Safety Tips For Making Homemade Baby Food

Homemade baby food is an excellent alternative to salt, sugar and chemical preservative packed commercial foods. Making fresh baby food full of healthy ingredients has to be good for your baby, right? Wrong! Bacteria and unwanted ingredients can sneak into your baby's meals without you even knowing. In this article, we'll share some great tips for preparing, serving and storing your baby's food to prevent any contamination.

There are lots of easy baby food recipes out there using a variety of ingredients, but there are some rules that you should adhere to no matter what kind of home made baby food you make. First of all, when freezing baby food, use an airtight container, preferably a new or very well cleaned one, or use ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop out the cubes, store in a sealed plastic bag, and use within two months. Another rule you should stick to is discarding unfinished meals. Saliva from the baby's mouth provides a breeding ground for bacteria, so it's best not to serve leftovers. The "one new food a week" rule is helpful because it allows you to pinpoint potential allergies. Most parents opt to introduce solid foods in the form of fruits and vegetables before feeding their baby meat.

Preparing homemade baby food is preferable to commercial foods, but there are some dangers that you should look out for. First of all, never use honey as a sweetener. Honey can cause deadly infant botulism. In fact, it's best to resist the urge to add salt, sugar and other spices too. These can be hidden in canned or processed fruits, vegetables and meats, so fresh or frozen foods are a better alternative. One thing that parents often forget to check is the temperature of foods. Microwaves can create hot spots in the middle of a dish, so it's best to use the defrost setting and stir the food well before serving.

Now that you know what ingredients should and shouldn't go into baby food, it's time to get cooking. Cleanliness should be your top priority. You'd be amazed by how easy it is for bacteria to find their way into your foods. Cracks, joints and scratches in dishes, utensils, cutting boards and pots and pans are wonderful places for bacteria to hide. Make sure that everything that comes in contact with your baby's food has been thoroughly cleaned with soap and very hot water. Cooking with meats, especially poultry and eggs, requires extra care. Don't use the same knife to cut meat and produce unless it's been washed and make sure that the cutting board is also cleaned. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze unused foods immediately and don't forget to wash your hands!

After scrupulously preparing homemade baby food, you'll want to make sure that it's stored properly. There are important guidelines that need to be followed in terms of refrigerating and freezing food and the amount of time that food can be stored. Storing infant food in the refrigerator is probably the least convenient and safe way to store baby food. If you do refrigerate extra food use it with 48 hours. The best way to use the freezer to store baby food is to freeze purees in ice cube trays and then put the cubes into freezer safe containers or bags when frozen. Label the containers clearly with their contents and expiry dates. Now that you know how to properly prepare and store your favorite baby food recipes, have a great time exploring new foods and flavors with your baby.


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