I flew for Delta Air Lines for 13 years and yes, I know all about coolers. Those that leak and those that don't. I now have a cooler line Mile High Gear, leak proof, sweat proof soft sided coolers. You put ice in them and the ice and your food will stay frozen for up to 12 hours and longer. Best of all, no mess.
I bring hummus which you can dip pretty much anything in for a light meal: broccoli, cauliflower,carrots. I like to put hummus on romaine lettuce and roll in some turkey, ham, roast beef and some sliced cheese (swiss, cheddar, pepper jack, monterray jack, etc.) for a really good roll up sandwich. No bread needed. If I want bread I put it all inside a tortilla. I bring stuff to put in salads and just get a house salad from the closest restaurant.
I like to bring mandarin oranges, cranberries, and some kind of nuts on the salad. Sometimes I bring dried bananas for it too. That mixture also makes a good snack and goes in my oatmeal in the morning. I usually have one container with some frozen casserole which I take to the front desk to have microwaved if I can't get a microwave in my room at request.
After I eat I leave my cold foods at the front desk. I have them freeze the meats and casseroles and refrigerate the rest. I have never been told no on any of those requests. I hope this helps for ideas, it usually lasts me for 6 days. It's really hard packing for multiple days because our bags are only so big so unless we're only going for one or two days, lean cuisines and other frozen meals just won't work.
I would like to know if anyone has been able to find the bags for crews shown at the crewcoldstorage.com. I have not been able to find that site.
I always carry at least one MRE (meal ready to eat), otherwise known as a Military ration. Be sure to remove the flameless heater out of the bag prior to travel (the TSA tends to hassle you about them). But I know some people are thinking, "eww these things are horrible". But the quality of the food has improved over the years. Being an FA for domestic express carrier, I find myself not being able to leave the A/C during quick turns, sometimes it is a nice quick meal to have. Just fill the coffee pot with hot water, stuff the pouch into the pot, turn on the warmer and let it sit for about ten minutes. Be careful when removing the pouch, tear open and enjoy.
I would suggest bringing fresh food that does not need to be iced like apples, oranges, and bananas (wrapped in foil). Also whole wheat bread, oatmeal, nuts, and canned tuna is all healthy and doesn't need icing. If you don't mind icing bring low fat yogurt with fresh berries, lean cuisines, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, etc. Lean cuisines, I would highly recommend, because they are highly satisfying and since they are frozen they keep the rest of your food cold. They can easily be warmed in coffee pots (put them in a zip lock baggie, of course). You can pretty much bring anything if you plan on using coffee pots to warm your food; your left over meals that have been frozen, canned soup, canned beans, canned veggies, canned fruit.
I used to freeze left over pizza and heat it with the iron in the room. Wrapped in tin foil of course. You can do the same with cheese sandwiches and use flour tortillas instead of bread. I have even been desperate enough to heat canned pasta up in the coffee pot using the "hot plate" in the room. It does take a long time.
I usually bring bread in a plastic storage container, bananas (wrapped in foil to keep from bruising) and a couple of packets of mayo.. adn make banana sandwiches. REALLY GOOD, healthy too. I bring dried fruit.. that come in bags at grocery store. Ms Mcfearmans brunswick stew ( sold in grocery store in yellow can. Heat in A/C oven in a metal pan I bring along. Bring sliced cheese put with bread a little butter ( can usually get some off A/C. and make a grilled cheese togo with soup in winter! That's my ideas. I have flown for 20 years.. nd learn something everyday.. from others!
Let's face it... it just plain sucks. I tend to pack food for the first two days then try to stock up again at a grocery store locally wherever I end up. Unfortunatly I don't have a miraculous answer, but if you do SPEAK UP!
I know why you are asking. I fly on small planes no ovens or microwaves only a coffee maker. The hotel rooms don't have microwaves or ovens. I know several FA's have gotten clever with the warmer in the coffee maker. I don't know what to eat either. I get sick of the same boxed meal with canned tuna every day. I could use ideas for this situation too.
