on a panini focaccia roll served with sweet maui onion Hawaiian style potato chips.
Total: 544 calories/117 minutes of walking*

Hot Meals

Lunch (Hawaii to JFK)
Bulgogi chicken with steamed white rice and steamed vegetables served with couscous bean salad and guava cookie.
Total: 756 calories/163 minutes of walking*

Lunch (JFK to Hawaii)
Penne pasta with beef bolognese sauce and sliced black olives served with cucumber tomato feta salad and Honolulu Cookie Company pineapple macadamia and chocolate chip macadamia cookies.
Total: 614 calories/133 minutes of walking*

* Denotes nutrition information that has been estimated by Diet Detective nutrition team.

Allegiant Air (www.allegiantair.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very Helpful
Health Score: 2.1 / 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Snack Boxes and Individual Snacks): 335
Average Individual Snack Calories: 390
Average Snack Box Calories: 263

Comments: Allegiant has dropped its overall and individual snack calorie count by almost 17 percent. That’s good news from an airline that has not previously shown any sign of improving it’s food profile. Allegiant has reduced the size of the nuts offered by more than 300 calories and are now serving almonds and cashews. They have also reduced the overall caloric content of the Deli Snack Pack by 130 calories since last year. Allegiant is moving in a much better direction; however, it would be wonderful if they added a few more nutritious food items to the menu. I bet they would sell. The good news is that in terms of food and water safety the airline is also on target.

Best Bets: Among the individual snacks, the nuts might work if you share them with at least one other person. The hummus snack pack is your best bet if you’re mid-flight, but the snack boxes are not great in terms of health (and not only calorie-wise). Avoid the Deli Snack Pack, and the Wingz Kids Snack Pack is not a healthy choice.

Food Safety (Questions and airlines response)
Given recent concerns over United’s alleged mismanagement of a listeria outbreak out of Newark Airport, are you working on any new food safety procedures other than the required regulations to ensure food safety onboard other than the required regulations?
Can you please mention any key procedures you have to ensure that the water on board is regularly emptied and the tank cleaned.
How often do you empty and clean on-board water tanks?
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
Do you use water to make coffee and tea on board?

Airline statement to ALL the above questions: “All of our flights operate on an out and back schedule from our multiple base cities. This means that we operate shorter flights and don’t serve any hot meals, coffee, or tea. All food items are individually packaged and all beverages are either in a can or bottle.”

Individual Snacks
M&Ms Peanut, 3.1 oz., $3.00 (440 calories/95 minutes of walking)
Kings Nut Medley, 2 oz., $4 (360 calories/78 minutes of walking)
Pringles, 2.3 oz., $3.00 (360 calories/78 minutes of walking)
Chex Mix, 3.75 oz., $4 (400 calories/86 minutes of walking)

Snack Boxes

Deli Snack Pack
Pennysticks Pretzels, 0.9 oz. (100 calories), White Cheddar Cheese Spread, 0.75 oz. (50 calories), Chips Ahoy! Chocolate Chip Cookies, 1.55 oz. (210 calories), Slim Jim, 0.28 oz. (40 calories).
Total: 400 calories/86 minutes of walking.

Hummus Snack Pack
Dipin Classic Hummus, 1.42 oz. (50 calories) & Baked in Brooklyn Pita Chips, 0.75 oz (100 calories)
Total: 150 calories/32 minutes of walking

Wingz Kids Snack Pack
Oreo 2-pack, 0.78 oz. (100 calories), Baked Goldfish Crackers, 0.50 oz. (60 calories), Welch’s Fruit Snacks, 0.90 oz. (80 calories)
Total: 240 calories/52 minutes of walking

Southwest Airlines (www.southwest.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very Helpful
Health Score: 1.6 / 5 Stars
Average Calories: 138

Comments: Not much variety and not much in terms of nutritional value. However, they are always helpful – that’s nice. I wish they would add some healthy snacks, at least on a trial basis.. This is one of the larger carriers in the US, so it would be great for Southwest to set an example and show that healthy food can sell if it is tasty and curated with consciousness. Of note, Southwest Airlines announced that it plans to stop serving peanuts in order to protect people who are allergic to them; American Airlines and United Airlines already have this policy in place (read more here). Unfortunately, the nuts (which were the best bet last year) have not been replaced with another “real” food item.

