Before You Feed the Baby
Always wash your hands before feeding your baby, after handling raw meat, after changing diapers or touching pets. Inspect the food container that you are using. Discard any leaking or swollen pouches or jars that the safety button has popped. Spoon into the baby dish the food you are going to use.
Feeding Your Baby
Heating Baby Food
You can heat the baby food to room temperature or slightly warmer. Refrigerated or frozen foods need heated to 165 degrees and then allowed to cool to room temperature or slightly warmer. Use an electric baby food dish or place heat resistant dish in a saucepan with about an inch of water. Heat the pan to simmer-not boiling.
Microwaving Baby Food
Microwaves create hot spots in the food and may burn the baby. If you choose to use the microwave, cover the food, heat only for about 15 seconds, remove, stir and allow to rest for a few minutes. This causes the temperature of food to even out in the dish. Don’t microwave meat.
With all methods, stir the food, wait 30 seconds and using your own spoon-not the baby’s- test the temperature of the food.
Storing Left Over Baby Food
Once the baby food jar is opened it must be used up within three days or within twenty-four hours for meat. Store left over food in the refrigerator. Toss out any food that has been at room temperature for more than two hours.
Treat the baby’s food dish and spoon as you do the baby’s bottle and sanitize after each use.
The baby spoon is for the baby, do not place it in your mouth.
Never double dip by feeding out of a jar than re-using the same jar again. If you feed out of a jar, you need to throw away any food remaining in the jar.
Freezing Baby Food
You can freeze extra food. Use a clean ice tray and spoon into each cube the amount your baby will eat at a serving which will range between two teaspoons for young babies and three tablespoons for older babies. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and place in freezer. When the food is solid, move the cubes into a food-safe plastic bag for storage.
Or you can use a clean cookie sheet and place one to two tablespoons of baby food in separate areas on the tray. Cover and place in freezer. When solid place in a freezer bag and label with date. Use within one month.
Defrosting Baby Food
You can defrost frozen baby food by putting in refrigerator labeled with date and time, under running water or part of the reheating. Don’t thaw in standing water or on the counter. Heat the baby food following the procedure outlined above. Don’t re-freeze foods and throw away any uneaten food.
For a thorough coverage of baby food safety please read Food Safety for Moms-to-be.
Image credit: serezniy / 123RF Stock Photo
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