Food safety for kids is taken very seriously by Heath Canada. Once you’re familiar with their food guidelines and how they protect us, you can start interpreting them while still keeping a safe kitchen.

Yes, you should sterilize your bottles.

No, you don’t need sterilizing chemicals.

Health Canada’s food safety information recommends placing bottles and nipples in a pot of water then bringing it to a rolling boil for two minutes.

Yes, you should prepare powdered formula with sterilized water. 

No, you don’t have to sterilize it yourself.

Babies are precious but pricey. Powered formula is less expensive and just as nutritious as its liquid counterparts. If you go that route, Health Canada recommends sterilizing your own water by boiling up a large pot, waiting for it to cool to room temperature and then putting it in a jug for future use. You can also use distilled bottled water, but not home-filtered water as it still might have lingering bacteria.

Yes, you should feed your baby fresh foods. 

No, it doesn’t have to be made fresh that day.

Attention time-starved parents: Not everything your baby eats has to be right out of the pot. There’s nothing wrong with pre-making baby food on the weekends for the upcoming week as long as you cool it quickly and put it in the freezer. You can put it in the fridge if you're going to serve it within 24 hours, but remember to separate raw food from cooked food – especially any raw meats, so their juices don’t drip and contaminate other things.

Yes, you should wash your hands and theirs before eating. 

No, you don’t have to scrub them.

A crawling baby’s hands will be covered in dust, germs and lord-knows-what-else. And while exposure to a small amount of germs can be good for a baby (it helps them build immunity), too much will turn their young tummies over and it’ll be you who has to clean up the ensuing mess. A wash with soap, or a thorough rinse under warm water can get the job done when hands aren’t visibly dirty.

Yes, you should throw out the baby food your little one doesn’t eat.

No, you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

‘Waste not want not’ applies to most aspects of life, but baby food isn’t one of them. Harmful bacteria will start to grow on food as soon as your baby’s saliva comes in contact with it.