Buying and preparing foods

Mealtimes for you and your baby should be a fun experience. Although this can require quite some planning and preparation time, it can be a very rewarding time when your baby enjoys his or her delicious meal.

If your baby has an allergy to cow’s milk you will need to use olive oil or dairy-free margarine, instead of butter or margarine, when cooking.

If your baby has an allergy, special nutritional need or feeding difficulty, you may be cautious about what foods you buy and how you prepare them. For more tips and techniques to deal with this, do read on…

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your
healthcare professional.


Cleanliness is important once your baby starts to eat solid food, as their immune system is less developed than an adult’s. Their tummies are vulnerable to bugs and infections.

The Department of Health advises you to start your baby on solid foods at six months.1 If your healthcare professional advises you start before this, then you should take extra care when introducing new foods.

Food freshness

The following tips might also be helpful when considering the freshness of your baby’s food:

  • If you are heating food up in a microwave, there may be hotspots, so ensure that you give the food a good stir before presenting it to your baby2
  • Only re-heat your baby’s food once2
  • When cooking eggs for your baby, ensure the yolk and white are solid2
  • Cook meats thoroughly – so that no pink is showing in the middle2
  • Defrost frozen food thoroughly2
  • Never re-freeze something that has already been defrosted2

In addition, storing food properly is also very important and the Food Standards Agency website provides information on storing food correctly –

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RXANI140098 Date of preparation: March 2014