How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

Photo by Jeremy LiebmanPhoto by Jeremy LiebmanBy Meryl Rothstein, Bon Appétit

For the millions flying during the holidays, Thanksgiving overindulgence starts right after that TSA pat-down. That's because finding healthful food in an airport can be trickier than getting space in an overhead bin. Those Cinnabons smell incredible, but we'd much rather save the calories for Aunt Hilda's pumpkin pie. Avoiding the pitfalls is possible--if you plan ahead. Here, BA staffers (who are just a little obsessive about this sort of thing) share tips on how to survive the trip.

Read More: Foolproof Fall Party Appetizers

Cook at Home
It's the last thing you want to do when packing. But when hunger kicks in midflight, you'll be grateful. Just don't get too ambitious. Pick dishes that can be served at room temperature and won't wilt, like the salad with hearty kale shown above. Don't bother with food that needs a knife; lentils (with brown rice) are a fork-friendly protein source we love.

Store It Right
As a rule, we're twice as excited to eat meals served in stack-able Indian tiffins (shown above). And it's hard to poke a leak in Ziploc Twist 'n Loc containers.

Read More: 25 Ways to Use Sriracha

Stop + Shop
Didn't cook? Before hitting the airport, buy a sandwich made on sturdy bread. (Skip tomatoes and mayo, which will make it soggy, and don't even think about one that's warm.) Undressed salads are good--call us crazy, but we buy 3-oz. travel bottles for vinaigrette. Totally worth the strange looks.

Pack Snacks
Prepare for inevitable delays with granola bars, nuts, sliced veggies, or fruit. (Or follow the lead of executive editor Christine Muhlke, who packs digestion-boosting papaya slices and lime wedges in a take-out container.) Even if you didn't plan ahead, it's easier than ever to find most of these snacks (except that papaya) at airports. But read labels: Some granola bars might as well be candy bars. (We like Larabars.)

Go Ahead, Get Dessert
Just a little rich dark chocolate can satisfy sugar cravings. Deputy copy chief Faye Chiu brings a couple of squares to resist the pull of the king-size Twix.

More from Bon Appétit:

10 Snacks You Thought Were Healthy But Really Aren't
15 Ways to Use Apples This Fall
Bon Appétit's Guide to Fast, Easy Meals
Fall's Most Delicious Salads