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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Food troubles while travelling with your baby

We just came back from our vacation in Coorg (Karnataka-India), in the middle of nowhere and away from all the 'regular' culinary choices my daughter is so used to. And though generally I carry almost my entire kitchen with me to make things easier for her, this time I didn't and hence it happened to be one of those times when I really wished I had.... coz you see we were in the middle of a jungle, in a different part of the country whose culinary tastes are so different from what my daughter is so used to.. So it was a real task for us to make her chew something worthwhile through the entire trip.

When at home I am very particular about keeping all junk food away from her. No chips, chocolates rarely, no instant noodles....nothing of the type and only healthy filling meals and nice glasses of milk. But alas that was not to be on the trip, and understandably so.

If you are about to go on a trip with a little one, to a place that is a little off-beat, do not panic thinking about what your child will get or not get to eat. Instead, use a few of these ideas and more often than not, you will find it helps:

1. Carry cornflakes with you whenever you are travelling with a baby. It is always better to let them munch on cornflakes than chips.

2. Most resorts / home stays / budget hotels will have a fridge in the kitchen. Carry a few cartons of milk. These are pre-boiled, hence you can give it to baby directly without the added hassle of thinking where to boil the milk.

3. Carry apples, bananas and other such fruits that will not be too messy and will not require too much effort from you. Just peel and cut and your child has a fruit platter ready at any time he/she is feeling the need for a bite.

4. A lot of healthy brands have come out with kids' biscuits these days. Buy a few packs of the same. Make sure you avoid the ones with cream, as they are messy and not too good on the health front.

5. Again, if you absolutely have to carry chips, try the roasted ones and avoid the fried ones.

6. Cheeseballs is a good option for a light munch.

7. You can make your own snack for baby at home. Take a little rice puff, roast it slightly in very little oil and add a pinch of asafoetida (heeng),curry leaves (curry patta),raisins, salt, roasted groundnut, a pinch of turmeric. Store this in an air-tight container and you have a home-made snack for baby.

8. A good bet for baby's meal time is curd. If your child is fond of curd then you are one of the lucky few parents, just like me (though I personally hate curd!!!) Curd is one thing that is easily available in a hotel or in the shop, so try and give your baby a bowl of curd and it will be enough to see them through the night. Add some rice to it and you have a complete healthy meal of curd-rice.

9. Dry fruits are a good bet to carry as these are non-messy and high on energy and filling for a baby. Take a quantity of raisins, almonds and cashew nuts for your baby to munch on.

10. Try and visit the local market or if that is not an option, you can raid your hotel's kitchen and get your hand on vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. A salad platter is ready for your baby.

Sometimes, babies have a tough time adjusting to a new environment and it is difficult for them to eat something that they are not used to in taste. It is alright if your baby shows irregular eating patterns while on a trip. If the only thing baby wants on a trip is a bag of chips or biscuits, let them have it as a vacation treat. It is better to let them eat some junk than not eating anything at all. The regular food pattern will be back once the baby is in its familiar setting of home. So relax and have a good time and enjoy those moments with your baby and your family.