Baby and Toddler Foods To Carry & Avoid While Travelling

Baby and Toddler Foods To Carry & Avoid While Travelling

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Gayatri Dawda (Nutritionist)
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Travelling with a baby in tow may seem challenging, but the key to ensuring a smooth journey that both you and the baby enjoy is to be prepared for anything you may need. A major part of travelling with your baby is having the right food around, as babies stomachs are delicate, and can’t handle outside food. Many parents are unsure about what kind of food to carry when travelling with a baby and toddler. To keep your baby’s hunger satiated and her mood happy, it is important to carry food that is both, travel-friendly and delicious. Here are some baby and toddler travel food ideas.

Video: Travel Foods for Babies and Toddlers (What to Carry and What to Avoid)

Food for Babies While Travelling

Babies between six to 12 months old are fairly new in the process of being introduced to solids, so it essential to be smart about the type of food you carry along for them. Here are some travel foods for babies.

1. Baby Food

Baby food is nutritious, yummy, and quite easy to prepare while travelling. This kind of food is generally given to infants above six months. There are various baby food premixes that are easily available and travel-friendly.

2. Milk

This is a complete food for babies and toddlers, due to the rich nutrients it contains. You can rely on breastfeeding the baby if you are travelling in a private vehicle, but it can be an issue in public places. Store breast milk beforehand, using a breast pump, and feed your baby during meal times. Formula milk is a great option, as it needs water and formula powder to make the mix.

3. Fruit Purees

These are wholesome, loaded with essential nutrients, and easy to prepare when travelling. This can be prepared on-the-spot since all you need is fruit, milk, a bowl, and a fork. Mash the fruit add milk and feed it to your tiny tot.

4. Carrot Cake

Travel isn’t fun without something sweet, right? Carrot cake is soft, healthy and delicious. You can always substitute flour and sugar with healthier ingredients such as whole wheat and jaggery or honey. Your child will be super happy when you bring out the carrot cake you’ve packed.

5. Porridge Mix

If your baby is over 6 months, you can carry easy-to-make porridge for him. Some easy and delicious porridges made out of sattu or ragi are easy to prepare as you simply need to pour hot water and mix. They are nutritious, easy to carry and a sure hit for your child.

6. Vegetable Puree

Boil vegetables like broccoli and carrot, and mash them until they reach a puree consistency. These can be seasoned and fed to your baby during travel to ensure his nutritional intake is sufficient for the day. Vegetables purees are easy to feed your child, and he will surely love the taste.

Food for Toddlers While Travelling

Between the ages of one to three, toddlers are now more accustomed to eating solid food, but require non-spicy, hygienic, and well-cooked dishes. Here are some food ideas for toddlers when travelling.

1. Yoghurt

This superfood is easy to carry while travelling and is packed with essential nutrients such as calcium. Kids love the tasty flavours of yoghurt, which is light on the stomach. Ensure you pack yoghurt in travel-friendly jars for an easy feeding session. Ensure that you store yoghurt in a cool environment.

2. Cereal

Choose O-shaped cereals while shopping for your trip, and it can prove to be an ideal travel food for one-year-old children and above. Slide them onto his fingers and let him enjoy this engaging activity while travelling. You can add dry fruits to make it healthy and enhance the flavour too.

3. Eggs

This superfood is rich in calories and helps to boost the immune system. The unsaturated fats in eggs help in developing the brain. As you’re travelling, you can stick to serving them hard-boiled eggs, as they are the least likely to create a mess.

4. Hummus

This Middle Eastern dish is rich in iron, which can prevent anaemia. Its thick texture means that kids are unlikely to spill it, and can be eaten with pita bread, which is filling. Make sure to refrigerate it before carrying and store it in a cool environment.

5. Thepla

Parathas are filling, delicious, and can be prepared according to your baby’s tastes. You can prepare theplas at home and pack them for your journey, and your baby is sure to love them. Ensure that you let them cool completely before packing them.

6. Granola Bars

You can make soft energy bars or granola bars at home, loaded with healthy ingredients that are nutritious. They provide your little one with energy throughout the trip and are delicious and filling as well.

7. Chikkis

Date and dry fruit chikkis, rajgira or peanut chikkis are a good option for toddlers while travelling. These are healthy and stay fresh for a longer time.

8. Baked/ Roasted Makhana or Jowar Puffs

These are delicious, healthy, and filling, and a great option when travelling with toddlers. You can also add some milk flavours to them, which your child is sure to love.

9. Cheese

Who doesn’t love cheese? Definitely not your toddler! Carry cheese cubes or cheese sticks and simply pass them to your child as finger food during the journey. It will keep him entertained and satiated for a while.

10. Cookies

You can bake healthy cookies out of ragi flour and jaggery before your journey and pack them. These are a great snack for long journeys as they are sweet and delicious, and last for long when packed well.

11. Idli

If you have a long journey, pack some idlis with sugar or jaggery for your little one. These are filled with nutrition and easy to hold and eat, so you can avoid any mess while travelling. For an extra zing, add spinach puree or beetroot extract to the idli batter to dye them green or purple.

12. Instant Upma or Poha

You can dehydrate some veggies and make a poha or upma mix with very little oil. Once the dry base is prepared, you can pack it along and simply add hot water when it’s time for your baby to eat. These are easy to make and nutritious too.

Foods to Avoid While Travelling With Your Baby or Toddler

There are certain kinds of foods to be avoided when you are travelling with a baby in tow. Strike them off your travel list to ensure you and your baby have a hassle-free trip:

  • Oily snacks (especially the ready-made variety) should be avoided, as they can lead to issues like heartburn and obesity.
  • Soft drinks are rich in sugar and can erode the enamel of your kids.
  • Cereals that are high in sugar can lead to early diabetes.
  • Thin liquids are easy to spill and cause a mess. Kids have less control over their motor functions and can easily spill and drop food.
  • Foods that are relatively small can get lodged in the windpipe and are a choking hazard.
  • New and untried food which may not agree with your baby’s tummy

Travelling with your baby should be special for you and your baby. Feeding your baby or toddler during an outstation trip should not cause any stress. All you require is effort and loads of patience, so the journey becomes enjoyable with food and feeding times are the least of your worries.


1. Feeding your baby: 6–12 months; UNICEF;

2. Prohibited Item List; Airports Authority of India;

3. Travel Recommendations for Nursing Families; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;; July 2021

4. Foods and Drinks to Avoid or Limit; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;; June 2023

5. When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;; August 2021

Also Read:

Papaya for Babies: Benefits and Recipes
Iron Rich Foods for Babies and Toddlers
Healthy Weight Gain Foods for Babies and Children

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