Can you serve baby food cold
Making Your Own Baby Food
You don’t have to buy commercially prepared food for your baby. Homemade baby food is easy to make, inexpensive and environmentally friendly. It can be as nutritious, if not more nutritious, than store-bought baby food. Eating homemade baby food teaches your baby to enjoy the same foods that you prepare for the rest of the family, also.
Your baby is ready for table food when they can move their tongue from side to side, chew with their new teeth, and spoon feed themselves with their fingers or with your help. When your baby is between six and 11 months old, you can start gradually adding a variety of table foods to their diet. Refer to HGIC 4100, Feeding Your Infant for a general guideline of suggested times to offer different foods to your infant.
At first, feed your baby single ingredient foods that have been pureed. Offer only one new food at a time for several days in a row. Watch for signs of a food allergy (e.g. rash; hives; coughing; diarrhea or vomiting), and contact the doctor if your baby has any of these signs. Otherwise, give your baby about a week to adjust to a new food before offering another one.
Gradually your baby will be ready for some foods that are not pureed. You can begin mashing their foods with a fork or finely chopping soft foods like vegetables, fruits or cooked chicken. You can feed them small cubes of toast or bread, also.
Do not serve your baby a mixed-ingredient food until they have eaten each individual food separately, and you know they are not allergic to any of them. Mixed foods (e.g. casseroles and pizza) are not appropriate for babies under a year old. These foods may cause an allergic reaction, or they may contain ingredients that could choke your baby.
Pureeing Table Food
Definition: Pureeing food means that you put it through a sieve or grinder to make it into a liquid-like, smooth texture. For a thinner consistency, add water or other liquids.
Equipment: You can puree many foods from the family table for your baby by using a fork, potato masher, blender, strainer, food mill or baby food grinder. Foods can be mashed with a fork or chopped finely for older babies.
Safe Preparation Procedures: Follow clean, sanitary procedures in all food preparation and storage. Wash your hands, all surfaces and equipment with detergent in hot water and rinse thoroughly. Use separate utensils and cutting boards for animal foods (e.g. meat and poultry) and non-animal foods (e.g. vegetables, fruits and breads).
After cleaning food preparation surfaces, sanitize them by flooding the surfaces with bleach solution made from 1 teaspoon unscented chlorine bleach to 1 quart water. Allow solution to stand for several minutes, then rinse and air dry or pat dry with fresh paper towels.
Thoroughly rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. While rinsing firm-skin fruits and vegetables, scrub them by rubbing with your hands or with a clean vegetable brush. Remove and throw away bruised or damaged areas where bacteria can thrive on produce. Washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, chlorine bleach solution, or commercial produce wash is not recommended, because they could be absorbed into the produce or leave a residue that could make some babies sick.
Ways to Cook: Steaming and boiling are the best cooking methods to conserve nutrients. Microwave cooking is acceptable, especially for vegetables. Do not add salt, seasonings, sugar, margarine, butter, lard, oil, cream, syrups, gravy, sauces or fat drippings to food for babies less than one year old. Foods taste differently to your baby than they taste to you.
Rub a small amount of pureed food between your fingers to test for smoothness. You may need to add some fluid (e.g. formula, breast milk, fruit juice, water or cooking water) to make it the right consistency.
Foods to Use: Choose high-quality fresh (preferred), frozen or canned vegetables, fruits and meats. The United States now requires Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) to give consumers information about the origin of foods. The following foods sold in retail stores must have a COOL label: meat, poultry, wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans and macadamia nuts, and ginseng sold by designated retailers. However, these foods are not required to have a COOL label if they have been physically or chemically changed through a process such as cooking, curing or smoking.
Vegetables & Fruits: Wash vegetables and fruits well in clean cold running water. Before cooking, remove parts not to be eaten (inedible peels, seeds, pits). Edible skins and peels can be removed either before or after cooking.
Fresh-cooked vegetables and fruits can be pureed with no added salt, sugar, fat or other unnecessary additives. To minimize vitamin loss, boil fresh vegetables or fruits in a covered saucepan with a small amount of water. Or, steam them until just tender enough to either puree, mash or eat as a finger food.
Canned or frozen vegetables and fruits may be pureed, also. When using commercially processed canned or frozen items, check the ingredient label to avoid extra sugar, salt, fat, and other unnecessary additives.
