Do’s & Don’ts for giving leftovers to babies

At Piccolo, we hate unnecessarily wasting food, so Cat and I are forever thinking up ways to use food and bringing in jars and Tupperwares of leftovers into the office. Feeding your baby doesn’t have to be wasteful either – you’ve just got to be a bit more conscious about food hygiene.

Why is food hygiene important for your baby

Whilst there are fears we’re being too clean, it is important to observe a few simple food hygiene rules when it comes to feeding your family. Your baby’s immune system is less developed than ours, so they can be more vulnerable to bugs. Our top tips include:

  • Always washing your hands and theirs before preparing meals for your baby
  • Washing bibs, eating areas and their crockery with hot, soapy water
  • When reheating baby food, ensuring it’s piping hot throughout, and only reheat once
  • Cooking all meat through, so you can see no pink
  • Avoiding raw shellfish

Bulk cooking

“Make once and eat twice” is a great motto for feeding your family, including your baby! Try these and see how you get on:

  • Cook twice the amount of veggies you would normally cook each night, but hold off on salt. Remove half of them and blend with a little olive oil or offer as finger food for your baby
  • Once a week, do an inventory of your fruit and veggies: anything starting to look a little sad or you know won’t get eaten in the next day or two, cook up to make a soup or puree for your baby. Freeze any portions that don’t get eaten immediately
  • The freezer is your friend. I love frozen fruit and vegetables – often fresher than in the fruit & veg aisle. You can easily remove 1 portion at a time for baby and reduce waste. Try pre-cut broccoli florets, frozen spinach cubes, chopped butternut squash pieces and frozen berries: half the effort and all the fresh veggie goodness!

What to do about open packets of food?

In general, jars of store-bought baby food containing poultry, fish or meat stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 24 hours once open. Those made with only fruits and vegetables should last around 48 hours – always check the label though.

Any extra bought baby food you don’t need, freeze in ice cube trays or separate containers. You shouldn’t store food in open tins, so decant them into another container.

Home-made baby food should last a couple of days in the fridge, but remember to only reheat once. If you make a large batch, freeze extra portions, but bear in mind that freezing does often change the consistency. Use frozen food within a month for the best quality.