fridge verses freezer

Submitted: Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 22:05
ThreadID: 34328 Views:2640 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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We are taking a 12month old on a tag along 4WD tour to cape york, and I need some opinions on the fridge V's the fridge/freezer. It's our first big 4WD trip and I've never been camping with children.

What is the best option - buy the fridge/freezer and have the meals for baby pre-prepared of have the fridge and prepare as you go? (At 9months he is still eating mash, but will be 1 in the first week of a 4 week trip, I'm not sure how many 'whole solids' he'll be eating).

Any advice on the subject with or without kids would be greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: Platz - Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 23:47

Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 23:47
Hi Megan,
Don't know if this helps but we have a Engels 40litre fridge and an everkool esky. We run the Engels as a freezeer and have 4 x 2 lite milk containers filled with wtater. We keep 2 in the freezer and 2 in the cooler, rotating each night so they basically stay cold all the time. Seems to keep food fine. Was in Fraser 3 years ago and ran this system for 2 weeks and did not buy a bag of ice.
AnswerID: 175121

Follow Up By: John - Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 07:41

Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 07:41
HI, why dont you check with your tour guide, he would have a better idea of what you might need, one thing we found our last trip to the Cape is that vege's do not last long fresh.
we take a fridge freezer and fre pack all our neals into day lots and get one out in the morning and put it in the fridge part and it is thored ready to cook at night.
A freezer allows you to keep meat longer.
FollowupID: 431204

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 07:59

Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 07:59

I am not a expert on feeding rug rats, but keep him on the baby food and don't tell him is turning 1. That way he will not want to go on to solids. A few weeks over will not harm him before he is on the solids.

I don't know what he is eating now but can or bottle baby food should be alright for a 4 week trip.

You could always restock at Weipa.

If the fridge is on freeze it will be running just about all the time. Big drain on the battery when the vehicle is standing still. Better to have it set it on fridge.

AnswerID: 175134

Reply By: Steve - Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 08:36

Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 08:36
At that age ours were already on solids and we usually mashed part of what we were eating (perhaps not Vindaloo) for them eg: mashed carrot/pumpkin. Those Heinz "pure vegetable" jars were good and handy or "Yo baby" yoghurts.

That was last century when we had horse & cart though;-)
AnswerID: 175136

Reply By: Kenell - Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 10:24

Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 10:24

Fruit n veges dont keep at all well in northern areas. We found ourselves using tinned veges during prolonged periods away from civilisation or dehydrated packets. Neither requires refrigeration at all. I am a wrap for the frige only and using criovac process for meat. We have eaten meat several weeks after packaging and keeping in the frige at 4 deg. I dont like the idea of keeping any food in coolers (eskis) with ice. Better to keep that for the drinks or perhaps fresh fruit n veg. Criovac should only be used for fresh meat without any sauces etc as these can react. I wouldn't go pork or chicken but others tell me it is ok if you can get past the smell. Most butchers will do it for nothing now. Got to admit we camped without refrigeration for a while when ours were little (not sub 1 y/o though) and whatever we did must have been right. All three are now 20+ and strapping healthy Aussies. Catering wasn't my department so I can't accept too much credit.
Good luck

AnswerID: 175149

Reply By: Member - Pezza (QLD) - Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 10:31

Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 10:31
Megan you are in for a wonderful adventure!

I am presently a mother of an 18mth boy who we took on a month trip when he was 7 mths up to Cape Melville via some remote areas up and back from Brisbane. We thought it a good time cause he was still sleeping in big chunks, not moving heaps so we thought we could keep him out of trouble etc. It was a good plan at the time, though his plan was slightly different.
We took a 40lt engel with the setup you can see in our rig pics and no trailer.

As my boy was still in the early stages of eating he had fresh stewed apples that lasted for days in the fridge and allot of baby snack things like fruit sticks, biscuits, cruskits, poppers etc When we did caravan parks for a break from camping, I would cook a new batch of apples, alternatively you can use a billy on the fire. I did get him to eat tinned/jar fruit but he was a boy that loves frest best so it was only a backup when we would run out.

As for milk at this time we were still breast feeding so we didn't have to worry about fresh milk in the fridge. My suggestion would be to stay with breast/formula until you have done your trip as the change to fresh milk could be fine or it could be tricky. One more month isn't going to hurt as they are getting plenty of sustainance from food like cheese etc.

Having just been though the 12 mth hurdle I can promise, as you would already know, that your little one will be an individual and will do things as they would like not how you think the program should go. So I can only let you know what hurdles we hit.

12 months will be similar as at 7 mths, he didn't eat heaps at one sitting. Snacks were usually the go but he is more into snacks that we have, like mild cheese, plain biscuits eg. milk arrowroot biscuits, baby home cooked muffins (which you could do damper with jam while camping), yoghurt.

We would also share some of the things we ate that didn't have strong flavours/no salt (usually removed before we added) loved eating plain cooked spagetti/pasta, Hans meat products are preservative etc free and seem to sit well so we used little frankies that don't have skin, cheese/jam/vegemite etc toast fingers

You may find foods that are OK now not so good later on - cruskits were great when we were camping/younger but the more teeth and the stronger he got the more he pulled on them when his teeth were hurting which hurt him worse so we had to stop giving them.

