Food safety is important no matter what age you are, but when it comes to preparing food for babies, you want to be extra careful that everything is cooked to a safe temperature.It pays to be extra careful when it comes to sensitive young tummies.
Here are some great guidelines for cooking and handling poultry from the book, “The Best Baby Food on the Planet,” written by registered nurse Karin Knight and dietician Tina Ruggerio.
Practice Poultry Safety
“When buying fresh chicken or turkey, the package should feel cold and have a sell-by date of several days beyond
the purchase date.
Make the grocery store your last stop before going home. Once home, immediately put the chicken in a refrigerator that maintains a temperature of 40°F (4°C).
Use the poultry within 1 or 2 days or freeze at 0°F (-18°C). Whole chicken and ground chicken and turkey can be
frozen up to one month, if well wrapped.
Follow instructions on the package about how to handle the chicken during preparation. For safety, tenderness and doneness, cook a whole chicken to 180°F (82°C). Use a food thermometer and insert it into the thigh or thickest part of the meat.
When making poultry dishes using ground chicken or turkey, be sure the meat is thoroughly cooked, with no red or pink showing. A meat thermometer should register at 170°F (77°C).
Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
Chicken puree has a better texture when blended with a root vegetable. If you don’t have sweet potatoes on hand, the flesh of a white potato will produce a similar result.
One small skinless, boneless chicken breast or chicken tender
One small sweet potato
Cook and dice chicken. Peel, boil and dice potato. Put all ingredients into a blender and pulverize until smooth. Add a touch of breast milk or formula if desired to get a creamy consistency.
This recipe, covered tightly, will last 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
YIELD: 6 baby servings, 1/4 cup (55 g) each
EACH SERVING CONTAINS: 33.4 calories; 1.2 g total fat; 0.3 grams saturated fat; 4.3 mg cholesterol; 45.5 mg sodium; 3.9 g carbohydrates; 0.3 g dietary fiber; 1.7 g protein; 4.7 mg calcium; 0.2 mg iron; 1980.IU viitamin A; and 1.6 mg vitamin C.
“The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet” was nominated for the 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals annual Cookbook Awards competition. Considered the gold standard among cookbook awards and widely lauded as the most selective in the industry, the IACP has been presenting its cookbook awards for more than 25 years to promote quality and creativity in culinary writing and publishing. Past nominees include Julia Child, Mark Bittman, and Thomas Keller, among others.
Karin Knight, R.N., is co-author of the best-selling book The Baby Cookbook (more than 43,000 copies sold) and 1-2-3 Cook for Me. Before turning cooking into an occupation, she spent twenty-five years working as a registered nurse. She currently resides in Montana with her husband.
Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., L.D., is a sought-after nutrition expert, spokesperson, and award-winning author. Fondly called “The Gourmet Nutritionist,” Tina is frequently seen on national TV, heard on radio, and her writing, recipes and advice have appeared in magazines and newspapers, including Men’s Health, USA Today, Family, Woman’s World and First for Women. Tina is the principle of her own nutrition consulting firm where she helps both corporations and consumers. She is also a nutrition correspondent for NBC’s syndicated television show Daytime; a special correspondent to the Tampa Tribune; and an avid cook. Tina’s blog (www.tinaruggiero.com) is often cited in magazines, newspapers, and online for its reliable, accurate and inspiring content. You can follow Tina on Twitter @Tina_Ruggiero.