Ordering Baby And Child Airline Meals
Updated January 2016
What is a baby or child meal?
A baby, child airline meal, and if you are really lucky a toddler airline meal, are pre requestable meals which differ from the usual meal choice on the flight. Airlines do vary in their special food availability for younger guests. As a general rule, long haul flights with large airlines provide this service, with the Asian and Arabian Gulf airlines excelling. Thankfully, it is easy to order a baby or child meal. Baby meals, if available, can be requested for an infant between 0 and under 2. Baby meals are puréed food jars. Child meals are for children over 2, who are in their own seat. These are often pasta, or chicken nugget type meals. If your child is under 2, and weaned, it is best to bring your own provisions, as there are only a handful of airlines who will provide a toddler or post weaning meal. Details of these can be found below. You can also pre- order baby supplies from Boots at UK airports, meaning you can pick up food pouches, milk, nappies, suntan lotion after UK security.
How do I book a baby or child meal?
- You can often request a special meal online and can follow up with a phone call, or re-confirm when you check in.
- Make sure you order at least 24 hours prior to departure. As an ex flight attendant, I know that occasionally special meals don’t make it on to the plane. This could be a booking error; by the airline, travel agent, or passenger. Please do not get upset with the crew on board as it is out of their hands. They are a request only, but every endeavour is usually made to rectify the issue.
- Some airlines like Virgin, Emirates etc, carry a limited supply of baby milk formula and baby food puree jars, but if it’s imperative you have a particular brand etc, definitely pack a small supply of your own.
- A children’s meal is generally designed for children aged 2 and over but there are some exceptions. See below for airline specific information. As a rule, unless your airline specifies that they provide a post weaning meal, or toddler meal for children aged 1 and over; you cannot request a child meal for an infant under 2 who does not have their own seat.
- I always recommend packing plenty of your own snacks and fruit in case the meal service does not come at a time your child needs it, or the meal is not to their liking.
Here is a compilation of several large international airlines and what they currently supply on board.
Air Canada – Infants’ and children’s meals are available only on international flights and in business class within North America.
Air France – Baby food and cookies are provided and Child meals for up to 8 years old are provided on flights over 2.5 hours or more. Products are organic.
American Airlines – do not provide baby food or child meals.
Asiana– You can request a baby meal, toddler meal or child meal up until 24 hours before the flight. However, these meals are only provided for flights departing Incheon.
British Airways– Baby Meals cannot be pre-ordered but they have a limited stock of baby food and milk. Child Meals ( 2-12 yrs old) are available on all long haul flights and some short haul.
Emirates– You can request Baby Meals and Child Meals. There is a limited amount of baby milk powder, spare bottles and pureed baby food available on all flights.
Etihad– You can request Baby Meals and Child Meals
Eva Air– You can request baby meals, post weaning meals for over 2 year olds and a child meals for children aged between 2 and 5.
Lufthansa– Items such as mini sausages and soups, and baby food are available on board (whilst stocks last), and do not need to pre-ordered. Children’s Meals can be booked for all long haul and some European flights..
PIA– You can request baby, toddler and child meals. The toddler meal is for children between 2-3 year sold and the child meal for children aged 3 and over.
Singapore Airlines– Provide four different types of meal choices for infants and children. Their Child Meals are suitable for children between two and seven years old. Baby Meals concept of 3 jars of baby food and are suitable for infants less than a year old. They also provide a Post Weaning Meal option for children aged between one and two: with food which is easy to bite, chew and digest. Lastly, they have a Child Meal for Infants which is also made up of food items that are easy to bite, chew and digest but the portions are more substantial in terms of quantity and choice, compared to Post Weaning Meals. Singapore Airlines also provide an exclusive inflight meal service, called Yummy!, which allows their young customers aged between 2 and 11 years travelling in Suites, First and Business class to select their main course before their flight.
Sri Lankan– They provide baby meals and also child meals. The child meals are available for two different aged groups between 1 – 6 and also 7- 12 years. They promote a varied and healthy diet with salt and sugars added in a natural form.
Qantas– You can request baby, toddler and child meals. They also provide a limited range of baby food, milk, baby bottles, cereals and rusks.
Qatar– baby food jar, baby bottles