Best Bet: The pretzels are the only choice. Southwest typically has short-run flights. More than on any other airline, you need to bring your own fresh, nutrient dense, healthy food.

Food Safety (Questions and airlines response)
Are you working on any new food safety procedures other than the required regullations to ensure food safety onboard?
Southwest follows all applicable regulations to ensure the safety of the pre-packaged food and beverages we serve onboard our aircraft. We do not operate catering kitchens or serve fresh food.
Can you please mention any key procedures you have to ensure that the water tank on board is regularly emptied and cleaned.
At Southwest Airlines, we are committed to the safety and well-being of our Customers and Employees, and that includes high quality, safe drinking water. We have developed and utilize a robust program to assure our aircraft water systems and water delivery equipment meet or exceed all requirements. Potable water is boarded to aircraft from publicly approved and monitored drinking water sources. In addition to onboard filters, the onboard water system and transfer equipment are sanitized on a regular basis, meeting or exceeding all FDA, FAA, and EPA requirements, assuring the water is safe for consumption.
How often do you empty and clean on-board water tanks?
The regulations include requirements for regular testing of aircraft water, as well as regular disinfection of each aircraft’s water system. Southwest Airlines meets or exceeds these regulations, and we are proud of our compliance record.
How often do you check your water tank for contamination?
The regulations include requirements for regular testing of aircraft water, as well as regular disinfection of each aircraft’s water system. Southwest Airlines meets or exceeds these regulations, and we are proud of our compliance record.
Do you use water to make coffee and tea on board? Yes.

Currently available on all flights

All snacks are free of charge.

Pretzels
45 calories, 0g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 135mg sodium, 0g sugar/10 minutes of walking

Nabisco Mondelez Airplane Cookies
120 calories 4g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 90mg sodium, 7g sugar/26 minutes of walking

Ritz Airplane Crackers
130 calories, 4.5g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 180mg sodium, 3g sugar/28 minutes of walking

Oreo 4-count pack
210 calories, 9g fat, 33g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 170mg sodium, 18g sugar/45 minutes of walking

Ritz White Cheddar Cracker Sandwiches
200 calories, 11g fat, 22g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 310mg sodium, 5g sugar/43 minutes of walking

Frito Lay Corn Chips, 1 oz. single serving bag
120 calories, 8g fat, 12g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 125 mg sodium, 0g sugar/ 26 minutes of walking

Spirit Airlines (www.spirit.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Not too helpful
Health Score: 1.1 / 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Individual Snacks and Snack Boxes): 378
Average Individual Snack Calories:366
Average Snack Box Calories: 430

Comments: The media spokesperson, who joined the airline in 2017, was helpful last year but this year took almost two months to respond to our request for nutrition information, and he did not respond to our food and water safety questions. Spirit, which is all about the bottom line, should see some grander opportunity in selling healthy food (e.g., better margins, increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction, etc.). Also, the airline is not keeping up with the major carriers, who have learned that large size snacks are not the best option for travellers.

Best Bet: The Quinoa with Artichoke & Roasted Peppers is one of just a few changes Spirit has made to its menu, and at 250 calories it is probably the best choice for a satisfying snack. The cup of noodle soup at 330 calories may also feel like a real meal, but it is very high in sodium, so it is not the best bet for anyone who is sodium-sensitive or has high blood pressure. The cheese tray at 130 calories is a much better choice than the Cafe Snack Box.

