Last Reviewed: March 2017
Food Safety and Allergies
How do I keep my baby's food safe?
- Serve freshly prepared food from the family table and adjust texture of food, as needed.
- Once the meal is done, throw out any food that has come in contact with your baby’s saliva.
- Store any leftover food in a covered container in the fridge for 2 days (up to 24 hours for meat, poultry, fish and eggs), or the freezer up to 1 month.
Store-bought ‘Baby Food’
- Check the “best before” date.
- Make sure the safety seal is not broken. Listen for a popping sound when you open a jar of baby food because this means that the jar has never been opened.
- Never feed your baby directly from a jar, because the food will be in contact with the baby’s saliva. Instead, put the food for your baby into a bowl, and the food remaining in the jar can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days (up to 24 hours for meat, poultry, fish and eggs).
- Store-bought baby food may not be needed and can be high in sugar.
How do I keep my baby safe?
- Babies can choke easily so always stay with your baby while she is eating.
- Sit your baby up straight and in a feeding chair.
- Buckle the seat belt on the feeding chair to help keep your baby safe.
- Stop feeding your baby if she is crying or laughing.
- Never force your baby to eat.
- Babies shouldn't be fed on the move (e.g. in a moving car).
Foods to Avoid:
- Honey: Babies under one year of age shouldn’t be given honey because it can cause infant botulism (food poisoning)
- Raw fish, cold smoked fish, luncheon meats, raw sprouts such as alfalfa, undercooked meat and eggs, unpasteurised foods/liquids. These foods can cause Salmonella food poisoning.
- Hard, small and round, or smooth and sticky solid foods that can block baby’s airway and cause choking. These include:
- Chunky peanut butter
- Whole grapes
- Hard candy, chewing gum
- Nuts, seeds
- Foods that are cut into round shapes (cooked carrot coins, etc.)
Tips to Avoid Choking:
- Spread smooth peanut butter thinly on toast, never serve it from a spoon.
- Cut grapes, cherry tomatoes in half or quarters.
- Offer cooked foods in thin strips rather than coin-shaped.
- Finely chop foods with stringy texture (such as celery, etc.)
- Always stay with your baby while she’s eating.
- Sit your baby up straight in a feeding chair and buckle the seat belt.
- Never force your baby to eat.
- Babies shouldn't be fed on the move (in a moving car, while crawling, etc).
Food Safety Tips
- Re-heat food on the stove, because microwaving food creates hot spots that can burn baby’s mouth
- Offer fish that are low in mercury (such as, tilapia, haddock, cod, salmon) twice a week. Avoid fish that are high in mercury (such as, swordfish, tuna steak). For more information visit the Healthy Fish Choices page.
What should I know about allergies?
If there is a family history of allergies:
- Your baby is more likely to have an allergy if one or both parents or brothers or sisters have allergies, asthma or eczema.
- Even if there is a family history of allergies to a food, you don’t have to wait to offer that food to your baby. Be more careful and watch for signs of allergies when you do offer it.
- Speak to your health-care provider.
If there’s no family history of allergies:
- There is no reason to delay introducing foods.
- Watch for allergic reactions when you offer new foods.
Always offer new food in the morning or at lunch time so you can watch your baby during the day for any allergic reactions.
For more information:
Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health Nurse
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216