Commonly Pureed Vegetables & Fruits: Ripe mashed bananas; applesauce; dried, cooked prunes; fresh pears and peaches, soft-cooked and pureed; potatoes; sweet potatoes; winter squash; peas; asparagus and green or wax beans. Do not serve citrus fruits or juices until the baby is one year old.
High-Nitrate Vegetables to Limit: A baby under six months old should not eat home-prepared high-nitrate vegetables, including: beets; broccoli; cabbage; carrots; celery; collard greens; lettuce; spinach and turnips. It is best to wait until your child is a year old before feeding them these vegetables. Limit to no more than one to two tablespoons per feeding.
Nitrates in these foods can change to nitrites, which bind iron in the blood, making it hard to carry oxygen. This may cause breathing difficulty and may even make the skin turn blue.
Meats: Remove all bones, skin, connective tissue, gristle and fat from meats, poultry and fish before cooking. After cooking, remove tough parts and visible fat.
All meats, poultry and fish should be well cooked to kill harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites. Baking, boiling, broiling, braising, roasting, stewing, poaching and steaming are good cooking methods, but frying is not. Cook food until soft and tender and it reaches a safe temperature, according to a meat thermometer. Refer to HGIC 3580, Cooking Meat Safely for more information.
Cut cooked meat into small pieces or thin slices and puree. Warm meat is easier to blend than cold meat. Do not cook food in an oven at a temperature below 325 °F. Do not heat pureed meats in the microwave, because hot spots in the meat could seriously burn your baby’s mouth and throat.
Before you feed your child hot dog wieners, luncheon meats or deli meats, thoroughly reheat these meats until steamy hot. Let them cool before serving. Reheating destroys Listeria, a foodborne bacteria that, if present, could make your infant sick.
Eggs: Buy refrigerated eggs with clean, uncracked shells. Store them in the original carton in the main section of the refrigerator, not on the refrigerator door. Use eggs within three to five weeks after getting them home and putting them in your refrigerator.
Hard cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm and not runny, and then separate the yolks from the whites. Serve only the yolks to babies less than one year old, because egg whites may cause an allergic reaction. To soften the yolks, mash them with some liquid, such as sterile water or infant formula. Make sure that eggs are not kept at room temperature for more than two hours, including serving time.
Never feed a baby raw or partially cooked eggs or foods that contain them (e.g. homemade ice cream, mayonnaise or eggnog). Pasteurized egg products, such as dried egg yolks that are used by some chefs and institutions, are extremely safe to serve your baby. However, pasteurized egg products contain some salt or sugar for stability if frozen.
Dry Beans & Dry Peas: Follow cooking instructions on the package label or a basic cookbook. Do not add seasonings, salt, or fat to the beans or peas. Cook until soft enough to puree or mash easily. If canned beans or peas are used, drain the salty water and rinse them with clean water before pureeing or mashing.
Grain Products: Cook noodles, macaroni, spaghetti, rice, barley and other grain kernels until very soft. Then mash, puree, or finely chop, depending on the baby’s development. Babies can choke on cooked grain kernels that are not mashed or ground.
Unsafe Foods to Avoid: Do not give babies any baked goods or other foods that contain honey (e.g. graham crackers made with honey or Honey Nut Cheerios®). Never add honey or corn syrup to your baby’s food, because it may contain bacterial spores that could cause a life-threatening illness or even death. Avoid canned food from dented, rusted, bulging, leaking or unlabeled cans and jars.
Do not feed your baby any home-canned food except fruits. In addition, do not feed them raw fruit purees, because some raw fruit can carry pathogens and is a food safety risk. Therefore, you should heat the puree of raw fresh fruits (e.g. apples, peaches, pears, melons and other soft fruits) to about 180 °F, or to a simmering temperature, and then cool. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also warns against giving young children unpasteurized fruit juices.
Serving Table Food
Prepare foods for a baby immediately before use, and avoid using leftover food. Allow freshly cooked food to cool for 10 to 15 minutes so that it does not burn your baby’s mouth and throat. Before feeding the food to the baby, taste test the temperature using a CLEAN spoon.
Food that is not eaten right away should be refrigerated or frozen immediately after cooking. Cover, wrap, or protect food, and label with the date and time prepared.
