Feeding a baby or toddler while out and about isn’t exactly a streamlined process. Breastfeeding has its privacy challenges; bottle feeding comes with temperature issues; baby food makes a mess; portable toddler snacks tend to be lacking in nutrition. But sometimes it has to be done—especially at this time of year. We asked our experts and Scouts for some tips on how to make every stage of on-the-go feeding a little easier (and cleaner).
For starters, “breast milk or formula can be heated with warmze heaters www.warmze.com ,” says pediatrician JJ Levenstein, co-founder of MD Moms. “They are eco-friendly, activate by pressure, and warm bottles beautifully away from home.” And OXO Tot’s travel Drying Rack with Bottle Brush makes it pretty simple to clean and dry bottles anywhere.
When it comes to portable baby food meals, pouches are an obvious pick. But if you’re on the DIY plan, Levenstein suggests packing homemade purees in WeanGreen’s glass containers. “They can be microwaved or just put in a cup of hot water to reheat, and reused over and over. You can freeze your baby’s food in them the night before traveling, then bring them in the car or on board.” And no matter what kind of baby food you’re serving, we love the idea of NumNum, a handy pre-spoon gadget that makes it much easier for beginners to feed themselves.
Keeping toddler meals healthy and mess-free is probably the biggest challenge of all. “Avocados and bananas are great items to pack,” says Amy Shapiro of Real Nutrition NYC. “They come in their own natural ‘travel pouches’ and you can scrape them to create a mushy consistency, cut or scoop off little bites, or hand them to kids to eat with big kid bites.” Shapiro also recommends granola bars, which she says provide enough calories and nutrients to last kids two hours. “We like KIND Snacks, Kashi, Fiber Love, and Clif Kids,” she adds. Hillary Irwin of Simply Beautiful Mom often packs nut-butter sandwiches (almond, peanut, soy nut, or sunflower butter) because they don’t need to be refrigerated. “Wrap them in a Wrap-N-Mat, which doubles as a placemat,” she suggests. “And Just Tomatoes Etc. carries a great line of freeze-dried organic fruit and veggies, great for minimal-mess snacking.”
To keep it all contained, try Klip-It Snack Pack Boxes and the conveniently straw-free Twist & Sip bottles. And perhaps the most sage advice of all: “Always pack more snacks than you think you’ll need, and put them in individual small containers or baggies,” says Levenstein. “If something spills, you won’t lose the mother lode in one fell swoop.”