Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Report Back on Traveling

I really wish I could open this post with how easy it was to prepare clean foods (unprocessed, homemade) foods for Baby G while we were traveling. I was excited to share all my tips and tricks with you and hopefully inspire you to try eating clean on the road, and maybe I still will, let's hope!

I will say it wasn't difficult, but it also wasn't easy, or more accurately, it wasn't as easy as I thought.

It started out well: I put two frozen purees in some tupperware containers and threw in a bag of banana bread sticks in my carry on. When we got to Dallas and our 3 hour layover, we set up shop at a TGI Fridays (it's amazing what GREAT salads they have there!), ordered some steamed broccoli with no oil or salt for Baby G. She was a very happy traveler and this red solo cup and her banana bread sticks kept her occupied until the broccoli came out. PS-I will now always try to remember to bring a red solo cup to restaurants- great toy!

Broccoli was truly steamed with nothing else. She gummed the broccoli, threw it on the floor, and devoured her pureed carrots.

I realized that the second puree wasn't going to make it with us to Donna, TX (our final destination) so I got rid of it, but luckily had packed an avocado that she could have dinner.

Dinner that night was hectic as we got in past her bedtime. She gummed some banana bread sticks, had a little avocado and then went to bed.

At breakfast, I realized I really had nothing for her. I grabbed some instant oatmeal and some blueberry yogurt from the continental breakfast and she was fine. I then managed to lose the rest of the banana bread sticks in my parents' pantry. Doh! I just hope they don't try to bite into one when they find them. I will not be held responsible for chipped teeth.

I went to the store with JP and my dad. It's there I realized how much I depend on my freezer full of purees at home. Three and a half days and I was starting from scratch. Here is what I bought:

-Sweet potatoes



-Canned tomatoes

-Can of black beans


-Greek yogurt


-Mild Cheddar Cheese


I decided to make two purees and then give her broccoli, sweet potato strips, mango, and cheese as finger foods. I don't have any pictures of the purees, but here is what they were (roughly):

Pear/Plum Puree: 1 pear sliced, 1 plum sliced, handful of craisins (in my mom's pantry): all steamed together. Pureed with steaming water and cinnamon. Baby G LOVED this puree. 

Black Bean/Sweet Potato/Tomato: Steamed sweet potato slices pureed with [1/2] can black beans, [1/2] can tomatoes, sprinkle of cumin. Baby G wouldn't touch this puree with a 10-foot pole. Though it did make a pretty good bean dip for us.

I ended up mixing the pear/plum puree with instant oatmeal in the morning (from our continental breakfast) and with yogurt at lunch. At dinner, I gave her steamed broccoli, cheese, and mashed sweet potato.

It was a lot of repetition and I tried to use the finger foods to change things up. I discovered she likes cheese a lot, and I think for us, cheese will be our puffs. It disintegrates in her mouth and she really likes to gum it. I started breaking it into small pieces and she liked grabbing it.

On the way back, I froze the remainder of the pear/plum puree. We ordered steamed broccoli again, but it was definitely salted. Good thing JP and I love broccoli!

So, what did I learn?

1. Bring an insulated lunch box. If I would have had one, I could have brought more with me from home and for on our flight back, as well as her beloved cheese. 

2. Have a better plan for what you are going to make. The bean puree was supposed to be like this one that she devoured. I shouldn't have tried something new (the tomatoes) while on the road. It was really disheartening that she wouldn't eat it.

I will also say that it made me re-examine why I was doing this. At the store, I couldn't find much organic stuff and I felt bad that I wasn't giving her organic. I almost bought some pre-made stuff. So what held me back? I want her to taste what real food tastes like and I don't believe the pre-made, processed stuff is real food. My husband and I don't eat packaged foods and we don't want to raise our family on packaged food. It's something very deep-seated in us. I can't even always explain it. It's just how we live. And we don't always eat organic, though we do try to when possible, so it's realistic that she will not eat 100% organic.

So, the trip wasn't easy and I was down about it, but my husband reminded me how hard it was for us to travel at first. Don't get me wrong: we are not rude people. We eat what is served and we don't question it or even address it. But when we travel, we always buy our own snack food and treat our hosts well because they are putting up with us, we take them out, we try to prepare food for them, etc. We also work out every day, even on the road, and try to maintain our lifestyle as much as we can. It's what we do. It's become so much of what we do that we don't think about it anymore, but it was hard at first.

I am hoping it will be the same way with preparing food for our kids. It will get easier. We will keep learning what works and what doesn't work. And we will keep not freaking out if everything is not perfect.

Now, because I droned on and on, I will share with you one of my fave pics and another reason I am not too upset that Baby G's food didn't work out as planned. Clearly, she doesn't have very discriminating taste because here is what her favorite thing to eat on vacation was:

Have you traveled with your baby yet? Any good tips?

1 comment:

  1. One tip I would give: on the sweet potatoes, when traveling (actually, all the time) I would just microwave then mash with a fork. Much easier/faster than steaming. Also, to make your vacation a bit more relaxing, baby doesn't care if the menu is the same for a few days. :) Our go-to airplane foods at that age were avocado, bananas, mum mums, and pieces of bread.