Never leave baby food (solid or liquid) for more than two hours at room temperature (between 40 °F and 140 °F) or for more than one hour if the temperature is above 90 °F. Throw out any foods left unrefrigerated for longer times. When food is left out longer, bacteria can grow to harmful levels and may cause your baby to get sick.
Storing Table Food After Cooking
Refrigerator: Baby food spoils more easily than other foods, because it has been pureed or ground. It also does not contain the preservatives needed in many shelf-stable processed foods. If freshly prepared baby food (pureed food) is not used right away, refrigerate it in shallow covered containers and use within one or two days. Meats, poultry, fish and egg yolks should be used within 24 hours. Make sure your refrigerator maintains the food at a consistent temperature of 40 °F or lower to keep food safe.
Freezer: Freeze pureed baby food in single-serve portions so that it can be heated and safely fed to your baby. There are two recommended ways to freeze it.
Ice Cube Tray Method: For single-serve portions, pour cooled, pureed food into a paper cupcake liner or directly into sections of a clean ice cube tray. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in freezer.
Cookie Sheet Method: Drop 1-2 tablespoons of cooked, pureed food in separate spots on a clean cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put in freezer.
When cubes or pieces of food are frozen solid, put them in a plastic freezer container or bag and store in the freezer. Write the name of the food and the date on the container and use within one month for best quality. Make sure the freezer temperature is cold enough (preferably 0 °F or below) to keep food safe.
Thawing: Frozen food can be thawed, or defrosted, three ways: in the refrigerator; under cold running water or as part of the reheating process. Don’t thaw baby food on the counter at room temperature or in standing water (e. g. in a pan or bowl).
When you remove baby food from the freezer, label it with the date and time removed. Store thawed food in the refrigerator and use most within 48 hours or throw it out. Meats, poultry and fish should be thrown out after 24 hours, however. Do not refreeze baby food that has thawed.
Warming: Baby food can be served cold, at room temperature or slightly warmed. Refrigerated or frozen home-prepared baby food should be thoroughly reheated to at least 165 °F before feeding it to your baby.
There are three ways to warm baby food.
An Electric Baby Dish: This keeps the food at constant temperature, but food should always be stirred and tested for temperature before feeding to the baby.
A Small Heat-resistant Dish Placed in a Saucepan: After dishes are placed in about an inch of water in a saucepan, heat water to simmering, not boiling. When food is warm, remove, stir and test for temperature.
Higher-fat foods, such as meat and eggs, should always be warmed on the stove, because they heat faster and splatter or overheat more.
A Microwave Oven: Microwave ovens heat unevenly and cause “hot spots,” even if the food feels cool to you. If you decide to heat your baby’s food in the microwave, follow these safety tips. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe cover, not plastic wrap. Stir food well and turn dish often. Heat food only a few seconds to a lukewarm temperature. Stir to prevent “hot spots,” then let sit for a few minutes.
Regardless of the warming method you use, always stir and taste test food yourself. Make sure the temperature is lukewarm and won’t cause severe burns to your baby’s mouth and throat.
Feed your baby with a CLEAN spoon, and throw away any leftover food in the baby’s dish or the serving dish. Reheat food only one time, and never refreeze food that has been thawed.
Pureed Baby Food Recipes
Making your own fresh fruit purees is a food safety risk, unless you heat them first. Raw fruit purees are unsafe for babies to eat, because some raw fruit can carry pathogens. Therefore, you should heat the puree of raw fresh fruits (e.g. apples, peaches, pears, melons and other soft fruits) to about 180 °F, or to a simmering temperature, and then cool. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against giving young children unpasteurized fruit juices, also.
Bananas Plain & Simple:
Choose a ripe banana with an unbroken peel and no damage to the outside. Rinse the banana under running water and remove the peel. Puree or mash the banana with a clean fork. Serve immediately, and throw away leftover banana.
1 medium apple
4 tablespoons (¼ cup) pineapple juice
Peel, quarter and core apple. Combine with pineapple juice and heat to about 180 °F, or a simmering temperature, until soft. Blend until smooth in texture. Let cool before serving to baby.
Apples & Peaches:
½ cup + 2 tablespoons water
1 cup peaches (fresh, frozen, or canned in juice)
Peel, core, and dice apple. Combine with ½ cup water in a saucepan, then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then puree mixture until smooth.
