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TSA Keeps Parents from Bringing Additional Baby Goods

That's Not Gonna Fly: Baby Food Gets the Ax

If you've ever been stuck in an airport for an extended period of time with a babe, then you know that diapers, baby food, formula and whole milk are near impossible to find. Since all the kiosks sell phone chargers, scarves, and vacation mementos, it's hard to believe there's not one selling baby goods.

Nevertheless, well–prepared traveling parents who pack supplies better think again. To see what happened to a family in Chicago's Midway Airport,


On Tuesday, The New York Times told the story of Anand Soni and his wife, Arati Pratap. The two doctors flew with their 10-month-old daughter from Chicago Midway Airport to Manchester, N.H. Anticipating delays and full travel time, the couple stashed more food than necessary. Only when they reached security, the TSA agents confiscated a portion of the jarred delectables and formula.

Unfortunately, the TSA standards aren't crystal clear for flying families. They say:

Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.

All items including formula, breast milk, and juice will be inspected, however, you or your baby or toddler will not be asked to test or taste breast milk, formula, or juice. Our Security Officers may test liquid exemptions (exempt items more than 3 ounces) for explosives.

With unforeseen snags, it's hard to tell just how long your trip might actually take. And sadly, in this crazy world of ours, it's hard to tell people's intentions.

Tell us, what do you think of the TSA taking the family's food?


karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
They really need to difine "reasonable" for this to be enforceable.
lorioz lorioz 9 years
I think that if they are going to have a rule like this then the airports and the airlines must provide these products for their paying customers!
sodria sodria 9 years
Wow! It's amazing there's no one inside the airport selling these supplies.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
This is a horribly vague rule - and I wholeheartedly think parents should be allowed to bring on food for their babies... anythink that avoids having crying on the plane! I get cranky with the way we're kept from eating and bringing water anymore, I feel awful for the babies used to eating nonstop.
airennlyn airennlyn 9 years
"reasonable" comfort and your baby's well-being rest in the hands of some random airport employee...nice...
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
That sounds ridiculous! Doesn't baby food come in sealed containers that you can tell are sealed!? Why would they even worry about that!? I know I shouldn't and they're just trying to make us safer and blah blah blah but I despise the TSA. They are always rifling through my neatly packed things and messing them all up and slapping tape all over my nice, pristine shoeboxes that I really did like without all the TSA tape and just generally screwing up my stuff. And they ALWAYS search my bags. ALWAYS. I don't know if I pack like a terrorist or what... :?
meumitsuki meumitsuki 9 years
I almost had that happen. You can appeal to the TSA manager. I was flying with a 2-year old and a newborn and wanted to be prepared. The first guy wanted to confiscated the frozen breastmilk, but once I talked to the manager I could bring everything on which consisted of 32 ounces of breastmilk, 16 of whole milk and 5 baby food jars for a flight NC to PA.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
Wow that's pretty bad. Depending on your entire trip, a "reasonable" amount could be practically anything. Especially if you want to bring special stuff like organic food that you might not be able to find where you're going. So it's up to some random TSA employee? Sounds great.
gina2606 gina2606 9 years
I understand the issue about national security, and all of that. But, they really have to make clear what "reasonable amount" means. I'll be flying from Venezuela to Portland. It's going to be 3 connecting flights. I didn't know about this. I'll be contacting the airline to find out about it.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
The current rules are completely ridiculous and this just about takes the cake. Why can I carry my figure skates with their really sharp blades on a plane when you can't bring baby food? WTF? I could slice open the throats of the crew if I really wanted to, yet my child has to starve? Plus, the rules aren't even clear, so it really just depends on who you ask or end up getting in the security line.
HipMom HipMom 9 years
"reasonable", huh? very clear... so it pretty much depends on the mood of the security personnel that day!! plus excuse me, but shoulnd't it be up to a parent to decide what a "reasonable" amount of baby food is for their baby? If you have an 8-hour flight and you get delayed and have to wait at the gate for 3-4 hours, as it happened to us last year, then what? ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.
macneil macneil 9 years
It is RIDICULOUS. To create a bomb on an aeroplane from things you could store in baby milk containers you'd need to create an enormous lab in the lavatory, keeping things at close to zero temperatures. It would take over an hour and people would *notice*. I took an 18 hour flight with one change from Vancouver when my baby was 4 months, alone, and had to carry an enormous clanking bag of ready mixed formula because I couldn't breastfeed, and it was in the days when you couldn't carry any water, and for some reason I was too dumb, then, to know how powdered formula worked. It was nearly impossible - I also had about 8 sterilised bottles in separate bags, plus about a million changes of clothes and nappies because she was sick a lot at the time and doing about 5 poos a day. It nearly killed me.
Moms Moms 9 years
Unintentionally, I did this. My husband and I took our daughter to Hawaii when she was a baby. Since I didn't know if I'd be able to find the organic baby food she ate, I packed about 30 jars in a carry on and brought it that way fearing the glass containers might break in my suitcase or get lost with luggage. Who knew I could have made headlines?
Dawnie86 Dawnie86 9 years
What if you have more then one child? And a long flight? isn't 3 ounces a little to insufficient? Thats just crazy. When you have a child with you, and its clearly yours, who would to something with them there? Sometimes i don't really understand what those people thinking. Or if.
luv2blazy luv2blazy 9 years
Baby food: NO, Rope, duct tape, razor: YES. WTF!!!
starbright14 starbright14 9 years
I hate this system! It's so completely unfair! I feel like families with children are being punished. I understand the inspections and such, but this is just too much!
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
Also, what is "reasonable"? Doesn't that depend on whee you're going, or how long the flight will be? What if you are going on three connecting flights? Yeah, let's starve the toddlers of the world...why not just ask the parents to taste the food, then? I'm sure they'd have rather done that than not had enough to feed their kid.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
Airlines need to be more clear in their guidelines. TSA agents and other airline personnel sometimes let their "power" go to their heads, I think. I hear so many ridiculous airline stories that clearly are NOT about national security. For example, why are names on a terrorist watch list not accompanied by a social security number, photo, birthdate, ANYTHING? My Hispanic fiance's entire family has had problems at the airport because they only use a person's name, no other identifying information.
stina829 stina829 9 years
What does reasonable quantities mean? I mean, that can be defined in a lot of different ways, don't ya think? I don't know. Flying is becoming more and more a pain in the butt. I think I'd rather drive to where ever I was going, lol
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
they should have read the rules.
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