Taking Baby Food On A Plane

Tips for getting the food you need to put that baby to sleep onto the plane and staying sane.

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IN SUMMARY

  • Baby food and bottles can pass through TSA
  • They will receive additional screening
  • Keep them in their packaging and sealed
  • At the checkpoint place them in their own TSA bin
  • Stay positive!

TSA agents may refuse to let baby foods pass depending on their, or your, disposition but we have found it is possible to get through.  

Our first time travelling with our baby, we didn’t know we could take baby food or formula through security, we took some bottled breastmilk and were prepared to plead for the mercy of TSA gods to let us through with it. We were surprised when they told us it was fine and that we could bring a water bottle through as well for her cereals and formula. Now this time we had a sort of unplanned TSA vs baby food dilemma.

We had store-bought 2nd and 3rd baby foods packed in our suitcase which we had planned on checking and decided at the last minute to just carry on the plane with us. When we went through the TSA checkpoint and saw our suitcase was receiving extra attention, we immediately remembered the baby food packed away inside and prepared ourselves to be reprimanded for our contraband.  Nothing of the sort occurred; an agent brought our suitcase over, it had to be opened, they removed the small case that had the foods in it and checked them with their little test strips.  The agent was kind and courteous and suggested in the future to have the baby foods packed like they were, all together in a smaller pouch, but to place the pouch outside the suitcase next time. While this wouldn’t keep them from receiving extra attention and screening, it would make the process easier and less messy as only that small pouch would have to be screened instead of the entire suitcase.  Some of our items were not passing the wipe test and so one of us was asked to receive a pat down, to us it’s not a big deal, to be uncomfortable for a minute to ensure our baby had the food she needed is no inconvenience at all. From the time we put our items on the scanner to being done with all the screening took about 10 minutes.

So, while you absolutely can take baby food through airport security, be prepared for extra screening. Keep the baby food outside your suitcase and packed separately. While it is an inconvenience to have extra screening done to your items,  having these foods with your baby on the plane is invaluable to keeping your child and fellow passengers happy.

Written by Gabriel Martinez
Edited by Eliana Martinez

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