If you’re flying with a baby, you no doubt want to know everything there is to know about bringing baby food on your next flight.

According to TSA regulations, you can bring baby food in both your carry on and checked bags.

But does the type of baby food you want to bring matter?

Is there a limit to how much baby food you can bring with you?

What about baby formula and milk – is that okay to bring too?

Let’s find out.

Bringing Baby Food on a Plane

Carry on Bags

The TSA has a rule in place called the 3-1-1 rule that prohibits passengers from bringing liquids, gels and aerosols in containers larger than 3.4oz/100ml.

Thankfully, this rule doesn’t apply to baby food, so you can bring baby food on a plane in your carry on without any worry.

However, the TSA require you to remove baby food from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

Checked Bags

You can pack baby food in your checked bags without any additional screening or having anything else to worry about.

If you are planning on bringing a large amount of baby food to your destination, it would be smart to pack the baby food that you need on the flight in your carry on (and maybe a little extra to account for lost luggage) and the rest in your checked bags.

You Can Bring Baby Food on International Flights

While the TSA only has authority in the U.S., you will find that the same rules apply when flying internationally.

So regardless if you’re flying from or within Canada, Mexico, the UK, Europe, or any other country worldwide, you will be allowed to pack baby food in both your carry on and checked bags.

The Type of Baby Food Doesn’t Matter

The type of baby food you want to bring on a plane makes no difference, whether you want to bring jars, cans, or pouches.

You can bring baby cereal, breast milk and formula, pureed vegetables/fruit/meat/cheese, unsweetened yogurt, mashed food, finger foods, and any other type you want to bring onto a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.

You can also bring ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories in your carry on to keep formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food cool.

Bring Baby Food in “Reasonable Quantities”

We recommend bringing only the amount of baby food you need to feed your baby for the flight in your carry on, and perhaps a little extra, because the TSA only allows you to bring baby food in “reasonable quantities.”

Just how much baby food this is, is hard to define as it is subjective, with the final decision resting with the TSA officer at the airport.

Don’t Worry About X-Ray Machines

The X-Ray machines used at airports will not adversely affect any baby food you want to bring with you.

If you would still prefer not to have any baby formula x-rayed, you can choose not to by informing a TSA officer who will take additional steps to clear the food, and you may also have to undergo additional screening procedures for yourself and your belongings in your carry on bag.

Or Baby Food Pouches Exploding in Checked Bags

While there’s a small chance that baby food pouches will explode when packed in checked luggage, it is still very unlikely.

If you are worried about this happening, make sure that you pack the pouches in a Ziploc bag to avoid damaging and staining your personal belongings.

How to Pack Baby Food for Air Travel

Here are 3 tips for packing baby food when flying to make sure your next flight goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Bring insulated containers, snack catchers, reusable pouches, bibs, baby wipes, and any other items you may need to store baby food.
  • Make sure that you inform a TSA officer that you are traveling with baby food at the beginning of the screening process.
  • Make sure that the baby food is easy to reach, as it will require separate screening.

You Can Bring Baby Formula and Milk on a Plane

You can bring baby formula on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags. The same screening procedures will apply as with baby food.

The TSA do not specific a limit as to how much baby formula you can bring.

While you are usually not allowed to bring liquids in quantities greater than 3.4oz/100ml in your carry on, there is an exception for milk if it is for your baby.

This is because breast milk is considered to be a medically necessary liquid

A Diaper Bag Won’t Count as a Carry On

If you’re planning on packing baby food in a diaper bag, it’s good to know if it is counted as a carry on or personal item.

In the USA and Canada, almost all the major airlines do not count a diaper bag towards your carry on allowance.

Some airlines will count a diaper as a carry on, personal item, or neither.

We go into more detail in our Does a Diaper Bag Count as a Carry On article.

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).