Baby food pouches on airplanes
3 Easy Tips to Meet The TSA Baby Food Guidelines
October 20, 2020 By Alexandra Maloney
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Bringing your little one along for a trip is a great way to bond and make lifelong family memories. Flying with your baby doesn’t need to be intimidating or stressful, and neither does getting their food through TSA. Your baby’s food is the most important thing you’ll travel with, and you’re permitted to bring frozen and bottled breast milk, as well as juices and formula for your baby on planes. All you need to do is plan ahead and budget more time at the airport!
TSA policies regarding baby food
TSA allows baby food in your carry-on bag — don’t leave your child’s food in your checked bag and risk it all getting lost in transit! Pack your formula, breast milk or juice in TSA pouches. When you arrive at TSA with your carry-on full of baby food, be sure to inform the TSA agent that you are traveling with the food before you begin your screening process. TSA will ask you to take these items out of your bag and will screen them through a separate process.
All formula, breast milk and juice will go through an X-ray screening process, the same one as your checked bag. TSA may need to test your liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items and may request you to open them. If you don’t want your baby food open, you can deny this request — additional steps will be taken by TSA to ensure they’re safe for travel without opening.
Formula, breast milk and juices are an exemption under the 3-1-1 liquids rule for flying. This means that you can bring them in quantities greater than 3.4 oz, which is not the case for most other liquids going through TSA. Additionally, TSA allows ice packs and freezer packs for the purpose of freezing baby food — you can line a cooler bag with these to keep your baby food fresh!
If you’re flying with a toddler, you can bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred, and processed food along in carry-on baggage.
Tips for getting baby food through TSA without hassle
Make traveling with baby food quick and easy!
Determine how much food you’ll need to travel with in advance
No one knows your baby better than you — you know when your baby needs to eat! Before your trip, think about how long you’ll be gone, how many times and the amount your baby eats per day. Plan to bring at least this much food for your trip!
For parents that pump, consider pre-pumping and freezing some breast milk, and bring your pump with you to supplement the rest. For parents using formula, pre-package your baby’s food in TSA baby food pouches and store them away for the trip.
Pack your baby food well & keep it with you
TSA allows ice packs, freezer packs and the like for baby food — take advantage of this! Make sure you’re packing your cooler bag tightly and putting as many of these as you need inside to keep your food frozen.
Since baby food is allowed in your carry-on bag, be sure to keep your eye on it at all times. Don’t let it leave your sight when it’s going through TSA or in the airport in general — your baby needs it and unless you’re on a very short flight, they’ll probably need to eat on the plane.
Insider Tip: Some airlines, like Southwest, allow babies and young toddlers to travel for free! Always be sure to check if there’s a child fare when booking your flight.
Give yourself extra time to go through security
Because of all the policies TSA has surrounding baby food, it’s important to give yourself extra time when traveling with it. You might need to jump through a few hoops to get it past TSA, and all food needs to be separately screened. This applies especially if you plan to bring a large amount of baby food on the plane. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this case — make sure you get your baby food through security and make your flight with plenty of time to spare!
FAQ for traveling with baby food
Can you bring squeezable baby food on a plane?
Yes! Squeezable pouches, jars or cans of baby food are all allowed on the plane and adhere to the same rules as breast milk, juices and formula. You can even bring gel or liquid-filled teething rings and toys for your little ones on the plane!
How much baby food can you take on a plane?
TSA allows baby food in “reasonable quantities” on planes. Basically, this means there is no strict cut-off for how much food you can bring on the plane. Bring only the amount of baby food your baby needs for the trip and you shouldn’t have any problems getting through security.
Can I bring water for baby formula on a plane?
Yes! Again, water for baby formula and babies is permitted by TSA in “reasonable quantities” in carry-on bags. The water for your baby formula will have to undergo the same screening process as the other foods you bring for your baby, but you shouldn’t have any trouble getting it onto the plane.
