So you’ve made the decision to go away with your baby or toddler… but apart from remembering the mountains of kit needed to help facilitate a stress-free holiday, what about the matter of feeding your little one on this adventurous journey?
I am a true advocate of travelling with kids at home or abroad, but I’d be lying if I said it was painless and easy. The key, in my experience, is to organise and prepare. But more importantly – to be as flexible as possible.
When it comes to food for babies or young toddlers, it needn’t be an uphill struggle. I’ve recently started weaning – and decided to go with homemade purees and meals, with the intention of mixing and matching shop brought baby food, which let’s be honest, is so much easier when you’re out and about.
But what happens if your baby, like mine, detests the stuff? I’ve tried every brand going, and the only food he will eat is mine. Kudos to my cooking skills but a little awkward when we have to travel.
After having to find products and a method that works for me, it got me thinking ahead to our big trip to South Africa at the end of the year. Peanut will be nearly one and I’m hoping it will be easier to manage his tastes while we are travelling across the country as he will be eating more solid foods rather than the mushy stuff.
But what if that proves not to be the case? Well I’ve come up with a plan – and regardless of whether you’re staying in a hotel or self-catering accommodation, these handy products will make life a lot easier if you are travelling abroad with a baby and want to feed homemade food. It’s not as hard as you think…
Insulated food bag and ice packs
A great way to keep homecooked meals fresher for longer is to use an insulated food bag. Not only have I done this on long car journeys around the UK, but if you’re travelling by plane, you are allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey – as well as ice gels to keep them cool. It also means once you get to your destination you can do the same if you have to stay away from your accommodation for any length of time.
A portable blender/food mill
Imagine you’re in a hotel or restaurant, and nothing on offer seems to be suitable for your little one? Most establishments now will cater for young babies – so all you have to do is ask. I mean how hard is it for a restaurant to steam some vegetables? And it’s even easier if you have a portable blender that can puree vegetables and fruits in a matter of seconds… There are so many on the market now that are small and rechargeable. If you don’t want a hi-tech one, then the brilliant food mill mushes manually and you can feed straight from the top of it. For something even simpler, choose a manual masher which would do the trick, too.
If you really want to splash the cash, then a steamer and blender all in one can do both of the above, and there are portable compact versions available on the market which can fit neatly in luggage or thrown into the back of a car if you’re going on a road trip.
Thermos food jar
Over recent months this has been a lifesaver for me especially when I’ve been out all day. Sometimes it’s not always possible to heat up food, so a small thermos food jar keeps a meal hot for up to five hours. This would be useful to use in conjunction with the blender above, for instance, if you’ve made something up at lunchtime, you can have extra for dinner later and know it will be hot!
Food cubes and extra containers
Going on a long car journey? Then throw some frozen food cubes in an insulated bag. By the time they’ve thawed, they will still be fresh and ready to eat. The same can be done if you choose to go self-catering abroad. Make a batch of food, freeze them and you’ll have fresh food for later on in the day if you have to go on a day trip. Extra containers always come in handy, especially ones with lids.
Instant baby food to go
If you’re really stuck while your travelling, particularly when you’re abroad, choose foods that are instant. Bananas and avocado, for example, can be mushed up with a fork and given straight away.
Take some tried-and-tested
Take some familiar snacks and food with you just in case. Peanut loves his porridge, and it’s made by just adding boiling water. This is a quick fix if you need something filling and nutritious and unable to get something suitable for a time. The same for snacks, which can be easily packed in your luggage and shouldn’t take up too much room.