Another MOT asked about road trips with babies. She was planning a two day trip and she didn’t know what to feed her 9 month old twins on the trip. Not having been brave enough to attempt such a trip myself, I posed the question to the moms of HDYDI.
There were things to consider.
1. There may be no access to refrigeration, so foods must be ok at room temperature.
2. Same goes for heating–no foods that can’t be served at room temperature.
3. Low mess, since everyone’s in the car, perhaps without easy access to a sink/washcloth/bathtub that baby sometimes needs post-meal. Thawed blueberries, not the snack for the car.
4. Age of the baby. At six months, formula/breastmilk and cereal is probably fine. By twelve months, you need a host of finger foods, but there are many fewer food restrictions. Nine months is tricky, because many pediatricians may have you limit high allergen foods, like egg whites. Milk isn’t an option yet and our pediatrician even had us wait on wheat! So, pick and choose among these suggestions depending on the age of your baby.
Several snack suggestion are: cheese cubes (maybe for the first day, since they can probably survive a few hours in the car), cheerios, baby mum-mums, Gerber puffs, bananas, freeze-dried fruits and vegetables (either Gerber and Trader Joe’s brands), goldfish, cereal bars.
Another suggestion is that even if you make your own babyfood, for a car trip or vacation away from the home, try buying babyfood just for this trip. We did this when we traveled for Christmas and the babies were happy to eat something different (in fact really, really enjoy babyfood bananas). If you’re worried that the baby won’t eat something different, try a dry run at home, with the regular food as back up in case there’s no sale on the store bought stuff.
Several HDYDI moms suggested snack cups that won’t spill. (I’m so glad that someone asked this question, since I had never heard of these and they look fantastic. Both the Gerber lil’ snackin’ bowls
and these other bowls were recommended. Snack traps were not, because of the ease at which little fingers got the top off.
This won’t work for littler babies, but one suggestion was that fast food is always an option on the road, even if you try to avoid it at home. We’d recommend trying out McDonald’s a couple of times before the big trip, to see what foods are a hit and what aren’t and to make sure their little GI systems tolerate them ok. GI upset + traveling is not a good combination. Most fast food places will make a grilled cheese – you
just ask for a hamburger with no meat.
If you’re planning a long trip, good luck! We are heading off for our second plane trip in a few weeks, and I’m already dreading the planning, packing and organizing that will be part of our trip. Only the lure of family at the other end, and thus extra hands, gets us through.