Food safety for babies

Babies are vulnerable to foodborne illnesses (food poisoning) because their immune systems are not developed enough to fight off infections. Keep your babies and toddlers safe by following these guidelines when feeding them formula or expressed breast milk.

Find out about infant nutrition during the first 12 months of your baby's life.
Get advice on how to store, prepare and cook food safely.

Information under review

The Ministry for Primary Industries is reviewing information relating to feeding your baby. This may result in some changes to the advice offered in this section. Talk to your health professional or a provider like Plunket, if you have any questions about how to safely feed your baby.

Safe feeding for infants

Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for newborn babies, but parents may decide to give their babies infant formula, either exclusively or in combination with breast milk. Both infant formula and expressed breast milk must be prepared and stored carefully to minimise the growth of any bacteria that may harm your baby.

Premature, low weight, or very sick babies

Information in this section of the website relates to feeding healthy, full-weight babies. If your baby is premature, of low birth weight, or very sick, you should ask your doctor or health professional for advice.

Find out more

Read more about feeding your baby or toddler on the Ministry of Health website:

Who to contact

If you have questions about feeding infants safely, email

Last reviewed:
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