Eating Out With Baby

Eating Out With Junior

Whether it’s a snack or main meal, here’s what you need to know about feeding your child on the go.

In an ideal world, everything your little one ate would be homemade, healthy and enjoyed in a secure highchair. But when you’re going out for the day, eating on the move is unavoidable and this means you need to be flexible, especially as a hungry child won’t wait for his grub. Whether you plan to carry food with you or buy something pre-prepared, here’s how to ensure it’s a nutritious and safe experience.

Check the label
Due to his tiny tummy, it’s important to make every mouthful count in terms of nutrition, especially as your toddler needs nearly three times more energy for his size than you do.
Before you purchase any convenience foods when out and about, have a look at the nutritional summary on the back of the packaging so you can make the best choice.

It’s good to know that 4g of sugar is equivalent to 1tsp, so if a yoghurt contains 12g of sugar and it’s an individual pot, that’s 3tsp of sugar per serving, so it would not be a good choice. It’s also important to limit your child’s salt intake, so always check the label for the amount of salt, especially as 1-2 year olds should consume no more than 3g of salt a day.

Sensible snacks
When you have a grizzly child on your hands and you’re in public, it’s tempting to proffer a snack as a stop-gap to keep him occupied, but consider carefully what foods you give your little one. “I would avoid giving your child empty calorie snacks, like crisps, chocolate biscuits or sugary orange juice. That’s only going to leave him uninterested in eating a proper lunch or dinner and sends the message that he can eat whatever and whenever he wants.

With childhood obesity on the rise, it’s vital to teach good, healthy eating habits from the start, and an important part of this is ensuring ‘treat’ foods are only eaten occasionally, not as a way to prevent an embarrassing tantrum.

Come prepared
If you’d rather know exactly what your child is eating, there’s no harm in bringing your own food with you. Some restaurants, cafés and hotels will be happy to heat up purées in the microwave, or you can request a bowl of boiled water that you can use to warm your child’s meal.

Remember to store foods in secure storage tubs suitable for transporting and if you plan to travel with perishable items, pop them in a cool bag to avoid any health risks.

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