Feeding & Cooking Essentials
Once you start the weaning stage there are some pieces of equipment, tools, feeding essentials and cooking techniques that may help make the entire process of food preparation for your baby and/or toddler quick, simple and hassle free. Knowing proper food hygiene will also keep your baby healthy and safe.
Preparing Baby Food
Always choose and use only the best-quality ingredients in your baby's food. Babies are not as susceptible to pesticide residues compared to adults.
Organic fruits and vegetables uses minimal antibiotics or no artificial fertilizers or pesticides. This type of produce is more expensive to buy, but some mothers prefer to not take the risk.
TIP: Soak or wash your ingredients well to ensure no left over dirt/soil is left on your fruits and vegetables.
Proper hygiene starts from the person preparing the food. Washing hands well with soap and water is the first step to keeping food safe.
Wash hands well...
• after going to the toilet
• after cleaning baby's poop.
• after contact with any raw meat, fish, or eggs.
Keep 2 chopping boards.
• one for meat and fish, the other for fruits and vegetables.
Only reheat food once and make sure to heat until piping hot.
Throw out half eaten food because saliva introduced in the spoon will breed bacteria. It is always good to make it a habit to transfer serving portions of food to a small bowl and just refill when needed.
Always label and date your frozen food. This way you don't serve expired food.
Keep food refrigerated, especially when cooling food quickly to be frozen to avoid rapid bacteria growth at room temperature.
Make sure to use up all baby food that is stored in the refrigerator within 24 hours.
Cover all food and drink to protect it from contamination, especially by germ-carrying insects. Keep all pets away from food and food preparation areas/surfaces.
Different Cooking Techniques
STEAMING. The best way to preserve taste and maximum nutrients in vegetables.
BOILING. Ingredients should be cooked just until tender in minimum amount of water as it can destroy nutrients. Some mothers purée the liquid stock with the vegetables.
MICROWAVE. Like steaming; leaves nutrients intact. When preheating food, just be careful with small hot spots. Stir well and let the food cool down a bit before feeding your baby.
BAKING. Potatoes and squash can be washed, sliced and pricked with a fork then baked until tender. Easy to scoop and mash.
Freezing and Reheating
FREEZING. The most time-saving way to make baby food. Food should be stored in the freezer within 24hrs at -18ºC (0ºF) or below. Once food has been thawed, do not re-freeze again. Before freezing fresh cooked purées, allow them to cool at room temperature, then spoon purées into clean ice-cube trays or mini freezer safe containers. When the purées are frozen, remove tray from the freezer and pop the cubes out of the ice cube trays or containers on to a clean plate. Transfer the frozen purée cubes to fresh freezer bags, seal tightly, label (always put the date when the batch was made) and return to the freezer. You can store these up to 6 weeks.
REHEATING. When you are ready to use the frozen purées, take the number of cubes required from the freezer and heat in a pan or microwave. Always stir and allow to cool before feeding your baby. Remember, if using a microwave, food is heated unevenly, be particular with "hot spots".