Food and Water Safety (Questions and airlines response)
No response

Individual Snacks
Pringles Grab and Go! $3.00 (375 calories, 22.5g fat, 37.5g carbohydrate, 2.5g protein, 375mg sodium/81 minutes of walking)
Otis Spunkmeyer Wild Blueberry Muffin $3.00 (410 calories, 17g fat, 59g carbohydrate, 6g protein, 470mg sodium/86 minutes of walking)
Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chip Muffin $3.00 (460 calories, 23g fat, 57g carbohydrate, 6g protein, 350mg sodium/99 minutes of walking)
Cheez It Snack Mix Classic $4.00 (580 calories, 20g Fat, 20g carbohydrate, 12g protein, 1480mg sodium/125 minutes of walking)
Chips and Salsa $4.00 (140 calories, 6g fat, 19.5g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 289mg sodium/30 minutes of walking*)
King Size Peanut M&Ms $4.00 (470 calories, 24g fat, 56g carbohydrate, 9.4g protein, 47mg sodium/102 minutes of walking)
FlyFit Protein Nut Mix $4.00 (720 calories, 56g fat, 28g carbohydrate, 28g protein, 500mg sodium/65 minutes of walking)
Emoji Shortbread Cookies $4.00 (372 calories, 14g fat, 58g carbohydrate, 5g protein/80 minutes of walking*)
Nissin Cup Noodles Very Veggie Chicken Flavor $4.00 (330 calories, 11g fat, 49g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 1070mg sodium/71 minutes of walking)
Oreo Cookie 6-pack $3 (320 calories, 13g Fat, 49g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 270 mg sodium/69 minutes of walking)
Rice Krispy Treat $3 (260 calories, 6g Fat, 48g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 290 mg sodium/56 minutes of walking)
Quinoa with Artichoke & Roasted Pepper $7 (250 calories, 9g Fat, 36g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 700 mg sodium/54 minutes of walking)
Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Pop Corn $4 (80 calories, 4.5g Fat, 11g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 80mg sodium/17 minutes of walking)

Snack Boxes

Kids Snack $5.00
Goldfish crackers (60 calories, 2.5g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 120mg sodium, 0g sugar)
Welch’s fruit snacks (80 calories, 0g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 0g protein, 10mg sodium, 11g sugar)
Oreos (100 calories, 4.5g fat, 16g carbohydrate, <1g protein, 85mg sodium)
Total: 300 calories/65 minutes of walking

Café Snack Box $7.00
Wheat thins (220 calories, 8g fat, 35g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 330mg sodium)
Cheese spread (50 calories, 5g fat, 1g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 260mg sodium)
Skittles (61 calories, <1g fat, 14g carbohydrate, 0g protein, 2mg sodium)
Madi K’s Almonds (100 calories, 4g fat, 17g carbohydrate, 0g protein, 140mg sodium)
Milano Cookies (110 calories, 6g fat, 14g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 40mg sodium)
Total: 541 calories/117 minutes of walking*

Cheese Tray $7.00
Sharp Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, American Cheese, Crackers, Dried Apples and Cranberries
Total: 450 calories, 97 minutes of walking*

*Estimated by Diet Detective Registered Dietitian

Frontier Airlines (www.flyfrontier.com)
Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Not Too Helpful
Health Score: .85 / 5 Stars
Average Calories Overall (Individual Snacks and Snack Boxes): 372
Average Individual Snack Calories: 387
Average Snack Box Calories: 300

Comments: Frontier’s communications team didn’t do a great job responding. We reached out multiple times before we finally received confirmation that nothing had changed on the airline’s menu since 2017. Additionally, Frontier did not answer the food and water safety questions.

Best Bet: As with last year, the trail mix could be the healthiest option, but travelers would be best off bringing their own food.

