Several alcoholic beverages include wine and beer, can improve the flavor of cooked food. However, cooking with alcoholic beverages is often a challenge for parents. Most parents think that alcohol consumption is not safe for children, which is valid up to some extent.
In general, it is safe for children to consume food cooked with wine or beer, but it depends on your cooking method. If you cook the food properly with a low quantity of alcohol, you can give it to your baby. However, food cooked with alcohol is not safe for children below 15 months to 20 months. Read on! (also read 5 baby super foods)
Food Cooked with Alcohol – Is it Safe?
Health professionals say it is wise not to give your baby any food cooked with alcohol. The purpose is to avoid health complications and ensure the safety of your child. The cooking method plays a crucial role in cooking food with alcohol. For instance, if the food has a reduced quantity of beer or wine, your child can eat it.
When you increase cooking duration, the food will have a lower percentage of beer or wine. For instance, sauces and soups cooked for 1-2 hours will have a reduced quantity of alcohol or at least mitigate its effects.
Although the food will still contain a small amount of alcohol, it won’t affect your child’s health significantly. Keep the burner higher to ensure proper evaporation of alcohol. If you are still unsure, it is best to avoid giving your baby or toddler the food cooked with alcohol.
Children must not eat food items like fruit macerated in wine, flambéed meats, spices with mulled wine, etc. These dishes can cause damage your baby’s cellular system, brain, and spinal cord and increase the risk of liver disorders.
How to safely Cook Food with Alcohol?
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, food simmered or baked with wine for 15-20 minutes retains 40% of the wine. The study highlighted that food cooked with alcohol for one hour contains 25% of the beverage, and after two hours, the food still has 5% of it.
The boiling point of alcohol is lower than water. Alcohol boils at 186.8 degrees Fahrenheit whereas the boiling temperature of the water is 212 degrees. Research shows that food with 0.5% of alcohol is considered non-alcoholic.
When cooking with alcohol, parents should never use a highly concentrated wine or spirit. Depending on the type of food you cook, the longer the cooking duration, the lower is the amount of alcohol remaining.
Safe alternatives to alcohol for cooking are booze-free beer, alcohol-free gin, sparkling juices, red, and white wine vinegar. Besides, the only way to be 100% safe is to avoid cooking food with alcohol. After all, your child’s health is vital for his or her proper development.
Many parents love cooking food with alcoholic beverages and give it to their children. Even if you cook food that way, it is essential to maintain a high cooking temperature to evaporate the beverage fully. Lastly, use alternatives to alcohol to ensure your children’s health and safety.