The most important will be fresh fruit. Cause they are getting bigger the jar stuff seems too babyish and we wanted the finger foods more. Hubby has been to the Cape and said that the roadhouses should have limited supplies of fresh fruit and food if you need them. Good supermarkets at Cooktown, Weipa and Bamaga to stock up at.

I did try the jars and found that a couple of tins seemed OK for his taste but his favourite is the baby tin of baked beans

Find out the favourite foods, ours are plain biscuits, cheese, chocolate/natural comp lollies and baked beans. Especially if they are going through a fussy day due to teething, growing etc. these will be your sanity savers.

Besides the food aspects a few other things to think on:

**take plenty of medicine for pain relief, nose blockages and bonjella as teething gets harder for them as they get older, and even prescriptions you regularly use, cause you won't have a doctor or a chemist handy as they usually repeat the same symptoms each time they are sick. Also consider taking nappy rash cream - even though you may never have had the problem, if they start teething and are sitting heaps rubbing in a nappy could bring on a problem.

**we maybe walking - so you will need good supporting shoes for their feet cause they will want their independance and the ground is going to be very uneven for a L plate walker (usually takes a few months to be really steady)

**plan entertainment and the back seat of the car to be empty (as you will spend more time here than in the front)!! You will need to have toys that you can use and get good value out of for inside the car while travelling - we have felt boards, boxes with cars/trinkets in them, soft house with teddy and house stuff inside we can make stories with and books. Outside we usually want to be involved with what you are doing but - we love the ball, bucket and spade and anything of interest that we can find as we travel

Everything is up to what you as parents have in mind but I do suggest that whatever you decide to do trial it a few weeks before you go so they can tell you whether you are on the right track or not. May the force (of luck) be with you!!

Chezza (Better half of Pezza)
AnswerID: 175150

Reply By: ev700 - Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 10:46

Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 10:46
Many infants still have 3-4 top-up drinks from mum a day aty that age - no refrigeration needed!

You probably have been introducing some solids, well cooked and mashed, already and here are some suggestions:

-iron fortified oats and rice cereal;

-sweet potato, english potato (Deb dried potato is an option), pumpkin, carrot, avocado, apple (wrap any of these in plenty of newspaper and they keep well);

-canned fruit in no sugar added syrup (check that it does not have any difficult skin remaining); and

-meat - get the butcher to vacuum pack and it only needs refrigeration, not freezing. Cut off all fat and poach - give infant the juice first and maybe with some mashed potato. Then grind/mash meat with potato (helps it slip down)

Just by going back to whole foods yourself you can do the cooking for the infant forexample by baking/stewing apples.

Doctors want us to keep children away fruit juices (Poppers and the like) wherever possible: wipes out the children's teeth, promotes obesity and ruins kidneys (because not enough water is consumed). No harm in avoiding citrus drinks for a little while yet either.

What about some fish soup while you are up there? Go easy on the salt though - add that later (post cooking) for yourself.

Just introduce new foods gradually and in small quantities. Too easy!
AnswerID: 175154

Reply By: ellen m - Monday, May 29, 2006 at 20:48

Monday, May 29, 2006 at 20:48
Hi megan

There are a few things you could try that you can carry fresh out of the fridge and just cook every few days.They travel and last well and re-stock on the cape.

sweet potato
carrots (dont last as long as sweet spud)

also try
tined apple/pear etc
mix up baby foods like farex
formula (watch your water)
rusks/fruit sticks etc

Viv moon has a great cook book with lots of tips on keeping food longer.

You can buy stuff as you go. It will cost more that down south, but hey how much can 1 little fella eat! I havnt been up that way for a few years but lockhart river use to have quite good fruit and veg as they have them flown in at a discount rate so prices are not to bad. thursday use to be the best day, but that may have changed. Weipa will have stuff that will be ok and if you go over to thursday island they have a good supermarket. their fruit and veg is great if you get there on the day the ship from cairns arrives (use to be monday and thursday when i lived there a few years ago) Coen had stuff that was ok and i think there will be other places as well. You could always ring ahead and put an order in to pick up when you got there or find out what days the plane arrives from cairns and get stuff flown up. That would cost you a bit. Suppliers in cairns that will drop stuff to the airport for you is Marker garden produce ph 07 4052 1477 or Simon George 07 40317311. Woolies in Lake street Cairns will do country orders as well.

As for the fridge/freezer question. We have a 70 lt trailblazer fridge/freezer. love it. Our little fella is 3 now and i take a few meals of frozen spag bog etc when we go for long trips so i dont have to cook all the time. and also some of his favourates like chicken nuggets/veg nuggets etc. he can not drink plain milk so we take a couple of cartons of lactose free milk and keep one full and one open litre in the fridge at all times. i also fill all available space with soy yogurt when we leave cairns, as it is hard to buy outside big town. we fill the space in the freezer with fish (hopefully) as we go.

enjoy your trip and i hope i have helped a bit.

AnswerID: 175502

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