If you’re a new mum the thought of getting your baby out the house with all they need can be pretty daunting. Even more so if you’ve started solids and need to worry about what food to take, how to prepare it, how to feed them without the home comforts of a high chair and more. I’ve had lots of new mums contact me in recent weeks to say they’re feeling completely out of their depth as they’ve hardly ventured out since the birth of their baby thanks to the bushfires at the end of 2019 and now COVID19!
Being out and about with bub does require a little extra planning to ensure you can enjoy your time together without having to worry about food. With some simple prep and planning, this can be an enjoyable and refreshing experience for you both, and I strongly encourage you to give it a go.
I believe the key to feeding your baby healthy, wholesome food on-the-go is to keep things simple and plan ahead. This is where food prepping will be your saviour and you won’t have to compromise nutritional value in your child’s meals.
How much food do I need for my baby?
When planning how much food to take for your baby, do keep in mind that between 6 to 8 months, your baby does not need any snacks, and from 9 months onwards, they only need 1-2 solid snack foods per day. Outside of that and main meals, your breast milk or formula will do the job just fine!
Below are a few of my top tips for feeding your baby on-the-go:
Restaurant and cafes
If you’re dining out, it is possible for your baby to join in on mealtimes. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff for any specific foods or cooking instructions when ordering bub’s meal.
Here are some of my favourite café hacks when feeding your baby:
- Oat porridge, ask for water instead of milk to be used
- Boiled or scrambled eggs mashed with avocado
- Omelettes cut into finger food strips
- Plain yoghurt with mashed fruit
- Wholegrain or sourdough toast fingers with peanut butter (if already introduced) hummus or avocado
- Plain grilled chicken or fish cut into strips with mashed vegetables
- Steamed or baked vegetables
- Avocado and banana mashed
- Steamed or baked fruit
- Pasta with a good quality tomato-based pasta sauce – request no added salt or sugar
- Plain beans or lentils mashed with steamed vegetables
- Baked potato or sweet potato
- Slow-cooked meats mashed with steamed or baked vegetables
At the park, at mother’s group or on playdates
Try these easy meal options:
- Home-made purees. Simply pop into DIY puree pouches or small containers that are easy to bring in the pram.
- If your baby is eating finger foods, prepare Banana Pikelets, Sweet Potato Pikelets or Broccoli Tots.
- No-cook, easy options such as mashed banana and avocado or Sardines and Avocado – offer mashed or as finger food.
Top Tips for Feeding on-the-go
Avoid feeding your baby in the pram and aim to keep them sitting upright.
When feeding your baby on-the-go, you must be extra careful about choking risks – especially if your little one is not seated properly and securely in a highchair.
- If possible, have your baby sit in someone else’s lap while you feed them so you can still get a full view of them while they’re eating and watch for any signs of choking.
- If you need to feed your bub while in the car, try to pull over and stop while feeding. The bumps and turns of a moving car can create a higher risk of choking for your baby as they could lose control of the food in their mouth.
- Try to avoid feeding your baby in a car seat or pram as these chairs don’t allow your baby to sit in a safe, fully upright position for eating.
- Avoid the use of screens to occupy your baby while feeding them as the distraction makes it hard for them to regulate their own appetite, and enjoy the process of eating
- Don’t fear the mess – it’s a wonder what a few wipes can sort out at the end of the meal – and that includes ‘mopping’ up the floor and your baby J
Taking your baby out and enjoying meals together on the go can be a very rewarding experience, and is critical to keep ones sanity when spending hours at home. I say, enjoy the fresh air, relax and remember, if your baby doesn’t eat as much or as well on your outing – it’s okay and they will make up for it at the next meal if required.
I cover this topic and many others in my Starting Solids course – if your baby is ready to start solids or you’ve begun the journey already, this course provides everything you need to know to set your child up to be a resilient eater, plus hundreds of age appropriate, nutritious recipes and meal plans.