Traveling with baby can be challenging, especially if you’re making all of your own baby food. I’m very intentional with how I feed my children…there are things we stay away from (gluten and dairy), so traveling takes planning and lots of prep work. However, a vacation or a move doesn’t have to cause a headache concerning baby’s meals (just a lot of sweat to get all that baby gear through airline security). So, here’s a few tips:
First of all, those pouches of pureed food by “Plum Organics” or “Earth’s Best” are one of the best inventions ever. My experience traveling and prepping food for a trip was for a family trip to Mexico for a week. I packed about 20 of these pouches, so I’d have at least 2 per day. I put them in my checked suitcase. Of course, when I picked up my suitcase, it had been searched. (I’m sure my bag caused quite the alarm with all of the liquid food crammed into one big pocket. Nothing was confiscated though.)
Ziploc baggies, in all different sizes, will be your best friend. Prepare your pureed food ahead of time. Freeze each serving in a snack size bag. Then pile your frozen snack bags into gallon ziplocs. I was able to put these galloon ziplocs (I had two of them) in my check-on and explain to security that it was baby food. PLEASE, check the airline security website for what they will allow you to take on the plane concerning liquids, but once they searched all of my food, I was ok to take it through. Even before I prepared all of this food, I had called airline security to make sure that I would be allowed to take this baby food through with the way I was packaging it.
Pack everything frozen, so if it thaws, you can just stick it in the fridge or freezer when you arrive at your destination. Or, if you’re driving, make stops to add ice to your cooler as needed. I was able to put all of my baggies right into a fridge in our hotel room, so everything was thawed and ready to use throughout the week. If you’re driving, I’d definitely set out the food to thaw so it’s ready when baby is ready to eat.
What were my ziplocs filled with? I took pureed kale, diced sweet potatoes, and whole green beans. My daughter was over a year old by this time and eating more chunky foods. Also, I knew I would be able to get eggs, rice, and beans at the buffet, plus plenty of fresh fruits and steamed veggies. I made seven snack baggies of kale (one bag per day for the week). This way I made sure she got her serving of kale every day of the week we were there. I stirred the thawed kale into a little bowl of smashed black beans or rice, or I would squeeze a “Plum Organics” pouch into a bowl and stir the kale in. The diced sweet potatoes and green beans were perfect snacks to take to the beach.
Dried foods– I took packets of instant oatmeal (gluten free) like McCann’s Irish Oatmeal. I also packed powdered goat milk. I mixed these two together to give my daughter creamy oatmeal for breakfast. Larabars-I took the snack sized ones. They were perfect for the plane ride and the beach. One of her favorite snacks are “Pirate’s Booty Veggie” puffs. I put a large unopened bag of these in my carry on for easy access and took extra snack ziplocs to carry them to the beach.
Your carry-on–Because your food supply is very important, take everything but the pouches in your carry-on. They did not allow the pouches through security when I was flying (in 2010). Gallon ziplocs of frozen food, oatmeal, powdered milk (make sure it’s in a bag, not a tin), Larabars, veggie puffs, and any other dried foods you use. I figured if they confiscated all of the pouches out of my checked bag, I would have enough food in my carry-on, plus the food I knew she could eat at the buffet.
Traveling with a baby under a year? Pack more pureed food, of course, and take advantage of those “Plum Organics” and “Earth’s Best” pouches.