One of the things that commonly sparks in a new mother’s mind when it comes to baby food is - Can you reheat baby food? Is it safe to do so?
To Reheat or Not To Reheat
With a tiny body comes a tiny tummy. But especially as busy mothers, we tend to prepare more baby food than the size of the little tummy can bear. So we feed some to the little one, store the rest and reheat when the next mealtime comes.
But should we reheat baby food? How many times can we do that? How long can the reheat food last? How do we even reheat baby food?
The answer to the question “Can we reheat baby food” - is both yes and no. and here’s why.
Babies have a lower level of immunity than adults; they're also more susceptible to bacteria that can cause illness. For these reasons, cleanliness and food freshness are of utmost importance in the weaning journey.
Nutrients can also be lost when you heat up your little one’s food. Additionally, reheated baby food may not taste as good as freshly made food.
But since reheating baby food is very often unavoidable, do it with great care and keep the baby food fresh and safe by following these tips.
1. Only heat up the portion that your baby will eat.
Our little one doesn’t eat a lot, so it makes sense to only reheat the portion that she will eat. This would then affect the way we store our baby food - divide the food into baby-friendly portions and store in small containers. There’s another reason for this….
2. Never reheat cooked baby food more than once
Heating food more than once can increase the risk of food poisoning. So after heating up your baby's dinner for them one time, feed within one hour and toss anything left over.
3. Heat baby food all the way through.
Any cold spots could contain bacteria that could cause poisoning. If you’re heating the puree from frozen, stir regularly every few seconds and increase cooking time. Stirring regularly ensures that there are no hidden hot spots and that the puree is evenly heated and piping hot throughout.
4. Don't microwave baby foods in the jar or pouch.
Transfer the food to a plate or bowl before microwaving it. By doing so, we can stir the food thoroughly during heating and get rid of any hot or cold pockets. We can also check for temperature to ensure it is not too hot for the baby, which is the next tip below:
5. Check the temperature of the food before feeding it to your child.
Some purees can be served cold straight from the fridge, but for others, ensure that we reheat the food until it is piping hot to kill off any harmful bacteria. Give the food a good stir especially if you are using a microwave, because microwaving tends to produce hot air pockets. After that, make sure to let the food cool to avoid scalding the baby’s tongue! We know that you’re in a rush, so don’t be tempted to partially reheat food for your baby just because you can’t wait for it to cool.
So there you have it! Now you know everything you need to know about reheating baby food. Remember, while you can technically do it, freshly prepared food is generally the best. But If you do need to reheat baby food, just be sure to do so safely by following the tips laid out above.