Knowing the Proper Way on How to Warm Up Baby Food
If there is one thing mothers crave to have, it is a spare time. Having a baby means on call and on duty 24/7. It is not that we are complaining about the time we spent in taking care of our kids. We do love them, and we want to be there for them. But, we also want to have some spare time to do other things at home, for our husbands and even for ourselves.
I desire to have more time as much as possible. That is one reason why I am looking for ways on how to spend only several hours on food preparation and cleaning. I soon discovered that I could create a bulk of homemade food for my baby and freeze it for later.
Still, I wondered how to warm up baby food without the risk of contamination and spoiling. I thought that foods must only be cooked on the day. But then, there are efficient freezer baby foods that a lot of parents use. You just have to warm them up first before feeding to the baby.
In this post, I will share with you the proper ways on how you can warm up your baby food.
Things to Consider When It Comes to Your Baby’s Food
Choosing the Right Food for Your Baby
Children need all the nutrients they can get to help in their growth and development. After being taken out into the world, the primary source of nutrients for our babies is their milk. As they grow old, they are getting all the extra nutrition from selected foods they can eat.
Choosing the right kinds of food will not only ensure that our kids can get the right amount of nutrients their bodies need. It will also guarantee safety to their stomachs and easy digestion.
It is crucial to follow a food guide as we continue to introduce new foods to our baby. The food guide illustrates what types of food to give our children at what age and at what amount.
Sample food guide for kids:
- 4 to 6 months: mashed banana, pureed carrots, and sweet potato.
- 6 to 8 months: pureed banana, pears, peaches and mango, cooked and pureed squash, carrots and potato, rice or oats mixed with milk.
- 8 to 10 months: small portion or cheese and fish, cooked or steamed carrots, potatoes and cauliflower, fresh and cut grapes, plums and kiwi.
- 10 to 12 months: small portion of eggs and meat, small amount of yogurt.
The right way to choose your baby’s foods:
Choose foods that are low in sugar and salt content. Too much sugar can risk your child in developing a sweet tooth. As for salt, too much of it can risk them craving for salty foods later on.
Select natural and fresh ingredients. These foods are packed with more nutrients that are helpful for your baby. No added artificial ingredients that can harm your child.
Opt for the safest. You might want to experiment with the different kinds of food but remember to keep things at the most reliable level first. Choose foods that are assured safe for the baby without risking if he is allergic to it or not.
Stick to the guide. The food guide offers ideal recommendations that are based on the body development of your baby. Sticking to it will guarantee that what you give will be fully processed by the body.
How to Properly Prepare Your Baby’s Food
Another important way to make sure that your child stays healthy and safe is by correctly making his food every day. Safe preparation means that everything is clean and without potential risks starting from the food being prepared to the utensils used and the area where the food is being cooked.
Food hygiene begins with you. Before the food preparation, you need to wash all the utensils required to be used. Clean it off with a detergent and rinse well with water. You need to wipe the counters clean and see to it that no underlying causes of bacteria lurk around. Disinfect this station to double up safety.
Avoid cross-contamination by using a different spoon when getting food from a serving dish. Avoid blowing on the food to cool it as it can spread germs.
Change kitchen towels used. Avoid wiping your baby’s feeding utensils with used towels. Lastly, wash your hand thoroughly with soap and water to make sure that no bacteria are present in your hands during preparation.
Storing Your Baby’s Food at Correct Way
Whenever you want to prepare bulk foods for your child, you need to store it correctly to prevent spoilage and bacterial contamination. What you need are glass jars that have tight lids so you can securely seal the food when storing in the freezer.
Tips on how to store your baby’s food:
- Only use storage jars that are in good condition and clean. These must be free from any signs of breakage or rust.
- Use jars meant to store food. Set aside these jars only for your baby’s food.
- Seal the storage containers tight before storing. Make sure no excess foods are dripping out of the container.
- Put a label on the food container. Label it with the name of the food and the date it was prepared.
- Let the food cool completely before storing it. It will minimize the risk of spoiling.
- Store the food in the fridge within 90 minutes from cooking when you know that you won’t be using them for a while. Make sure to freeze food within 24 hours.
- Your fridge must be at the right cooling temperature. Ideally, it must be between 0 to 5 degrees C to cool the food properly.
Warming Up Your Baby’s Food
Thawing the food
Remove it out of the freezer - From the freezer, place the sealed jar in the fridge and let it sit for at least four hours to three days. Depending on how frozen the food is, thawing time in this method can take up to 12 hours.
Prepare the Stovetop for defrosting - Place a deep pan on a stovetop and fill it with water up to an inch or two. Warm it up and put the frozen jar in the middle of the pan to defrost. Stir the water for several minutes until the food is completely thawed.
Warm Water Bath Method
Prepare the warm water bath - In a deep dish, place your frozen, sealed jar in the middle. Slowly pour hot water over the dish to gradually defrost it. Fill the bowl up to two inches. Let it stay for 20 minutes. If the food is still frozen, you can replace the water with warm water to continue with the thawing process.
