Starbucks: You know it, you love it, you rely on it when you have a 6 a.m. flight and nothing else is open in the JetBlue terminal. But before you reach for a cake pop and milkshake-like “coffee,” read on for some healthier menu options, as offered up by five nutritionists.
1. “One of my go-to drinks at Starbucks is an unsweetened berry hibiscus tea. I love its tart and refreshing flavor, and it’s a great hydrating option without caffeine. Another favorite is an almond milk latte, extra hot, with a double shot of espresso and no added sugar. I’m lactose intolerant, so almond milk is my preferred nondairy alternative.” —Maya Feller, registered dietitian
2. “I’m a tea lover, so I usually order a jasmine green tea or an unsweetened matcha latte with nut or oat milk, which is packed with antioxidants. If it’s later in the day or if I’m planning on taking a nap on the flight, I’ll choose a chamomile or herbal tea. Snack-wise, even though there are many decadent treats, your best and healthiest options are found in the refrigerated section. I recommended putting together your own snack plate from a combination of two or three of these boxes. Since I follow a plant-based diet, I typically get a box with some fresh crudités (usually carrot, cucumber and celery sticks), then add some avocado spread or guacamole and some raw nuts or apple slices on the side.” —Serena Poon, chef, nutritionist and Reiki master
3. “For a drink, I usually go for the cold brew or nitro cold brew with almond or oat milk—yes, even in the winter. Cold brew is low in calories and has no added sugar or extra ingredients. For food, I love any type of fresh fruit, which is high in fiber and a good source of complex carbs. When it comes to snacks, it really depends on my hunger level. If I’m looking for something more filling, I opt for a Siggi’s yogurt or Perfect Bar. If I’m looking for a crunchy or salty snack, I love Moon Cheese, which is high in protein and a great source of calcium, or kale chips, which are a good source of fiber and a great way to get more vegetables in.” —Brittany Modell, registered dietitian and founder of Brittany Modell Nutrition & Wellness
4. “I always get a Mint Majesty herbal tea, as mint helps with focus and clarity for the day. If I’m getting breakfast, I usually order a steamed coconut milk with the classic oatmeal, which I find is the cleanest and lowest in fat content. When I’m really hungry, I’ll add an order of avocado spread, which I’ll eat with a spoon instead of bread.” —Dina Khader, nutritionist and owner of the Khader Group in Mount Kisco, New York
5. “When I’m feeling a cold drink, my go-to is the Iced Passion Tango Tea. I always get it unsweetened without any liquid cane sugar. This hibiscus blend is low in sugar, contains antioxidants and is so refreshing. When I’m feeling a hot drink, I choose a Caffè Americano with a splash of half-and-half. The espresso in this drink makes it a richer cup of coffee with tons of flavor. I don’t like sweet coffee drinks, but the half-and-half provides the perfect balance of creaminess. It doesn’t give me a sugar crash and always increases my energy without making me jittery. I usually don’t buy food at Starbucks, but I will grab the packaged almonds or a KIND bar if I need a pick-me-up with my drink, since they both provide protein, fiber and healthy fat.” —Hillary Cecere, registered dietitian for Eat Clean Bro