By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers
These days, families are always on the go, whether it’s off to daycare everyday or to visit friends and family once in a while. Here are some strategies to help you prepare for your baby’s meals on the go. Start with six golden rules for serving Fresh Baby food away from home:
1. Frozen food cubes take 3-4 hours to thaw in the refrigerator and 1-2 hours to thaw at room temperature.
2. Frozen food cubes stay cold in an insulated bag with a freezer pack for about 8-12 hours.
3. To thaw frozen food cubes, microwave for 30-40 seconds.
4. To warm thawed food cubes, microwave 5-15 seconds.
5. Never store frozen food cubes without refrigeration for over 4 hours.
6. Always stir and test the temperature of microwaved or warmed food on your skin before serving to your baby.
Once you’ve got the basics, you’re on your way!
A travel tote bag is an essential item for any family on the go. Buy an insulated lunch bag and a set of plastic containers with lids that will fit nicely into the bag. The best type of lunch bag to purchase is a sturdy canvas tote that comes with a reusable ice pack-the type you can place in the freezer overnight. Also consider the size of the tote so that it will fit easily into your diaper bag.
Planning to get away for a day or going on an airplane, train, car or bus and need to pack up your baby’s meals? Just before you are ready to leave on your trip, select the food cubes for your baby’s meal(s) and place them in the plastic containers of your travel tote. If you pack more than one meal or snack, label the lids of the containers with “Lunch”, “Snack”, “Dinner” with a permanent marker, sticker or a piece of paper and scotch tape. Pack them all into the travel tote with the freezer pack to keep them cold. Additionally, you may want to pack a bottle of water, since baby’s tummies are especially sensitive to components of unfamiliar tap water. The frozen food cubes will slowly defrost inside the tote, and will stay cold for 8-12 hours, plenty of time to reach your destination. Most convenient stores and/or truck stops have a microwave and airlines will usually give you a bag of very hot water to warm baby food with (just be careful with this bag the water is usually VERY hot).
Tips for going to a restaurant:
- Make reservations so you do not have to wait to be seated.
- Plan the time to have dinner or lunch according to your baby’s feeding schedule.
- Call ahead to find out if the restaurant has a high chair.
- Make sure the table you sit at has adequate room for everyone, including your baby.
- Remove everything within reach of your baby-unless you want to see it on the floor!
About the authors:
Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children and founders of Fresh Baby ( www.FreshBaby.com ). They are the creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit and Good Clean Fun Placemats, available at many fine specialty stores and national chains including Target and Whole Foods Markets.