Weaning a Baby on Holiday
15 min read
By Nutritionist Charlotte Stirling Reed
It’s summer time and so with any luck you’re starting to think about going on holiday with your family!! HOWEVER adding a baby to the mix when it comes to the holiday booking/packing/travelling saga can be somewhat daunting, especially if you’re also just starting out on your weaning journey too.
I get asked about tips for feeding a baby on holiday all the time and so along with Babease we thought we’d write a blog with our top tips and advice for taking a weaning bubba on holiday!
Ideally, it’s helpful if baby is fairly well established onto solids already, so maybe eating more complex combinations of foods and on three meals a day. However, lots of people do go before baby is well established (and lots also START their weaning journey on holiday too) and manage really well!
When it comes to holiday planning, it’s all about trying to plan ahead and just make sure you feel fully prepped for what and how you’re going to feed your baby when you’re away.
It’s hard to advise everyone, as we all have different holiday destinations and styles, but hopefully the below will be useful.
My 5 Top Tips for Weaning Baby on Holiday:
Tip 1: Plan Ahead
One of the main things that really helped me stay calm when going on holiday was calling ahead and asking questions. You can call your airline and find out what foods and liquids you can take on board (lots of extra allowances for parents travelling with a baby). You can also call your hotel/speak to your renter and find out what food is available in and outside of your accommodation.
Many places will be really used to having young babies and may even offer special meals/separate orders that you can place when you’re there. It’s also really handy to know what supermarkets are available locally in case you run out of milk/water/nappies too.
Tip 2: Take Some Staples With You
When my son was younger, this was a real saviour for us as it meant that we KNEW he would get in at least one decent meal a day. For example, if you know your little ones loves pasta – take a bag of the dried stuff. If your little one loves porridge, pack some oats or some baby porridge.
Same goes for snacks you can bake at home such as oatcakes, flapjacks and breadsticks. These all tend to travel pretty well too and are great for topping up on energy when you’re not quite ready for lunch. It’s also a really good idea to stock up on some savoury or veggie-based baby pouches so you know you have these as a back up and as a convenient option on the go.
Tip 3: Share Meals Together
Go all European and share meals with your little one wherever possible. Ordering mains and sides for the adults and offering your baby little bits and bobs from everyone’s plate is a good way to get them experiencing a wide variety of flavours as well as really getting them involved in social eating and copying what you’re doing.
If you’re worried that your little one won’t eat your foods, try picking some bits from the menu that you know they will eat, such as avocado, pasta or rice and then combining it with tiny tastes from your own plates too. Just try to be mindful of how foods are cooked and ask for no added salt, wherever possible.
Tip 4: Make the Most of a Buffet
Most hotels offer breakfast buffets, which can be great places to stock up on fruit, veg and a few light meals (sandwiches and fruit etc.) for baby throughout the day. Quite often there is a lot of variety on offer at these buffets and, hopefully, you’ll be able to find something that your little one loves.
Bread, cheese, eggs, fruit, yoghurt are fairly standard, so hopefully baby won’t go hungry, especially if you have some pouches and some staples from home to complement what’s on offer here too.
Tip 5: Try to Relax
Know that this is different from your everyday foods and meals at home and that it’s OK if baby doesn’t have a perfect balance or as much variety as usual. Try to see it as an opportunity to get baby trying new things, having fun with foods and bringing baby to the table more to eat together, rather than being too worried about exactly how much your little one is actually eating.
Offer multiple opportunities to eat and make sure baby is keeping hydrated with their usual milk (and a little baby-friendly bottled water if they need a top-up) and aside from that try to relax and enjoy the weaning process, your baby might simply LOVE chilling out with you around the table on holiday!
I hope you’ve found this helpful. I know many of you might have some more specific questions, so feel free to get in touch with those and look out for our Q and A Live that I’ll be doing with Tom later on this month! Happy Holidays!
Nutrition Consultant, Babease
BSc, MSc, RNutr. Specialist in maternal, infant and child nutrition.