Many of you have just returned from Christmas and New Year’s travels, and you may have been reminded of what a pain it is to fly when you are gluten-free. Gluten-free or not, with new baggage fees, we’re all trying to pack minimally. Is it possible to cram everything you’ll need for a week away into a carry on? Not if you’re packing a cooler of gluten-free food. And you’d better not even think of transporting anything that looks remotely like a gel or a powder or you won’t get past security.
We traveled barebones this Christmas, and when you’re packing Christmas gifts (unwrapped of course), that’s quite a challenge. The Husband and I managed to share one checked bag that weighed in at 48.5 pounds, just under the 50 pound limit. But thankfully we were traveling to see Gluten-Free Mom, so I didn’t have to bring the pantry.
For a quick flight, gluten-free eaters can get by with a gluten-free snack bar. But if you have multiple flights or long layovers, it gets even harder. Why? Because then you need a real meal in the gluten-free desert called The Airport Terminal. Unless you want a dry, prepackaged iceberg lettuce salad with a few carrot shavings and orange tomatoes, you’re going to arrive at your destination ravenous and cranky.
But times are changing.
I was pleasantly surprised while passing through the Atlanta Airport to find GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals in one of the convenience stores. I had first seen GoPicnic at the Allergen and Gluten-Free Expo last Spring, so I knew that some of their snacks and meals were gluten-free. Was it possible that these would be too? A gluten-free oasis? Thankfully, it was not a mirage!
We bought two, the Hummus & Crackers and Sunbutter & Crackers. They were both all natural, gluten-free, and vegan.
Each box was $5.99, but compared to other airport food prices, and considering that the Husband would no longer have to deal with a crabby wife on the next flight, this was a good investment. I did an iPhone photo shoot on my lap at the gate so I could share this great news with you.
GoPicnic meals come in small boxes that turn into a convenient snack tray. I felt like a kid opening my first McDonald’s Happy Meal! I couldn’t have cared less about the nutritional value of my cheeseburger and fries in 1979, but the packaging was ingenious. I was thrilled to find that the GoPicnic boxes contained some of my favorite high quality food brands like Enjoy Life, Crunchmaster, Endangered Species, and SunButter.
I completely enjoyed my Hummus & Crackers box.
But it didn’t just contain hummus and crackers. Look at the variety! Edamame, fruit and nuts mix, and even a square of dark chocolate for dessert.
The Husband chose the SunButter & Crackers. I love that he chooses to eat gluten-free so that we can share our meals, especially since he usually shares more than I do!
Crackers, SunButter, dried fruit, seeds and nuts, and a double chocolate cookie. (He even shared the cookie!) Now that’s much better than a dry airport salad.
GoPicnic has created four other gluten-free ready-to-eat boxed meals:
I’m thankful to have stumbled upon GoPicnic in the airport. I hope they’re in the next airport I’m traveling through. Just in case, I’ll be ordering a few to keep in my pantry. The boxes are no bigger than a novel, so it will be easy to toss one into my travel purse. You can order them online and maybe even try this GoPicnic Gluten-Free Variety Pack!
Your turn to share:
- Have you found other gluten-free gems at an airport?
- What are your gluten-free travel tips?
- Need to gripe? What’s your worst airport food experience?
- Which airports carry gluten-free food? Let’s start a list… Atlanta, Nashville…please add in the comments and I’ll update the list.