How to prepare and cook food for your baby

Baby puree

Preparing your equipment

Whilst it is essential to sterilise bottles and teats for your baby until they are 6 months old and advisable to continue till they are 1 year old, you do not have to sterilise any of your feeding equipment.

You must, however, ensure that all equipment - including spoons, bowls, ice cube trays and blending equipment is clean and dry before use. Wash all equipment in warm soapy water and rinse in hot water. Leave to dry or use a clean kitchen towel before use.

Preparing your baby food for the freezer

It will save you plenty of time if you make up large quantities of purees at a time and store away in the freezer. Ice cube trays or small freezer pots are ideal for storage.

Take a couple of hours to make large batches or different recipes and you will have food in the freezer for your baby for a month.

Once purees are in the ice cube tray, cover and allow to cool quickly before placing in the freezer – you must never put hot food into the freezer.

Food must be placed in a freezer that will cool to -18°C. Once the puree has frozen in the ice cube tray, pop the cubes out of the tray and into a labelled plastic box or plastic freezer bags.

Label the food with the contents and expiry for 8 weeks time. Ensure well sealed and place back in the freezer.

Defrosting and reheating your baby’s food

The best way to defrost your baby’s food is in a sealed container, overnight in the refrigerator.

Alternatively, you can defrost straight out the freezer in a saucepan (you will probably need to add a little boiling water to the saucepan). Purees should be used within 24 hours of defrosting. Ensure the food is piping hot and then allow to cool. Always test the temperature of the food before giving it to your baby.

Only remove from the freezer the portion you intend on using for that specific meal. You must never refreeze food that you have already defrosted – however if using frozen vegetables or raw meat, for example, frozen peas or raw chicken breast which has been cooked and pureed, they can be cooked and refrozen.

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