Had you ever had to travel with your baby, whether it is for your own business or vacation, and you had to make your own baby food because your little one was too young to eat anything else?
And then, it happened. The pain of the messy food spilled all over the place.
First, you’ve made the commitment to make your own baby food. Awesome!
It’s a big responsibility and a great decision for your new baby.
But are you prepared to travel with your homemade baby food?
Homemade baby food is worth the work. It’s cheaper, healthier, and you are in control of what your baby is eating.
It’s pretty easy when you’re in the comfort of your own home. But what happens when you need to hit the road?
Sure, commercial pouches and jars are easier and maybe less of a mess. You can pull them right off the pantry shelf and call it a day.
They are sealed and won’t crack, break, or spill. They also seem to stay fresh forever.
But are they the best choice for your baby?
100% homemade, organic food catered to your baby is what’s going to be best.
But you already know that! These tips are going to help you stay confident in your feeding choices and travel stress-free.
So how do we avoid that inevitable mess of spilled baby food in the diaper bag? How do we prevent the food from being spoiled?
These tips will work for short and longer trips. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be a traveling baby food pro in no time.
Find the best tools for traveling with baby food
You have to stock up on some basic kitchen tools to make baby food. Some additional tools might be needed if you plan on traveling with homemade baby food.
Here is what you’ll need:
This might be one of the best baby food storage hacks ever. Breast milk storage bags make great storage units for all baby food. Don’t get rid of extras!
If you plan on keeping food at room temperature while traveling, you will want to consider dehydrating your food. There’s more if that later!
A Solid, Portable Cooler
A small cooler is essential when traveling with perishable food. A bag like this would work great.
Easy-to-clean and stored Utensils
Finding a good set of utensils with a traveling case is necessary.
Flexible Ice Packs
Ice packs that are bendable are best.
Silicone bags are another great, reusable storage option.
Now that you have all of your kitchen tools, it’s time to start buying the right food. When it comes to making portable baby food, some will be better than others.
Buy the right ingredients
Going organic is one big reason new parents opt to make their own baby food. Organic baby food is expensive.
So why not make it yourself? You’ll save a ton of money, too!
Making your own baby food will save you up to 45% on your grocery bill.
Let’s make sure you are finding the right ingredients while grocery shopping.
Not all organic fruits and vegetables are created equal. Some foods are going to work better than others.
Here are some of the best food options that are healthy and store really well for traveling:
Foods That Will Freeze Well
You will absolutely want foods that don’t release a lot of water when they are thawed.
They should maintain their consistency after they are frozen.
Once thawed, they make the perfect portable baby food.
Note: You can buy some of these ingredients frozen if that fits your budget better. The important thing is to buy organic.
Here are some great options you can find at the market:
- Squash (acorn, butternut squash, pumpkin)
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
Foods That Are Great For Dehydrating
Dehydrating baby food is a great way to extend the shelf life.
Here are some great options that are healthy and safe for a baby:
- Sweet potatoes
Prepare baby food that will travel well
It’s very important to note that not all baby food is going to travel well. There are some key things to keep in mind.
"Frozen baby food is the next best thing to fresh, pureed food."
Freezing the food will help preserve the nutrients and vitamins that are so important. Jarred baby foods are brought to high temperatures that often compromise those nutrients.
Make extra when you are preparing pureed baby food. Store that extra pureed food into the small, breast milk container bags.
They will stack flat in your freezer and won’t take up much space. Make sure that you use a permanent marker so that you can properly label everything.
When it’s time to travel with the baby food, simply take the bags out of the freezer. Add them to your cooler and fill with enough ice packs so that the items stay cool.
If you are crunched for time (and space) or you can’t bring a cooler, it’s ok!
The frozen baby food will thaw in 1-2 hours at room temperature. Just be sure to serve it within that time frame to stay safe.
Dehydrate your food for even easier traveling.
There are two ways that dehydrated food works well for traveling:
First, you can dehydrate pureed baby food to make a powder.
Store the powder in air-tight bags and add water when you are ready to serve.
This is a very time-consuming option. It is an efficient way to travel with baby food when you might not have the space or ability to keep things cool.
Next, You can also dehydrate whole pieces of fruits and vegetables.
This is great for the older babies who are teething.
Peeled and sliced fruits and vegetables like apples, sweet potatoes, and bananas are great dehydrated options.
They can store for days at room temperature. They also take up very little space in a diaper bag or purse.
Bonus tips for traveling with homemade baby food
- Keep a regular fork or small whisk in your bag. This is in case you need to mash up the food more once it’s thawed.
- Allow for extra time to get through security if you’re traveling by air. While it’s 100% allowed, it may take longer for your bags to be inspected.
- Prep your baby for cooler or room temperature foods. Don’t serve them hot food all of the time.
- For shorter trips, using a thermos is a great way to keep foods warm until mealtime.
- Tight on time? Some foods don’t need to be prepped at all.
- Bananas and avocados are great options
It’s time to hit the road!
Traveling with homemade baby food shouldn’t be stressful. You should feel confident and proud that you’re taking these steps to keep your baby healthy. It will be easy to get into a routine with the right tools and preparation.