Following on from my last blog on preparation for travelling with a young child, it's important to understand how you will prepare your child’s food while you are away whether you are staying in an apartment or a hotel. For a younger baby you won’t have the luxury of taking out some batch cooked food but there are some simple solutions that will help you prepare the food while away. For a toddler and an older child I have also included some tips on avoiding having chicken nuggets and chips every night!
For easy and safe storage of your child’s food on the go check out our Mummy Cooks Travel Set!
Baby (less than 1 year)
Staying in an apartment:
Before you go, check that the apartment has a steamer pot so that you can easily prepare vegetables for your baby's meals. They may also have a hand blender but a good option would be to take a small hand held blender with you. A baby mouli, food mill or food chopper is also a great option while away. Make sure to pack some weaning pots so that you can make up a few portions of purée's and even take some out with you in your food flask.
Simple and tasty recipes to make whilst abroad...
Courgette, Pea & Mint Purée
Products you need / useful to have...
Tip: Why not try out some local fruit and vegetables. In Spain and Italy tomatoes are so delicious your baby will bite into like an juicy apple. Peaches and nectarines are also delicious when in season and they are the perfect texture to be served as a soft finger food.
Staying in a hotel:
Assuming the hotel has its own kitchen, you can always request that they prepare some food for your baby, explaining that you can’t add salt or sugar.
- Pancakes: perfect as a finger food. Offer with some mashed ripe fruit and some natural yogurt.
- Porridge: usually made up with water in a hotel. Add some milk and mashed fruit or ask that they make it up with milk.
- Slices of toast: spread some nut butter on toast or mashed fruit and serve as a finger food.
Avoid baked goods such as muffins and cakes as they are too high in sugar.
If you have opted for an all-inclusive and you don't have to leave the hotel for your meals (I recommend this option with smaller children), then ask for some potato or pasta and a selection of vegetables each day. Try some different fish (no sauce) or some chicken slices. If your baby is good with texture then offer the fish and chicken as a finger food and offer the potato and vegetables mashed. Again, a baby mouli would come in handy here and you would be able to make up your own purée!
Tip: When serving fish make sure to check first for bones.
Toddler and Child
When I stay at an apartment one of the first things I do is go shopping so that I can stock up the fridge with healthy foods that will cover both breakfast and lunch. I usually opt for something simple in the mornings such as cereal, and then for lunch (if we are staying somewhere like France) we will buy our baguettes fresh and make them up ourselves with delicious, healthy fillings. I love having pesto on hand as a tasty spread, and will usually make some up myself when I arrive or simply buy a jar that is low in salt off the shelf.
To change it up every day I would often cook pasta and make up a dish like my Easy Carbonara sauce (you can find the recipe inside my Lunchbox Made Easy book!). Alternatively, because tomatoes are so ripe and bursting with flavour in the summer months I might chop some up and fry with some butter and garlic and add it to the pasta. Delicious!
When we eat out for dinner I have two rules! The first is that each meal has to contain a vegetable, so if they are having something like chicken nuggets and chips it has to come with at least one vegetable, and the second is that we have a different meal every night!
Check out my "Feeding your Child while Out & About on Holiday" for tips and handy recipes to bring out with you!