While apple is cooling, prepare the peaches. If using fresh peaches, peel and slice them. Combine peaches with 2 tablespoons water in a blender. Puree until smooth. Combine apple and peach mixture and heat the puree to about 180 °F, or to a simmering temperature. Let cool before serving to your baby. Freeze no longer than one month for best quality.
Pureed Fruit Delight:
½ cup freshly cooked or home-canned fruits. Use apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots or cooked dried prunes (without sugar).
2-4 teaspoons liquid (water, formula, breast milk or unsweetened fruit juice – not citrus)
Remove skin and seeds. Press through a sieve, or put ingredients in food mill or blender and puree until smooth. Serve or freeze. Freeze no longer than one month for best quality.
Yummy Fresh Fruit:
¾ cup ripe fruit (uncooked peaches, nectarines, pears or apricots) without sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened fruit juice (not citrus)
Remove skin and seeds. Puree ingredients in baby food mill or blender until smooth. Heat the puree to about 180 °F, or to a simmering temperature. Let cool, then serve or freeze. Freeze no longer than one month for best quality.
1 cup frozen peas
¾ cup water
Place peas and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook for 6 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then puree until smooth. Serve or freeze. Freeze no longer than one month for best quality.
½ cup cooked fresh, frozen or canned vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, yellow squash), no salt added
2-4 tablespoons cooking liquid, formula or water
Cook fresh vegetables, or use frozen or canned vegetables without salt or seasoning. (Read labels for ingredients.) Press vegetable chunks through a sieve or baby food mill. Thin with cooking liquid or formula to eating consistency. Or, put cooked vegetables and liquid in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve or freeze. Freeze no longer than one month for best quality.
Note: After the individual vegetables have been fed several times, some good combinations are: potatoes and carrots, potatoes and green beans, carrots and peas.
Simple Strained Meat or Poultry:
(for babies over 8 months)
½ cup cooked meat (small pieces of lean chicken, beef, turkey or pork)
2-4 tablespoons meat broth or formula
Cook lean meat (fat, skin and connective tissue removed) over low heat in a small amount of water. Puree meat and liquid until smooth. Serve or freeze. Freeze no longer than one month for best quality.
Your Choice Combo Dish:
(for babies over 8 months)
1 cup cooked, cubed or diced meat (cut off fat)
½ cup cooked rice, potatoes, noodles or macaroni
⅔ cup cooked, diced vegetables
¾ to 1 cup liquid (formula, broth or water)
Combine and blend until smooth. Serve or freeze in serving-size containers. If frozen, use within one month for best quality.
Note: Serve combination dishes only after you have fed the individual foods several times.
Egg Yolk Puree:
(for babies over 8 months)
Put eggs in a saucepan and cover them with 1 inch of cold water. Put pan on a burner on medium-high heat. Let water come to a boil, put a lid on the pan, and move the pan onto a cold burner. Set a timer for 15 minutes for large-sized eggs (12 minutes for medium-sized or 18 minutes for extra large-sized). When the time is up, cool the eggs promptly by setting the pan in the sink and running cold water into the pan.
Peel eggs and remove yolks. The recommended way to peel an egg is to gently tap the cooled egg on the countertop or table until it has cracks in it. Roll it between your hands until the cracks turn into small crackles all over the egg. Starting at the large end of the egg, use your fingers to peel off the shell.
Combine egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of formula or water per yolk and mash until smooth. Store in refrigerator and use within one day. Or, freeze and use within one month for best quality.
Note: Use only the yolks. The extra egg whites can be used in the family’s casseroles, salads or other dishes. To avoid problems with allergies, wait until your baby is a year old to feed them egg whites.
Fruit & Yogurt:
(for babies 10 months and older)
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup cooked, unsweetened fruit
Combine yogurt and fruit, mashing lumps of fruit if necessary.
(for babies over 1 year)
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups milk, warmed
Mix egg yolks and sugar. Stir in milk and mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the spoon. Store in refrigerator and use within one to two days.
Home Canning of Baby Food
Fruits Only: Fruits are the only type of baby food that may be canned safely at home. However, the following fruit purees should not be home canned: bananas; figs; Asian pears; tomatoes; cantaloupe and other melons; papaya; ripe mango or coconut. There are no safe recommendations for these fruits. Other fruits can be pureed or mashed (chunk-style), and then processed in the following way.
