As a parent of a child allergic to cow’s milk, you might be tempted to play it safe and stay close to home, where you know you have everything your child needs to be well nourished. But it’s healthy and natural for you and your little one to explore the world together, be it visiting a friend or taking an overnight trip. Whether around town or abroad, travelling with a child allergic to cow’s milk benefits from smart planning. These on-the-go tips for managing your child’s cow’s milk allergy will make outings easier and more enjoyable for all of you.
Know formula facts
If you’ll be flying, be sure to research the rules. For example, many airports around the world don’t restrict how much baby formula you can bring on a plane with you but check with your airport beforehand. Whether travelling by land, air or water, you’ll want to make sure to follow all the directions for the preparation and storage of your formula. Preparation instructions for Nutramigen formulas can be found in the products section.
Bring along allergy friendly snacks
Once weaning is underway, baby food in jars makes an easy on-the-go snack or meal for infants allergic to milk. Just be sure to check the labels carefully for any cow’s milk protein or derivatives (see Which foods contain cow’s milk protein? In Introducing new foods (to see what terms to look out for). Try offering your child their formula from a covered cup as this can serve as both a healthy snack and a welcome distraction.
Older infants love nutritious finger foods that they can feed themselves. Solid on-the-go snack ideas for infants on a more progressed weaning diet include:
- Steamed vegetable sticks
- Fruit sticks
- Rice cakes
- Well-cooked pasta shapes
Read package labels carefully to look for hidden milk products (see Which foods contain cow’s milk protein? In Introducing new foods and avoid choking hazards such as round foods like grapes, berries and cherry tomatoes and hard foods like raw carrot, dried fruit, hard sweets and whole nuts. Limit fruit juice, which can cause diarrhoea if kids drink too much. Remember that Nutramigen formulas can be used in weaning recipes to help ensure your growing baby is getting the nutrients they need.
Expand the on-the-go menu for older children
The good news about packing snacks for older children with cow’s milk allergy is that you can eat the same foods they can, so take extras. A few milk-free options for a cooler or insulated bag include:
- Cucumber or pepper sticks with hummus or guacamole dip
- Finger sandwiches made with milk-free ingredients (such as ham and milk-free cheese)
- Slices of milk-free cheese and whole grain crackers
- Fresh fruit with apple sauce dip
Some less perishable finger foods suitable for older children with cow’s milk allergy include:
- Rice cakes
- Baked fruit crisps
- Popcorn (without butter)
A handy tip for all ages
Hand wipes are your secret weapon against germs and invisible milk allergens when your child has cow’s milk allergy. If you can’t find a sink and soap, use wipes on your hands and your child’s before handling food. You can also use hand wipes to clean tables and chairs at rest stops, tray tables on a plane, and any other surface your child might come into contact with on their travels.
Most of all, don’t be discouraged by a little extra travel planning for your child. Studies have shown that most children will return to a normal diet by 3-5 years of age, and possibly even sooner than this if they are on Nutramigen LGG®. In the meantime, take advantage of travelling to introduce your child to new experiences that you wouldn’t want them to miss out on.