- Choking and gagging
- Food allergies
- Food and drinks to avoid
- Preparing food safely
- Storing and reheating food
Storing and reheating food
Babies and young children are highly vulnerable to bacteria that can cause food poisoning. See how to safely store and reheat food to help minimise any risk to your child.
If you're batch-cooking, cool the food down (ideally within 1 to 2 hours) and then freeze or refrigerate. If you're keeping it in the fridge, use it within 2 days.
With rice, make sure it's cooled within 1 hour and then goes straight in the fridge or freezer.
Rice kept in the fridge should be eaten within 24 hours. Never reheat rice more than once.
Keep raw meat and fish in a container at the bottom of the fridge to avoid it dripping onto other food.
If you need to cool food down quickly, put it in an airtight container and run cold water over it. Keep stirring so it cools throughout.
Defrosting and reheating
Defrost frozen food thoroughly before reheating.
The safest way to do this is in the fridge (never do it at room temperature) or using the microwave's defrost setting. Once food has been defrosted, eat it within 24 hours.
When reheating food, make sure it's steaming hot all the way through, then let it cool before giving it to your baby.
If you're using a microwave, give the food a good stir to get rid of any hot air pockets, and always check the temperature before feeding your baby.
Any already-cooked food you're feeding your child should only be reheated once.
To avoid food waste, only take out the amount of food you think your baby will eat. You can always offer more if they're still hungry.
Throw away any half-eaten portions of food that's been previously prepared – never save and store or reheat them again.
Make sure any food you cook is piping hot, then let it cool down before serving.
Remember to stay with your baby while they're eating, so you can be sure they're swallowing safely.
Food on the go
If you take food (like sandwiches or yoghurts) with you when you go out, it's a good idea to use a cool bag and frozen bottles of water, or ice blocks, to keep it cold until you're ready to eat it.
If food is not kept cold while you're out and about, it should be eaten as soon as possible (within 4 hours maximum).
Any leftovers should be thrown away.