Traveling with a toddler has its challenges. Whether you are planning a long road trip or boarding a plane, your toddler needs to eat and drink healthy along the way. Surviving a family vacation means knowing how to prepare for a child’s needs in advance. Even when traveling, it's important to keep your toddler's mealtimes and snack times as regular as possible.
When traveling by car, pack milk in an insulated cooler bag with freezer gel cold packs to keep it fresh. You can also freeze iced tea or juice boxes as ice packs to keep milk cold. Sugar-free, decaf iced tea or a natural juice brand that’s low in added sugar and preservatives will give your toddler a healthy alternative to drink when you run out of milk. If you are taking a long road trip or going camping with the kids, consider investing in a portable travel cooler that you can plug into your vehicle’s 12-volt accessory socket.
The Transportation Security Administration rules for carrying liquids on board an airplane require that you put liquids in containers that are 3.4 ounces or smaller. Although the TSA allows you to bring larger quantities of liquid formula or milk that you need to satisfy your toddler's nutritional needs during the flight, you must inform the Transportation Security Officer that you are bringing milk before you pass through the screening checkpoint. The officer may ask you to open the containers for inspection.
Organic, single-serve milk boxes are practical options for travel because you don’t need to refrigerate them. Although the milk is available in small, 8-ounce boxes, once you open the carton, any unused portion must be refrigerated to remain fresh. The milk is shelf stable since it is packaged in sterile boxes after pasteurized at a higher temperature. Although airlines generally allow milk boxes, they exceed the 3.4 ounces of liquid you are allowed to carry on board, so you need to declare that you have milk to the TSA at the security screening checkpoint.
Single-serve, powdered formula sticks are easy to pack for travel and are convenient to use. You will need to mix the formula with water. Tap water is usually safe to use once your child is eating solid food and you no longer need to sterilize the water first. Although the TSA does not restrict powdered formula, the water available on the aircraft might be a concern. Although the federal government regulates drinking water on commercial U.S. air carriers, the safety of water on international flights is not subject to United States Environmental Protection Agency standards. Additionally, water in the on-board lavatories is not potable, meaning that it is not safe for drinking.
- Kids Can Travel: Road Trips With Infants and Toddlers
- Transportation Security Administration: Traveling With Children
- Walking on Travels: Best Milk Options When Flying With a Toddler
- Parents: Should I Use Bottled Water to Make Formula?
- TSA Blog: New Procedures for Traveling With Powders
- Environmental Protection Agency: Water -- Aircraft Drinking Water Rule