Homemade Baby Food While Traveling

Devansh and Me at a Movie Theater

Going out should not mean that you have to compromise on health and nutrition, especially that of your baby. I would like to share some tips for carrying homemade food for your baby when you go out.

Mashed or pureed sweet potatoes are great to carry when you go out because they freeze well. I used to carry mashed sweet potatoes with me till Devansh started eating khichdis and daal rice properly. I used to boil sweet potatoes, mash them finely (you can also puree them), and then freeze them in an airtight container like Tupperware. I used to carry the container in an insulated lunch bag so that the sweet potatoes thawed slowly. I still remember the first time I fed Devansh sweet potatoes outside. My husband and I had taken Devansh to a mall when he was a little over six months old. We were sitting in a food court, Devansh was perched in his stroller, and I had placed his container on the food tray. We were having our food simultaneously as I was feeding Devansh. The expression on Devansh’s face was priceless. He was overjoyed that he too was eating like everyone else around him. He felt all grown up and important. :-)
As Devansh grew older, I started carrying moong daal khichdi, mixed daal khichdi, dalia, and moong-daal rice with me. I used to make these dishes without adding any vegetables, as vegetables tend to get spoiled faster. You can also carry rice kanji. You just need to let the food cool down to at least room temperature before you close the container. This is because bacteria grow faster in warmer temperatures causing the food to get spoiled.  I used to cook these dishes to have a slightly thicker consistency than what I fed Devansh. At the time of serving, I added hot water to them. I used to carry a thermos in which I would fill boiling water. Adding hot water heats up the food, this really proves useful when you don’t have access to a cooking stove. I would use a steel dish to mix hot water because I don’t trust even the high-grade plastic with hot water. I have never carried curd rice for Devansh before but I think frozen curd rice will also be convenient to carry. You can carry the container in an insulated lunch bag/box so that the curd rice thaws slowly, that way it’ll last longer.
Another food that I found useful while traveling was oatmeal. This however requires access to the stove for 5 minutes. If I was visiting a relative or a family friend and I didn’t have enough time to cook khichdis for Devansh, I used to carry Quaker’s oats, some milk, and honey with me. To prepare the oatmeal, I used to boil it in some milk for about 5 minutes while stirring it continuously. At the time of serving, I would mix some honey in it. Now, however Devansh refuses to eat oatmeal as he finds it bland. :-)

A lot of readers are reaching my blog while searching for “health food for traveling”. I hope these readers who may not be exactly looking for baby food will also find these tips useful. Do share your feedback, tips, comments…. I would love to hear from you.

25 thoughts on “Homemade Baby Food While Traveling”

  1. Hi mukta,
    I have some queries about carrying home made food.
    If I let fresh cooked sweet potato and khichdi cool down at room temperature, then without freezing how long will they stay good?
    Is it safe to cook and carry food for eating in 4 to 5 hours?

  2. Hi Meena,

    I have carried khichdi at room temperature and it's stayed alright for 4-5 hours. In humid weather you might want to use it within 4 hours though. As for sweet potato, I have never carried it at room temp. always carried it frozen as it would last longer. But I'm "guessing" it'll be find for 3 hours at least. :)

  3. Hi,

    My daughter is 8 months and we have been travelling quite a bit… When I was at my relative place I use to carry mix of powdered oats with mix of almond powder, few raisins, nutmeg powder, khajoor powder,.. It gets ready in 5 mins with water and I use to add grated apple… It’s a good start for the breakfast.

    Otherwise I carry puffed rice namkeen made at home , puffed rice laddo made in jaggery, sooji chilla winch stay longer and are soft, steamed vegetable like broccoli, carrot, paneer, potato finger chips , vegetable cutlet ( they are soft doesn’t need to warm and are healthy too)

    • Hi Shammi. For the first meal carry something cooked from home like dal-rice, khichdi etc. Second meal carry something cooked but frozen which will thaw over time and will reach room temperature at the time of feeding…something like curd rice, or cooked/steamed, pureed and mashed sweet potato (you can jaggery to sweeten if necessary). From then on carry organic readymade products like Pristine First Bites (available on FirstCry if you can’t get at local grocer). You can also carry elaichi bananas, mash them and mix with Pristine First Bites Wheat and Apple cereal. My son used to like that combination when he was small.

    • Also you carry fruits like apple that you can peel and give your baby. You can carry dry fruits like cashew nuts, peeled almonds, and pistachios but only if your baby can eat them properly.

  4. Loved the way u have written.thanks.could u please help me with non veg recipes or when n how we should start giving non veg.and how we should develop another teste.
    My baby is now 1.3 yrs old n she is board of these regular khichadi n sheera.

      • Thanks mukta .thanks for reply.links are very useful.will surely try.
        Since I am also not eating non veg but at home we cook.😉so my family members are scolding me that don’t apply u r eating habits to baby otherwise she will also not have non veg, she wll not getting protein.
        It’s too early for her for non veg but why I ask that how we can give food other than sweet n light.when we can give a bit spicy .please suggest some recipes. And also egg in which form since I tried to give white part but she refused it.
        Thanks again.