Whether you’re solo parent traveling or tag-teaming it with little ones, getting your baby’s food through TSA can be a stress-free and hassle-free process. TSA allows formula, breast milk and juices in quantities that exceed 3. 4oz, which is the typical rule, and you’ll be able to bring stocked cooler bags as well if needed. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get through security and have the food screened properly, plus keep it in your carry-on bag to make sure you have it with you whenever your baby needs it. After that, all that’s left to do is enjoy your trip with a happy and full baby!
Alexandra Maloney is a contributor for Million Mile Secrets where she covers points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel. She's worked as a writing consultant for the University of Richmond and is a features writer for The Collegian UR.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)
TRAVELING WITH BABY FOOD • IDEAS • PACKING TIPS & RULES
Traveling with a baby who is weaning does need some forward planning, especially if you are flying with a baby and can’t pop out to the shops to purchase some baby food, or whip up a meal in your kitchen. Traveling with baby food means also considering delays and how to keep food cool or heat it up. This post answers lots of popular questions about travelling with baby food, provides tips and ideas to make it easier for you and provides suggestions of easy baby food that travels well.
CAN I BRING BABY FOOD ON PLANES?
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Yes, you can bring baby food on planes. If it is in your hand luggage and it is for your baby on the flight, then it is NOT subject to the 100ml/3-1-1 liquid rule set by individual countries. This includes water, breast milk, powdered milk, baby food pouches and jars. TSA state, “Baby food is allowed in reasonable quantities in carry-on bags. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.”
(If any liquid is for you, unless medically approved then it IS subject to the liquid rules if it is in your hand luggage. )
The TSA also state the below if you are traveling from a USA airport. However, these rules are NOT applicable worldwide, so do check the airport rules in the country you are flying from before you travel as some are very different – particularly with the allowance of ice packs and/or traveling with frozen breast milk!Formula, breast milk, juice in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings. You do not need to travel with your child to bring breast milk.
Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in carry-on. If these accessories are partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to the same screening as described above. You may also bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred and processed baby food in carry-on baggage. These items may be subject to additional screening.
While there are restrictions on the liquids you can take on a plane, they do not apply to food or milk for your baby. All airlines do permit baby food and milk to be brought onboard the plane. If you cannot find specific information on your airlines website, then you will usually find it on your departing airports website in the security section as exemptions to the 3-1-1/100ml liquid rule. Most airports/airlines stipulate ‘reasonable quantity’ or ‘enough for the journey’.
Airline provided baby meals and child meals
Some airlines provide (on request only, at least 24 hours in advance ) special meals for babies and children. For babies under two this is usually pureed baby food. You cannot request anything else for this age. For children over two, you can request a children’s meal. For children under two, you should always make sure you have enough food and drink for them.
Baby food and travel snack ideas
If you need to bring some of your own travel snacks or food for your baby, some easy ideas include:
TRAVEL FOOD FOR BABIES
BEST TRAVEL SNACKS FOR TODDLERS AND BABY LED WEANING
The great thing with the baby travel food and toddler travel snacks below, is that the majority is minimal mess (if there is such a thing with BLW!) and incredibly easy to organise for travel.
- Raisins – or other dried fruit
- Cheese crackers
- Fruit squeeze pouch – apple is usually a popular one.
- Toast strips/soldiers – Cut into strips and spread a little butter on.
- Cooked pasta – Convenient for snacks on the go or as a full meal. Once up in the air, ask a flight attendant for a cup of hot water and you can warm it up. Add cheese or fresh vegetables!
- Mini sausages – make easy finger food for older kids.
- Rice cakes
- Homemade muffins – Choose a baby friendly recipe with no honey and no added sugar besides fruit. You can freeze muffins and pull from the freezer anytime you need in a hurry.
- Granola bars
- Cucumber and carrot sticks
- Roasted Veggies
- Thawed peas (from frozen) – Just take directly from your freezer and pack and go! They will need a short time to defrost to be ready to eat but the coldness will help keep everything else fresh too.
