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.
Can You Bring 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.
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.
Can You 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.
Does the Type of Baby Food You Want to Bring on a Plane 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.
How Much Baby Food Can You Bring on a Plane?
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.
Will X-Ray Machines Affect Baby Food?
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.
Will Baby Food Pouches Explode 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.
Can You Bring Baby Formula 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.
Can You Bring Milk for Your Baby on a Plane?
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
Does a Diaper Bag 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.
Lindsay is an experienced traveler who has visited over 100 countries and has a passion for exploring the world.
As a former travel agent and current travel writer, Lindsay has extensive knowledge of the travel industry and loves sharing her insights with others.
Her expertise has been recognized by major publications such as Insider and Trip Savvy, where she has been quoted and mentioned.