Feeding Baby Safely

January 17, 2008

feeding_baby_thoughtful.jpgPreparing baby’s first food can be a scary prospect when you are worried about hygiene in the kitchen.
However, if you follow some basic hygiene rules, cooking can be great fun and very safe too.

By the time your baby starts on solids he may already be picking up his toys from the floor and putting them into his mouth. This is probably the time when you wonder whether you can still keep your baby’s world sterile. The truth is that it is not possible and – let’s be honest – you would not want to keep it sterile. Nowadays, the majority of medical professionals agree that our obsession with cleanliness can actually be harmful as it leads to a lowered immunity which makes us more vulnerable to germs and disease in the long term.

However, there are some basic hygiene rules which we all must follow to keep our babies safe:

· Always wash your hands with soap and water before you start. You must wash them again after handling raw meat, poultry, fish or eggs as they harbour bacteria. This may sound obvious but many of us forget it!

· Make sure you wash your pots, pans and utensils in hot, soapy water. Then air-dry them, instead of using a tea towel.

· Always wash vegetables and fruit as they can still have residues of pesticides used in the growing process on their surface as well as harbour bacteria

· Try to use separate cutting boards, one for “animal” products like meat and fish and another for fruits, vegetables and bread. If you only have one board, wash it when you switch from one food type to another. You must avoid cross-contamination where possible!

· Refrigerate freshly cooked baby food within 2 hours as bacteria can grow at room temperature after this time.

· When opening jars, listen for the ‘pop’ to make sure the seal was intact. If the lid of the jar has a raised button and you cannot hear the ‘pop’ sound when opening, return the jar to the supermarket or discard.

· After you have taken out a serving from a jar, put the lid back on again and refrigerate.

· You can keep fruit and vegetables in the fridge for 2 days; meat for 1 day; meat/vegetable combination for 1 day and egg yolks for 1 day.

· When heating baby food in the microwave, always stir up the food and test its temperature (either on the inside of your wrist or on your lips) before feeding baby.

· When in doubt about the freshness of a food, always discard!

For more information about Feeding Baby visit http://www.babysbest.co.uk/Articles/Babys-first-food/