How to store baby food
When you prepare baby food for your toddler, the chances are that you will end up with some leftovers. If you want to prevent wastage, then you need to store food properly. Proper storage of baby food is crucial for your baby’s health and well-being. So it is crucial to learn how to store your baby food.
If you don’t store baby food properly, then harmful bacteria may grow affecting your baby’s health. Whether it is homemade or commercial baby food, the way you store it matters.
So do you want to store baby foods, but you don’t know what to do to preserve them in the best way? If yes then worry not because in the right place. Below proven step by step tips on how to store baby food correctly.
1. Store food in the dry, dark location
Baby foods are sensitive and can go bad when exposed to high temperatures. You are therefore advised to store them in a dark and dry location in the kitchen cabinet or pantry.
This is important especially if you want to store commercial baby food. Even if the food packaging helps prevent it from going bad, prolonged exposure to heat can accelerate bacteria growth. Look for a relatively cool location in the kitchen pantry to store baby food.
2. Check out the expiration date
When storing baby food especially commercial foods, it is essential to keep track of relevant immigration such as what is inside the package, when the food was prepared and how much food is inside and its expiry date. This way, you will know how long the food can be stored.
When storing baby food, store those that are closer to expiry closer and those that are still far on the back side. This will allow you to use those that are closer to expiry first.
3. Do not store contaminated
One big mistake that most parents do is storing baby foods that are already infected. Never store the contaminated container. If you feed your toddler directly from the container, whatever is left from that particular container should be thrown away.
Baby saliva usually contains harmful bacteria that will be passed to the food via the spoon. Once bacteria find their way into the food, they will keep growing and will defiantly affect your child’s health and well being. It is therefore very important to avoid storing contaminated container regardless of how safe the storage is.
4. Use labels
This is a crucial factor that most parents usually overlook when storing baby food. When you store baby food inside a container, you can easily forget what is inside. Using a label can help you know what is inside the container and how long the food can be stored before going bad.
5. Use lid and tray to store baby food
When storing baby food, you are advised to use lid and tray. A lid is highly recommended because it helps to keep baby food fresh in the refrigerator. It also helps to avoid freeze burns.
On the other hand, tray helps to keep small containers together. It also helps in organizing the fridge, enabling you to save space. The materials that the container is made of is also very important and can affect the safety of food being stored.
There are many material options to choose from in the market, and each one of them has their pros and cons. However, silicon, plastic, and glass are the most common materials used.
Do your research well and ensure that you choose a material that will store your child’s food safely without affecting his/her health.
6. Wash food containers before storing baby food
Unlike adults, toddlers have a weak immune system and are more vulnerable to bacteria. Before you store food in a tray, ensure that you wash them thoroughly.
You don’t need to sterilize your baby food container to be sure that the 100% clean. All that you need to do is wash them thoroughly with warm water and dish soap just the way you usually wash other dishes.
Allow the container to dry completely before you store baby food inside. Avoid using a dish towel to rinse the container, instead, let them dry naturally.
7. Store food while it is still fresh
When it comes to storing baby food, timing is very important. Don’t allow baby food to stay in the open for an extended period before storing it.
If you do so, then you will give bacteria a chance to find their way into the food. Expert recommend that freshly cooked food should be stored in the freezer or refrigerator within 2 hours.
Once you store food in the refrigerator, let it stay that way. Avoid repeated freeze and thaw because it will make the food deteriorate faster. Ice will form on the food when it freezes and once thawed; the ice was transformed into the water making the food quality to deteriorate.
8. Cover the tray with cellophane wrap.
Once you pack your baby’s food in the tray, you need to cover the tray with a cellophane wrap. Ensure that the wrap forms a sturdy seal especially along the edges to prevent contaminants such as dust from finding their way into the food.
9. Freeze the trays
Once the tray is well sealed, place them in the freezer for several hours until the food is solid frozen. Ensure that the food is solid enough to maintain its shape once it is outside the tray.
Once you are sure that the food has frozen, pop the cubes out of tray then place them in an airtight container that is freezable. Don’t forget to label each container by stating what is inside plus the expiry date. Put recent food behind old food stocks. Remember that baby food should not be stored for more than three months.
In conclusion, knowing how to store baby food is important because it helps to prevent wastage. However, the way you store them matters.
If you don’t store them correctly, then you risk exposing your child to harmful bacteria that could seriously affect his/her health. By following the tips given above, you will store your baby’s food safely and for an extended period.