Is it Safe to Cook or Heat Baby Food in a Microwave?

6 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Heat Baby Food in a Microwave

The workload is abundant and plentiful for a mother. There is hardly any time left for oneself as the maximum time goes into taking care of the baby. With a plethora of things that require a lot of physical exertion, if any one thing also gets automated, it is no less than a boon for the mom. A microwave is one such device that helps us in simplifying cooking and reheating. But is it safe to heat baby food in a microwave? Is it a myth that we are harming babies’ health by trying to take some shortcuts and making life simpler?

Nutrition is a very important aspect of the life of a growing baby. Parents must make no compromises when it comes to the health and safety of the baby. Microwaving is no doubt an easy way to cook or reheat food but if the nutritional quotient is challenged in the process, then it is debatable. Let us study further the risks related to microwave cooking and reheating and even understand if there are many procedures that can be followed to ensure that the baby food is safe to be given.

In This Article

Is Microwave Cooked Food Safe For Infants?

When any raw food is cooled or heated the chemical structure, physical characteristics, and nutritional form, all get changed. A microwave is a common appliance in most households and is a lifesaver for making quick meals. Mothers may often worry if using the microwave to prepare and heat baby food will pose any dangers.

There are no specific studies that prove that using microwaves to cook for babies is safe. However, following some steps will help keep the food relatively safe.

  • Always follow instructions carefully when using microwave to heat food.
  • Use only glass containers and oven-safe containers for cooking and reheating using microwave. Do not use plastic containers in the microwave as harmful chemicals can leach into the food leading to health problems for the baby.
  • Always cover the food while cooking it.

[Read : Is Plastic Safe For Babies?]

Can You Warm Up Baby Food?

Can You Warm Up Baby Food?

After the first six months of the baby, it is a concern for the parents to find out if the baby food can be warmed before feeding or not. Few parents are of the opinion that warming the food helps the baby in digesting it well while a set of other parents hold the opinion that warming the food helps to kill bacteria present in it and thus preventing the baby from falling sick.

Warming food is not particularly dangerous. It is important to acclimatize your baby to foods of different temperatures just the way you introduce them to foods of different textures and tastes. It is totally safe to offer baby food at room temperature, neither too hot nor too cold.

If you plan to warm baby food, ensure that the food stands for at least 30 seconds to avoid your baby burning their mouth. Also, mix the food well because heating foods, especially in the microwave may leave pockets of unheated food. Also, you should not reheat foods that contain eggs, meat and any other non-vegetarian products.

Can You Microwave Baby Food to Warm it Up?

You can microwave baby food but you must stir the food well, and always check the taste and the temperature before offering reheated food to your baby. When warming baby food, always ensure no air pockets are left as it can result in burning the baby’s mouth. If warming up readymade home food for the baby, the optimum time is not more than 50 seconds to warm it up.

Are There Any Risks of Cooking or Heating Baby Food in Microwave?

Risks Heating Baby Food in Microwave

Though microwaves are a great way to save time yet there are a few debatable topics related to them. Few people are of the opinion that there are no threats when cooking or heating food in a microwave while others believe that the heat emitted during the process of cooking or heating is detrimental to the health of the baby.

Here are some possible risks of cooking or reheating baby food with the help of a microwave.

  • The microwave does not heat in a uniform manner where the food temperature in some portions of the food is more while other parts remain unheated.
  • Microwave warming can lead to overheating of food in some areas which can burn the mouth of the baby.
  • The nutrient value of the food decreases and the composition of the food changes due to microwaving.
  • Studies indicate that microwaving tends to lower the B12 level which is important for formation of red blood cells.
  • Microwaving food, especially breast milk, can lower the antibodies that are important to protect the baby against any infections.
  • Microwaving food can lower the flavonoids that have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties by a high percentage.
  • Using plastics is detrimental for the health of the baby as it can seep into the food as well as the milk.
  • Microwave plastic milk baby bottles can hamper neural as well as reproductive development of babies due to the toxins leaching into milk.
  • Microwaving in a plastic container can release toxins in the milk which can result in diabetes, obesity, cancer and early puberty.

[Read : Are Plastics Bottles and Cups Safe For Your Baby?]

Precautions to Take While Using Microwave to Heat Baby Food

It is no doubt very easy to heat baby food by using a microwave. But a few precautions must take when reheating food in a microwave.

  • Always use a glass cover or lid while heating the food, this keeps the food moist.
  • Use heat-resistive glass vessels or microwave-friendly containers for heating baby food.
  • Avoid using cheap plastic vessels or containers.
  • Always heat the food properly. This will ensure proper killing of bacteria and reduces the risk of food poisoning for babies.
  • Never leave the food unattended and do other tasks as it can result in burning the food.
  • Always transfer food to another vessel after heating it. It is also important to keep stirring it so that no air spaces are left in it else it can burn the mouth of the baby.

Top 5 Tips For Reheating Baby Food in a Microwave

Tips For Reheating in a Microwave

Always reheat food only in microwave-safe containers and not at a very high temperature. Do not reheat for more than 15 seconds at a time.

Here are a few more tips for reheating baby food in a microwave.

  1. When heating food in a microwave the edges might be hotter than the centre portion, so it is always advisable to stir for the food to heat in an even manner.
  2. Do not reheat baby food in a jar. Reheating in a jar results in uneven warming of food. Always transfer the contents of the jar into a microwave-safe bowl and reheat.
  3. Always check the food temperature before offering to the baby as it can burn the baby’s mouth.
  4. Do not reheat food more than once. Throw away any leftovers. Reheating another time will kill all the nutrients.
  5. Do not reheat eggs, meats and other non-vegetarian foods in the microwave.

It is important to offer healthy and nutritious food to the baby for proper growth and development. However, when using microwaves for cooking or reheating, ensure safety by using microwave-friendly vessel and containers and checking the temperature as well to protect against any health hazards.

FAQ’s

1 Does Microwaving Baby Food Destroy Nutrients?

Using microwave destroys the flavonoids, Vitamin B, anthocyanins, and other nutrients but keeps zinc, calcium, and magnesium in the food just like any other non-microwaved food.

2. Can I Microwave Baby Food From Frozen?

Frozen foods take more time in cooking or heating. Microwave cooking is not even. You may find spots of unheated or uncooked foods. These can be dangeours for health  of the baby. You must always fully thaw frozen food before microwaving it.

3. Is Microwave Milk Safe For Babies?

Microwave may not be very milk-safe. You must stir the milk every twenty seconds when heating in which is not very easy. You should be careful when microwaving milk as it can spill or sometimes even explode in the microwave.

Read Also: 6 Month Baby Food – What to Give, What Not to Give and Sample Schedule

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Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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