Homemade baby food handling
Food safety is topmost concern for many mothers. Who doesn’t go crazy if baby gets a tummy ache from the food they ate? The moment you decide it is the right time to start baby with solid food, is also the best time to learn about food safety. If you have started whipping up homemade baby food from fruits and vegetables such as apple, pumpkin, banana, sweet potato, avocado and other nutritious baby food then the next best thing to do is slid them inside food pouches and freeze them for next day feeding.
Many parents are discovering that homemade baby foods can be a nutritious option and would often result to more savings than regularly buying store bought baby food. To ensure that the food is safe for your growing infant, follow these simple steps for selecting, preparing, freezing, storing food and popping frozen baby food into a food warmer before you feed it to baby.
Carefully Select Ingredients
Always begin with good quality ingredients. It’s best to use fresh fruits and vegetables 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 fruit packed in syrup.
The best time for baby to start on solid food is at six months. If you choose to start your baby on solids before six months, you should take extra care. Aside from carefully selecting ingredients, sterilise feeding spoons until your baby is six months old and wash your baby’s bowls and feeding equipment in a dishwasher or very hot water. Use a clean tea towel or paper towels to dry them. Or a better option will be, buy pre-sterilised and ready to use Food Pouches. Cherub Baby’s On The Go Food Pouches are reusable baby food pouches are an extremely portable, and disposable way to store, freeze, warm and serve homemade baby food. Simply grab a refillable baby food pouch as you walk out the door, heat then serve! Entirely Biosphenol-A (BPA Free) and microwave, bottle and food warmer and freezer safe, these reusable food pouches are tamper proof and have a generous 150ml capacity making them the perfect size for single meals when on the go with the baby.
Preparing Baby Food
When preparing baby food, you don’t need to make your kitchen totally sterile. There’s even evidence that our houses are too clean these days! However, it makes sense to follow these basic hygiene by washing hands before you start to prepare meals for your baby. Also wash highchairs, bibs, and eating areas in hot, soapy water. If your baby is eating finger foods or eating with his hands, wash your hands before he eats his meals. Change kitchen cloths and tea towels often too.
Preparing homemade baby food is very simple. Cook the food, let it cool a bit, toss it into a blender or food processor and puree away. You can also use a stick mixer or an immersion blender. Cherub Baby has a Natriblend Steamer Blender Food Preparation Unit which works wonders in preparing homemade baby food in the kitchen. The Cherub Baby Natriblend Steamer Blender Baby Food Preparation Unit will steam, cook and blend your food as well as sterilising your bottles and accessories. With an LCD screen the Natriblend gives you maximum control over how you prepare your baby’s food, and all in one place without having to use any separate appliances. Puree and blend your baby food as your creativity and your baby’s age allows. Don’t be afraid to puree sweet potatoes together with apples for example. And don’t be afraid to use breast milk and/or formula. These ingredients will give a nutrition boost as well as offer baby a familiar taste.
The best option on baby food preparation is steaming vegetables and even some fruits. This softens them, makes them easier to chew, and preserves more of the vitamins and minerals than boiling. No need to add salt or sugar. Try a bit of lemon juice as both a preservative and a natural flavor enhancer for the homemade baby food you are whipping. Avoid deep-frying, which adds unhealthy fats to foods.
Freezing Baby Food
In order for your baby’s meal to have variety, freezing baby food is important so that your baby gets a good selection and mix of what you have prepared for eating for the rest of the week. Preparing homemade baby food is such a difficult task but safely handling freshly made purees and sauces to freeze and eventually defrost with food warmers is essential in keeping baby’s food safe.
Use bottles or better yet reusable food pouches, which have been washed at a high temperature to store and freeze homemade baby food. Add the food into food pouches just enough for a single meal. Remember that food will expand as it freezes, so don’t overfill and leave enough space if you’re freezing baby food. When using food pouches such as Cherub baby’s On the God Baby Food Pouches, label everything, with the name of the food and the date of freezing. Many pureed fruits and vegetable look alike when they are in the freezer. Write on the date of freezing so you know when it needs to be eaten by. Put your food on the top shelf or as high up as possible. This helps to maintain the texture of the food better, as the top is usually the coldest part of the freezer, and so freezes more quickly. Reusable baby food pouches are a great option than than solid ice cube trays are easier to and a mess-free way of feeding. And most importantly, bear in mind that homemade baby food should be kept in the freezer and not in the refrigerator or cooler. And it is best served within the first few weeks although when frozen well homemade baby food can last up to an amazing 6 to 8 months.
Defrosting and Warming Baby Food
When heating baby food, it’s important to follow a few food safety rules to ensure that your baby’s meal is tasty and nutritious and with no unwelcome bacteria that might result to tummy aches or worse…food poisoning. Many parents make large batches of food in advance and then store them for future use in baby food pouches. When heating baby food, you need to ensure that it is piping hot throughout. Don’t be tempted to just partially warm the food, so that your baby will be able to eat it immediately – it needs to be thoroughly heated in order to destroy any bacteria that may be present. You should then set is aside and allow it to cool to a comfortable serving temperature.
Whether you choose to use the microwave to warm your baby’s meals is for you to decide. Many parents love the convenience of the microwave – hungry babies aren’t known for their patience and using a microwave certainly cuts down on the waiting time. Make sure that the food container is safe to use in the microwave. Microwave-safe containers such as Cherub Baby’s On the Go food Pouches should be marked as such. Heating baby food in other types of plastic storage containers can cause potentially harmful chemicals and toxic substances such as BPA to leaching into the food. Even microwave-safe plastic wrap should not be in direct contact with your baby’s food. Another great way to heat food while on the go is through food pouch gel warmers. With Cherub Baby’s On the Go Food Pouch Warmer you can heat Baby Food Pouches from the freezer when on the go quickly and easily with no batteries or mains power required! Simply place your baby food pouch inside the gel warmer, click the metal disc and the gel instantly heats up warming baby’s food to the correct temperature- it will not overheat. The gel warmer does amazing things as it heats and makes your homemade baby food as comforting for baby during the feeding process. Bonus cooler ice pack comes with every purchase of the food pouch warmer keeps baby food pouches cool for hours! Designed in Australia for use with store bought baby food pouches and the Cherub Baby On the Go Food Pouches.
So there you go! It’s so easy to prepare homemade baby food without setting aside food safety!