Hot Pack: Select your favorite fruit or mixture of fruits. Stem, wash, drain, peel and remove pits from fruit if necessary. Measure fruit into a large saucepan, crushing slightly if desired. Add 1 cup hot water for each quart of fruit. Cook slowly until fruit is soft, stirring frequently. Press through a sieve or food mill. If desired for flavor, add sugar to taste. Reheat pulp to boil. If sugar was added, boil until it dissolves. Pack hot fruit into clean, hot half-pint or pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process half-pints or pints in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes of actual boiling over the tops of the jars. For step-by-step instructions on using the boiling water bath method, refer to HGIC 3040, Canning Foods at Home.
Do not use commercial baby food jars for canning, because they require special equipment for sealing that is not available for home use.
To Serve: Heat the blended foods to boiling, simmer for 10 minutes, cool and serve. Store unused portions in the refrigerator and use within 2 days for best quality.
Caution: Do not attempt to can pureed vegetables, red meats or poultry. Proper processing times for pureed foods have not been determined for home use. Instead, can and store these foods using the standard processing procedures. Then puree or blend them at serving times.
Commercial Baby Foods
Sometimes you want to make baby food at home from fresh ingredients, but at other times you may need to feed your baby store-bought baby food, which is a convenient, nutritious option.
Nutrition Labels: Read nutrition labels so you’ll know what ingredients are in the food you buy for your baby. Most commercial baby food companies no longer add salt, sugar and starch like they did in the past. Combination foods (e.g. dinners and desserts) often have added starch and sugar. They also are more expensive and may be less nutritious than individual foods.
Infants grow so fast that they need more calories from fat than older children and adults. Therefore, labels on food for infants and children less than two years old do not list the calories from fat, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat or cholesterol. Labels also don’t contain the column “Percent Daily Values” or the reference to the 2,000-calorie diet.
Baby food is packaged for different stages (e.g. stage 1, 2 or 3), depending on the texture of the food.
Cautions: Do not feed a baby under one year of age any commercial foods containing whole eggs or egg whites. Never heat commercial baby food in the jars, because they could crack or break when heated in the oven, boiling water or the microwave.
For More Information
For related information on feeding your baby, refer to HGIC 4100, Feeding Your Infant, HGIC 4101, Breast Milk or Infant Formula?, HGIC 4102, Introducing Solid Foods to Infants and HGIC 3640, Food Safety for Pregnant Women & Their Babies.
Originally published 09/05
If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at [email protected] or 1-888-656-9988.
How long does baby food last? Plus, how to prepare and store everything safely
You’ve perfected your little one’s favorite carrot purée recipe and nailed it when it comes to petite portion sizes, but now you’re wondering: How long does baby food last? While, unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to storing baby food — a lot of it depends on the ingredients and how it’s prepared — there are definite guidelines to follow.
In addition to baby food storage, there also are safety precautions to keep in mind when making, serving and reheating your little one’s food. (Who knew baby food could be so complicated?!) From food prep techniques that minimize the risk of foodborne illness to the proper way to refrigerate, freeze and thaw foods, here are answers to all your questions about keeping your baby’s food safe.
Are you supposed to heat up baby food?
When opening a new jar of baby food, there’s no need to heat it up. You can serve it at room temperature. However, when serving leftovers or food that’s been previously prepared and refrigerated, your little one, like you, probably doesn’t want to eat it cold. (Also, heating it up will zap bacteria. More on that in a bit.)
Is it safe to heat baby food in the microwave?
“The best way to warm up food is either in the microwave or stove,” says Natalia Stasenko, a registered dietician, child nutritionist and owner of Feeding Bytes. “If microwaving, transfer the food into a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for about 15 seconds for every four ounces. Before serving, stir it well to make sure there aren’t any hot pockets and test it yourself. ”
When reheating foods that contain meat or eggs, Stasenko recommends using the stove since the “high fat content may create overheating.”
How do you cook frozen baby food?
According to the Partnership for Food Safety Education, you should choose one of the following three ways to thaw food that’s been previously cooked and frozen:
Once food is defrosted, it should be cooked in the ways recommended above and then cooled to a lukewarm temperature before serving.
