Food safety is crucial when you’re weaning your baby.
Here we look at how to keep things hygienic and safe when your baby starts eating those yummy solids...
At a glance
- It is important to keep things hygienic and safe when your child starts eating solids
- Never keep food that has been served up as bacteria may have transferred to it, making it go off more quickly
- Check the label of ready-made food to make sure it is suitable for your little one, in date, and not high in salt
Keeping things clean
- Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before preparing baby food
- Wash all the equipment you use, like bowls, spoons, chopping boards using washing up liquid and very hot water, and sterilise them
If your baby runs out of steam with their meal, you don’t need to waste the food you didn't serve up. It’s fine to pop it back in the fridge for another 24 hours – just make sure the container is clean and covered.
It’s best to throw away food that’s been served up though – the spoon will have transferred bacteria from your baby’s mouth into the food, meaning it goes off more quickly.
Cooking and reheating baby food
- Heat well - make sure you heat baby food until it is piping hot, then leave it to cool a bit
- Thaw properly - thaw frozen foods completely, then heat them till piping hot
- Microwave with care - stir thoroughly when you take food out to even out any hot and cooler spots. Then leave it to stand for a minute or two, so the heat spreads out evenly.
- Check - always check the temperature of the food before feeding it to your baby
Check the label
If you’re using ready-made baby food, check the label for the basics:
- Suggested age range - to make sure it is suitable for your little one
- ‘Use by’ or ‘best before’ – double check the dates
- Salt content - processed foods can be high in salt, so choose products specially developed for babies. Salt isn't good for babies’ kidneys, and babies 0-12 months old should have less than 1g of salt a day (0.4g sodium). See Am I choosing the wrong foods?
To help you choose the right time to wean, read our guide on when to start weaning.