Travel Food Tips for babies & toddlers
The most difficult thing to manage while traveling with babies & toddlers is their food. Hence, in this post, I’ll be sharing some of the best travel food tips which I’m sure will be helpful while planning a trip with kids. Also, I will be covering travel food tips for 0 to 3-year-old kids, which are the most difficult child stages when it comes to traveling.
When we talk about planning a vacation with kids, many moms start getting anxiety attacks. Because for them traveling with kids is not a vacation. It is still easy to manage kids at home however while traveling it becomes a herculean task for some. What if I tell you that with proper planning & the travel food tips am sharing, you too can enjoy your vacation to the best?
If you have been following me for some time now, then you must be aware of how much we love traveling with Nemit. We have traveled extensively with our son (who is presently 3 years old) since he was a little baby.
And with experience, we have learned a lot of travel tricks which I love sharing with my friends & readers. So, without wasting any further time, let’s get back on with the topic. And help you plan a perfect vacation.
You may also read- How to plan a kid-friendly holiday?
I am categorizing the travel food tips according to age from baby to infant to toddler as every stage has a different food need.
1- Travel Food Tips when traveling with a baby (1 to 6 months old)
It is usually said that the mother & the baby should stay at home & take rest for the first 45 days after delivery. Since the newborn babies are prone to infections as their immune systems are not fully developed. And, mothers need time to recover & regain energy.
But, this is also the time when we mothers feel the most restless & just want to run away from all the hectic & sleepless schedule. If you happen to plan a vacation when your baby is in the age group 1 to 6 months old, you actually don’t have to think much if you are exclusively breastfeeding.
In case, you are using bottle feeds (either pumped milk or formula milk), I would suggest you to either skip traveling for the first 6 months. Or, not to travel far & long. Simply because there will be a lot to pack. But, if you can manage that, then go ahead & have fun!
Tips for traveling with bottle fed babies
- Carrying a sterilizer is a must
- Pack at least 3 bottles (or more) depending on how much time you will be spending outdoors
- Don’t forget to carry the powder dispenser (if the baby is on formula feed)
- Also, a flask to carry hot water while on the move
Nemit’s 1st official long road trip was when he was 2 months old. We literally had to pack the whole house in our bags even though he was exclusively breastfed. So, plan wisely! Try staycation instead of a vacation.
2- Travel Food Tips when traveling with an infant (6 to 12 months old)
Once your baby starts semi-solids, it’s a good time to take them out on a vacation. However, you will still have to pack a lot since their food needs a lot of preparation.
Now, again if you are breastfeeding, your load of packing will lessen down. But, there’s no hiding if your baby takes the bottle feed.
The good part is you can plan the weekend getaways or a small vacation if you have just introduced solids & following the 3-day rule. So, you can just carry on with the breast/bottle/formula feed & give mashed bananas or any other fruit in between feeds.
Nemit’s 2nd long trip was Goa when he was 7 months old & that was also his first flight experience.
Tips for traveling with infants
- Do pack the above-mentioned things if your baby takes the bottle feed
- Carrying a sterilizer is still a must
- Also, keep a small bowl, spoon & a masher (all sterilizable)
- Give fruits which can be peeled off (banana, mango, chikoo, papaya, etc)
- You can also carry baby food such as cerelac (homemade cerelac is a great option)
- For 8 month+ babies, you can carry snacks as well, very helpful to keep them occupied (carry teething snacks is also a great option if your baby is teething)
Don’t experiment with outside food for your baby, give only freshly cut fruits & homemade food/snacks.
I would suggest not to give any packaged food to babies at least for a year. Also, avoid sugar & salt.
3- Travel Food Tips when traveling with a toddler (1 to 2 years old)
Most babies start walking around 12-18 months. They get more curious & interested in exploring their surroundings. You can easily carry them in a stroller & they will enjoy the ride as well as the experience.
We planned an International trip to Malaysia for celebrating Nemit’s 1st birthday. We went completely prepared & had a great vacation.
That made us plan another International trip to the Maldives just after a month & that too was super amazing.
Next vacation was a 10 day trip to Kerala when Nemit was 19 months old.
At this age, babies don’t remember anything but they enjoy a lot if the plans are made keeping their comfort & needs in mind. A year old baby starts eating almost everything. Most parents even start giving them the same food that the family eats. We did the same & that helped a lot. Just carry the travel essentials and you are sorted.
Tips for traveling with young toddlers
- No need to carry the sterilizer anymore, make sure you clean the bottles & bowls with hot water immediately after feeding & again clean with boiling water before next feed.
- Let your toddler eat whatever food is available, do check for excess salt/sugar/chilly. Also, make sure that your baby is not allergic to any food item.
- If they don’t like the food, ask for bread, plain rice, baked beans, baked potatoes, french fries (these are easily available)
- Carry a lot of snacks with you (preferably homemade & healthy)
- Fruits are always a savior (at least in our case)
4- Travel Food Tips when traveling with a toddler (2 to 3 years old)
As per our experience, 2 to 3 years old toddler stage is the best when it comes to traveling & exploring new places. These little humans are just amazing if we can just ignore their tantrums. They love everything & enjoy every new experience.
For us, 2018 turned out to be really amazing as we were able to achieve most of our travel goals. We traveled to 9 new places in India in just 1 year. Check out our travel list below-
- Jan – Andaman Islands
- Feb- Jim Corbett National Park
- May- Kasauni
- July- Udaipur & Mt. Abu
- Aug- Pondicherry
- Oct- Kashmir (Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonmarg)
- Nov- Kaziranga National Park & Meghalaya (Shillong, Cherrapunjee, Dawki)
- Dec- Mukteshwar & Nainital
- Dec- Manali (Solang Valley)
By this list, you must have gotten an idea of how much we’d enjoyed traveling with our toddler. We packed only 2 medium sized bags even for the longest vacation & we survived.
Also, we didn’t carry any specific food items with us except some of Nemit’s favorite snacks. And, we even allowed him to eat packaged snacks, cookies & chocolates (for the first time ever once he completed 2 years, and in limit). Only because, we wanted to travel light.
So, in my opinion, this toddler stage is the best to plan vacations, road trips & adventure trips. They will enjoy every bit of it & you can be totally stress-free.
However, always be prepared for any difficult situation which may arrive while traveling. Stay calm & focussed while dealing with any such problem.
I have only 1 tip to share here-
If you really wish to travel care-free with your baby, start a routine early on. This may include following a sleep schedule for babies & maintaining good eating habits soon after they start solids. Also, the more you travel with your baby, the more they get used to the changed environment & new faces.
Another important tip for booking hotel/resort-
We recently traveled to Krabi, Thailand with our 3-year-old & stayed at an Airbnb villa with an attached kitchenette. So far, this was our best stay, we carried all ready to cook meals (rotis, parathas, biryani, dal, rajma, noodles & pasta) with us. And, prepared everything on our own. So there was no need for cutting & chopping veggies and no wasting time while cooking. And, we saved around 30k in our budget by not eating out at the restaurant.
Booking an Airbnb is also a great option when traveling with infants, as you can prepare baby food easily. You can even skip carrying a sterilizer since you can simply boil baby’s bottles, bowl & spoons.
I hope I’ve answered all your travel-food related questions. If you still have any queries, you can write them down in the comments below. Or, can simply DM me on Instagram (where I’m most active).
You can also follow us on social media to know more about our travel & expeditions –
Instagram – @growing_with_nemit
Facebook – @growingwithnemit
Twitter – @growingwitnemit
YouTube – Growing With Nemit