Parent Question - Is it Safe to Use Alcohol in Cooking?

Parent Question - Is it Safe to Use Alcohol in Cooking?

Parent question: Some of my family casserole and slow cooker recipes include wine. Is it safe for my child to have these foods as they include alcohol?

Alcoholic drinks such as wine and beer are added to dishes like stews and to marinades to add flavour. But the amount of alcohol left in the finished dish is hard to measure. To lower the alcohol through the cooking, these things help:

  • Cooking food on the stove or in the oven for at least an hour.
  • Cooking at high temperatures like boiling or higher if using the oven.
  • Using a wide pot or pan without the lid.

The amount of alcohol can stay high if:

  • The food is not cooked at a high enough heat. For example, dishes cooked in benchtop slow cookers.
  • The food is not cooked for long enough. For example, a stir fry with meat marinated in wine.
  • The food is not cooked at all. For example, a fruit dessert with wine added.

The choice is up to you

You may choose to use cooking methods that help to reduce the alcohol content and use less alcohol in a dish to make it safer for your child.

Otherwise the safer option is to choose to leave out alcoholic drinks when preparing food for babies and children. Flavour dishes with herbs, stocks, fruit juice and spices instead.

To find out more about healthy family cooking