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Now that my daughter is growing up and eating solid foods regularly, it’s thrown another wrench in my travel preparations. When she was younger, I successfully brought hundreds of ounces of breastmilk whilst traveling with her. She still has milk daily, but much less of it than before.
At 10 months old, she loves to eat, and I am thankful for that! But how do I bring her food whilst traveling and prepare it on the go? Arya loves the food I prepare for her at home, and I’m going to try traveling with it. Since I make it myself, I know it’s healthy and doesn’t have any preservatives or additives.
My Favorite Healthy Eating for Baby Books
As a first time mom, I had no idea how to prepare healthy, delicious foods for my baby. But reading books like French Kids Eat Everything really helped. My baby eats steamed spinach, pickled carrots, blue cheese, risotto, salmon, pickled raw onions, plain yogurt… and just about anything else you put in front of her (OK, we are working on avocado)!
Some babies may be more adventurous eaters than others, but I think getting her on a regular eating schedule helped a lot. She has 3 meals a day–just like her parents–and 1 snack between lunch and dinner. The snack is usually frozen fresh fruit.
How I Prepare and Freeze Baby’s Foods
After I cook the food, I puree it with a hand blender. This tool has been the best at pureeing food in a snap. I have also used my Ninja, but prefer this for larger quantities of food. I try to create a healthy mix of vegetables/fruits/protein/fats/etc.
After I fill the ice cube tray, I put it in the freezer to set. Once it’s frozen, I put the cubes in freezer bags and then label the bag with the content description and the date. You will want to use the frozen food within 4-6 weeks from the date you freeze it to maintain the nutrients and taste.
When I need to take out frozen food for her upcoming meals, I’ll remove ~4 cubes from the freezer and put them in Ball jars with labels in the fridge. Plus, I emptied out a shelf in our fridge door and dedicated it to the baby. That way, it’s very easy to find all her food in a snap! And I can see what I need to pull out of the freezer for the next day.
There’s no right or wrong way to do things… this is our method. I have created a system that works for us here at home, but I haven’t yet tried traveling with large amounts of baby food.
Our Food Travel Plans
My plan is to prepare her food for the week and put them in breastmilk storage bags. This way, I can take a lot of food with me without the weight… and I don’t have to worry about it defrosting on accident, since I’ve traveled before with lots of frozen breastmilk! The TSA website says I can bring processed baby food, which I assume includes baby food that I’ve processed myself.
Update: I successfully brought hundreds of ounces of frozen food and breastmilk through TSA! The TSA agent spent 5 seconds checking my cooler and gave me the thumbs up. He said because it was frozen, he didn’t have to do any special tests!
In fact, I like this method so well that I’m considering using it for my home strategy as well. It’s so convenient to pull out several bags from the freezer, defrost them in the fridge, and then directly pour them into bowls to eat for a meal! And they take up A LOT less room in the freezer!
Breakfast and fruit will be easy to make while away since I can easily buy yogurt, mash fruits, and cook oatmeal. And I can bring grains like quinoa that will be easy to cook over a stovetop in case I need a backup.
Arya loves the food I prepare for her at home, and I’m going to try traveling with it. Since I make it at home, I know it’s healthy and doesn’t have any preservatives or additives. By bringing her food, I can focus on enjoying our time together as a family, instead of slaving away in a hotel kitchenette.
What do you do for food when traveling with your older baby?