We received a message earlier this month from mom Deena, who asked us about traveling with homemade baby food.
One of her questions was whether it is better to heat baby’s meal before going out – and then keep it warm until feeding time – or whether to take out cold baby food cubes, keep them cool and heat them as needed.
The answer to this question really depends on
- when you will be feeding your baby
- how well insulated the container is in which you plan to store the hot food
For food safety reasons, it is recommended that hot food should be held at a temperature of not less than 140 degrees F (that’s 60 degrees C).
Source: Bacterial Food Poisoning
If the food drops to a lower temperature, then the formation of bacteria within that food is possible, making it unsafe for baby to eat.
Most types of insulated containers will only keep food at this temperature for somewhere between 2 and 4 hours. To keep the food hot for as long as possible, it’s a good idea to:
- fill your container with boiling water before adding your baby food
- let it stand for 5 minutes
- empty it, then immediately add baby’s piping hot food and securely tighten the lid
By warming the container in this way, you prevent that initial loss of temperature that occurs when hot food is placed in a cold vessel.
So… unless you plan to serve baby’s food within a few hours of leaving the house, your best option is to take baby’s food packed in a cooler, then heat it as necessary.
Alternatively – to make things really easy – you could check out our post from last January that lists lots of ‘no cook’ baby food ideas for feeding your baby homemade baby food when you’re on the go!
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