Additional tips when thawing food:
- Be mindful of the time limit the food needs to be in the fridge. If not to use, put your food back in the freezer.
- Never put your baby food on top of the counter to thaw. No matter how clean the table looks, it can breed in bacteria and contaminate the food inside.
- Make sure all the thawing equipment are clean. For instance, avoid using a dish for warm water that is dirty and used. See to it that you leave your thawing on a clean station.
- After thawing, take the amount of food you need from the jar and place it in a different container. Put the lid back to the jar and place it in the fridge.
- When thawing, do not allow the water to get in. Make sure the lids are sealed.
Warming Up the Food
Step 1 – Transfer the food to a microwave safe container
You may want to warm up only the amount of food you need. Choose containers that are labeled as microwave-safe. Avoid using plastic containers that are easily burnt.
Step 2 – Set the timer to 15 seconds
It may not always take exactly 15 seconds to warm the food. But, 15 seconds each time can help you regulate the level of temperature. If your food is still cold after the first 15 seconds, you can reheat it again for another 15 seconds until you achieved the right level of warmth without burning the tongue or your skin.
Step 3 – Stir the food
After taking it out of the microwave, stir the food to even out the temperature level. Microwave heating may create uneven heat on the food and can cause too hot areas. Stir it to cool down these spots.
Step 1 – Turn on the stovetop
Place a clean and shallow pan on the stove and turn it on to the lowest setting.
Step 2 – Place the food on the pan
Using a different spoon, take out only the right amount of food you will need to feed your baby. Place it in the middle of the pan and spread it out for even heating.
Step 3 – Stir the food
Stir the food and check out the temperature to see if it is warm enough to serve. Turn the stove off and transfer the food to a clean baby bowl. Use a different spoon to feed your baby.
Safety precautions when heating your baby food:
What I Recommend
The different methods in warming up baby food have their advantages and disadvantages. Time, level of complexity and the length of the process all vary depending on how you want your food to be reheated.
For me, I choose to thaw my baby food on a warm bath method and heat it in the microwave. Thawing the food in a hot bath is safer and fast for me since I do not have to wait a long time to thaw the food, unlike the refrigerator method. It also eliminates the continual use of electricity or gas just like in a stovetop method.
What I do is to prepare the hot water ahead and store the rest of the water in a thermos container. That way, I do not have to constantly heat water once I replace the water in the dish.
As for reheating, I choose the microwave method since I believe that it is also fast to do and safe to use. Warming on a stovetop can take a lot of time in preparing the pan. It also risks in burning the food when you forgot to set the temperature to a low level.
In a microwave method, I am assured of safety because I only transfer the amount of food I need. It is easy to use since I just pop the container in and set the timer. All I need to clean is the microwave-safe bowl I used for reheating.
Tips on How To Serve Your Baby Food Safely
Always make sure to serve reheated food within 48 hours. The food will get spoiled after that time. Throw out leftovers.
Only serve foods that are warm on the skin. To test the level of temperature of your baby food, take a small amount of the food and dap it on your wrist to see if it feels comfortable or not. You may also want to check the container by placing your hands on the side and feel its level of comfort on our skin.
Make sure the bowl and spoon are clean. Wash these utensils clean after feeding and store it in a dry place to avoid bacteria build up. Before placing your baby food in, check if there are dirt or any signs of contamination on the bowl and spoon.
Wash your hands. Even if everything around you is clean, when your hands are dirty, it can be risky to your baby. Make it a habit of handling your child with a clean hand at all times.
Only use fresh towels and linens during feeding. You may be tempted at times to reuse the feeding towel he used this morning to reduce the laundry pile. Used towels are already breeding with bacteria, so it is not safe to use it again on your baby especially in wiping his mouth.
Feed your baby gradually. Do not overwhelm him with so much food on the spoon. If he eats a little at a time, be more patient with him. Keep up with his pace and adjust. There is also the risk of hot spots on the food so his tongue might get burnt when more food is fed at one time. While waiting, stir the food to even out consistency, texture, and temperature.
Warming up your baby food is a lengthy process and can take some time. There is the food preparation plus the thawing and the warming up process. But, it all boils down to a refreshing and good meal for your baby.
Be patient! Think of how your baby will feel after eating warm and tasty foods you serve. Babies can be picky at times and feeding them cold food might make them want to turn you down. It will save you more time and energy in feeding your baby once food served is good enough.
When I was preparing my baby food in bulk, I look forward to seeing myself thawing and reheating the food without the added activities of cutting, mashing, pureeing and cooking. I was so amazed that I continued to do the bulk preparation all the time.
Reheating your baby food is easy. Just remember to practice safety first when implementing the process so you can be assured of safe and risk-free eating of your baby. Keep everything clean and in good condition. It is all for your baby so every effort is worth it!
Have you been warming up your baby food lately? What method have you tried? Tell us more about it!