How to Prepare Baby Food Safely
Preparing food for your baby makes it more significant. Babies' immune systems are less developed than adults' so their tummies are vulnerable to illness caused by food borne bacteria. It is important to begin with good quality ingredients. It’s best to use fresh food whenever possible, but you can also use frozen or canned foods. If you’re using processed fruits and vegetables, try to find products without added sugar, especially canned fruits. To ensure that the food is safe for your growing little one, follow these simple steps for preparing, serving and storing food.
Hygiene tips in preparing baby food
- Wash your hands and any equipment used to prepare the food.
- Use separate cutting boards for meat, poultry and fish and for non-meat food to avoid cross-contamination.
- Wash highchairs, bibs and eating areas in hot, soapy water.
- If your baby is eating finger foods or eating with his hands, wash baby's hands before he eats his meals.
- Change kitchen cloths and tea towels frequently.
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under clean, running water.
- Cook meat, poultry, and fish thoroughly to kill any bacteria that might be present.
Serving / reheating baby food
- Serve your baby's food in a clean baby plate and sterilized utensils.
- Never allow cooked food to stand at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- If you're using a microwave to heat up food, stir it well to avoid hotpots.
- Don't reheat your baby's food more than once.
- Never defrost baby food by leaving them at room temperature or in standing water.
Storing baby food
- Do not store prepared baby food in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs or more than 48 hours for fruits and vegetables.
- If you're making batches of your baby's food in advance, cool them quickly and store them in the fridge.
- You can limit the growth of bacteria by cooling foods very rapidly – to do this, store food that you have prepared for your baby in shallow containers.
- If your baby leaves any food in his bowl after a meal, throw it away.
- Check the best-before and use-by dates on food that you give to your baby. If you have uneaten food left in a pouch or jar, you can keep it in the fridge for 24 hours after it's been opened.