Foods and travelling with kids: 1 year old

travelling with kids 1 year old manaia lounge

After flying to and from Europe (on 24 hour flights) with our little one when he was 7 months old, my husband and I dared to get back on a plane. This time he was nearly 12 months old when we decided to do a family trip to New Zealand. From the east of coast of Australia that means a short 3 hour flight across ‘the ditch’. We thought surely after surviving flying to Europe, a 3 hour flight would be a piece of cake. We had it all planned out –what could go wrong?

The hard thing I find when travelling with kids is the sleep schedule. Lucky for us are little one is flexible with his sleep schedule which is travel has always worked well for us. So we had worked out a schedule which worked with the flights – so hopefully he would get on the plane and be tired and ready for a sleep.

However it did not quite go to plan…

The Flights

First of all the flight from Sydney to Christchurch was delayed. It was a very early flight, departing at 7.50am so we had been up since 4am. Once we got settled after takeoff our little one had been up for 5 hours, so we placed him in the bassinet ready for his sleep. The flight to New Zealand was about 3 hours so we had hoped he would sleep for a lot of this- but he had other ideas. He did not sleep at all. So even the best travel planning can’t account for a little one with other ideas.

The Food

The food played a big role in that sleep schedule as we wanted him to not be hungry as we were trying to put him to sleep on the plane. He was also in the transition to mostly solid foods so we tried to ensure he continued having solid foods throughout the airport and plane travel.

Food schedule and airport food

We gave him an early breakfast in the airline lounge about 6am. We were lucky to have airline lounge access and I acknowledge not everyone has access to a lounge. One the way over we were in the Qantas First Class Lounge and to our surprise it had a kids menu. When we were in the same lounge 4 months earlier we weren’t offered a kids menu so this was interesting. He had scrambled eggs and avocado at 6am – his favourite. We then gave him a small bottle of milk on take-off (planned to be 2 hours later) to help prevent his ears getting sore. And then it was time for a nap. We had planned for him to sleep for a couple of hours and then feed him just before landing with the food served to him on board. That way we thought we could get through immigration, pick up luggage and get to the hotel, all without him being hungry and grumpy.

Foods and travelling with kids: 1 year old - foods and flying with 1 year old
Kids menu Qantas First Lounge Sydney

On the way home we had an afternoon flight, but we tried to implement a similar strategy. We kept our little one in the hotel in the morning where he had a solid nap for a few hours before leaving for the airport just after midday. After we checked in, we gave him a meal in the Manaia lounge with the goal of having a couple of hours between the meal and takeoff, so he could again have a small bottle on takeoff then settle down for a nap. In the lounge he tried vegetable lasagne, cheese pasta and an egg triangle sandwich.

Foods and travelling with kids: 1 year old - foods and flying with 1 year old
My little one in the Manaia Lounge at Christchurch Airport
Foods and travelling with kids: 1 year old - foods and flying with 1 year old
Cheese pasta and vegetable lasagne
Foods and travelling with kids: 1 year old - foods and flying with 1 year old
Egg sandwiches and ham and cheese sandwiches

Again he threw a curve ball and decided he was a big boy and didn’t want to nap. But the good thing is he wasn’t starving and so wasn’t grumpy.

Baby meals onboard

We ordered him a baby meal on the Emirates flights which came with two pouches of baby food: a pouch of vegetable and lentil bake, and one pouch of apples. The veggie bake declared it was suitable for 7+ months of age on the packet. They warmed up the veggie bake pouch and our little one loved it. It was the same meal on the way back, flying Christchurch to Sydney. However this flight was in the afternoon and he decided that in addition to his baby meal he also really liked the look of my husband’s cheese plate and proceeded to eat the most of the cheese.

Emirates baby food meal
Baby meal on Emirates
travelling with kids 1 year old
Foods and travelling with kids: 1 year old - foods and flying with 1 year old
Emirates kids pack
Foods and travelling with kids: 1 year old - foods and flying with 1 year old
The baby wipes were very helpful

This article is an example of how I travelled with my 1 year old and is not meant to be a recommendation or advice. There may be different circumstances to suit different people/babies when travelling. Hopefully my experiences are helpful to show different foods available to babies when travelling. For more pictures of baby foods I have encountered travelling see my article on kids food and travel.

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