The Baby Planner

The Baby Planner is to Expecting Parents, what a Wedding Planner is to an engaged couple. The Baby Planner is here to hold your hand every step of the way in the biggest decision of your life. First comes The Baby Planner...THEN comes the Baby in the Baby Carriage!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Keeping Baby Food Safe

To keep baby food free of bacteria and other food-borne pathogens that can cause illness:

•Wash your hands with soap and water before handling baby food or preparing formula. Not only will you be keeping your baby safe, but regular hand washing also helps protect you from getting sick.

•Don't feed your baby from the jar (or yogurt container) and then put the uneaten
portion back in the refrigerator. Harmful bacteria from your baby's mouth can grow and multiply in the jar. If your baby is likely to eat less than a full jar, spoon a portion in to a bowl and put the jar in the fridge for later. You generally can keep opened jars in the fridge for up to three days in the case of fruits and vegetables, one day for meats, and two days for meat and vegetable combos. A permanent marker can be handy for dating opened jars so you'll know when they were put in the fridge.

•Don't leave perishable items out of the refrigerator (without a cold pack) for more than two hours. Throw them away if they've been sitting out longer than that.

•When you're traveling, transport food and filled bottles in an insulated cooler with frozen packs.

•Watch expiration dates on baby food. Listen for the pop of vacuum seals of jarred foods.
Don't feed your baby anything that has expired and throw out jars with chipped glass or rusty lids.

•Don't give your baby honey if she is less than a year old. It could contain bacteria associated with botulism, a potentially fatal food poisoning.

•Don't serve your baby or older child raw or unpasteurized milk, which may contain harmful bacteria. And no cow's milk
before age 1.

•If you're making homemade baby food, use a brush to clean the blender or food processor blades and parts. Trapped food particles can harbor bacteria. My favorite product for this is The Beaba Babycook. It is a one-of-a-kind, patented compact countertop appliance that functions as a steamer, blender, warmer and defroster to prepare fresh, healthy meals for baby. It starts by steam cooking vegetables, fruits and meats in less than 15 minutes, while preserver their vitamins and flavors. It then purees and blends them to the desired consistency. Parents can also use the Babycook to quickly reheat or defrost precooked foods.

•To freeze homemade baby food, put the mixture in an ice-cube tray. Cover with heavy duty plastic wrap and freeze. Later, you can pop the frozen food cubes into a freezer bag or airtight container and date it. Store vegetables up to three months, and meat, fish, and chicken up to eight weeks. Beaba also makes food trays called Beaba Multiportions. They are designed for freezing and storing a la carte foods for baby. The Multiportions are comprised of seven individual portions of ¼ cup (60 ml) each. Multiportions are made from silicone.

•Use dishwashing detergent, hot water, and a clean rag to wash and rinse all utensils that come in contact with the baby's food, including the can opener. Just wiping them with a paper towel isn't enough. Soap, water, and friction do the trick.

•Don't keep bottles or food in the same bag as dirty diapers unless the food is in its own separate, insulated container or sealed plastic bag. Planet Wise has products have been designed with this in mind. The new collection of reusable wet bags is perfect for keeping things sealed and separate in your diaper bag. For other "Bottle Does and Don'ts"

•When your baby gets to the finger-food stage, which can start as early as 7 months,
cut food into bite size pieces. But don't offer your baby nuts, raisins, grapes, or hot dogs: they're all choking hazards and not appropriate for infants or toddlers. Munchkin makes a Fresh Food Feeder. This product allows your baby to enjoy lots of delicious foods without the choking risk. Simply put a piece of fruit, vegetables or meat into the mesh bag and snap shut. Your baby can chew, suck and enjoy all the whole food goodness and taste, with only the tiniest, digestible pieces coming through.

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