How To Safely Preserve Baby Food
I have a son 6-month old, and we are starting to introduce more variety and texture of foods. But I don’t like to buy commercial baby food from the store, no matter how they claim to be ‘organic’.
I think the safest and best baby food should be made in our kitchen. My parents have a small farm of fruits and vegetables, which is the best, but I also buy from the grocery. I just wash it well.
So I have the carrots delivered by my Dad. I start chopping it, and pureeing it. Simple enough, but what about those Moms who don’t have the luxury of time?
You can make your baby food in larger batches and vacuums-seal it for top quality freshness. I do the same, because I like to have prepared food within easy reach when we have to travel or go out.
Healthy Food For Baby
The immune systems of a baby is not fully developed at birth. His digestive system will not be able to process heavy foods, plus of course, he doesn’t have teeth to eat with yet. At 4 months, a baby can start feeding on solids, like pureed fruits and vegetables, cereals or some fish.
As the baby grows, you can introduce more types of foods, and vary the texture from almost liquid to more solid. Experiment in small quantities and take careful notes of his reactions (if he likes it or not) and his other reactions (possible allergies or throwing up).
When you choose the easy life and go for canned or bottled processed baby food, you are exposing your baby to inorganic chemicals that are used to preserve the food. These may be harmful to your baby’s sensitive stomach.
Benefits Of Healthy Food
- Healthy food will boost his immune system.
- Baby will not easily get sick.
- Healthy food will give him vitamins and minerals for his growth.
- Baby will grow and develop in accordance with his age milestones.
- A more varied menu will prepare him towards eating full meals.
- Unsafe food will make baby sick. It can even result to fatal food poisoning.
Dangers Of Food Contamination
As adults, we take it for granted and are not too careful about hygienic practices when it comes to preparing and consuming food. When you have a baby in the house, you have to be very conscious and intentional in making sure correct hygienic procedures are followed in ensuring the baby’s food is fit and safe for consumption.
Food contamination is when bacteria, parasites or viruses are in the food you eat due to unsafe preparations or handling. From bacteria, toxins or poisons may be produced that can cause food poisoning.
Because of the undeveloped immune system of our baby, he is not able to effectively fight bacteria, and is most likely to get sick from contaminated food. If not immediately given medical attention, it can prove fatal to him.
Signs of Food Poisoning In Your Baby
- Baby vomits.
- Suffers from diarrhea or wet stool.
- Baby is fussy or cranky or prone to cry endlessly.
- Baby may have fever.
In some extreme cases, if dehydration has set in as a result of excessive vomiting and diarrhea, baby’s skin will appear wrinkled, or his lips are too dry. He may also have less urine. This is a very critical time for baby, and medical attention has to be immediately sought.
How To Protect Baby Food From Contamination
Now that we have emphasized the importance of giving healthy and safe food to your baby, the question remains as to how we can do it.
- As much as possible, grow your own fruits and vegetables for baby food.
- If buying from a grocer, carefully choose the fruits, staying away from those with rotten parts.
- Wash the foods well before storing or processing.
- Wash your hands well before preparing baby food.
- Use clean utensils, and use separate ones for cooked and uncooked.
- After making puree of the fruit or vegetable, vacuum-seal the foods before storage.
Vacuum-sealing foods is the process of removing air from the bag that contains the food. Without air, bacteria is not able to thrive, thus preserving the food. Vacuum-sealed foods can last up to five times longer than those not vacuum-sealed.
Benefits Of Vacuum-Sealing Baby Food
You have gone through the tedious process of preparing your baby’s food from growing your own carrots, harvesting it, washing, cooking, dicing, pureeing and finally, you have to store. The very last part is the crucial part. If you are not able to properly store your baby food, all the efforts would be wasted.
How do you store baby food in the safest and healthiest way? Use a vacuum-sealing system. Here are the top reasons why:
- A vacuum-sealer seals in the freshness of the food. It would be as fresh as it is on the day you made it.
- It will keep out bacteria and other contaminants.
- When placed inside the freezer, it will not have freezer burn, which can affect the appearance and quality of your baby food.
- You can save on time and money when making bigger batches of food.
- Prepared food is so convenient. You can feed baby every so often as small frequent feeding is better than one-time-big-time.
- You have easy food-on-the-go when you have to bring baby somewhere.
Remember, when using a vacuum-sealer, you seal in the quality of the baby food as to the time you prepared it. In the same way, if the quality is questionable, the vacuum-sealing process will not be the magic wand that will fix it. If it’s bad food you put in, it’s bad food that will be preserved, and eventually come out.
Before you vacuum-seal your baby food, please note:
- Wash foods, utensils and hands before preparation.
- Put the foods in small one-serve portions.
- Use the proper plastic bag that is for food use, and can be used with the brand and model of your vacuum-sealing system.
- You can use plastic bags or jars.Leave about an inch from the top.
Before serving baby the prepared baby food, remember:
- You can microwave it, or soak the bottle / bag in hot water just to get the cold out, but not really heat the food. After all, you would have to cool it down before baby can actually eat it.
- Don’t let the food stay in room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Use a serving spoon if you think baby will not be able to finish it.
Recommendation For Moms
I use a FoodSaver V3240 to vacuum-seal the baby food I personally prepare for our baby. I love it and I think it is a great fit to my vacuum-sealing needs. Here are the best points why I prefer FoodSaver V3240:
- It has a vertical design, meaning it stands tall, and not wide. It occupies a small counter space.
- It is manual in operation, which I prefer so I can adjust the settings to my preference.
- It has two vacuum speeds – gentle and regular. When using it on cookies, I choose gentle so it wouldn’t crush.
- It has two sealing options – moist or dry.
- I can save when using rolls, and this model perfectly has a built-in roll holder and cutter making it so easy to customize small bags for one-serve baby food.
- I can use it on both plastic bags and jars.
From my experience, I strongly recommend that moms should own a FoodSaver V3240 vacuum sealing system to preserve your baby's food with the highest quality. Besides this model, the FoodSaver brand also has many other quality products for you to compare. Sure, you will choose the best FoodSaver model for you via http://vacuumsealeradviser.com/food-saver-reviews.
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