- Tofu strips – Pan fry tofu 1-2 minutes each side, then cool and pack.
- Bread sticks
- Porridge pots
- Cereal hoops
- Cheese – you can grate or shred it into fine pieces before you fo for baby to easily grab.
- Pancakes (with 3 ingredients) 1 ripe banana, 2 eggs, 1/12 teaspoons of coconut oil mixed together and cooked on a frying pan/skillet on a low heat. Once cooled they are ready to go.
Anything that is fresh, remember to leave on the aircraft or check the countries customs laws. For example, fresh food of any kind is NOT allowed into Australia or New Zealand.
FOODS TO AVOID
Avoid candy, lollies and chocolate etc as a hyper kid on the plane is zero fun! The only exception is for older kids (when the choking risk is low) with a lollipop for top of descent – in case they find the ear pressure uncomfortable.
Some airlines may announce that food containing nuts cannot be consumed due to a passenger with an extreme allergy, so do not bring them just in case you can not use. Obvious no gos include whole grapes, jelly cubes, marshmallows or anything that could bloke an airway or large chunks which could be a choking hazard.
Remember many food products must be declared in certain countries. Always look at the customs card and if in doubt, bin it or declare it. I’ve always declared baby powder formula, even opened and have been allowed it. Countries like Australia will not let you bring any fresh produce in. Please check the latest customs laws.
PACKING FOOD FOR TRAVEL
Before you decide on the types of food for traveling, you will need to consider a few things:
- How are you traveling?
- Is there any cold storage available?
- Can you easily get ice?
- Have you enough food to cover delays?
- What space do you have available in your case?
- Always pack more than you think you’ll need. Kids’ love to snack when on the go!
- Do you need portable travel blender for weaning babies or to make smoothies?
HOW TO KEEP FOOD COOL & HOW TO PACK BABY FOOD FOR TRAVEL
To keep the food fresh in my hand luggage, I take frozen gel packs from home AND empty Ziploc bags. Be aware some countries security laws may not accept icepacks/coolpacks/ gel packs to keep the food cool through security. Check at the check in counter if they are allowed and if you are caught out, pack the frozen gel packs in your suitcase and then use your Ziplocs to fill with ice from a cafe once airside and again from the crew onboard the plane. (If you are traveling within the USA or from the USA the TSA rules for baby food DO permit cool-packs and gel pack use in your hand luggage. They will also permit frozen food. The UK will also allow frozen gel packs to keep baby food cool only)
If I am unable to use a frozen gel ice pack in my hand luggage, I always pack a couple extra in my main suitcase – that way they can be frozen at my destination and be used on day trips from the hotel to keep food cool.
An insulated food bag can then be used to place everything in for your baby. Travel food is then ready to go!
BEST TRAVEL FOOD CONTAINERS FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS
When flying with baby food or baby milk, it’s always best to first check airport security rules first for the types of travel baby food containers you can use – as they can differ. Where some airports will allow flasks, others won’t and some do prefer clear containers for transporting breast milk. eg at London Heathrow, “At London Heathrow Baby food or baby milk: breast milk can be carried in the cabin; when it is stored in a clear, transparent container or bag. Flasks cannot be permitted.”
When you are packing travel food, especially homemade baby food, it’s harder to get replacements, so to avoid tears and tantrums, never put all of one type of food in once container, but spread it out over two, just in case of an accidental spillage. If your baby is doing baby lead weaning (BLW), or you have a toddler, it’s definitely easier to give them just a small amount at a time. For older children, Bento Boxes work well as you can pack a selection of items and keep it all in one place. Here are some of the best travel food containers for babies, toddlers and older kids.
Bento Boxes: You can buy great ‘bento’ style organizer boxes which can hold a variety of travel snacks for older children. These basic stackable Bento Boxes are affordable and fit about 1/2 a cups worth of food in each section.
