Hygiene and baby food storage 101

If only we had concentrated harder in science back at school right? The intricacies of preparing and storing food can appear a bit daunting to begin with, but once you understand a few basic fundamentals it becomes much clearer - and stress free.

Sparkling clean: Whilst babies seem to do nothing but make mess, you seem to do nothing but try to keep things as clean as possible!  Just make sure you give you hands a good clean before making any food, nothing a bit of hot water and soap can't wash away.

Freezing: Freezing some baby food to have on hand is a great idea.  Just make sure you wait until the food has cooled down, pop it in a container and freeze it as soon as possible.  It's a good idea to write the name of the meal and the date on it too.

Thawing: You have three options when it comes to thawing your little one's food – let it thaw in the fridge throughout the day or overnight, heat it gently in a saucepan or defrost it in the microwave.

Reheating: Whether you are heating food in a saucepan or microwaving it, just make sure you always reheat food thoroughly.  Give the food a good stir, cool and check the temperature and for any hot spots before giving it to your baby.  A really good way to check the temperature is dollop a bit of food on the inside of your wrist, this will quickly give you a good read on whether it is ok for your little one.  Also, once you have defrosted food, remember not to reheat it more than once.

Leftovers: If your baby has any leftovers which aren't splattered across your floor, do not keep these so as to not attract bad bacteria.  Also, as with adults, remember not to refreeze any food that has already been frozen.

Storage: The back of your fridge is the coldest so it is a good idea to keep bub's food towards the back.  Always cover food, air tight containers are a good idea.  Make sure you store raw meats on the bottom shelf of the fridge and well covered so no juices drip onto other foods. 

Fresh food: Unless it is frozen, it is best for fresh baby food to not be kept for more than 48 hours in the fridge. 

Food preparation: Keeping separate chopping boards for raw meats and cooked foods is a good idea and a really simple way to avoid food contamination. Always give your fruit and vegetable a wash first too.