Baby Food Safety

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on September 10, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on September 10, 2014

The Basics of Health Baby Food

There are more choices than ever when it comes to baby food. What you choose to feed your baby depends on numerous factors, including what food your baby prefers, what nutrients they need, and their age. Ultimately, it’s up to parents to decide what’s best for their baby and family.

Development

Babies of different ages require different types of foods. Many of the larger baby food manufacturers, such as Gerber, label baby foods with numbers that correspond to a baby’s development. Generally, the youngest babies eat stage 1 foods that are cereal-based or fruit and vegetable purees. These foods have been entirely liquefied. Stage 2 foods have a thicker, less watery consistency, while stage 3 foods generally contain soft solids. Babies slowly progress from stage 1 to 3 as they grow and develop.

Ingredients

While many parents are adopting organic foods that may be healthier for a child’s development, the most important things to keep in mind is not just the production, but the content of food. Babies should be exposed to fruits and vegetables as much as possible, rather than baby foods that use filler ingredients.

It’s important to introduce new flavors one by one to make sure that there are no negative reactions or allergies associated with a specific ingredient. In order to be sure, it’s best to use single ingredient foods rather than blends when trying new foods for the first time. It’s also recommended that you serve the same food consecutively for four days in a row to ensure that a food is well tolerated by your baby.

Storing Baby Food

Baby foods can keep for a long time before they are opened. Go by the “use by” date on the package to make sure the food is fresh. Make sure that there are no leaks or breaks in the sealing of food jars before eating. Once a jar of baby food has been opened, it’s best if the food is consumed within a day of opening. If you plan on saving baby food after it has been opened, refrigerate it and then use a separate spoon to feed your baby. This will ensure that bacteria from your baby’s mouth do not contaminate the food you save for later.

Making Your Own Baby Food

Many parents have begun to make their own baby food, either to save money or because they believe it’s healthier for their child. If you plan on making your own baby food, make sure to research any food you plan to prepare. There are numerous sites available that detail the best and healthiest ways to prepare food for your child. After you decide on a food, consult your pediatrician.

Never feed your baby a homemade baby food without being absolutely sure that both the ingredients and method for preparation are healthy for the child. One of the main advantages of making your own baby food is that you control each and every ingredient being served to your child.

Organic Baby Food

One benefit of making your own baby food is to ensure that the food is high quality and organic. However, there are also many options of pre-made organic food available at health food stores. While organic food may indeed be healthier, the production of baby food is monitored very closely. All baby food must adhere to federal guidelines and any baby food sold in stores has been deemed safe for consumption. Whether or not you wish to serve exclusively organic food, a combination of organic and non-organic, or regular store-bought food is a personal choice. 

Was this article helpful? Yes No

Thank you.

Your message has been sent.

We're sorry, an error occurred.

We are unable to collect your feedback at this time. However, your feedback is important to us. Please try again later.

Article Sources:

More on Healthline

Timeline of an Anaphylactic Reaction
Timeline of an Anaphylactic Reaction
From first exposure to life-threatening complications, learn how quickly an allergy attack can escalate and why it can become life threatening.
Migraine vs. Chronic Migraine: What Are the Differences?
Migraine vs. Chronic Migraine: What Are the Differences?
There is not just one type of migraine. Chronic migraine is one subtype of migraine. Understand what sets these two conditions apart.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage COPD
Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage COPD
Leading a healthy lifestyle can make a big difference in your COPD symptoms. Learn more about basic changes that will make it easier to manage your COPD.
Seasonal Allergies and COPD: Tips to Avoid Complications
Seasonal Allergies and COPD: Tips to Avoid Complications
For COPD patients, allergies pose the risk of serious complications. Learn some basic tips for avoiding allergy-related complications of COPD in this slideshow.
Common Asthma Triggers and How to Avoid Them
Common Asthma Triggers and How to Avoid Them
Learn about some of the most common triggers for asthma, as well as measures you can take to minimize your risk of exposure, symptoms, and flares.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement