Finding unprocessed grains that are easy to pack and travel with can be challenging. There are many processed grains to grab like dried cereal, baby cereal, crackers and cookies. I definitely grab the processed options at times but the additives, salt and sugars are something I try to stay away from whenever possible. Below is a packing list and a list of easy travel grain foods for babies.
Packing list: Many of these things you can ask for at a restaurant but these are nice to haves in case you want to stop in a park, on a hike, etc. We find that when we get home we wash and prepare everything and put it right back in our backpack/diaper bag.
- Baby spoon and/or fork
- Butter knife or pocket knife: to cut up required food
- Fork: to mash up food
- Empty container or two with a lid: for mixing, mashing, putting smaller quanties into and packing leftovers
- Wet wipes/wet cloth/paper towel: for easy clean up
- Small Bag: for dirty dishes
Please note: that I am not a nutritionist or food safety expert. Each tip is from my experience please make choices you are comfortable with. Every baby handles foods and textures differently and when they are ready. Offer food according to food safety standards where you live.
Easy Travel Grains Toast (Whole Wheat/Whole Grain): Make the toast in the morning and cutting it into strips or small pieces the size of a dime. My babies ate the smaller sized pieces around 8 months.
Small Pasta Shells or Macaroni Pasta (Whole Wheat/Whole Grain): If you have pasta the night before take out a few pieces of pasta without the sauce and pack in a container for the next day. I say without the sauce if you want an easy bite on the go without too much mess. If you are ok with a mess then add in the sauce and you are ready to go! If your baby can handle the size of these pasta pieces leave it otherwise cut them in smaller pieces. If you over boil the pieces they will be extra mushy. You can also mash them with water. My baby at 10 month old was able to eat this type of pasta along with cut up spaghetti noodles with sauce.
Quinoa: We make quinoa salad at least once a week and I make tons so we can have leftovers while traveling. My daughter could eat quinoa around 9 months and enjoys it. Quinoa is becoming a more popular grain in North America and is loaded with fiber, iron, calcium and folate. Due to the small size grains I usually sit in the back seat and spoon feed this option. My husband or I often travel in the back seat reading to my kids and playing games so spoon fed options while traveling work for us. It’s also great to pull out if having a picnic on the go.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal doesn’t pack great for an on the go option. I haven’t found a baby friendly granola bar recipe yet, granola bars seem to work better for toddlers. However, our family loves oatmeal for breakfast whether it’s hot oatmeal or cold overnight oats. We have had cold overnight oats in the car, but they require spoon feeding. We often have oatmeal in the morning before we leave for a trip as it keeps the little bellies full!