Snack Catchers: Munchkin snack catchers are great to stop toddler and older baby spills on the go. They will get plenty of use whether you are on a long road trip with kids, an outing to the park or on a flight.
Collapsible Snack Containers: Collapsible snack containers are great for travel for obvious reasons, they save space!
Reusable Pouches: If you make your own baby food or want to fill with yoghurt, smoothies etc, these re-usable pouches are perfect for traveling with baby food.HOW TO PREPARE BABY FOOD WHILE TRAVELLING?
Preparing baby food while traveling is not as cumbersome as you may think. Whether you are on a road trip with a baby or need to whip up something homemade in your hotel room, you can use things from home to help. Hotels and restaurants are often used to such requests and will help, but if they are busy or where you are staying doesn’t have round-the clock room service, then bringing a small portable rechargeable blender can be a lifesaver to puree some veggies and fruit quickly. If you don’t want to pack a portable blender, then whole foods like bananas, ripe pears, mangoes or avocados can be mashed up immediately wherever you are to make instant baby food while travelling.
Once out about food can be kept warm in an insulated food jar or thermos which is great if you are for a day trip or excursion. If flying, check first as not all airport security will allow flasks.
OTHER USEFUL ITEMS FOR TRAVELING WITH BABY ON THE GO
- Bibs – a wipe clean bib is ideal for on the go.
- Baby Wipes/Washcloths
- Travel Booster Seat
Safety Tips When Feeding On The Go
- Do be mindful of choking as you would at home. It is harder to feed in an airplane seat, but try and keep a good view of babies face whilst you are feeding them. If they can sit in someone elses lap, this can help. Wherever you are, keep them sitting upright whilst eating.
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Baby food on board, or how not to leave a child hungry on an airplane
Many families indulge in the pleasure of traveling with their children. If you are going to fly on a plane with a small child, you need to properly prepare for the flight, because the baby needs regular and nutritious meals.
The question often arises: is it possible to take baby food on the plane, will it be taken away during the pre-flight inspection, is the menu offered by airlines suitable for a child?
Our article will tell you how to get ready for the journey so that your child is not hungry on the plane.
- What can I take on the plane?
- How much food should I take?
- Weight of hand luggage
- Children's menu on board
- How to transport canned food and drinks?
What can I take from baby food on a plane?
First of all, let's determine that is allowed to take baby food in hand luggage.
It is necessary to prepare food for the child if you have transfers and a long journey from the airport to your destination, as well as if you are flying on a low-cost airline (low-cost) airline. So, for a child, you can take:
- baby food jars, drinks, milk formula;
- suitable snack foods: fresh and dried fruits, nuts, crackers, corn sticks;
- basic food (needed while waiting for a transfer or when flying with a low-cost airline): it is advisable to take such food that the child is used to and which is convenient to eat in "marching" conditions, without cutlery;
- sour-milk drinks or products (it is important for children to get such food when the climate changes).
When planning to take food with you, calculate the amount based on the fact that airlines also offer baby food (see below).
Perishable products must be carried in a cooler bag. However, we remind you that for the safety of air travel , most of the items are checked in before boarding the plane in baggage .
What if you need to take baby food with you not only for the duration of the flight, but also for the entire holiday?
If food is in a cardboard or metal package, then it will not be damaged in luggage, but if you have to carry mashed potatoes in glass jars or sour-milk products that need to be stored in the refrigerator, then it is clear that you cannot check them in luggage - fragile packaging can simply break .
You will most likely be asked to pack the food jars separately and hand them in at the front desk. They will not be transported in the baggage compartment, but directly in the cabin, and you will be given them before leaving the aircraft.
How much baby food should I take with me?
The need to carry a large supply of jars with you (for the entire holiday period) may arise if the baby has allergies and other food simply does not suit him, or if you go, for example, to resorts Egypt or Thailand , whose hotels are often remote from supermarkets and it will be difficult to quickly purchase baby food.
