The new parent's guide to preparing homemade baby food the safe way!

Make sure to feed and nourish your baby the safe and healthy way by following these simple tips.

It can be daunting for new parents to try and make their baby's food once they start on solids (around 4 to 6 months of age), but not only is it easier, it can offer a host of benefits. If you make it a habit to whip up your baby's food at home, it helps you make sure only the best and freshest ingredients are used. You are also given the chance to know what goes on in the preparation process, which includes making sure it is safe and sanitary.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when making homemade food for your little one.

How to choose the right ingredients

The most important thing to remember is to always use fresh ingredients, if possible. Refrain from using canned or processed ingredients, as they tend to be packed with sugar and syrup. Other ingredients to steer clear of are dairy products that are made up of raw milk that has not been pasteurized. Beware of adding honey to sweeten food, as it increases the risk of botulism.

Another good guideline to follow is to avoid dented, rusted, leaking, or unlabelled cans and jars.

photo: Pixabay

How to prepare food safely

1. Practice good hygiene

Remember: infants are at higher risk of developing illnesses and food sensitivity, so it's best to be extra careful when preparing food. Wash your hands and forearms thoroughly with soap, scrubbing vigorously to make sure your hands are clean. If you are still not confident, perhaps putting on plastic gloves could help put your mind at ease.

2. Make sure to keep your area and tools clean

Do not use the same cutting boards for fruits and vegetables as well as meat. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables with clean, clear running water. This applies even when you plan to peel them afterwards.

How to store and reheat baby food

For raw meat, poultry, and dairy products, make sure to store them in your freezer as soon as possible after you buy them. Make sure all meat, fish, or poultry is thoroughly cooked. Undercooking meat could pose health risks to your baby.

It's VERY important to throw out all leftovers in your baby's dish! We cannot stress this enough.

Don't make it a habit to keep cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours. Make sure that baby food containing meat, poultry, and eggs is not stored in your refrigerator for more than 24 hours. As for fruits and vegetables, they can only keep for 48 hours inside the fridge.

Don't defrost baby foods by allowing them to thaw in water or at room temperature. If you plan to reheat food stored that has been stored in the fridge, make sure to cook them thoroughly. And if you plan to freeze baby food, make sure to place labels and date each container accordingly.

sources: Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food, FoodSafety.gov

READ: 10 Healthy finger foods that your baby will love