I’ve been having fun preparing Kai’s snack box for school. Our three-year-old is now officially attending Nursery and will be going to school every day. Preparing homemade snacks for him reminds me of that fun time I had when I used to make him homemade baby food.
When I gave birth to Kai, I was committed to breastfeeding him, and I was not aware that breastfeeding advocates push for Tamang Kain, or proper infant nutrition. I just knew that I had to feed him homemade baby food, and not commercialized instant cereals. This is not saying that I look down on moms who do feed their kids with products like baby food in bottles or in a box. After all, we are moms and we have our own ways and beliefs on how to raise our own kids.
I knew then I wanted to spend time making homemade baby food, because I’m a work-at-home mom and I had the time. Plus, I just enjoy the whole idea of making baby food. But then, first-time moms, I have to tell you, there will come a time when motherhood becomes overwhelming and you wish you could just take a break. You wish you could just save some time to attend to other tasks at home. I felt that way, too, but I didn’t want to stop serving Kai homemade baby food, which is why I decided to buy a microwave oven to make things a bit easier for me. It saved me a loooot of time, but you can’t help but ask, is it safe to heat up homemade baby food using a microwave oven?
Pros of Heating Homemade Baby Food With a Microwave
We can’t deny how convenient a microwave is. This piece of equipment may not be as common in the Philippines as it is in the U.S. but I have to say it’s a perfect time saver. With just a push of a button, it can cook and reheat food. And what does that translate for moms? – More time.
Cooking with a microwave is said to retain more nutrients when cooking vegetables, which is a plus when you’re making homemade baby food. You don’t have to wait and watch over a microwave as you prepare the food like you do when cooking from a stove.
Not a fan of the microwave oven? Check out this awesome All-in-One Baby Food Maker!
The concerns of using a microwave for baby food
I was one of those moms who became concerned about microwaving an infant’s food. The main concern was radiation leaks or plastic chemicals that can leach into your baby’s food. But the real concern of using a microwave to heat your homemade baby food is actually none of these.
Here’s what the U.S. Food And Drug Administration says about injuries relating to microwave ovens:
Most injuries related to microwave ovens are the result of heat-related burns from hot containers, overheated foods, or exploding liquids. Most injuries are not radiation-related. That said, there have been very rare instances of radiation injury due to unusual circumstances or improper servicing.
The thing is, food may not be evenly heated in the microwave, creating what’s called “hot spots.” You might think that the food is not that hot as you touch the container, but it actually is on the inside. As for the containers, there are those designed to be put inside a microwave oven. They’re fine to use but to be on the safe side, glass or ceramic containers marked “microwave safe” will be the best option.
How to safely heat baby food
The US FDA recommends the following to ensure safety when preparing homemade baby food with a microwave oven:
- Don’t place baby foods in a jar to be microwaved. Instead, transfer the food to a dish. Doing so lets you stir the food first and test the temperature before giving to your child.
- Frozen baby food should be heated on high power for 15 seconds. Always make sure to stir and let it stand for about 30 seconds. Remember to taste-test before feeding.
- Foods that are high in fat, like eggs, should not be cooked in a microwave oven as they tend to splatter and cause overheating.
Note: Heating breastmilk or infant formula in a microwave is not recommended.