What temperature should baby food be?
Bacteria have been killed once the internal temperature reaches 165 F. The best way to ensure refrigerated or frozen food has been sufficiently reheated is to check it with a food thermometer.
Can you save leftover baby food?
Storing baby food once it’s been opened or freshly made depends on both the ingredients, as well as how it’s been prepared. Typically, store-bought food lasts a bit longer than any foods you make from scratch.
Once you open a jar of baby food, place the unused portion in the fridge quickly. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), baby food that has been opened but not refrigerated should be consumed within two hours — possibly less, depending on the food.
“Fruits and vegetables may stay out a bit longer, but meat and poultry should be placed immediately in the fridge to avoid bacterial overgrowth at room temperatures,” says Dr. Sara Siddiqui, a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital in New York.
Is it OK to reheat baby food?
“Never reheat cooked food more than once,” Stasenko says. “Doing so can increase the risk of food poisoning.”
So after heating food up for your baby once, toss whatever goes uneaten, even if you didn’t serve it.
How long does baby food last in the fridge?
“Homemade baby food doesn’t last quite as long as jars and pouches from the store,” Stasenko says.
Here are some storage guidelines to follow for both store-bought and homemade baby food.For store-bought baby food:
“Generally, once opened, fruits and vegetables will last 48 hours in the fridge after opening,” says Siddiqui. “Meats, poultry and eggs should only be stored up to 24 hours.”For homemade baby food:
“Homemade baby fruits and vegetables should be used within 24 to 48 hours, storing any unused and uncontaminated portions in the refrigerator,” says Siddiqui. “Meats, poultry and eggs should be stored no longer than 24 hours.”
How long does baby food last in the freezer?
Baby foods can be frozen for up to three months, says Siddiqui, when they are stored in freezer-proof containers or ice cube trays that have been covered with heavy duty plastic wrap.
What are the other basics of baby food safety?
Every parent and caregiver making, handling or serving baby food should be aware of these standard safety rules.Keep things clean
Whether you’re making your own baby food or serving up store-bought goodness, it’s important to be sure everything — and we do mean everything — is clean for baby’s mealtime.
“Parents need to make sure all food prep surfaces, utensils, cutting boards and storage jars are clean and have been washed with hot, soapy water,” says Siddiqui. “Washing hands thoroughly and frequently during food prep and storage will reduce potential contamination, as well.”
The Partnership for Food Safety Education, a nonprofit food safety organization, also stresses the importance of having a designated spot for diaper changing, which — need we even tell you? — should never be the kitchen. And scrubbing up after a diaper change (pee or poo) should always be a nonnegotiable since — brace yourself — “hands contaminated with feces play a significant role in the spread of many bacteria and viruses that can cause food poisoning.”
If you have an older child who’s able to use utensils or pick up food on their own, make sure they clean their hands, as well. If possible, have them use warm water with soap, which has been proven to be more effective than hand sanitizers.Beware of cross-contamination
While the words “fewer dishes to clean” are music to any parent’s ear, serving your baby food straight from the jar isn’t recommended.
“In order to decrease contamination from normal germs found in saliva, it is best to remove the food that’s needed and serve in a separate container,” says Siddiqui. “Afterwards, discard any food from baby’s bowl that they haven’t eaten since, again, it’s come in contact with saliva.”
On the front-end, take steps to avoid cross-contamination during food prep.
“When making your own baby food, be sure to always use a separate chopping board and knife for raw meat and poultry,” says Stasenko. “Also, keep raw meat and poultry covered and separate from other products in the fridge.”Carefully inspect
In addition to taking care to properly prepare, store and reheat food, read labels. When using store-bought baby food, be sure to both check the expiration date and make sure the jar lid “pops” when opening it. If it doesn’t, or if you notice chipped glass or rust under the lid, the FDA advises discarding the food. For baby food pouches, make sure the seal isn’t broken.
Infant formula temperature: what temperature should infant formula be?
09/23/2019 Reading time: 5 min 110029
Contents of Article
- Basic Rules for Mixing
- Separately about water
- How to measure mixture temperature?
- How to give formula?