My wife and I are flight attendants in the US and for the past 2 years have been using food cooler bags from CrewColdStorage.com. The bags hold-up incredibly well, but the best is that the ice stays very cold and solid! Not to mention the fact that unlike other bags we've had, it has never leaked on us! I've attached a photo from their website for you!
Kayla, I wasn't laughing at you. Just the idea. In fact I've only ever made one long flight, from Melbourne Austraila, to Toronto Canada (and back)
The food was pretty okay (or maybe it seemed to be because it was a novelty for me to be on a plane)
I really hope you do get some terrific ideas that you can use.
ELLIE- the thing is when you have been flying for 10 years, you get sick of chicken or beef. I'm glad you find it funny but eating that at least 4 times a week, is gross.. Not to mention you have no idea what is in the airplane foods..perservatives...it is so unhealthy and some things have been frozen for years!! If you only knew everything, you wouldn't be touching them either.. thankyou.
Kayla I will try to think of something when I stop laughing! If the flight attendant doesn't like the food what hope have us poor passengers got!
When our boys were growing up, I made 5-6 kinds of casseroles at a time and froze them in individual portions. If they had to go do fieldwork right away, they could microwave one while they changed clothes, pour a glass of milk and have 1-2 slices of bread or buns - complete meal. For the farm workers, I'd bake many types of cookies and buns. Then I'd pack their lunches and freeze them. This bag might have a bun with summer sausage and 2 different cookies. The next one might have cheese or salmon and 2 donuts - when they were ready to go, they could grab a bag from the freezer and they were off. Made it easier for me and for them. Salads are easy to pack - keep meat and/or cheese seperate so the lettuce won't get soggy and leave the dressing in a seperate cup so you add it at the last minute. Wendy's and Arby's have wonderful salads you can pick up on your way to the airport and if you have a frig., you're good to go! With all the neat assortments of bread now, you can make so many different variations of sandwiches. Make some good homemade soup when you have a day at home and freeze it in one serving containers. You need someone to come in and cook all this for you so it is ready to go, huh??
Check out 'Vegan Lunchbox'. It's a blog & has great ideas for food & storage. Also look into how the Japanese pack lunch boxes. Ideas for food are always yummy & you can eat them hot or cold.
if you can use the airplane oven, then a frozen dinner, bought or homemade in those sectioned boxes or plates, will keep in a cooler and be defrosting until you eat on the plane. next, bring hard cooked eggs, yogurt(can probably buy at destination) and crackers. cereals in variety packs hold milk you buy there, so don't need bowls.
Kayla, surely you could carry a small insulated lunchbag type thing or the soft-sided kind of cooler. Stouffer's makes good frozen meals that can be fixed in the oven. I don't know how long tho and if you would get to have use of an oven for as long as you'd need. If you could find some foil containers to pack leftovers in and then could heat up on the oven, perhaps that'd work. If you can bring something with to keep things cold, then you could always pack salads. Cottage cheese with peaches or pineapple is always good. I know cold sandwiches get old after a while. If you'd have access to a cooktop, you could heat soup. I don't think soup made hot and put in a thermos would stay hot long enough. Isn't there any part of the airline meal that you could be satisfied with? Then just eat some of it and fill in with things you bring. I don't know if you mentioned what time of day you'd be eating. You could also bring hard-boiled eggs, make up tuna salad or chicken salad. Hope this helps.
hey great idea!THANKS! UNFORTUNATELY, i have no microwave, and most of the time the hotels don't have fridges or a microve there as well.. on the aircraft we only have conventional ovens..that's why i need ideas that i can bring on a plane that won't rot easily nor i need to defrost... any ideas?? thx
I'm really not sure what you have to work with. I'm assuming you have a mircowave on the plane? Here is what I would do -- Buy those plastic plates that are sectioned off. Big box stores sell them. You can also find sectioned plates in the kid part of the store. Then place whatever food you would like in the different sections. Freeze, and then reheat later in a microwave. You are basically making your own, healthy TV dinners. If you don't have a mircowave, you can put snacks like pretzels and veggies into the compartments, and maybe a sandwich.
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