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The Best Travel Food for Babies


Your baby eats great at home, but you’re about to go on vacation, so now what? The best travel food for babies makes it easy to feed your little one on the road or in the sky. A hungry baby is never fun, but a hungry baby on an airplane makes the list of the top situations I do not enjoy being in. It’s important to be prepared with some easy, healthy snacks to keep your little one’s tummy full and content. 

Best Baby Puffs:
Best Baby Pouches:
Best Baby Snack Bars:


Best Travel Food for Babies

Gerber Puffs

Gerber Puffs are such an easy and non-messy food. While it’s not going to fill up your baby’s tummy, it’s a great distraction as you go from point A to point B. In addition, you don’t have to worry about your little one choking on them in their car seat. The dissolvable snack is the perfect treat for traveling with babies. 

If your baby is past the puffs phase, consider getting a cereal like Cheerios. They can also make for great entertainment on an airplane. Anything to get through that plane ride with a baby! 

Finally, make sure to store puffs in a container securely. Otherwise, they can become stale and hard. There’s nothing like going to feed your baby and realizing the food has gone bad. 

Bananas 

One of the best fruits for traveling with babies is bananas, either in a disposable container like above or with the peel. You don’t have to worry about washing them or storing them in a container to keep them clean. To avoid potential choking, I don’t recommend your little one a banana while you are driving. 

If you don’t have one already, consider picking out one of the best lunch bags to keep all your baby’s food in one place. Finding a handy, insulated bag will help things stay fresh and cool. 

RELATED: The 14 Best Baby Foods

Food Pouches

I’ve always considered wipes to be a mom’s best friend, and pouches are a close second. Pouches are an easy snack to throw in your diaper bag and have on standby for when your baby is hungry. Remember, an open pouch should be refrigerated, so if you don’t have access to one, you will need to discard it after about an hour. 

I also like pouches because they aren’t as messy as other foods. Of course, babies can find a way to be messy with just about anything, but the convenient pouch makes for an easy snack, and they are simple to dispose of when your baby is finished. We recommend Plum Organics brand of pouches.

Jarred Baby Food 

While I am a fan of pouches, they can get pricey, and sometimes your best bet for traveling is jarred baby food. If your baby is 6 months or older, baby food is the easiest thing to serve while you are on the go. There is such a wide variety of foods on store shelves these days, so you will have no problem finding something to please your little one. These Mama Bear Baby Food Jars are reasonably-priced and great for travel.

What I also like about jarred baby food is when you are finished, you can clean it out and then toss it into the recycling bin. If you are used to making your own baby food, invest in some quality to-go containers and bring those along with you. Keep in mind; you likely will need to keep it cool for it to stay fresh. 

RELATED: The Best Jarred Baby Food 

Cheese Sticks 

Cheese sticks are a great source of protein for little ones and can help their bellies feel full longer. I love that cheese sticks can easily come apart to make it easier for babies to eat. Babies can begin eating cheese once they hit that magical 6-month mark. 

Make sure to pick out the full-fat cheese. Not only does it provide protein, but it also offers calcium and other vitamins. All my kids love string cheese, and I love to pair it with fruit when I offer it to them. It’s also a non-messy food that is easy to serve while on the go. Dry cheese snacks, like Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish Crackers, are also a good grab-and-go snack if your baby is able to eat them easily.

RELATED: The Best Cheeses to Feed Baby

Berries 

Another easy food to travel with is berries. Whether your little one likes strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or any other type of berry, they provide an easy, healthy snack while traveling. While berries can get messy, they are easy finger foods for babies to eat. They are also full of antioxidants and other vitamins. 

You want to make sure you wash and pre-cut any fruit before you head out on your trip, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about while you are on the go. In addition, I would recommend putting them in Tupperware-like containers to avoid getting smashed in a ziplock bag. If you’re unable to take fresh berries with you, these Happy Baby Organics Creamies are made with some berries.

Hard-Boiled Eggs 

While it may seem like an odd travel food choice, hard-boiled eggs are a great food to have on hand for babies. Using a quick hardboiled egg maker, like the Cuisinart Egg Cooker, will help you whip up some hardboiled eggs easily. As long as your child is at least 6 months of age and has already eaten eggs without a problem, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pack some for your next trip. These Vital Farms Egg Bites could be a good option as well. 

Eggs provide an excellent source of protein and are easy to transport. Little hands can get messy if they squish them too much, but eggs are a low-maintenance food overall. Do make sure you keep them chilled, so they don’t spoil. 

Snack Bars 

While you want to avoid any snack bars with added sugars, bars can be a great travel snack for babies. I’m a huge fan of Larabars because they only have a handful of ingredients and keep bellies full for a while. Consider getting the minis since a young child likely doesn’t need a full bar. As a note, a large number of Larabars do contain nuts, so only give them to your child if you know they do not have an allergy. 

Another stellar choice for babies is the Plum Organic Mighty Snack Bars. They provide 4 food groups, 5 grams of whole grains, and 11 vitamins and minerals in every single bar. In addition, they are certified organic and free of GMOs. In other words, they are a terrific food for babies when traveling. 

