I met mum Kellie through a Skype consultation as she lives up in North Queensland. She’s done amazingly with her little boy Reece who is baby number three. Kellie was going away on a holiday but she was really worried about Reece and just how she’s going to manage travelling with homemade baby food. And I know this is a really common problem so I answered her question during one of my weekly Facebook Live Q&A broadcasts.
She said, “Unfortunately bubba Reece will still require purees when we go away in a month, and he will be too established with his diet to skip proteins etc in meals. I’ve never travelled with a baby this age before and there will be a couple of days he’s out all day long. Veg and fruit aren’t a problem, but how do I safely take along animal proteins like chicken his favourite, and cheese for example when I won’t have microwaves or other appliances around to reheat? Is there a safe substitute I should consider? Maybe chia puddings or red lentil dishes?”
I agree with Kellie because if you don’t give protein in meals, then babies are not going to sleep. And fat is also extremely important. If your brain isn’t getting fat then it’s not going to grow well. The balance of nutrition is so important. I talk more about this in my BLOG: Fixing your baby’s sleep problem with diet
Keeping baby food safe while travelling
When you go abroad there might not be ways to keep sort of meat safe and other foods safe. Heat obviously will grow bacteria so you can’t do things like chicken and rice. You’ve got to be really really careful. You’ll need to consider foods that aren’t going to cause an issue in a hot climate.
So, I would look at taking things like avocado or chia puddings made with coconut cream. We need to think about the importance of good-fats in the baby’s diet.
I would be taking Weetbix out with you as well. Because that’s really high in Tryptophan, in lower-glycemic index carbohydrate, it’s high in iron and is a great filler.
Consider the all the nut butter too – peanut butter, almond butter, macadamia nut butter.
If the place where you’re staying at does scrambled eggs these are ok. They need to fully cooked however and you need to have given eggs to bub to check for allergy at least 3 days before you go. If you’re cooking the eggs yourself you can increase fat by adding butter into it as well.
You can even get little blender things that are portable that you can take with you as well. So there are many ways that you can make that food into a puree and give good nutrition as well.
Lentils, chia puddings or quinoa flakes are a great idea as well. With quinoa flakes, you’ve got protein in there and you’ve got low GI carbs. So I’d be looking at those sort of things. I’ve blogged on the advantages of quinoa bubs before at BLOG: Quinoa and Baby Food Purees
Something that many of us grew up with and I know a lot of people don’t like anymore, but that you could take are tinned sardines that are full of protein. Tinned salmon, also full of protein. And you can just mash these up with a fork into a puree. If you’re looking at things in tins then the best way to go is those that are in either spring water or in olive oil.
Baked beans and cannellini beans. I know some have sugar and salt but we’re talking that you’re going away for only maybe 1 to 2 weeks.
I have a whole blog dedicated to puree ideas that don’t require cooking: BLOG: No-Cook Purees – Ideas Aplenty
Take care when using prepared sachets
I would take some ready prepared sachets out with you as well. Now as people know I have a love/hate relationship with sachets and call them kitchen cupboard drugs because many of them are full of things like fruit juice and fruit and vegetable puree, but not much substance. So when you look at the actual percentage of protein or carbs it’s actually really low. So a lot of them only have maybe 5 or 7 per cent protein, and same with carbohydrates. Now how is that baby going to sleep off that? They’re not!
Here are some blogs I’ve written on the reasons why you need to take care of food pouches …
- BLOG: Baby Food Pouches and Baby Sleep Problems
- BLOG: Plastic baby food pouches are creating problems
What to do before you go
Hopefully, you’ll have a fridge in your hotel room. If not, email or call ahead and see if the hotel will store some food for you.
It’s important to test any new foods before you go to make sure there isn’t a food reaction while you’re away, because that’s the last thing you want. Be aware that it takes about 2 or 3 days to for a food reaction to show itself.
A word on allergies. There’s interesting research out there as well as to why you should be giving nut butter before 6 months. If you give peanut butter and other nut butter before 6 months, you can decrease the instance of nut allergy by 80 per cent. Which is massive! The same applies to a cooked egg. So if you give cooked egg before 6 months, you can decrease egg allergy by 80 per cent. Baby’s gut before 6 months is more porous, so we need to think about these things.
Here are the links to …
- Research from the Imperial College London: https://www.facebook.com/NurtureParenting.BabySleepGuru/posts/1118948231516845
- 2016 guidelines from ASCIA (Australian Society of Clinical Immunologists and Allergists: https://www.allergy.org.au/images/pcc/ASCIA_Guidelines_infant_feeding_and_allergy_prevention.pdf
- Here’s my BLOG: Early introduction of solids reduces food allergies in babies
- Baby porridge
- Baby rice
- Quinoa flakes
Other meal ideas
- Baked beans
- Tinned salmon or sardines.
- Grated cheese
- Chia puddings made with coconut cream.
- Cannellini beans
- Nut butter – Peanut butter, almond butter, macadamia nut butter
Here are a some more helpful blogs including one on no-cook purees