As part of my personal evolution as a travel blogger, this is an early post from Upgrd.com where I joined Matthew and other talented writers (including my husband) which would then merge with Travel Codex, another Boarding Area blog. Finally, we found our home here at Live and Let’s Fly with Matthew. As this is an early post, references have not been updated and may no longer remain accurate. Please enjoy this time capsule blog post.
Picky Eaters Worry Parents
“What will my baby eat abroad?”
“What food can I take when I fly with a baby?”
“What about local foods? I’m afraid that baby could get sick.”
What Food Should You Take?
There are certain food items that you should take with you on a trip, but don’t bother packing the kitchen sink. Here are some items that should make the list.
Remember that you can take milk/formula with you when you fly. Let the TSA know that you are traveling with frozen milk in your carry-on and they then screen the milk (and any other baby liquids you may have) by placing it on the scanner or swabbing the package and you are on your way. I once took a small cooler full (15-20 bags) of frozen milk for Lucy on our trip to Curaçao along with packing my awesome pump. (Medela Electric Breastpump – Pump In Style Advanced Backpack Set w/ Free Accessories.)
- Baby Food
I enjoyed making baby food from scratch and it was still easy to do while traveling! I would plan the time that I was going to make purees, and then I would pack them into these easy on-the-go “pouches.” When it came time to travel I brought my frozen pouches in a travel cooler (that came with my Medela Pump) and a few pouches that were thawed for the flight. Check out these on the go pouches.
(I also found these – Pack of 8 Reusable Baby Food Pouches. Extra Wide Opening for Easy Filling & Special Dual Zipper Prevents All Leaks. BPA and PVC Free & Comes With 120 Dis-solvable Labels for Marking Content.– I wish I would have found earlier!)
If making your own baby food isn’t for you don’t fret! There are so many great travel pouch options, here are just a few that we have found to be tasty and easy to pack; Plum Organics, NurturMe and Happy Family Brand.
- Plane snacks
Having snacks on hand is key, but keeping the perspective is important. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. You want food that has nutritional value and no mess! There is no need to really over-do carry-on snack food unless your child has special dietary restrictions.
I like to have a small bit of fruit (grapes, apple slices), raisins, applesauce pouches, granola/cereal bar, fruit leathers, etc.
When we are flying on these long haul flights I will pick my meals wisely. Meals that have veggies, rice, chicken, or other easy to eat items are easy to share with my child.
*Side note: I also took at least one sippy cup, or bottle with me during those appropriate months. It may be a good idea if your child is partial to a particular item like these to bring that along too!
What You Do Not Need
Your kitchen pantry. There are lists of things we can go through that you could bring, and that you should not bring but just remember that where you are going there are other children who eat and drink too! There will be places to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, and grains. In Thailand we found some of the most beautiful and tasty fruits and Lucy loved trying the new flavors. She loves eating steamed rice and fried egg. I knew she was getting sufficient amounts of nutrition in every meal we had and truth be told the food was so fresh and local she was probably eating better there than say a weekend away in New York City.
Another thing I noticed specifically while we were traveling in Asia was that at most restaurants and hotels, once we were seated the staff would bring over “child size” cutlery, plate, bowl and cup. This was a novel and adorable thing for us even though Lucy was still a bit too small for such items. She did enjoy playing with all of it though.
What Should You Avoid?
While we absolutely love street food, we use major caution with feeding Lucy from street vendors while we travel. This is just something we decided might be the best for her while she is small. We still ate amazing local dishes in Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico City and so forth.
Another thing to keep in consideration is sea food, shellfish, peanuts and the other obvious foods that may cause allergic reactions. We tried a few of these while at home and found that Lucy did just fine with most foods so we were okay with letting her have some of our seafood fried rice or grilled Salmon (also choosing seafood with lower mercury levels is safest).
Introducing New Foods
As I stated previously, we did introduce a few new foods to Lucy at home to make sure she would not have an adverse reaction while we were traveling. For example when she first had eggs, shrimp, fish, and peanut butter was all while we were at home. It is always a good idea to try these while you are home and can watch for any signs of allergic reaction or illness.
When we introduce new foods to her while we are traveling we just add a little bit at a time and see how she reacts to the taste and if her body has any reaction afterwards. I feel very lucky to say that we have a baby who loves to eat and loves trying new food! We even let her try some things that might be spicier or sour, sometimes she will shudder and pull a face, but then she usually asks for more!
Play it safe, or stick to what you feel most comfortable with trying. You will know what you and your child are ready for.
We have always aimed for Lucy to eat what we eat, not only making our travels easier, but it just makes everything easier. It is important to us that she is not afraid to try new things or becomes a finnicky eater. Hopefully this is something she will stick with and not outgrow.
What foods do you like to try with your child while traveling? Are there foods that you discovered while traveling and found to be surprisingly tasty?
What success have you found when feeding your baby away from home? What has been a problem for your child when eating abroad?