With the airlines being so tight on all the regulations regarding what you can/can't take on board I thought I'd try and simplify it and do the leg work for you.
We flew out last week, and there was NOTHING suitable in the airports really for children/ babies, let alone ones with allergies or dietary problems, Stock up, BEFORE you travel!
You can request Vegan meals on most big Airlines, we have travelled via American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Thomas Cook before now and I've never had a problem getting a Vegan meal. That said they struggle to cater for soya free, although gluten free isn't too much trouble I'm told.
What happens if they can't provide a meal on-board?
This is the case outbound and inbound for us travelling this time. I called the airline and they said that it was important that bring my own food with me. As long as it fits in the carry on hand luggage and it's within the luggage allowance it'll be fine.
Liquids and gels are allowed in these smaller quantities, provided that all such containers fit into a 20x20cm bag. "Liquids and gels" include peanut butter, jelly, frosting, pudding, hummus, , ketchup, dips and other soft or pourable food items. The only exceptions are baby food, baby milk, juice for infants and liquid medicine (with written prescription).
Packing toddler baby food for the plane- if they have allergies.
My favorite way of sorting food out for Opeie is keeping it simple and keeping it fun. Ella's Kitchen has always been a big hit with both boys, for the last 7 years I've been buying their stuff and it's never let us down, I find the way they're packaged in the smoothie pouches so portable and safe for travelling. Last time we flew they made me taste everything individually at the security check in, and everything was in pots which meant that it was a total nightmare as it spilt everywhere. Joy!Luckily when I was standing at security for around 10 minutes this time while they swiped my bags, bits and electrics through I again, had to taste everything, luckily nothing spilt - happy Mama!
Other than smoothies, cereal bars, crisps, dietry milk - in Opeie's case it would be Alpro Almond, since I don't want to take the whole carton on board its a good idea to just pour what you need into a travel cup.
Equipment for on the plane
I've recently found lots of new products that work great for Opeie, the Oxo Tot range, I found it in Wholefoods Market, but since then I've seen it online alot too on Amazon since. I love the fact that everything has been designed for parents AND children in mind. This makes traveling so much easier!Thankfully Oxo heard about my tour of Orlando and sent me some to ease the traveling & eating stress for Opeie our 2 yr old. Thanks Oxo!
The Oxo tot products are the best we've ever used- I wish we'd have found them earlier, you have no idea how the simple ideas of a plate with a high lip rim around the edge, makes ALL the difference when travelling with messy eaters like Opeie. We didn't have any mess or spills in the entire 10 hours on the plane.
A sippy cup or bottle: I always have a bottle for Opeie's water with me wherever we are, it's so important that you drink enough water on the flight, this goes for children too. It helps prevent DVT's happening, I've had two pulmonary embolisms- not fun! Drink, drink, drink! I use a Oxo Tot Twist Top drinks bottle for Opeie. It's better for him as he sometimes struggles with my Bobble drinks bottle being quite heavy. The Oxo tot Twist Cup is brilliant as the top twists round pushing the flexi straw into the lid so there are no spills.
A feeding spoon! Yes that's right, pack a plastic soft spoon, since you'd be suprised how handy it will come in on the plane if your little one gets hunrgy before they bring the food trolley around, at least you won't have to bother the flight attendants for a spoon before they have the food carts out. Opeie also likes to play with his. We have the On the Go spoon from Oxo, which is great since it comes in it's own little case keeping it clean and easy to find in your hand luggage.
I wouldn't recommend taking a metal baby spoon as all metal cutlery ( i think ) is seized at the security gates.
A feeding dish, again Oxo tot come up trumps! It's so much easier having a bowl with high sides and compartment divides as you don't want to have to take multiple bowls on the plane. It's also great because it's non-slip rubber material means your less likely to spill anything. Phew!
A few zip-lock bags & empty take out tubs , Ziplock bags -useful for putting dirty cutlery and bowls in, or anything else you might need to contain. Empty take out containers for putting food from the airport lounge in....
Wet wipes - I like the Jackson Reece brand the best for travelling. They're the only ones I can find that aren't full of nasty chemicals.They're herbal , smell great and do the job perfectly without harmining Opeie & Seth's skin.
Hand Sanitizer - nowhere to wash your little ones hands before a snack or meal travelling? Jackson Reece make "Mucky Mitts" a all natural Hand sanitiser which is great for using on little ones.
Spare clothes & Blanket - I find it gets cold on the plane so packing something slightly warmer might be handy. You might want a blanket too for your little one, our family favorite is this one by Trunki... it's so cute! It comes with an inflatable pillow too, which when you've finished with, the pillow deflates and the blanket goes back inside the pillow, all zipped up ready for the next comforting adventure! Fab as it's so small it hardly takes up any room at all in the hand luggage.
Do I need a Dr's letter to take food on the plane if I have allergies?
Like everything, it's better to go prepared. Opeie and I both have a signed letter signed by a Doctor explaining our allergies. I also rang the airline and asked their advice on taking food on the plane, they explained you could take enough food on the flight whether you have an allergy or not which is dry foods, crisps, biscuits or protein bars etc. But things such as hummus, milk etc had to be under 100ml, in a sealed clear 20x20cm bag, but you can take more than 100ml if you have an allergy. I asked if you needed a letter with the details of your allergy on, but the Airline thought this was abit overkill and suggested it would be fine without a letter. My advice is if you really can't eat the food the Airline provide, take a letter!
Here's what I packed anyway (for the food photo lovers....0
Seth's snacks: Graze box for kids, dried bananas, Ella's Kitchen Nibbly Fingers Bars, Bear Yoyo's, Nakd Bars, Raisins and a bottle of water.
For me: A selection of Nakd bars & raisins ( THANKS Nakd!) Cofresh Hummus chips, baked beans, Bounce balls, 3 tubs of hummus and Ella's Kitchen pounches. YUM!!! ( For me Nakd Bars kept me going the entire 18 hour journey to the sunshine state, I ended up leaving most of the food unopened, other than the oatcakes, hummus, and Nakd stuff. )
For Opeie: 2 Bowls: Pasta and sandwiches, Ella's Kitchen Pouches, Outback Animal biscuits, Nairns Oat & Fruit biscuits, Sesame Snaps, and Nakd Raisins & Beans.
For Pauly: Trek brownie protein bar ( that has 12g of protein- impressive and needed on a flight) , Peppersmith chewing gum , Nakd bar - he can eat plane food.
And... a massive suitcase full of food!