Around here we have been getting excited for our upcoming road trip back east.
Did you catch that? I already sound Midwestern.
I said “back east”.
Beard and I are packing up our three kids in our new-to-us mini-van and driving half way across the country to see a lot of family. We are excited. The girls are excited. Heck. Baby Brother is excited, and he doesn’t even know it yet.
Our girls are definitely no stranger to long road trips. They had made the 8 hour trip between Virginia and my home state of New Jersey at least three times every year, plus they each made a few journeys out here to Wisconsin from Virginia.
There was this one crazy year where my husband and I drove to Wisconsin, stayed a week, then drove to New Jersey for my cousin’s wedding, then we drove back down to Virginia. With a 15 month old Bitsy girl. And I was 30 weeks pregnant.
That trip was made pleasant by our friends at Pepperidge Farm and their genius invention called the “goldfish”.
This summer will be Baby Brother’s first big road trip, and it is the first time I have brought a baby that still requires purees on a long road trip. I have taken babies that exclusively nurse, and I have taken babies that can eat a lot of table foods. Little Guy, though, is just not ready for much table food at all. It means I have to be creative (and probably a bit industrious) about having enough for him to eat without relying on pre-packaged baby food.**
There are some foods that are no-brainers when it comes to feeding babies quickly, easily, and conveniently:
- avocados: I love feeding my babies avocados. They are easy to mash up, have tons of good fats, and they are green. What mom doesn’t love to have a baby covered in green mush? At this point, Little Guy eats between 1/8 and 1/4 of an avocado in one sitting. By replacing the avocado pit into the remainder of the fruit and putting the fruit, in its peel, in a sealed bag or container, I could feasibly keep an avocado for a few meals. I highly doubt Baby Brother would like to eat avocado for 4-8 meals straight, so I eat some of it myself or pawn some of it off on his older sisters. They ate the green mush as babies, too!
- bananas: Bananas are another of those foods that are easy to mash and come in their very own container. Heck, I can slice off tiny slivers of banana with a baby spoon. Bananas require no prep at all. Like an avocado, Little Guy could probably eat 1/4 – 1/8 of a banana in a sitting, but bananas don’t keep as well as avocados once they are peeled. Fortunately, those are also easy to feed to other family members.
- applesauce: I almost never buy anything that is packaged into individual serving sizes. I will forego this rule with applesauce on road trips. I can buy individual cups of sugar free, organic applesauce that make a very easy meal for a baby on the road.
- watermelon: This may be the first in this list where you think HUH? If I buy a watermelon, or even half a watermelon, I can slice it up and put it in a large bag or container. Little Guy can hold a slice of watermelon and gnaw on it while we are stopped.
- hard-boiled eggs: I have gotten Baby Brother absolutely hooked on egg yolks. For the most part, he likes the liquid yolk from my hard-boiled eggs, but unfortunately there is not way I could bring those with us. Hard-boiled eggs, on the other hand, are super easy to keep on a long trip, as well as easy to mash and eat. Fortunately for me, I have a daughter that will only eat hard-boiled egg whites, so those won’t go to waste.
These are great foods to keep in the car for feeding babies while on a road trip. I am, however, going to put together some purees to bring along in my favorite “baby food cubes” in a cooler. I am working on a post about which purees to make and take and which are best left at home, as well as how to keep them frozen, and how to thaw them and feed them to baby.