You probably already have your own go-to snacks for hitting the trails, but what works for your baby? Happily small amounts of baby food are exceedingly portable, and little ones can experiment with finger foods from the time they start solids. So tote along your baby’s favorites, or use one of these ideas. They’re perfect for hikes or anytime snack time finds you on the move.
During this early stage of eating solids your baby will still be getting most of her nutrition from breast milk or formula, so don’t worry about packing large quantities of food. But a little snack al fresco is fun for everyone—baby included. Try one of these options:
- Package a small amount of fruit or veggie puree in an airtight container. Don’t forget a spoon and a cloth to wipe up the inevitable drooly drips!
- A low-sugar cereal such as Cheerios
- Chopped strawberries
- Steamed peas
- Cucumber sticks – your baby will mostly gnaw on these instead of actually chewing, and that’s exactly what he should be doing at this age.
Now your baby will be relying more on solids for nutrition, so make sure to pack enough for a hearty snack or meal depending on how long you’ll be on Roasted tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Canned beans, drained and rinsed
- Torn-up pancakes or bread
- Blueberries and/or raspberries, halved if large
- Whole grain or rice crackers
- Fruit and yogurt pouches – make sure to look for a low-sugar variety
By now, your little one will be enjoying most any food, as long as it’s cut into appropriately-sized pieces. Some easy snacks for on-the-go:
- Mandarin orange segments
- Steamed baby carrots or green beans
- Honey-Roasted Chickpeas (p. 174 in Real Baby Food)
- Mango sticks
- Steamed broccoli florets
- Green Eggs and Bacon muffins, (p. 131 in Real Baby Food)
- Whole wheat mini bagels spread with nut butter
- Homemade energy balls or cookies: in a food processor, combine pitted Medjool dates, nuts/seeds, and a little cocoa powder until it forms a thick paste. Break off into small pieces and roll into ½-inch balls. These healthy treats are delicious, but sticky, so make sure your toddler is a good chewer before serving.
No matter what your baby’s age, don’t forget water in a sippy cup! Skip the juice, and start your baby out early on fresh, cool water. He’ll come to appreciate the refreshing taste on many hikes to come.
when Jenna Helwig’s daughter Rosa was born she picked up a whisk and never looked back. She made all of Rosa’s baby food and, soon, earned a culinary arts degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She’s also an editor at Parent magazine.