In this case, we recommend that you call the carrier in advance and consult about the possibility of carrying a certain amount of food in the cabin, in addition to hand luggage.
Usually, in such a situation, the airlines meet halfway and do not refuse the request.
If you are planning a vacation in European resorts (for example, at Austria, Germany, Bulgaria and others) or your vacation is associated with visiting large cities ( Vienna, Munich, Prague and others), then you should not worry about the supply of baby food: you can buy it at any time in a nearby supermarket or pharmacy.
What additional questions should I ask the air carrier during travel planning before arriving at the airport?
How much hand luggage can I take on a plane?
The weight of carry-on luggage varies between companies. Usually it ranges from 5 to 10 kg per person. When flying in business class, hand luggage can carry much more weight than in economy class.
If you are flying on a low-cost airline, you should definitely find out from the carrier whether hand luggage is included in the ticket price - some budget companies take separate, very significant money for carrying hand luggage.
Traveling with a child by plane:
What are the best places on the plane to choose if you are flying with children
The good news is that many major Russian carriers offer this service for free, regardless of flight class.
Children's menus can be ordered free of charge on all long-haul flights of the German airline Lufthansa and on some European flights when booking tickets, or by calling the Lufthansa Service Center no later than 24 hours before the departure of your aircraft.
The airline's children's menu is designed by renowned chef Stefan Marquard. Food for children is a topic close to the heart of this master, who is the author of a children's cookbook. With his out-of-the-ordinary ideas and fun recipes, he excelled in creating dishes that were both healthy and appealing to children.
On the other hand, there is a limited amount of baby food for babies under 2 years of age on board each Austrian Airlines flight . Pre-order is not necessary - just ask the flight attendants.
Ukrainian airline UIA also offers meals for children (from 2 to 10 years old) on its flights, the need for which must be provided at least 50 hours before the scheduled flight departure. This service has recently been paid, the children's menu will cost parents 8 euros.
Aeroflot and Rossiya have baby food and baby food (soft chewable food for children from 2 years old and portioned milk and baby food in assortment (Aeroflot) or puree in jars (“Russia”) for children under 2 years old
Special meals must be ordered no later than 36 hours before departure One important nuance: ordering special meals on Aeroflot flights in Economy class is available on flights over 3 hours, in JSC Rossiya Airlines it is possible in Economy class on flights lasting more than 4 hours, in Business class - on flights lasting more than 1 hour.
Ural Airlines is ready to provide baby food if ordered at least 24 hours before departure. You should check with the carrier directly about what offers for baby food international companies have.
The Turkish airline Turkish Airlines also always takes care of its young passengers. A set of baby food is served in a colorful design with a toy. Usually the menu includes a salad, a second course (potatoes and meatballs), sweet pudding. Drinks to choose from: tea, ayran, juices, water.
You can make an order for special meals (any) in advance, at least 24 hours before the departure of your flight, by phone at the call center or the nearest office of the airline.
For reference. Nutrition codes: infant (for children under two years old) - BBML, children's (for children from two years old) - CHML.
How to transport canned food and baby drinks?
The rules for conducting a pre-flight screening in force in the Russian Federation contain a list of items that are allowed to be carried in hand luggage subject to special requirements.
This list includes: mercury medical thermometer, liquids in containers up to 100 ml with a total volume of up to 1 liter (they must be packed in a separate transparent plastic bag), medicines, special dietary needs, baby food, including mother's milk, in the amount required for the entire duration of the flight.
In order to avoid a conflict at the airport during the screening over the number of jars of baby food required for the flight, it is advisable to agree on the procedure for their transportation in advance.
We also recommend purchasing special baby water to avoid disputes about whether it is liquid or baby food.
In conclusion, I would like to note that sometimes airlines publish on their websites far from the entire list of services that they provide to passengers with children.
