Food on the go

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If you are planning to go out of the house for a few hours, or perhaps the whole day, whether this is for an appointment, shopping, or a meeting with a friend, and you won’t have time to have breakfast at home.  Depending on where you are going and what you are doing, you would know whether you intend to buy breakfast or prepare breakfast at home and take it with you.

If you intend to buy breakfast outside, why not try the following healthy alternatives for babies, children, older children and adults, when you are out:

  • Buy instant porridge, some cafes have this option, baby puree food, fruit pots, ready-made milk, whichever your baby prefers, according to their age.
  • For older children, try something more filling like breakfast pots with yogurt and oat clusters. Always make sure that the oat clusters are completely soft before feeding small children, to avoid choking.
  • For yourself and slightly older children, you could take a yogurt with granola or clusters, a nutritional shake or perhaps, something fresh from the bakery with a fruit juice of your choice, tea, coffee or instant porridge
  • For those who have time to make everything themselves or are on a tight budget, breakfast, lunch or nibbles for snacking on throughout the day can all be prepared from home.  This will help you to deal with your hunger and that of your children more effectively and healthily than being caught short and having to resort to fatty or sugary foods when that is all that is available.

Why not try the following ideas to help you manage your time?

  • Plan what you will make for breakfast and lunch, depending on how long you will be out. Remember that you may be out longer than expected, so it is always helpful to have extra with you.
  • Prepare as much as you can the night before e.g. putting water in bottles, cut up fruit and vegetables, crackers, cutlery, and anything else which you need and put it in food bags.
  • Prepare sandwich fillings ready to be used in the morning. Sandwiches will go soggy if made too far in advance.
  • Always use good quality containers, food bags, cling film and foil to prevent cross contamination.
  • Try to wake up early to prepare breakfast, lunch or snacks for the day ahead.


These tips can be useful however long you plan to be out.

Buying food for yourself and children, when you are out can be expensive, even though it may be convenient. Preparing food at home to take on a day out can be stressful, especially when you have to prepare both breakfast and lunch but it can save you money. So be timewise, decide what you prefer to do and prepare ahead.

You can have your breakfast in all sorts of places.  The car is a useful place for breastfeeding mothers, as it offers more privacy, especially when you have a nursing cover. Breakfast in the park can be exciting for children. If you use a picnic mat, avoid parts of the park used for dog walking. There are many places these days that open for breakfast, from supermarkets to coffee shops, and benches inside or outside shopping centres. Having breakfast at home can sometimes take up a lot of your time, especially when you have children or have woken up late, which is why occasionally planning to have breakfast outside of the home can sometimes mean that you get to leave the house at your scheduled time but, more importantly, it allows you to have the most important meal of the day.  Having breakfast at home is, and should be, the ideal option but, unfortunately, it’s not always a practical option for some people in some circumstances.

If you are preparing food from home, always wrap everything well to avoid leakage when you are out. Where possible, use containers with a locking system on the lids. Alternatively, foil, cling film and food bags will do the job.

You can choose what you buy and prepare from home. Babies or children may be happier eating foods which they are familiar with, and you can buy your own food when out and about.

You could try rice pudding in pots for toddlers and young children; they can be extremely convenient as they are not only filling but can be eaten hot or cold. If possible, try to buy rice pudding which has not been in the fridge for children.

For those who prefer instant porridge, the options are as follows; buying instant porridge of your choice from the supermarket the night before or on the day of your outing and asking for hot water in a café or having breakfast in a café where you know instant porridge is sold, i.e. Greggs, in which case they will make the instant porridge for you.

For those who prefer breakfast pots, Nomadic breakfast pots are perfect for the times when there is no time for breakfast at home but you know you have to fit it in your schedule somehow. The breakfast pots are small and compact and come with a spoon and in 3 different flavours, which are; strawberry, raspberry and chocolate and can be bought in most supermarkets and work-place canteens.

Food prepared at home should always be the first option, however, for whatever reason, if this is not an option, then there are healthy options for children of different ages as well as adults.


People living with serious food allergies, or those who are sensitive to certain foods should always consult with their doctor or health visitor before introducing new foods to young children. 

Always make sure that the instant porridge has cooled down before giving it to young children.

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