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Travelling With Babies and Toddlers? Here Are Some Healthy Snack Ideas

foods for travelling

Healthy travel foods for babies and toddlers are an essential consideration for parents on the go. Ensuring that your little ones have access to nutritious, convenient, and safe food options while travelling can make the journey smoother and more enjoyable for the entire family. This article will explore various aspects of selecting and preparing travel-friendly foods for babies and toddlers.

Understanding the Nutritional Needs

  • Infants (0-12 months): For infants, breast milk or formula should be the primary source of nutrition. If breastfeeding, it’s convenient while travelling as it doesn’t require preparation. However, if you’re formula-feeding, consider pre-measured formula sachets and a thermos of pre-boiled water to mix feeds on the go. For older infants who have started on solids, pack pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables, and soft, cooked grains like oatmeal.
  • Toddlers (1-3 years): Toddlers require a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein sources, and dairy. When travelling, focus on non-perishable and easy-to-handle foods like whole grain crackers, cheese slices, pre-cut fruit, and veggie sticks.

Also Read: Know Different Types of Berries and Their Unique Benefits

Food Safety and Handling

Food safety and handling are critical aspects when preparing and serving meals to babies and toddlers, especially during travel. Ensuring that the food is safe, hygienically prepared, and stored correctly can prevent foodborne illnesses, which can be particularly dangerous for young children. Here are some essential guidelines for maintaining food safety and handling while travelling with little ones:

1. Maintain Cleanliness

  • Wash Your Hands: Always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food and after handling raw foods, especially meat and eggs. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean Surfaces and Utensils: Use baby-safe wipes or a clean cloth with sanitiser to clean surfaces where you’ll prepare the food. Ensure that all utensils, including bottles, sippy cups, spoons, and bowls, are thoroughly cleaned.

2. Safe Food Preparation

  • Avoid Raw Foods: For babies and toddlers, it’s best to avoid raw or undercooked foods, including eggs, meats, and fish, as they can harbour harmful bacteria.
  • Cook Thoroughly: Ensure that all foods, particularly meats and eggs, are cooked thoroughly to kill any potential bacteria.
  • Prevent Cross-Contamination: Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meats and other foods. Never put cooked food back on the same plate or surface that held raw food.

3. Proper Food Storage

  • Temperature Control: Keep cold foods cold (below 5°C or 41°F) and hot foods hot (above 60°C or 140°F). Use insulated bags with ice packs for cold items and thermoses for hot items.
  • Refrigerate Promptly: Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours of purchasing or preparing them. If the temperature is hot (above 32°C or 90°F), refrigerate within one hour.

4. Serving Food Safely

  • Check Temperatures: Before serving, check the temperature of the heated food to ensure it’s not too hot for your child.
  • Portion Appropriately: Take out only the portion of food you think your child will eat. This helps in reducing the risk of contamination of the remaining food.
  • Avoid Choking Hazards: Cut food into small, manageable pieces for toddlers to prevent choking.

5. Managing Leftovers

  • Cool Quickly: Put leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate them promptly.
  • Reheat Safely: When reheating food, make sure it’s steaming hot all the way through. Avoid reheating food multiple times.

6. Water Safety

  • Safe Drinking Water: Ensure that the water you use for preparing formula or for your child to drink is safe and free from contaminants. In some travel destinations, it might be safer to use bottled water.

7. Be Mindful of Allergies

  • Awareness of Allergens: If your child has food allergies, be extra cautious about cross-contamination and always read labels or ask about ingredients when eating out.

Also Read: 10 Nutritious Energy Bars For Kids That Can Be Made At Home

Healthy Travel Snack Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

When travelling with babies and toddlers, choosing healthy snacks that are both nutritious and convenient can be a challenge. It’s important to select snacks that are easy to transport, don’t require refrigeration, and are enjoyable for young children to eat. Here are some healthy travel snack ideas that cater to the nutritional needs of babies and toddlers:

For Babies (6-12 months)

  • Soft Fruits: Banana, avocado, or ripe pear can be mashed or offered in small, manageable pieces. These are high in vitamins and easy for babies to eat.
  • Cooked Vegetables: Steamed carrots, sweet potato, or pumpkin can be cooled and cut into small pieces. They provide essential nutrients and are soft enough for babies who are just starting solids.
  • Teething Biscuits or Soft Rice Cakes: These are great for gumming and can help soothe sore gums.
  • Full-Fat Greek Yoghurt: If you have a cool bag, Greek yoghurt is a nutritious option, high in calcium and protein. It can be pre-portioned into small containers.
  • Cereal Puffs: These are easy for little fingers to pick up and melt in the mouth, making them a safe and convenient option.

For Toddlers (1-3 years)

  • Whole Grain Crackers or Mini Rice Cakes: Pair these with cheese slices or a small amount of nut butter (if there are no allergies) for a satisfying snack.
  • Fresh Fruit: Grapes (cut in half to prevent choking), apple slices, or orange segments. These provide vitamins, minerals, and hydration.
  • Vegetable Sticks: Cucumber, bell pepper, and carrot sticks are crunchy and fun to eat. They can be dipped in hummus or a yoghurt-based dip.
  • Cheese Sticks or Cubes: Easy to pack and rich in calcium and protein. Choose full-fat options for younger toddlers.
  • Dried Fruit: Raisins, apricots, or apple rings are sweet and chewy but should be given in moderation due to their high sugar content.
  • Roasted Chickpeas or Edamame: These are high in protein and fibre, making them a filling snack option.
  • Homemade Muffins: Make mini muffins with whole wheat flour, fruits, and vegetables. These are a tasty and healthier alternative to store-bought options.
  • Nut Butter Packets: These are a good source of healthy fats and protein. Spread them on crackers or use them as a dip for fruits.

Also Read: 15 Foods to Avoid for Babies Younger Than 1-Year-Old

With a little preparation, you can create a travel-friendly menu that is both satisfying and healthy for your littlest travellers. For more information on infants and toddlers, read EuroSchool blogs.

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