It’s summer time and guess what… no one wants to have to stay inside when it’s beautiful and sunny out! That being said, when you have a BLW baby, sometimes the hassle of figuring out what to feed them while travelling or on the go seems like it’s more work than it’s worth. But it doesn’t have to be stressful!
I’ve got a list of easy, MINIMAL MESS and portable whole foods you can pack as a snack or combine to make meals, no matter whether you’re on a plane, at the park or at a restaurant. While the occasional puree pouch will always have its benefits (hellooo convenience and mess free eating!), packing whole foods means that you don’t have to deal with wrappers and mess, while continuing to expose your baby to a variety of real food, real flavours and advanced textures. I’m a big proponent of minimizing processed foods for babies (and adults!) as much as possible as well as keeping those more advanced texture exposures coming. I FULLY understand that it’s hard – time doesn’t allow for it sometimes – and that a bit here and there won’t hurt. But helping you keep it top of mind as you navigate this world of feeding your babe is my job, so this list will hopefully help take away the guesswork as to what can fit into this category of foods.
In general, most people are looking for mess free foods (or minimal mess… nothing is really mess free with baby led feeding). For this reason, I like to recommend avoiding anything with sauce, that’s in a casserole type format or anything that requires a utensil unless you’re feeding baby yourself (and they let you). Think yogurt, applesauce…that type of thing. Nothing more messy that baby refusing to let you spoon feed them and them dunking their hands into a container of applesauce. If you pack meat, make it plain chicken for example. If you pack a pasta, keep it plain and dry (no sauce added) to minimize mess. That type of thing.
With that being said, here are my go-to travel foods for BLW babies:⠀
- Boiled eggs – Keep in a container with an ice pack and feed to baby anywhere! A wonderful protein and fat source.⠀
- Cooked pasta – Easy snack or meal on the go. Pair with cheese or beans for a full meal!⠀
- Banana – Nothing beats a food that comes in its own packaging!⠀
- Canned beans/chickpeas – No need to cook! Just rinse,, dump into a container and go! You may want to slightly smush chickpeas before offering just to be extra safe.⠀
- Shredded/sliced cheese – Adds a good source of fat and protein. A favourite amongst most babies 🙂
- Freeze dried fruit – literally will hold up in any weather and is mess free!
- Baby (3 ingredient) pancakes – 1 Banana (ripe), 2 Eggs, 1 1/2 tsps Coconut Oil cooked on a skillet over low-medium heat. Cool, pack in a container and offer to baby in strips!
- Tofu strips – Pan fry tofu 1-2 minutes each side, cool and pack in a container to go! This is my favourite to-go protein! I love using Soyganic smoked tofu – it’s non-gmo, organic and there is no need to cook it. Just slice it, pack and go. The perfect texture for baby, no crumbly mess and offers lots of calcium and protein!
- Toast strips – Toast bread and cut into strips – coat with a bit of butter to soften them up slightly but for the sake of avoiding mess when travelling, avoid things like nut butter etc. unless you are able to wash up somewhere!
- Thawed peas (from frozen) – No need to cook these! Just dump some frozen peas into a container and let them thaw out over a couple hours until ready to eat! Plus, the cold peas keep everything else you pack nice and cold too! Fast food at it’s finest
- Roasted Veggies – Prep these ahead of time (these are always on hand in my fridge). I make a big batch a couple times per week, and pull from it as needed. Nothing easier than just putting these in a container and offering any time of day to baby.
- Homemade muffin – Choose a recipe with no honey and no added sugar besides fruit. You can even freeze muffins and pull from the freezer anytime you need in a jiffy.
- Fresh fruit – Yes, these may be ever so slightly messy in that there may be a bit of fruit juice running on your baby’s hands, but nothing a baby wipe can’t handle.
With pretty much any of these foods (except for maybe the eggs), don’t worry about needing to serve it ice cold or heated up – room temperature is fine. If you’re out for more than 4 hours or in the heat, you can just throw an ice pack in there to preserve it for longer.
Something to keep in mind when travelling with a baby (or any day, even at home), is that babies don’t need snacks between 6-9 months of age, and after that, they need no more than 1, maybe 2 solid food snacks. This means that if the time comes and your baby is hungry, breastmilk or formula will continue to do the job most times! It may just be main meals and as mentioned, 1-2 solid food snacks (maybe one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon) that you offer as they get closer and closer to one year of age.
What to Bring (Besides Food)
- Baby Wipes/Washcloths
- Silicone Suction mat (helpful to keep food contained as much as possible in one place)
- Travel Booster Seat
Safety Tips When Feeding On The Go
Feeding babies comes with a risk no matter where you are, or what type of feeding you’re doing (purees or baby led weaning). That being said, when on the go, you should be extra careful of choking especially if your baby is likely not seated in a proper highchair or is moving around while eating. Here are my major tips to keep in mind:
- Seat baby in someone else’s lap if possible. Because choking is usually a silent occurrence, you’ll want to be able to get a good front view of your baby eating at all times to make sure you catch things in the nick of time in case, God forbid, they begin to choke. That’s why I recommend having someone else hold them in their lap while you do the feeding, so you can watch them better that way.
- If required to feed in the car, try and pull over while feeding. A moving car can pose a higher choking risk as bumps and turns can cause baby to lose control of the food in their mouth and cause it to become lodged in their throat. I don’t recommend feeding in a car seat if at all possible anyway, only because baby isn’t seated fully upright which means their airway isn’t fully open, which again, can increase choking risk. But, sometimes I get that it’s needed. In these cases, pull over so at least the car isn’t moving while mealtime is happening.
- Avoid feeding in a stroller – again, keep them sitting upright – so if it’s not a highchair, in someone else’s lap as mentioned above.
Ok – there you have it! Keep things simple, remember that fast food can mean simple whole foods from home, and enjoy your summer out with your babe!
Want to learn how to feed your baby all these foods mentioned in this post and more? Check out my Baby Led Feeding online course for a complete walk through with videos on how to have your baby eating finger foods like a pro!