        • At 1.3 you can pretty much give her everything you are eating but less spicy, and in a form she can eat and prefers. Some toddlers prefer soggy food while some don’t mind dry. So customize according to her preference. Toddlers also don’t like coriander or peels (for e.g. that of tomato) getting stuck to their palate while eating. So you’ll need to pay heed to that. You can try giving her egg curry. Here’s the link to my recipe, my son loves it: https://mummumtime.com/egg-curry-recipe/

          Here’s link for other egg recipes: https://mummumtime.com/tag/egg-recipes/
          As I said earlier you will need to customize them keeping in mind your daughter’s preference. Also regarding the spiciness of food, you will need to take a call. Some toddlers prefer spicy food while some kids don’t eat till even 5-6 years of age. From my experience I would say try giving her “slightly/mildly” spicy food from now and “gradually” increase the spices added.

  5. Hi mukta,
    Thanks a lot for your wise advice. I wll surely try.
    I am your fan now.wll be asking my queries to you for sure .
    Thanks again.

  6. Hi,
    Mukta by baby is 6 months old.We will be staying in a hotel for 3 days and journey by car is 5 hours.Please suggest me ,what food can I take to feed her and the recipe as well.

    • Hi Shikha,

      At 6 months I was giving my son mashed or pureed fruits, and khichdi, dalia etc with mashed vegetables added to it. My son didn’t like upma and sheera at this age but if your baby likes these you can give if you’ve given wheat-based food to your baby before. You can carry all the roasted rava, roasted and coarsely ground grains, dals etc with you, carry a small cooker and then just put the ingredients in the cooker and ask the hotel staff to cook it for you. That is if you want to cook by yourself. Otherwise a simple cooked dal with rice with lemon squeezed on top (waran bhat) can be arranged by hotel easily. You can carry lots of elaichi bananas, mash and give. Puree carrots, sweet potato and freeze. Carry the frozen purees, as soon as you reach put the purees in the freezer. These can be used as well. Porridge is easy to make if you have access to gas stove for 5-10 minutes. Over and above all this breastfeed and formula to your baby. At 6 months that should be their primary source of food, solid food comes next. You can find recipes for khichdi, dalia, sheera, upma, different types of porridge on MumMumTime’s site. All the best. :)

  7. Hi Mukta,

    Lovely website. Very helpful. My question is very similar to Shikha. I would be travelling to Thailand for four days with my seven month old baby. He is right now six month old and i have introduced pureed apple, pear. I have introduced home made rice cerelac. I plan to introduce dal soup and nachni next..

    My question is during my Thailand stay i will just have access to a kettle. There is no microwave or any steamer. The hotel guys can heat food on request.

    Wanted an idea from you on what food items to carry for him. All i can think of is the home made rice cerelac and nachni as they are easy to make with hot water. What’s your take on gerber pureed foods? He loves having pureed fruits so i want to feed him during our trip. Will really appreciate your inputs.

    • Hi Harsha,

      I recently came across this Earlyfoods range of products which are organic and they have instant mixes. I haven’t given my son, who’s now 5 and a half, their baby products but he did like their snacks. There’s another range of products called First Bites from Pristine, which again are organic. Earlyfoods baby food doesn’t contain milk solids, you can check First Bites…you can go with ones that don’t have milk solids in their ingredients since your baby is just 6 months old. I have given my kiddo Gerber when he was 9-10 months old but I wasn’t aware that I should have checked whether they’re organic or not at that time. You can read online reviews about their product and check if they’re organic or not on the Web. If they’re that can be one option too. Also, BF or formula feed as much as possible while travelling.

  8. Hi mukta was just going through your blog it is really helpful for me . My son is 4 yr old n he does not chew I give him blended khichdi Dalia with all the vegetables in it. According to his pediatrician he will learn chewing by age. I found it difficult at the time of trVelling what to gv him. Pls suggest me. If I keep cooked Dalia with veggies in it in insulated bottle( which is usually use fr milk) wl it remain safe to eat after 4hrs or so. Pls do reply.

    • Hi Ankita. You should start giving him food that requires chewing gradually now. Instead of blending mash his food, mash using a masher, initially mash finely. Gradually mash a bit coarse. You can try giving him chapati and some watery sabzis like bottle gourd, pumpkin etc. These sabzis don’t have chunks that need much chewing. Also you can give him idli, uttapam soaked in sambar or daal so that it is easy to chew. Prepare him to start chewing food so that you’ll have an easier time when you are travelling or when he has school of longer duration.

      Meanwhile here are a few ideas for when you are travelling:
      Carry thick sheera and hot milk in thermos. Add milk to sheera at the time of serving.
      Carry thick upma or dalia (you can add mashed veggies in these) and hot water in thermos. Add water at the time of serving.
      You can carry hot soup of his choice in thermos and give it to him with brown bread.
      You can carry ladoos, rajgira chiki with you, add milk and give.
      Bananas are easy to carry, you can mash, add milk and give.


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