So far, we've been very fortunate to have wonderful opportunities to travel as a family when we perform. The very fact that we can travel and share the experience with our two sons is a great joy, and we hope to never lose that ability, however it also brings an added layer of complexity to our lives. As musicians, we are inclined to be focused on our artistic needs, checking and double-checking that we have our instruments, sheet music (when we perform as a duo, we use iPads, bluetooth pedals, music stands and-- of course-- chargers!), dress clothes, shoes, merchandise, and other accessories like spare strings, pedals, etc... Once we had children, that act of preparation became exponentially more complicated when we considered their needs on top of our own. I imagine all parents can relate to that experience, there is not only the children's clothes, diapers (who knew those could take up an entire piece of luggage by itself!), toys, books, stroller, Pack 'n' Play etc... I find meal preparation to be especially tricky. Because we are so picky about what our sons eat, I try to prepare homemade foods as much as possible, even on the road, although in truth we also bring some organic commercial baby food just in case of an emergency.
Here is the baby food I brought along for our 12 months old son, Joseph, to the Lakes Area Music Festival last August.
Banana and avocado are always useful, not only are they great fillers for meals, but when we had an early morning rehearsal I simply smashed them and fed him (photo below). So easy and it seems like he really enjoys it.
I also find it a challenge to do meal plans in advance, especially if I don't know whether we will have access to a kitchen or appliances, or know how close a supermarket is to our destination. At the Lakes Area Festival, we were fortunate that the festival provided a private condo for the musicians so we were able to use the kitchen to cook and warm food for ourselves. Oddly, it is a nice treat to be able to avoid the need to eat out every night, as well as a big cost saver.
Below, you can see Philip feeding Joseph a carrot and snack pea purée with chicken risotto. I even made the chicken broth from scratch! When I have time, I like to cook as much at a single sitting for our sons and divide for a couple of servings per container and store in the freezer. Frozen pre-made food also helps to keep other perishable food fresher in the cooler during our trip.