You need to be extra careful in the kitchen when cooking for babies and toddlers, as they're more sensitive than adults to things like bacteria that can upset their stomachs.

A few tips when you’re cooking for your baby or toddler:

• Using good-quality raw ingredients free from additives improves the quality of home-made food.

• Take care over hygiene. If you’re cooking with a combination of meat and vegetables or raw and cooked ingredients, use separate chopping boards and never use the same utensils without washing them in hot soapy water first.

• If you’re storing cooked food, cool it down quickly, for example in cold water, to reduce the risk of bacteria.

• Always store food in the refrigerator or freezer. Bacteria thrive at room temperature.

• Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator.

• Warm and reheat stored food thoroughly, stirring occasionally.

• Never save food that your child has already tasted. Serve a little at a time so there’s less to throw away.

If you don’t have the time or energy to cook, baby food in jars is a handy alternative. Just unscrew the lid and warm it up. It’s a simple, convenient alternative to cooking.

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