Feeding Sofia as a toddler when we travel is easier than it was feeding her when she was a baby, because at this point (past the year) she already eats anything (she's tried it all) and right now at 15months she has 12 teeth including molars, which means she can chew and bite much more.
Therefor, she can pretty much eat anything, it does not need to be pureed only, or very soft food, like when she was a baby.
Above all, I am still breastfeeding, which means that I do not need to worry about bottles, formula, or any other type of milk. As easy as it gets, and I also have peace of mind that I am giving her extra antibodies and immune protection while traveling, which is a must. If you are breastfeeding your toddler, just remember:
- Stay extra hydrated to keep up with milk production
- Your toddler may want extra
- Be careful with the water you consume (even ice cubes, washed fruit, etc)
- Make sure you don't overdo it (energy level affects your milk supply)
- Eat properly, healthy & balanced to keep up your milk supply
- Remember depending where you go: “if you can’t peel it or heat it, don’t eat it.”
* Obviously if you choose a high end resort you won't have to worry about much, but these are things to keep in mind.
Now let's get to solids. At home, it is easier for me to plan balanced meals (with the 5 nutrient categories) but when traveling, keeping that in mind is hard, so make sure:
- There are some carbs, healthy fats, protein, fruit and veggies in every meal (x 3/day)
- Toddler is constantly drinking water for extra hydration
- You pack healthy snacks for on-the-go (plane and resort) so you always have food for in between meals/restaurants
- I give Sofia more boob (if she asks for it) when traveling for extra hydration and immune support (plus the best to complement & balance solids)
What food I like to bring. I now always bring a mini cooler on the plane with all the pouches for the whole trip (plane rides both ways + the days I am there). I take 2-3 pouches per day for extra nutrients. I choose healthy balanced pouches that include a bunch of nutrients so I can also have peace of mind
Everything else I feed Sofia is on-location. I order things and I make sure to tell them to not add any salt or sugar to whatever I am ordering. Some of the easy things/sides that I like to order at restaurants and that they always acceot doing:
- Steamed broccoli
- Steamed cauliflower
- Steamed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Plain pasta
- Sliced avocado
- Grilled fish
* I do not order from the kids menu since that is usually very greasy, cheesy and just not healthy.
Since these things are very basic, that's why I do love brining the pouches with me, because I feel like she gets extra nutients that are harder to find in restaurants. I like Once Upon A Farm because they boost their fruit and veggie blends with wonder foods like avocado, quinoa, coconut oil, flax & chia seeds and herbs and spices like rosemary and vanilla to enhance nutrition and help develop their palete (and Sofia loves them). They are sustainably grown, certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and can be traced right back to the source. And since the apple that’s picked from a tree doesn’t contain preservatives, colors, concentrates or added sugars, neither do their blends. Plus, they are cold pressed to lock in the nutrients, taste and texture of farm fresh, organic ingredients so they’re extra safe.
Finally, my favorite finger food snack at home & traveling (perf to keep entertained on plane) are the Happy Baby puffs, yogurt drops and creamies all organic and with great nutrients too, no added sugars, and I love to keep them in this snack container so Sofia can feed herself wherever she is at without making a mess.
CHECKING IN FOOD ON PLANE:
You can bring any baby food and beverage on board but TSA will check it all so I recommend packing ALL baby food that you’ll feed the baby at the airport/on board, in a mini cooler bag, in your backpack.
Bring an empty bag for all dirty bibs and empty reusable pouches.
Bring an empty sippy cup & tons of bibs and extra wipes.
OVERALL FOOD & TRAVEL TIPS:
- Try to choose fruits you can peel & veggies that need to be steamed
- Offer extra water & milk feedings consistently through the day
- Always offer bottled water
- Never add ice, just in case
- Don't introduce a new food to the baby while on vacation
- Bring a cooling bag on flight & while traveling (to beach, restaurant etc)
- Get a baby friendly resort
For those traveling with babies you can read all about "My tips to feed a baby on vacation" here.