There are many safe and convenient ways to store homemade baby food – learn more!
Now that you have made your baby food, you want to store it in the most sanitary yet convenient way possible.
Should you bother with ice cube trays, store it in the refrigerator, drop it on wax papered cookie sheets for freezing or use glass jars?
After you have made the decision on how to store your baby food, how will you organize it? Outlined below are the varied methods for storing homemade baby food along with their pros and cons.
Storing Homemade Baby Food Using the Ice Cube Tray – Freezer Bag Method
Using this method, you spoon or pour your purees into regular ice cube trays and then cover with plastic wrap. Prior to using your ice cube trays, you want to thoroughly cleanse them with warm soapy water and/or run them through the dishwasher on the sanitize setting. Some parents have even submerged their ice cube trays in boiling water for sanitizing (note: please make sure that the manufacturer of the trays indicates it is ok to boil the trays.)
The ice cube tray method offers you many advantages:
Each cube is approximately 1+ ounces, allowing you to have an idea of the amount of food your baby is consuming.
Another advantage is that you probably have ice cube trays on hand and will not need to go out and buy them.
Further, there is minimal waste as you use only 1 cube at a time and will not have to toss away much food; such as you toss away when using commercial foods.
Using the ice cube tray method to store homemade baby food also allows you to make several trays at a time so your time spent in the kitchen making baby food is decreased.
Once the purees have been frozen in the trays, you simply pop out the cubes and use as needed. If you’ve made big batches, pop out the cubes and store them in freezer bags. You simply transfer the baby food cubes into freezer bags, freeing up your trays for the next batch of food as well as freeing up some freezer space.
If using the freezer bag method for your food cubes, be sure to label the bags with the type of food and also date the bags. This will help you to quickly grab a cube from a bag of veggie and a bag of fruit without having to guess what you have in the bags. It also allows you to keep track of the length of time the food cubes have been in the freezer.
Storing Homemade Baby Food in the Refrigerator
Storing your baby food in the refrigerator is probably one of the least convenient and safe way to store homemade baby food. It is recommended that baby food be stored no longer than 48 hours in the refrigerator so as to reduce the risk of (bacterial or other) contamination on the food.
If you choose to store your baby food in the refrigerator, please be sure to take individual servings from the container. NEVER feed your baby directly from the original container and then re-store. Saliva may contaminate the food.
Using the Wax Paper/Cookie Sheet Method to Store Homemade Baby Food
This method involves dropping your purees into “clumps” on a cookie sheet that has been covered in wax paper; much like you do when making cookies.
This method requires a lot of freezer space and would also require that you transfer the frozen food into another storage item.
Should You Use Glass Jars or Recycled Baby Food Containers to Store Homemade Baby Food?
You should NEVER freeze anything in glass containers unless the glass container is specifically labeled for freezing.
Freezing in glass may cause bursting. It may also cause tiny fractures in the glass and may leave behind microscopic glass shards that you may never see. Freezing homemade baby food in the plastic containers that some commercial baby food makers now use is a better choice. However, some plastics are made specifically to withstand heat and freezing temperatures so ensure that your recycled plastic containers are labeled as “ok to freeze”.
BALL, makers of home canning products, manufactures 4 ounce jars specifically for freezing as do other manufactures.
All things considered, freezing in ice cube trays and then transferring to freezer bags is to me, the easiest, most time-saving and convenient method of storing homemade baby food – even when you have twins!
Choose freezer safe glass jars to store homemade baby food! These Ball canning jars are freezer safe – use plastic wrap between the lids to help protect baby food.
Photography by Chelsea Foy