Hi! I’m Sophie, a New Yorker in London, mother of 2 and founder of Mamamade – we’re a direct-to-consumer brand specialising in infant and toddler nutrition, with a focus on supporting parents. What started from my home kitchen in 2019 is now a community of over 50,000 – all of us sharing the highs and lows and offering a listening ear for everything life throws at us.
I’ve been in the UK for nearly 8 years, and I still can’t get enough of everything this country has to offer. I’ve always loved exploring and adventure (I mean hello, I moved across the world without knowing a soul!) and I really didn’t want that to stop just because I had kids.
If anything, I feel more of an urge to schedule days out and experience new things with my children. And I’ve never wanted to let mealtime or snacktime get in the way - though I appreciate the thought of that can be a bit daunting!
Nearly five years into parenting, I’m very accustomed to feeding my kids on-the-go! We regularly travel back to New York to see my family, and when Liba was 14 months, we went traveling through Asia for nearly 3 months.
So here are my top tips for eating out and on the go with young children!
What you need
A quick word on the kit you might need. Firstly, to ensure you child is comfortable in their highchair, take your Cove Baby Cushion with you, I also highly suggest investing in a good lunchbag, some ice packs, snack containers, and an insulated container. Knowing you’ve come prepared with healthy meals and snacks can provide a huge relief, and will also mean you can stay a bit flexible with your plans, so you’re not scrambling to find somewhere to eat! You’ll be able to stay out a bit longer and really make the most of your adventures!
When you’re just starting with solids, breaking from routine can feel especially scary for some parents. The truth is, this is a great age to go out - mostly because the amount of solids they eat just doesn’t matter. They can easily have milk all day if needed.
If you’d like, you can simply try giving them bits of what you’re eating while out - so maybe a piece of bread to gnaw on, some banana mashed up, a bit of cucumber or avocado. All you really need is a good bib, a change of clothes, plenty of wipes and a spoon (if spoon feeding)!
You can also prep foods ahead of time to bring with you - things like pancakes, flapjacks, Mamamade finger foods - and bring them in a flask or container for on-the-go eating!
Comfortably on solids but still a baby
Now the fun can begin! Eating out in restaurants and cafes is a lot of fun at this stage, as baby will understand and even look forward to mealtime, and is therefore like a giant sponge ready to soak up whatever comes their way.
Most restaurants should be able to rustle up either a scrambled egg, some sliced avocado or cucumber, plain chicken or flaked fish, or yogurt. Make sure to ask for foods to be prepared without salt! At the very least, a piece of bread and some butter is a great thing for baby to chew on!
Under 12-months, there’s no need to offer snacks - baby will get everything they need from their milk and what they have at mealtime. So if you are worried they may get a bit tetchy while you’re out and about, consider bringing extra milk (or prepare to feed more frequently). If you do offer snacks, make sure they’re nutritionally dense (almost like a mini meal) - again, things like Mamamade finger foods or homemade flapjacks could be a great on-the-go option if stored in an insulated container.