Airport Meals That Are, Yes, Healthy

OTG’s Cibo Express Gourmet Market, at all the airports where the company operates, carries its own line of cold-pressed juices and sandwiches that are made with gluten-free bread, or are vegan or low sodium. Cibo also sells more than 20 brands of health bars such as Kind and Larabar, as well as apples and bananas.

The company also has new restaurants that emphasize clean eating: Gavi, its Italian restaurant at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, has a menu of grain bowls including one made of black, white and red quinoa, chickpeas, cauliflower, almonds and a grilled chicken skewer. At Newark Airport, fliers can order sashimi that’s flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market at Tsukiji Fishroom or head to Supreme Bowl for a bowl of hot steel-cut oats topped with their favorite nuts and fresh fruits. And in September at Newark, OTG will open a juice bar called World Nectar, which will offer green juices and smoothies.

Individual airports are also putting balanced eating at the forefront.

In 2010, Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport, home to 110 food outlets, required that all must offer at least one vegan, low-sodium or low-calorie meal or snack. “Healthy eating is very important to us, and it’s an idea that we have pursued for the past decade,” said Zenola Campbell, the airport’s vice president of concessions.

Ms. Campbell said the efforts were backed up by a 2016 survey by the airport’s marketing department that asked fliers what they wanted most from their airport experience. “The No. 1 thing was healthy food,” she said.

Many restaurants at Dallas/Fort Worth have multiple options for the wellness-minded traveler. Most dishes at UFood Grill are well under 700 calories, including a grilled sirloin burger with a spring lettuce mix on a whole-wheat bun, and a curry masala bowl with brown rice, red quinoa, broccoli, carrots and grilled chicken. At Artisan Market, travelers can pick vegan and vegetarian salads, sandwiches and soups that use produce from local farmers.

In Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, at least 21 restaurants have opened in recent years that have a large variety of low-calorie, gluten-free and vegan dishes, according to Karen E. Pride, the airport’s director of media relations. The airport even has an aeroponic garden that grows vegetables and herbs used in many of these dishes.

At Harstfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, the world’s busiest for passenger traffic, the concessions director, Chilly Ewing, said that when he is vetting proposals from food outlets, he’s more interested in those that have at least a few healthy food choices. Nature’s Best Market, for example, has a large choice of salads, whole fruit and fruit cups.

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