Travelling with an infant? Here are some excellent tips
Travelling with an infant can be challenging or exciting, depending on how prepared you are as a mother. The main concern here is feeding your little one with the right things in an unfamiliar territory, when all he or she is used to is homemade food. Before you start to panic, let us assure you that it’s possible to feed your infant traveller fresh and healthy foods even as you travel. But first let’s understand what are the main nutritional elements that you need to incorporate in your baby’s diet every day. Also, the key here is to organise and prepare ahead and be as flexible as possible.
Foods that you can give infants
While travelling with an infant, it is best to prepare suitable food items at home and carry it with you, as outside food might have adverse effects. So, here are some easy recipes that are wholesome and will take very little time to prepare.
- Breastfeeding is probably the easiest and safest option while travelling.
Easy to digest, breast milk protects your little one against allergies, respiratory infections, and diarrhoea. Breast milk can also diminish the risk of autoimmune and inflammatory bowel diseases, as it has the right combination of calcium, iron, vitamins, proteins, healthy fats and minerals.
It can be stored in high-quality feeding bottles while you are travelling as well. However, it is wise to pack other complementary food items, especially if your baby is more than 6 months old. This will ensure complete nutrition for him or her.
- Porridge made of oats, rice or wheat can be very simple to prepare in a hurry and can be digested without any hassle. It will supply your infant with carbohydrates, protein and fibre.
How to make it
Just boil the oats, rice or wheat in ample amount of water and add small pieces of banana or apple for taste. After cooking the mixture for 15 minutes, mash it well so that there are no lumps. You can cool and store this filling meal in a clean container and take it on road trips or a flight.
Instead of oats porridge, you can also prepare oatmeal by cooking oatmeal powder with milk or water. Mashed fruits can be added to this for taste. This is a great way to provide your infant with fibre, calcium, and protein.
- Vegetables are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and dietary fibre. When boiled in a pressure cooker, they become soft and palatable for a baby. They will retain all essential nutrients this way, too.
How to make it
Carrots and peas for example are tasty and can be mashed after boiling, to feed little ones easily. Purees made of sweet potatoes or pumpkins are also very healthy, wholesome, and sweet. You can add spinach to this too. Make sure to use the leftover water (used for boiling) for making the puree smooth and easy to consume.
- Indian khichdi is another tasty and nutritious meal choice for babies up to 2 years of age. It provides calories, protein, and healthy fats.
How to make it
You need to heat a little ghee in a pressure cooker first and add cumin seeds. When these seeds turn brown, add finely chopped veggies and cook till they become soft. Then you need to add soaked rice and pulses, followed by water, and a little salt. Now, all you need to do is close the lid of the cooker and wait for it to whistle two times. Make sure the khichdi is sufficiently soft for easy feeding.
- Bread or paranthas are a good source of carbohydrates and can be a wise choice if your child is more than a year old. Plain bread toasted with a little butter and wrapped in aluminium foil or paranthas cooked with a little salt are perfect. Homemade muffins prepared with whole grains can be fed too.
- Pureed fruits like apple, banana, papaya or mango are rich in minerals and vitamins and delicious as well. You can make these using ripe and fresh fruits that are thoroughly washed.
How to make it
For apple puree, you will need to boil small pieces of apple to achieve the desired consistency. Banana puree can be made by simply mashing small pieces of banana with a fork. Mango or papaya puree can be made by adding the chopped pieces to a blender for a smooth finish. After 6 months, you can combine 2 or more fruits to make a puree.
Apart from the options mentioned above, hard-boiled eggs are good for infants on a trip as they boost immunity, and the unsaturated fats in these enhance brain development. You can also give them yoghurt which is rich in calcium and easy on the stomach as well.
Soft, homemade idlis are also a great choice as they have the necessary dietary fibres to prevent constipation, and are soft and filling.
Final word on happy travels with an infant
Carrying the right food items is not enough to ensure a happy and healthy baby on trips. You need to use proper storage containers that can prevent leaks, contamination, and are thoroughly cleaned or sterilised. Pack a few baby utensils that are designed without any sharp edges, for easy feeding. Carry enough wipes and fresh drinking water too. Plan ahead for your baby’s snacking needs if he or she is above 1 year, by packing unsweetened and unsalted biscuits. Remember to consult your paediatrician about his or her dietary needs, to be extra sure. Finally, don’t forget to take a deep breath and let it go.