Can You Bring Baby Food on a Plane?

Taking your baby or toddler on a trip can be exciting and very rewarding, but one thing that is sure to make the journey more difficult is having a “hangry” baby.

So it’s important to familiarize yourself with everything there is to know about traveling with baby food through an airport and on a plane.

According to the TSA, you are allowed to bring baby food on a plane, both in your carry on and checked bags.

But how much can you bring?

And what about taking water and juice for your little one?

Let’s find out.

Can You Bring Baby Food on a Plane?

In the USA, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have a 3-1-1 rule which states that when flying you can only take liquids in your carry-on that are a maximum of 100ml or 3.4oz.

The liquids you take should fit in a quart-sized bag, and each passenger is only allowed one plastic bag.

The good news for parents is this rule does not apply to baby food, so you can take food for your little one through security and onto a plane without any problems.

When going through security you must inform the TSA officer and remove these items from your bags so they can be screened separately.

If you’re traveling internationally you will also find the same rules apply and that food (and drink) for your baby are excluded from the 100ml  / 3.4oz limit.

How Much Baby Food Can You Take On A Plane?

The next question you may have is how much can you take.

The TSA doesn’t give an exact figure, instead, they state that you are allowed to travel with “reasonable quantities” of baby food.

In practice, this means that unless you take a huge amount of baby food in your carry-on, you should be absolutely fine passing through security without any issues.

Can You Bring Any Type Of Baby Food On A Plane?

The TSA is relaxed about the type of food you can bring.

So jars, pouches, purees, and cans are all acceptable.

As are snack bars, Cheerios, puffs, yogurt, fruit such as apples, finger food and any other type of food your baby likes to eat.

If the items need to be kept in a cool bag and you therefore need to take ice or freezer packs then according to TSA regulations these are also allowed.

Will Baby Food Pouches Explode On A Plane?

It’s pretty unlikely and rare for pouches to explode on a flight, and this applies to both checked-in and carry-on bags.

If you want to take extra precautions though, you could always wrap them in paper or in a plastic bag to contain any mess if the pouch does explode or leak.

Do X-Ray Machines Harm Baby Food?

According to the TSA, x-ray machines do not adversely affect food or medicines, so passing through the machine will not harm your baby’s food or milk.

If however, you prefer your baby’s food not to pass through an X-ray machine then that’s fine, you just need to inform a TSA officer who will then arrange for the items to go through a different screening process.

How To Pack Baby Food For Flights

Below we’ve listed some tips on how to pack formula powder or milk for travel:

  • Pack enough for the entire journey. While children’s food or milk might be available on your flight there’s a chance your baby won’t like it, so it’s great to have something you know they like as a back-up.
  • Consider packing slightly more than you need just in case your checked-in bags get lost and you can’t easily buy more baby food when you arrive at your destination.
  • Make sure you have plenty of baby wipes and a few bibs in your carry-on.
  • Ensure all baby food and drinks are easy to reach because they will need to be screened separately.
  • TSA regulations also allow you to take hot water through security if you’re traveling with a child, which is handy if you want to warm up a squeezable pouch. If you’re planning on doing this then remember to take a plastic container which you can fill with hot water to heat the pouch in.

Can You Bring Breastmilk On A Plane?

As with baby food, the 3-1-1 rule does not apply to your baby’s milk.

So your child’s milk, whether it’s breastmilk, cow’s milk or any other type of milk, can all be taken on a plane, provided the quantity you bring is “reasonable”.

In practice, this means that even if your baby has a big appetite or you’re on a long journey, the amount of milk you take is unlikely to be of concern to a TSA officer.

Can You Take Baby Formula On A Plane?

Yes, you can bring baby formula on a plane.

Again the TSA doesn’t specify how much you can take on-board, provided the quantity in your carry-on bags is reasonable in the eyes of the TSA officer.

Can You Bring Other Liquids On A Plane For Your Baby?

In addition to milk, formula and baby food, TSA regulations allow you to take “toddler drinks” in your carry-on bags, even in quantities over 100ml or 3.4oz.

So water, juice, and other liquids are all allowed to be taken through security and on-board when flying both domestically and internationally.

Nick is a passionate dad who co-founded Rockinbaby to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He has a BSc and MBA, and works as a senior marketing professional. In his spare time Nick loves watching sports, staying fit and traveling. Learn more about Nick here.

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