Flying with an infant – Tips for bringing baby food on flights

Flying with an infant – Tips for bringing baby food on flights

We’re always careful to declare everything when traveling, especially when bringing baby food on flights. The last thing we want to do is upset the travel gods and get black listed for breaking the rules. So you can imagine our surprise when we were pulled aside and almost fined for bringing our son’s food on a recent flight. We won’t make that mistake again!

Lesson learned – Baby food (even formula) is considered food and it MUST be declared.

On our recent flight home from Maui we were stopped at the border because of Braydon’s food. I didn’t consider that his baby food (some still sealed and some open) would cause problems at the border, especially re-entering Canada.

The customs card that’s given on the plane includes details of the goods that we purchased on our trip but it also has questions about food. In one box it asked if we were bringing any food into Canada. I selected no because we had no food to declare (aside from Baby B’s food). I did this because of a conversation I had with an immigration officer when we went to Palm Springs a few months ago. He told me that when food is for a baby they are more lenient on the rules.

For example, each flight we’ve had with Baby B we’ve been able to bring a sippy cup of water. It was for this reason I selected that we were not bringing any food into Canada.

This was a mistake – so considered yourself warned!

Here are tips for traveling with baby food:

  1. Declare all baby food INCLUDING formula
  2. Have the food easily accessible so (if needed) you can show the immigration officer the food
  3. If in doubt – ask questions (better safe than sorry!)
  4. Do not bring fresh produce (even if it’s for baby) when traveling internationally. However, traveling within Canada (domestic flights) you can bring fruit in your carry-on baggage
  5. Be limited in the amount of food you bring on the plane. If you bring too much, you risk getting it confiscated.

I was told by the immigration officer that certain baby foods were not allowed in Canada. She didn’t mention which foods, and I have searched online to find this information, but I haven’t been able to find exactly what she was referencing.

Related – Should you bring a car seat when you travel?

Since I’m still unclear of what foods would be restricted, we now stick to common foods like pears, apples, squash, and sweet potato, when we travel domestic.

When we travel internationally, we bring only packaged food like oatmeal, baby formula, and milk.

Here is some further information from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority for travel within Canada:

Baby formula and food, juice, water and other baby items – These are allowed in your carry-on baggage or personal items. You can take these through the security checkpoints and aboard your plane. However, you must be travelling with an infant under two years of age (0-24 months). All items including formula must be presented to the Screening Officer and will be inspected. Gel or ice packs are subject to the liquid restrictions. We recommend that passengers freeze a bottle of milk or formula or carry a small bag of frozen solid vegetables (peas, for instance) to keep their baby products cool.



Have you had any challenges bringing infant food on a flight before? Do you have any travel tips to share?
Share your feedback in the comments section!



2 Responses to “Flying with an infant – Tips for bringing baby food on flights”

  • I am about to fly home to visit family with my 14-month-old son. I didn’t even think about restrictions on baby food. Can you recommend a good carry-on snack for a 5-hour flight? I was planning on animal crackers and the yogurt squeezes but are those allowed? Are any liquids allowed or should I just bring an empty sippy cup and they will give me water? Not looking forward to this.

    • Sorry for the late reply, we’ve had some issues with spam comments. Yes, you can bring some liquids with you, but it depends on the security people you deal with (sadly, consistency is not there). Bring a couple sippy cups with you and have the flight attendants fill them up with milk or water.

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