Tired of those tired meals the airlines serve in coach (assuming you even get a meal these days!)? With today’s restrictions on beverages and carry-on luggage, packing a lunch can present even the most seasoned traveler with a culinary challenge. Here are some strategies to help you arrive at your destination sated and sans guilt!

Beat the Beverage Ban. Many airlines restrict what beverages you can take onboard, so focus on getting well hydrated the day before a flight. Once on the plane, limit the amount of tea, soda, alcohol or coffee you consume, as experts say these drinks can cause dehydration. Stick to bottled water while traveling, to avoid contamination.

Pump Up the Protein. Prior to boarding your flight, eat a meal high in protein. This will stave off hunger pangs longer than a meal high in carbohydrates.

Focus on Fiber. Fill up on foods that are high in fiber, such as old-fashioned oatmeal, advise the experts. But steer clear
of the instant oatmeal cereals, which are loaded with sugar.

Pack Snacks. Carrying on healthful snacks, such as raisins, almonds and low-fat granola, can prevent you from packing on the pounds. To comply with federal aviation rules, put your snacks in a clear plastic sandwich bag (this also serves as a way to control portion sizes). Other snacks that are healthy and easily portable include grapes, trail mix, baby carrots, whole-wheat muffins and oatmeal cookies, all of which appeal to children. A word of caution: Never take a jar of peanut butter onto a flight; this food is prohibited, owing to the high risk of allergic reaction among other passengers.

Source: The Los Angeles Times.