For the millions flying during the holiday season, 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 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.
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 a salad with hearty kale. Don't bother with food that needs a knife; lentils (with brown rice) are a fork-friendly protein source we love.
As a rule, we're twice as excited to eat meals served in stack-able Indian tiffins. And it's hard to poke a leak in Ziploc Twist 'n Loc containers.
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.
Prepare for inevitable delays with granola bars, nuts, sliced veggies, or fruit. (Or pack 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. Bring a couple of squares to resist the pull of the king-size Twix.