Are you taking a baby on vacation? Liv is only 6 months, so the focus isn’t on eating but trying as many foods and textures as possible. Did you know babies get most of their calories from breastmilk until they turn 1 year? So, with no pressure my mentality was we can figure it out when we get there. But, for next time, I’m ready. Here’s what I learned in our week away about baby food on vacation.
Pack the right baby food on vacation tools
On the feeding front I packed a few ezpz spoons, a food pacifier and bibs. Do this! I also packed a few apple sauce pouches that could double as a snack for my husband. We brought every pack home.
For next time, my packing list will include
- Bibs (at least 4 for a 7 day trip)
- Ezpz spoons (2)
- Baby food pacifier (I like this one from Haaka. Avoid the mesh kind!)
If we are staying with grandparents or at a rental house, I’ll also pack
- A travel high chair
Take advantage of dining out
When I eat out at every meal, I totally eat more variety than I do at home! Use this to your advantage. The goal for kids under 1 is to try as many foods and textures before the ‘flavor palate’ closes at around 1 year. Read more about this crazy window of opportunity to prevent picky eating here. While on vacation, you can take advantage of not cooking, not doing the dishes and all the other things that come along making and preparing baby food.
All food is baby food on vacation
Just about anything you order, your baby can try. There are a few exceptions if your kid is under one. Remember no honey, no juice and watch out for sugar and salt. Beyond this you can feed your baby what you are eating.
When you look at your plate, are there things you usually avoid? Like you eat around the peas? Let your baby try it. And do it with an open mind! Kids can learn to love all foods. So don’t bring your own food bias to the table. I am not a fan of papaya. I actually didn’t eat any of it while we we’re in Hawaii. Liv had it almost every day. She loved it!
What about food allergy foods? There is lots of evidence that food allergens need to be introduced early and often. This is the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for peanuts and there is evidence for eggs too. I didn’t want to deal with this on vacation. I had no plan for what to do if Olivia had an allergic reaction. That said, she had fish when I gave her an anchovy. She had shellfish when I gave her some rice from the jambalaya. And, she had milk AND treenuts when she ate some of my Bircher muesli. As I write this I also realize I just gave her egg…So there you go.
I also should mention the 3-5 day rule. This is the idea that you should only introduce a new food one at a time so if your baby does have an allergy you know what it is to. Dr. Maria took this one on and you should read it and make a plan for your family.
Modify the food to be baby food
The key is to modify. I either put the food in the food pacifier (like the pineapple), mashed it up (like blueberries) or gave her small bites the size of half a pea (like the pea and anchovy).
Olivia’s baby food on vacation new foods list
- Papaya – Sliced finger sized. I kept the peal on the bottom quarter so Liv could hold it without it slipping.
- Blueberry – Mashed
- Strawberry – In the fruit pacifier
- Pineapple – In the fruit pacifier, also I gave her a suck while I was holding on to a slice
- Anchovy – Small half-pea-size bites
- Rice / Jambalaya – Small half-pea-size bites
- Lettuce – Let her suck on a big piece
- Broccolini – Let her suck on a big piece
- Green Bean – Let her suck on a big piece
- Pea – Broke in half
- Red Pepper – Small pea-sized-bite
- Egg – Poached and mashed, served on a spoon.
- Spinach – Small pea-sized-bite
- Bircher muesli – milk, oatmeal, macadamia nuts – Served small bite on a spoon and I made sure there were no macadamia nuts
Remember there is no pressure on vacation. Just try to food your baby food on vacation and she what happens. Keep it fun! Last tip… Don’t feed your baby something that will stain your new tropical dress!