Tips for Serving Food to Babies While Traveling 

Don’t Forget the Wipes

Babies are messy, to begin with, but throw in a road trip or airplane ride, and you’re likely in for an extra mess. Wipes are my BFF, and I never leave home without them. They can literally clean up anything, and that is precisely why they should tag along on any trip with your little one. 

I’m also a fan of reusable placemats since you never know how clean surfaces are while traveling. The placemats easily fold up and can be stashed away in your bag after a quick wipe down. They are great for airplane trays, restaurants, and hotel rooms. 

Avoid Sugary Foods 

It’s important to avoid anything with too much sugar while traveling. It’s not going to satisfy their hunger, and they will, in turn, be bouncing off the walls. The problem is, they can’t bounce off the walls of an airplane or inside of a car. 

Opt for foods with a good combination of protein, fiber, and carbs to ensure they eat a balanced meal. Save the sweet treats for when you get to your destination, and there is space for them to run off the sugar. 

Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated 

While potty breaks every 20 minutes are not ideal, it’s important to keep your little one hydrated. Often, we think about all the snacks we need to bring but forget about giving our kids something to drink. Water is always your best option, but keep in mind the age of your child. Whether they require formula or breastmilk, you mustn’t forget to pack it. 

Best Food Containers for Traveling 

Hopefully, you’ve found a quality lunch bag to store your food in from our list, but it’s also a wise idea to find sturdy reusable containers. It will help things stay fresher and avoid getting damaged in transport.

These are my top three picks for storing your food while traveling. 

Reusable Pouches 

SQUOOSHI Reusable Baby Food Pouches - 5 oz - 6 Large Pouches - Baby Food Storage - Pouches Toddler - Refillable Squeeze Pouch for Kids
Price$$
Popularity

If you are making your own baby food at home, consider putting the puree in reusable pouches. It will help save a few bucks since pre-made pouches tend to be expensive. I really like the Squooshi Reusable Pouches. For just under $10, you get a 6 count of 5 oz pouches. They also come with adorable animal prints on the front. 

The pouches have none of the bad stuff – BPA, lead, or PVC and can be thrown right into the dishwasher. The curved design makes it easy for little hands to hold on to and enjoy while on the road or high in the sky. Once you get to your destination, you can easily clean them out for the next use. 

Bento Boxes

I’m a huge fan of bento boxes. They typically have several compartments to store food, and it closes tightly, so nothing leaks into another compartment. My favorite design is the bento box by Bentgo. It has five spaces for food, allowing you to have a full meal plus snacks for your kids.

Finally, it comes in 3 different colors, so if you’re like me with three children, there’s never a question about which box belongs to which kid. 

Collapsible Containers 

Since space isn’t always on your side when traveling, I really like the Vremi Silicone Food Containers because they can easily be collapsed and stored when not in use. They are BPA-free and are both dishwasher and microwave safe. 

I also like that the containers can go in the freezer. It makes it easy to freeze something the night before your trip and bring it along with you. They have an airtight lid to ensure nothing creeps out the sides. 

FAQs – Travel Food for Babies 

What baby food can go on an airplane?

Traveling with young children is stressful enough, but having to plan for meals can make things even harder. If you haven’t flown in a while, it makes sense to want to know what you can and cannot bring on an airplane. 

Juice, breastmilk, and formula are allowed through security. However, they do request any liquids are in reasonable quantities. In addition, you can bring jarred food as well. 

It’s important to notify TSA of what you are bringing through, as they will need to inspect it. Ice packs are allowed; however, you need to make sure they are solid. I had an ice pack taken because it was partially thawed. 

I have brought breastmilk through security, and I have requested they change their gloves before inspecting it. I’m sure they rolled their eyes at me, but I was not too fond of the idea of dirty gloves getting that close to my baby’s food. 

What foods should I avoid while traveling?

In addition to sugary foods, you want to avoid any potential choking hazards. This is especially vital if you are driving in the car. If your baby is strapped into their car seat while you are driving on the highway and they start to choke, you don’t have many options. It’s a scary situation you should avoid at all costs. 

Traveling isn’t the best time to experiment with new foods. It’s always a good idea to offer foods your child is familiar with and eat regularly. While cheese is a great snack, make sure you aren’t giving too much. Otherwise, they can get backed up in the digestive tract. That’s never fun for anyone. 

Finally, don’t stress too much if you leave anything behind. Remember that you can easily pick up some baby food for your little one no matter where you go. While it’s nice to be prepared, airports are well-stocked with food choices for children of all ages. While it might be pricier than your local grocery store, it will put food in your baby’s belly. 

Final Thoughts 

Traveling with little ones can be a bit intimidating. You want to make sure they stay happy, and part of that includes having the appropriate foods on hand. The best travel foods for babies provide convenient yet nutritious choices to serve while on the go. A happy baby equals happy parents, and that’s vital for an enjoyable travel experience! 

Sources

  1. Traveling with Children, www.tsa.gov

Kelly O'Lone    

I am a stay-at-home mom with three little ones, ages 6, 5 and 3. They certainly keep me on my toes for the majority of the day. My favorite way to parent is through humor and making my kids laugh. In my spare time, I enjoy writing about my parenting experiences and finding DIY projects around the house.



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