|Buying, Storing and Preparing Baby Food
How you select and prepare the food is almost as important as what you feed your baby. From the store shelves to your baby’s dinner dish, here are the basics on baby food before you serve it.
Always check the "Use By" date on the top of the baby food container. The vacuum seal button must be down. If it is popped up, give it to the store manager and choose another jar. On Easy Pour cereal boxes, make sure the safety tab is still intact under the twist-off cap.
Store unopened jars and cereal containers in your cupboard at room tempreture. Listen for a "whoosh," "click" or "pop" when you open a jar, and watch the lid to make sure the center pops up. If you don't hear those sounds or the lid doesn't pop up, return it to the store or throw it away.
Read labels for storage directions after opening. Once a jar is opened, refrigerate the unused portion immediately. Once cereal is opened, store it in a cool, dry place. It will stay fresh for one month. Don't put it in the refrigerator as it may become lumpy.
Serve fruits and desserts from the refrigerator or at room temperature. Most babies prefer meats, vegetables and dinners slightly warmed (but only very slightly). Remember, your baby's perfect food, breast milk, is body temperature. Warming is all that is necessary.
Conventional Warming Method:
Generally, spoon out a portion into a small saucepan or electric feeding dish. Heat on low until warm. Check often to avoid overheating and don’t forget to stir thoroughly and test the temperature before serving it to your baby.
Microwave Warming Method:
Less than a full jar: Transfer the portion to be fed to a microwave-safe dish. Warm at 50% power for 5 to 10 seconds. Stir food gently to eliminate "hot spots". Then, test the temperature to make sure it's warm, not hot. Refrigerate the remaining food in the jar.
Full jar: Remove lid from jar. Warm entire contents at 50% power for the time recommended on the jar. Stir food gently to eliminate "hot spots." Test temperature. It should be warm, not hot.
* Never microwave Beech-Nut meats because the food can overheat and splatter, causing burns.