- How to choose the right mix
- Expert advice
- Myths about infant formula
Basic formula preparation
Mother's milk is the best food for a newborn. However, lactation does not occur in all women, and sometimes there is too little milk. In this case, infant formula comes to the rescue - a special food created taking into account all the needs of your baby. What temperature should be the infant formula and how to achieve ideal performance, we will tell in this article.
This is important!
The optimal and comfortable temperature of the mixture for the baby is 36-37 degrees Celsius, that is, the temperature of his body.
Some mothers, for ease of breeding, pour the mixture literally with boiling water. And this is a big mistake, because too hot water destroys the nutrients in baby food. Boiling water can be used, but only on the condition that it is diluted before you pour it into the infant formula.
Separately about water
When choosing water, pay attention to its labeling. Bottled has the designation "for food" or "for the preparation of mixtures." The second option does not contain a large amount of mineral salts, so it does not disturb the balance of the mixture. Moreover, it is recommended to use filtered and boiled tap water only in the most extreme cases. If you do not have the opportunity to regularly buy bottled water, purchase a special "children's" filter. It does an excellent job of purifying running water, making it more or less suitable for baby food.
In the age of digital solutions and smart technology, any household issues, including maintaining the optimal water temperature for diluting the mixture, are solved with the help of assistant devices. Purchase an electric kettle with a built-in thermometer or a heater that allows you to maintain a constant optimum temperature around the clock - so you will always have “ready” water for cooking at hand.
How to measure the mixture temperature?
There are several ways to measure. You can, as described above, use a kettle or heater with a predetermined temperature. It's fast and convenient. Breeding the mixture in the classical way, it is necessary to measure its temperature before giving it to the baby. For this you can use:
• special thermometers for liquids;
• infrared thermometers;
• own wrist. Apply a few drops of nutrition to the back of the most delicate and sensitive part of the wrist. If it's hot for you, it will be hot for the baby;
• the area of the temples. It is also a sensitive and therefore "test" zone. Attach the bottle to the right or left temple - it should not burn the skin, you should feel a light and comfortable warmth.
Never try to determine the temperature of the mixture by taking a sip from the bottle or dipping your finger into it.
Both in the mouth and on the hands there are always a lot of bacteria, they can be potentially dangerous for the health of the child - do not risk it!
If the mixture is too cold or hot?
If the mixture is too hot, it is recommended to wait a bit with feeding, it will cool down at room temperature in 10-15 minutes.
If this worries the baby, you can cool the food by placing the bottle in a bowl of cold water.
If the food is cold, proceed in the same way, only by changing the temperature: place the mixture in a bowl of warm water. Do not use a microwave for this, food warms up unevenly in it, and there is a big risk for the baby to get burned. After cooling or heating, the temperature of the mixture must be checked before giving it to the child.
How to formulate?
In addition to strictly following the instructions for storing and diluting baby food, it must be given to the baby correctly.
This is important!
If the baby is mixed-fed due to a lack of mother's milk, it is necessary to supplement it with a mixture only after breastfeeding. The second option is to completely replace one feeding with formula*.
Baby food is served to the baby in a bottle that is convenient for him (watch the material of the nipple and the size of the hole: if it is too small, the child simply will not be able to eat, and if it is too large, he may choke). Before feeding, the bottle must be sterilized: you can use a pot of boiling water, a special sterilizer or a dishwasher for this.
Another important note: if the child is completely bottle-fed, or the baby is sick (especially if there is a high fever or diarrhea), it must be supplemented. The amount of liquid for supplementation during the day corresponds to the volume of one feeding. To do this, choose special baby water, which can be bought at a specialized store, a dedicated department of a supermarket or a pharmacy. Bottled water is also suitable for making infant formula. All questions about the drinking regimen of a baby on artificial or mixed feeding must be checked with a pediatrician!
How to choose the right mix
There are many varieties of infant formula available on the market. Conventionally, they can be divided into three main options:
- Dry, in powder form to be diluted with water.
- Liquid packed in sterile packaging, ready for use.
Regardless of the type of mixture, before feeding the baby, it must be brought to the desired temperature. This can be done with water (in the case of dry options) or simply by heating the package in a water bath (in the case of the finished mixture). It is recommended to choose your option with a pediatrician. However, it must be understood that regurgitation, infantile colic and constipation in most cases are associated with age-related characteristics of the developing gastrointestinal tract and can sometimes increase with a change in diet or the introduction of new products.
