Written by Vandita Jain, M.Sc Food and Nutrition, PG Diploma in Diabetes Education | 
Article Reviewed by Dietitian julia samuel, M.Phil on Mar 13, 2019


We may have to travel for variety of reasons; it could be an overdue vacation or traveling for work or maybe to meet someone in another city. The first thing which is affected when we travel is our diet. Sometimes we are not sure what we should choose amongst the options available outside. When we are at home, we have endless ways to pamper our taste buds. But it’s different when we are traveling.

If you want to stay right on track and don’t want to go haywire on the diet intake, choose healthy. It’s not about restricting yourself from outside food but it is about choosing the right one. Sometimes, people on vacations correlate eating unhealthy stuff with enjoying and henceforth binge on anything and everything. Eating joints have a vast menu which fascinates you and you land up ordering a dish without knowing about calories or fat content of that food. The key to control and balance one’s diet while travelling is to have a variety of food item but in moderation.

Traveling should be fun; be it for any reason, so while planning your itinerary, plan your food options as well. Ask the hotel to email the menu so that you can decide the food options in advance.

Many airlines have stopped providing meals in the flights until and unless it is an extended flight. Now the airlines have allowed the travelers to carry their own meals as well.

Food Choices During Traveling

While one is on a road trip and especially when the person is driving long stretches, they tend to stop over for food many times - may be fancy restaurants attract them or they feel like relaxing on the road or simply because they are hungry. The best idea is to pack some healthy eatables along with yourself or find a grocery shop good enough to provide you enough choices to treat yourself. Carry some zero calorie beverages with you to keep yourself hydrated enough.

Downsizing the portion sizes is a better choice instead of refraining from the food one is tempted to. Share the platters, plan and order the food items, never go random on selection of eatables. This is the root cause of eating inappropriate food items, and right food choice starts right from selection.

Feel free to ask questions to the waiter about the dish you ordered or want to order; ask for the cooking method, or the cooking style, or for right selection of gravies, etc. Cooking method also plays an important role while you select the food item, steamed, sautéed, baked or roasted foods are a better choice than deep fried or shallow fried stuff.

Staying physically active during the vacation or in the work schedule is important. Diet and nutritional management during traveling is very important to keep yourself safe and healthy and to maintain your weight.

Food Choices while Traveling in India

Breakfast Choices-

  • Fruits and milk or a fruit platter would do great to start your day. If you are lactose intolerant, choose soya milk or if these are unavailable, carry some green tea bags along with you to make instant tea.
  • Brown bread or multigrain bread sandwiches along with some mint or coriander chutneys make for a better choice of breakfast.
Food Choices while Traveling: Multigrain Bread Sandwiches
  • Cereal and milk (oats / muesli / wheatflakes) are all good choices when taken along with sufficient amount of fruits.
  • Egg whites
  • Sprouts

Midmorning Meal Choices- Fruits / green tea / tea/ coffee/ lemonade/ soups / buttermilk/ coconut water etc.

Lunch Choices-

  • Whole wheat rotis instead of refined flour ones along with vegetable, salad and curd
  • Rotis with pulse/ paneer with vegetable and salad
  • Brown rice (if available) or white rice along with fish or chicken or paneer
  • Whole wheat or multigrain flour bread sandwiches
  • Whole wheat pastas / whole wheat noodles
  • Idlis/ plain dosa along with pulse (typically sambhar) when opting for South Indian food
  • Pick green leafy vegetable or mix vegetable as a choice for vegetable serving
  • Eat lots and lots of salad, keep a check on dressings, avoid salads using mayonnaise or a lot of fat
Food Choices while Traveling: Salads
  • Dal / tofu preparation / paneer preparation/ soya preparation/ chicken or fish preparation with vegetable and salads

Evening Meal Choices- Fruits / tea / coffee / lemonade / soups / green tea

Dinner Choices-

  • Try sticking to proteins only and no carbohydrates for dinner, for example,chicken or fish preferably in roasted form with vegetables and salads
  • Missi roti or besan roti with vegetable and salad
  • Paneer tikka with vegetables and salad
  • Sauteed vegetables with salad
  • Dals with vegetables and salad
  • Soups and salad
  • Paneer / Tofu / Pulse with vegetable and salad

Post Dinner Meal Choices- Fruits and a cup of double toned milk

Food Choices for International Travel

Breakfast / Mid morning /Evening Meal Choices-

Continental Options

Oats porridge / cracked wheat porridge/ vegetable sandwich with different fillings/ chicken sandwich with either chicken or fish or egg / whole wheat cereals/ egg whites in scrambled or poached form / egg white omelette/ vegetable juice / lemon water / green tea/ butter milk / south India food / baked cutlets / fruits and sprouts

Indian Options

Stuffed rotis/ grilled rosti (Swiss dish made of potato)/ fruit curd

Italian Options

Whole wheat bagel sandwich/ portabella mushroom sandwich/ pesto grilled vegetable/ vegetable sandwich/ fresh grilled tuna sandwich/ pesto grilled chicken sandwich.

Lunch and Dinner Options-

Continental Options

Soups- Clear soup / pumpkin puree soup / vegetable soup / asparagus soup/ mushroom puree / tomato basil & chicken clear soup / salads/ fruit / lettuce with veggies / grilled salad & sprouts with your choice of dressing

Vegetarian Main Course- Grilled vegetable / sauteed veggies / baked veggies / paneer shaslik with oriental sauce/ paneer platter & mashed potato

Non-Veg Main Course- Grilled chicken / roasted chicken & baked chicken / grilled fish with some sauce / poached fish with veggies & baked fish

Breads- Different type of bread like multi grain, rye, oat, whole wheat & brown

Indian Options

Soups - Palak shorba / subz shorba / khumb, dal & gobhi murg shorba / yellow dal, moong dal & rajma make to order

Veg Main Course- Mushroom curry / palak or mix veg / bhindi do pyaza / aloo ki subzi / soy curry / gobhi musalam / baingan ka bharta / lauki ki subzi/ bharva tinda / paneer bhurji & karele ki subzi,

Non-veg Main Course- Chicken tikka masala / khadhai chicken / egg curry without yolk / murg methi & fish curry

Breads- Tandoori Roti/ missi roti

Italian Options

Soups- Chicken soup with whole wheat spaghetti / minestrone, and veg clear soup/

Salads- Italian pasta / mediterranean roast veggies salad / asparagus salad / artichoke salad / Caesar salad / Caesar non-veg salad / potato salad / chicken toss salad / veg toss salad

Main Course- Whole wheat pasta veg or non-veg with the combination of tomato basil sauce/ arrabiata sauce / roasted bell pepper sauce / mushroom sauce and olive salsa putanesca sauce, pesto sauce and breads as per availability

Chinese and Thai Options

Soups- Clear veg soup / clear chicken soup / hot and sour with tofu soup / tofu soup / Thai chicken clear soup / Thai veg clear soup / mushroom soup / lemon & coriander veg soup

Salad- Spicy cabbage salad & raw papaya salad / Thai squid salad / bokchoy salad / Thai egg salad / Thai chicken salad

Main Course- Curried tofu / sauteed tofu with veggies / chilli fish with gravy (Thai style) / chicken with sesame sauce / chicken with garlic sauce

Rice- Boiled rice / rice with veggies

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