Home-cooked food? Outside food? I bet all mummies can totally relate to this dilemma when the little one is involved in a travel plan. Well, home-cooked food is no doubt the best for babies but considering the practicality during travel, I chose to do both home-cooked food and outside food. Since Baby V is going to be a year old soon, I am a bit more lenient towards her food.
Initially, I considered bringing a thermal jar so that I can cook and pack porridge for her while we are out but I backed out after considering the space that the jar takes up, and the weight of the jar. After all, there are already tons of other necessary baby stuffs to bring along.
With all these in mind, I chose to cook food in the morning so that my tiny human can have home cooked breakfast or brunch, and sometimes reheat the food for dinner when we were back. At times, I also packed fresh fruits like grapes, blueberries, and strawberries for outings. Since the weather was about 10-15oC during our stay in Japan, I can quite confidently say that the fruits are still nice and fresh after 3-4 hours without refrigeration. I also brought along baby puffs as snacks too.
Otherwise, I just let Baby V have plain food like rice, bread and tofu, or any other food that has been rinsed with water to remove seasonings. Therefore, Baby V have had her fair share of udon and soba noodles too during our stay in Japan. In fact, I was fascinated that she actually mastered the skill of slurping or rather, sucking noodles into her mouth. Haha.
Now, back to the homecooked food topic. We booked our Nishi-Shinjuku apartment through Airbnb and this is how my mini kitchen looks like. As small as it may seem, the mini kitchen is actually very well equipped for simple cooking.
I brought anchovy powder and some rice from home. The rest of the ingredients like veggies, fruits and eggs were bought from local supermarkets and convenience store. This is the mini refrigerator in our room. It was sweet of our Airbnb host to stock free "adult snacks" for us in the fridge. Haha.
The kitchen and fridge in our Kyoto room looks pretty much the same sans chopping board and knife. However, cutting up ingredients was not a problem since there was a kitchen scissor.
So, what are the stuffs that I have cooked during our stay in Japan?
1. Spinach porridge with anchovy powder
2. Apple porridge
3. Apple soup
4. Daikon soup with anchovy powder
5. Wakame soup with cherry tomato and bonito flake
6. Tofu soup with tomato. mushroom, egg, and leek
Add udon/ soba noodles bought from convenience store to any of the savoury soup above and voila, a hearty bowl of hot soup noodle is ready breakfast or dinner! In fact, all of us have home-cooked breakfast almost everyday. I am pretty delighted that our Shinjuku Airbnb host actually has salt and pepper, together with tea, coffee, and sugar ready in the kitchen. I bought a tiny bottle of salt from a convenience store when we were in Kyoto since it was not prepared by the host. While our Kyoto kitchen is a little less complete when compared to the one in Shinjuku, I still love our accommodation very much for one reason, i.e. sleeping on the wooden floor on Japanese style futon mats. In the parenting world, this means that tiny human can crawl almost anywhere without the parents fearing that the baby might fall from the bed. Haha.
To sum up, if you intend to cook when travelling with your little one, take note of the availability of kitchen and fridge when booking your accommodation. If you don't mind carrying a food jar for outings, or that your baby is simply too young to take pre-rinsed adult food, go ahead by all means so that your baby can enjoy the goodness of home-cooked food for the entire trip. :D
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