However, according to the recommendations of doctors, the main thing in choosing an adapted mixture is its tolerance. This means, first of all, the absence of allergic reactions, as well as serious dyspeptic manifestations: regurgitation and vomiting, loose stools or constipation. Most modern adapted milk formulas contain all the necessary nutrients and vitamins:
• fatty acids, including polyunsaturated ones;
• prebiotics and probiotics;
• biologically active components, including the carotenoid lutein contained in breast milk.
The composition includes a complex of minerals and vitamins in the proper ratio, corresponding to the needs of a child under the age of one year. In accordance with the methodological recommendations of the “Program for optimizing the feeding of children in the first year of life in the Russian Federation”, it is only important to correctly calculate the volume of the mixture, based on the age of the baby, as well as body weight.
From parents, this requires only the right choice, storage and preparation. With the help of modern technology, this is easy and simple: you can create the ideal temperature for infant formula without resorting to any tricky techniques. For example, now on sale you can find bottles with a temperature indicator.
Myths about infant formula
You may also be interested in these topics:
- Pre-mixed liquid formulas for infants: key benefits
- Hypoallergenic milk formulas
- Baby menu at 6-8 months
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Rospotrebnadzor banned pancakes and pasta in school canteens
In school canteens, it is forbidden to serve naval pasta, pancakes with meat, sausage and a number of other products, the Rospotrebnadzor recalled. Specialists in baby nutrition support these restrictions, parents, in turn, are unhappy.
Rospotrebnadzor in St. Petersburg told what not to feed children in schools. “It is forbidden to use homemade products, fried eggs, navy pasta, pancakes with meat and cottage cheese and deep-fried dishes in school meals,” the department said in a message published on Instagram.
Prohibited foods also include game meat, waterfowl, cold soups, spicy sauces, patés, mushrooms, margarine, cream cakes, peanuts, and hard candies. From drinks, the stop list includes energy drinks, natural coffee, kvass and koumiss.
Some products are banned because with a high degree of probability they can become a source of bacterial or intestinal infection, a pediatric gastroenterologist tells Gazeta. Ru on condition of anonymity.
“Scrambled eggs are not cooked enough to kill salmonella pathogens. The same goes for pasta pancakes. These dishes are left without sufficient heating for a long time and can cause poisoning,” he notes.
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“These bans have been in effect since January 2021, and their task is to reduce the risk of infection for children,” Valery Alekseev explains to Gazeta.Ru , head of the Bureau of Investigation of the ONF.
However, he clarifies that “according to ONF estimates, food poisoning is a minority of all poisonings in schools.”
“The main sources of infection are dirty hands and poor quality water. Coolers in schools are not always cleaned. Faucets must be non-contact. But this is not respected,” says Valery Alekseev.
Proper eating habits formed in childhood ensure health and longevity, says Elena Kostyrko, gastroenterologist of the Atlas clinic network.
“Currently, there is a steady increase in gastroenterological pathology in children, which is primarily associated with nutrition. Steps are needed to optimize the children's diet, including in educational institutions,” calls Elena Kostyrko.
A few years ago, school meals focused primarily on the amount of calories a child needed. Today, nutritionists have revised this position: the nutritional value of products has come to the fore - they should be useful and should not harm.
“Any products with margarine and deep-fried products have a detrimental effect on the cardiovascular system. The danger of processed red meat (sausages) and its association with an increased risk of rectal cancer was confirmed by WHO several years ago,” says Elena Kostyrko.
At the same time, according to Valery Aleksev, "meals in schools are compensatory." He explains that residents of different regions of Russia have different nutritional needs, “therefore, the Ministry of Health and nutritionists should be involved in the preparation of nutrition in each region.”
Cold hot meals: Parents complain about school lunches
49% of parental complaints about the Primary School Nutrition Hotline are about food being served...
15 May 11:05
Parents of primary school students, however, regularly complain that their children come home from school hungry because the food in the cafeteria was "tasteless".
“The only thing my son enjoys eating at school is dumplings, pancakes and naval pasta. She doesn’t eat soups, salads and cutlets, because they are not the same as at home, ”Muscovite Tatyana S. complained to Gazeta.Ru.
Questions and wishes from parents of schoolchildren have already appeared in the comments to the message of Rospotrebnadzor.