This is a very interesting topic from my point of view (and I believe not only mine). And this is also something that everybody asks when they hear we go traveling with a baby. Everybody asks about food for a baby when traveling. In this post, I’ll be talking about babies that already started (or are just starting) solids (so somewhere between 6 and 12/15 months of age). Toddlers and food while traveling deserves a separate post! To be honest, I didn’t really think much about what we’ll do about the food for our first baby when we went to Indonesia for 6 weeks. I thought we would just figure it all out. And we really did. Our baby was 10 months old when we left.
Babies are flexible when it comes to food
Sure, they are all different, but mostly, babies love to try some new food. Even more than us, adults. We adults have prejudices that babies don’t have. Babies have no worries about food and traveling. Trying new food while traveling is even more interesting fort hem. After those first few months of introducing solids pass, babies start to really enjoy trying new food. Things don’t change once you change the environment (you travel). Well yes, there are certain rules when it comes to introducing solids, and they are different around the world. But still, this is not a reason to stay home. At this age, babies still drink milk or they are breastfed, so they will be fine, no matter what.
Considering food options while choosing a destination with a baby
This is important and I have already written about what to consider when choosing a travel destination with a baby (LINK). It’s important that the place where you’ll travel, has many food options. Usually if you stay in a bigger hotel anywhere, it’s easy to get a lot of things. If staying in a smaller guesthouse, it’s good to know if there are restaurants around. Or, if you stay in an apartment, you can cook yourself. Things are different from place to place. If you travel around Europe or the States and similar countries, it’s easy to get baby food. If you go to Asia, Africa or South America, things are different. So in this case I suggest to take a water heater and a small bowl, spoon and some pap. You can prepare this for your baby in every room. Of course this can’t be the only thing your baby will eat all the time!
Eating in restaurants around the world with a baby
Usually, people will know what you want when you’ll order something for your baby. As an example, we usually ordered some kind of soup for our 10 month old in Indonesia. We asked for non spicy, not salty soup and that’s what we got (almost always). I figured out that soup was usually a good idea. But he did try everything we had too. And mostly he liked it! Our second baby was 8 months old when we went to Vietnam and he was eating whatever I ordered. We were even more relaxed the second time around. He actually started eating really well just while we were in Vietnam. I guess the food was tasty. Much better than pap! We actually always prefer eating in restaurants while traveling, instead of cooking (if we have an apartment). It’s just easier and babies usually love to watch and enjoy the hustle and bustle of busy restaurants.
Airplane food for babies
In my experience, many airlines have some baby food to offer the youngest passengers. But, don’t count on it. Bring enough baby food for the flight for your baby. There’s a chance your baby won’t eat much, because of the excitement. But, your baby could also eat more. So being ready is a good idea. I always had some fruit purees, biscuits, fresh fruit (like banana) with me. And water/milk. Both my babies didn’t eat everything, but they did eat and needed food when least expected. So I suggest you bring enough baby food for the flights. It’ll make things easier.
The things I pack regarding food for our babies when going traveling
As mentioned above, a water heater (we have the smallest one that was available when we bought it), a bowl and a spoon. That’s the equipment. Then I always take some pap (dry baby food that you mix with hot water and get a baby meal) and those biscuits the baby likes to eat at home too. I usually try to plan and calculate, how much I’ll need for the trip. I usually take some packed fruit purees for the first few days. And the food fort he flight. I buy the baby food fort he return flight at the destination usually. Another think I found useful just once was a portable baby chair. I just love it and it made eating for us, parents, so much easier. We have the Munchkin portable chair and we had it while traveling to Indonesia. What a find! It’s good for older babies that can sit by themselves, but so worth having. Baby chairs are not always available. I think this chair deserves a separate post.
Food shouldn’t be an obstacle when you consider traveling with a baby
Your baby will be fine. I’ve seen many babies traveling with their parents during our trips and they all seemed happy and ok. There’s usually always possible to get something to eat for the baby. There are babies everywhere, so just ask locals, what their babies eat to get the idea, what’s available. I find that so interesting, to get to know, what food people give their babies in different countries. Of course, there are so many places in the world, where food options are limited, so choosing a destination that has enough options is a good idea for the beginning.
Hope this encourages some families to just forget about introducing solids by the book, go traveling and see what happens!
Thanks for reading!