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First Year

Last Reviewed: March 2017

Safety and AllergiesFood Safety and Allergies

Food Safety | Allergies

Food Safety

How do I keep my baby's food safe?

Homemade baby food

  • Serve freshly made baby food right away.
  • Put a small amount in a bowl before serving.
  • Throw out any food that has come in contact with your baby’s saliva.
  • Freshly made baby food can also be stored in a covered container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Store baby food in a fridge freezer for 2 months or a deep freezer for 6 months.
  • You can save money by only making the amount you will use

Store-bought baby food

  • Check the “best before” date on store-bought baby food by reading the label or looking for it on the jar.
  • Make sure the safety seal on the jar of store-bought baby food 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.
  • Put the food for your baby into a bowl. The remaining food in the jar can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Throw out any food that has come in contact with your baby’s saliva.

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:

  • Certain foods that are hard, sticky or crunchy can block your baby’s airway and cause choking
  • Examples of foods that shouldn’t be given to children under 4:
    • Chunky peanut butter
    • Hard candy
    • Chewing gum
    • Raisins
    • Popcorn
    • Nuts and seeds
  • Examples of how to avoid choking:
    • Spread smooth peanut butter thinly on toast, never serve it from a spoon
    • Cut cooked vegetables (carrots, squash) in strips
    • Cut grapes, cherries in half or quarters and remove seeds
  • Babies under one year of age shouldn’t be given honey because it can cause infant botulism (food poisoning).
  • Serve fish that are low in mercury (tilapia, haddock, cod, salmon) twice a week. Avoid fish that are high in mercury (swordfish, tuna steak).
  • Do not serve your baby sashimi and sushi that contain raw fish and raw oysters, because of the risk of food poisoning.


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:

Call Region of Peel Public Health at: 905-799-7700
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Caledon residents call free of charge at: 905-584-2216
To speak with a Public Health Nurse

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Revised: Wednesday June 28 2017


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