Don't be afraid to call the carrier's representative to find out everything you need to know and what extra help you can get if you're traveling with a child. Use this simple "key", and then the journey will be a joy to you.
Recommended: Do I want to fly, or Flying a child without parents
Now that you are armed with all the necessary information about baby food on board, you can safely move on to searching for the most suitable flights and booking air tickets. And of course, if you go on holiday with a child, do not forget to take out travel insurance .
It is not expensive, it takes almost no time for registration. But on the other hand, it will save you from unnecessary troubles while traveling, if God forbid something happens to the child. How to choose and what to look for when buying insurance you will learn from our Special Article . Happy travels to you and your children!
Rules for transporting baby food on an airplane
The topic of transporting baby food on an airplane worries all mothers without exception. This is an adult who can understand that there is nothing to drink or eat, but you cannot explain this to a baby.
Feeding children on an airplane can be a problem
In addition, you never know what you might suddenly need on the road. It is advisable to have water, milk formula, juices, purees, yogurts and some medicines on hand.
Make sure your baby has plenty to choose from.
Make sure your baby has plenty to choose from.
How can you carry all this on the plane? And is it possible? The rules for transporting food in hand luggage state that you can carry a certain amount of liquid with you. As a rule, about a liter. But this liquid should be packed in plastic or tetrapack only 100g each.
Drinks must be in plastic and dosed
Do not take with you larger containers only partially filled.
According to the rules, you should not have half-empty containers of a larger volume with you.
On the one hand, these rules are a serious problem, because it is almost impossible to find 100 g bottles or paper-packed juices of this volume. The standard size is 200 grams or more. But on the other hand, it is not so important. In the same rules there is a note that the requirements do not apply to baby and diet food.
But these rules do not apply to baby food and drink
However, there is one “but”. The vagueness of the wording leaves a wide field for interpretation of the rules by airport personnel. Therefore, parents are forced to wait in each case, and how the employees who inspect luggage will look at a liter package of juice or a 1.5 liter bottle of water.
They look differently. Most of the time there are no problems, but sometimes there are difficulties.
Usually airport employees are loyal in matters of baby food.
The most meticulous, in this respect, were known as the Chinese. There were cases when they confiscated all baby food, with the exception of what was needed for the duration of the flight. Sometimes they took away large containers of water. Passengers with children under 5 years old at Chinese airports are even more or less condescending. But already there is no relief to the needs of older children.
There may be problems with Chinese airport employees.
Resort countries are distinguished by special loyalty. In Turkey, most likely, they will not even look into a bag with children's things. The same will be done in Thailand. In many countries, they will only ask the question “For baby” and will not meticulously check luggage. It's not worth it though. Proper packaging of products will help to avoid most problems.
How to carry baby food on an airplane. Experienced Tips
1. Buy baby food in minimal packages, plastic containers or tetra-packs.
2. If you are bringing fruit puree in a glass, pack each jar in a plastic bag. Then, even if something breaks, it will not leak out and remain in the package.
3. Bring a feeding nipple larger than 100g empty and pack the food in a 100g container. On the plane, you can always pour as much as you need into an empty bottle.
4. Carry all baby food in separate baby bags. As a rule, such baggage is treated quite loyally at all airports.
Children's bags receive less attention.
5. It is better to buy special water for a child. Packed baby water is passed everywhere without problems. Adult water can be forced to open and drink. The same is sometimes done with juice.
6. It is allowed to take a cooler bag and safely transport curds or yoghurts in it. A special permit can be obtained in advance for a cooler bag.
7. Before flying, it will be useful to consult about the rules of a particular carrier company, at least by phone.
This is for hand luggage. Baby food: a variety of mixtures, biscuits, dry cereals are easily transported in the main luggage. It is only important that he does not exceed the norm of weight.
A separate issue is the stroller and what is in it. It seems that she has nothing to do with baby food, but this is not entirely true. Parents put all sorts of things in it. This belongings during the inspection is checked less meticulously.