NBC Correspondent Eats Baby Food While Traveling
White House correspondent Halle Jackson says it’s "delicious, "nutritious" and a good way to get your greens.
Eating healthy while traveling can be difficult, especially when you're on the road for work, under pressure and on a tight schedule. Zipping from airport to meeting and back again, you shove whatever fast food you can find (pizza, burger, mini-bar snacks) in your mouth as you go. It's easy for your fruit and veggie consumption to fall by the wayside.
Halle Jackson, who flies all over the world as NBC chief White House correspondent knows how it is: in the last year alone, she logged 250,000 travel miles.
"It can be really tough to find decent veggies when you're racking up highway miles or bouncing from airport to airport," she recently told Bloomberg.com.
But Jackson has found an ingenious solution way to eat her greens while on the go: She throws a few squeeze-pouches of organic baby food in her bag.
"A Ziploc bagful doesn't go bad, and it's a perfect supplement to fast-food meals on the road," she said.
Jackson says the TSA doesn't give her any trouble about going over the allowed ounce-limit, but admits she has been the recipient of some strange looks while going through airport security.
"I had one TSA agent say to me: 'But you don't have a baby with you,'" she told Bloomberg. "I said, 'I know, they're for me.'"
Unusual, sure, but Virginia-based Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide, calls Jackson's baby-food travel hack "a terrific, creative idea," a nutritional solution that is nicely portable, and particularly useful for people traveling to places where the water may be unsafe for drinking.
Brands vary, Weisenberger tells Healthy Eats, "but in general peas are peas and kale is kale...there's not much difference between baby food green beans and canned green beans other than the texture." Bringing baby food on a trip is, she says, a solid "plan B strategy when you can't get what you need because of a difficult travel schedule."
However, Weisenberger cautions, "particle size of fiber makes a difference in health" so it's probably best not to rely on pureed foods long-term, and it's important, too, to make sure the nutritious foods we eat are tasty.
Jackson, whose go-to brand is Happy Baby and who does try to eat in local restaurants when she can, insists eating baby food from a squeeze pouch on the road is no hardship.
"I'm not even a little bit ashamed to say that the pear-kale-spinach one tastes delicious," she told Bloomberg. "It's a well-rounded, fairly nutritious meal when you're sitting in a car, driving six hours from one point in Iowa to another."
Persuasive in theory, but I'm not sure I'd actually want to try it.