Food and Water Safety (Questions and airlines response)
No Response from the airline

Individual Snacks (Available on flights of more than 200 miles)
Almond M&Ms 2.83 oz sharing size $2.99 (Full bag: 400 calories/86 minutes of walking)
Chex Mix Traditional $3.99 (Full bag: 420 calories/90 minutes of walking)*
Pringles Original Potato Chips $3.00 (360 calories/48 minutes of walking)
Stroopwafel $2.99 (360 calories /78 minutes of walking)*
Colorado Nut Co. Trail Mix $3.99 3 ounces (393 calories /85 minutes of walking)*

Snack Box:
Snack Pack $3.99
Fun Size M&Ms, 90 calories; Crackers, 80 calories; Beef stick, 40 calories; Oreo cookies, 90 calories (Total: 300 calories/65 minutes of walking)
____________________________________
CHARLES PLATKIN, Ph.D. is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com. Copyright 2018-19 by Charles Platkin. All rights reserved. Sign up for the free Diet Detective newsletter at www.DietDetective.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: OPTIONAL SIDEBAR

Bring Your Own Snacks
Even if you ate before you left home, you are still going to get hungry. We often underestimate the amount of time a trip can take. A two-hour flight could mean four or five hours of travel. Keep in mind that you can take most foods through security, but you need to check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the latest rules about carrying on food and beverages (www.tsa.gov/311/index.shtm).

Avoid these words: It would be best to avoid anything listed as a la mode (with ice cream on the side), au gratin (covered with cheese), battered, bisque, breaded, buttered, in cheese sauce, creamy or rich, crispy, fried or deep-fried, deluxe, with hollandaise (sauce made with butter, egg yolks and wine), jumbo, with nuts, scalloped, sautéed or tempura–all of which describe foods that are calorie-dense and nutritionally poor choices. But that doesn’t mean all foods that appear to be low-cal are good choices. It may mean that the portion size (by weight or volume) is smaller than what you would normally eat. If you need to eat more than one portion in order to feel satisfied, the food may no longer be a calorie bargain. Don’t deprive yourself, but don’t overeat either. If you’re hungry, you’ll be cranky, but if you eat too much you’ll be bloated and uncomfortable. Eat a real meal, which means about 350 to 600 calories for lunch or dinner, depending on your gender, height and weight.

Here are some ideas for snacks you can bring or buy at the airport:
– Water: Bring your own empty, reusable water bottle to fill at an airport water fountain past the security checkpoint, take onboard and ask for bottled water throughout your trip. Dehydration can cause or exacerbate hunger, jet lag and fatigue. Alternatively, buy a bottle after the security checkpoint.
– Cereal: Shredded Wheat or other low-calorie cereals. Look for portable choices at under 120 calories per cup. You can also look for cereal in a cup. It’s portion-controlled in 1.5-ounce packs that are easy to store and easy to use.
– Fruit and salads: Stick with fruits such as apples and oranges that can withstand some rough treatment. Grapes or almost any other fruit can be carried in a plastic container. Also, fruit and salads are often sold in the airport. They’re a bit more expensive than bringing your own, but at least they’re healthy alternatives to what is served onboard.
– Energy bars: Although they tend to be high in calories and fat, they are generally better than a slice of pizza or a candy bar at the airport. Choose Larabars; they have nothing but healthy ingredients.
– Sandwiches: Pre-cut them into portion-controlled sections so you can pull them out at different times during the trip without making a mess. Chicken, turkey, cold cuts and cheese (on 100 percent whole-wheat bread) are all great options for sandwiches on the go.
– Nuts: They’re a good source of protein, and they help fend off hunger. Portion them into 1-ounce bags (about 160 calories each).
– Dried or freeze-dried fruit and vegetable snacks: Eat dried fruit in moderation: It’s high in calories.
– All Natural Fruit Roll-Ups (no sugar added)
– Whole-Wheat Crackers: Make sure to get 100 percent whole-wheat crackers such as Ak Mak (www.akmakbakeries.com), Mary’s Gone Crackers or Dr. Kracker (www.drkracker.com).
– Beef jerky: Especially if you’re a low-carb fan, but not if you’re watching your sodium.






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Airline Food Investigation 2018-19
DietDetective.com Annual Airline Food Investigation with Health Ratings 2018-19 By Charles Platkin, PhD, JD, MPH There...