Fresh pureed homemade baby food is often stored in a refrigerator. It is recommended to store baby food for no longer than 48 hours (some food authorities say that 72 hours is good too). This time limit is suggested so that the food doesn’t take on the taste of the fridge, and it ensures the possibility of bacteria growth in the food stays minimum. This is recommended for fruits, veggies, meat, and etc.
Studies show that an infant takes about 15 to 21 instances of trying a food before figuring out her like or dislike for that food (Source). At the beginning of her introduction to solid foods, you won’t be able to determine whether she likes it or not. Freezing food allows you to retry a rejected food over again. You should never feed your child from the container and then restore because her saliva could contaminate and lead the bacteria to evolve. Always take a small portion of the frozen food in a bowl to avoid bacteria as well as wasting the food.
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How to store baby food in freezer?
It is recommended to store homemade baby food or market purchased baby food within two hours of preparing or purchasing it. If your place has a room temperature above 90 F, then you ought to freeze the food within one hour of preparing it. It is recommended to freeze ground meat, poultry, shellfish, and fish if you don’t intend to eat it within two days, and other beef, pork, veal, or lamb within three to five days.
It is said that the immediate transfer of hot foods into the freezer can cause other foods in the freezer to spoil because of the sudden change in temperature.
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How to store homemade baby food in freezer?
The following list shows the recommended duration to keep the food in the freezer and refrigerator.
- Freezer: 3-6 months (ideally 1-3 months)
- Refrigerator (veggies and fruits): 48 hours (72 max)
- Refrigerator (poultry, meat, fish eggs): 24 hours
Keep frozen baby cubes in the freezer for three months for optimal hygiene and nutrient retention. Due to the gradual increase in water crystals in baby food purees, and evaporation of food nutrients, it is recommended to use your frozen baby food as soon as possible.
You can also use frozen veggies and fruits as it is the second best option to using fresh foods. You can make purees and refreeze them in the freezer. Flash-freezing is the process of freezing food at a very low temperature and incredibly quickly, minimizing the loss of food nutrients from the food.
How to store baby food jars?
Glass that is not designed for freezing has the ability to crack or burst in the freezer, leaving behind extremely harmful and microscopic debris. Specially designed jars for freezing pose no hazard to the food you mean to freeze.
Some plastic jars manufactured with freezer-safe plastic and can withstand high temperatures of a freezer. The bottoms of the plastic jars contain plastic symbols to help you decide if you are buying the right plastic jar.
How to store avocado baby food?
Avocados are incredibly healthy and nutritious for your little ones. They contain:
- Vitamin E
- Fats that help with the development of the nervous system
Some people like to freeze their avocado after slicing it. You can take out some slices and mash them up for your baby, and serve. You can minimize the browning of an avocado when you mash/ puree it first before freezing. It is recommended to bathe the avocados in a mixture of:
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 squeeze-drips of lemon juice
Bathing the avocados in the mixture slows down the browning process. After dipping the slices in the mixture of water and lemon, set them on a baking sheet that has been covered in parchment paper. Put it in the freezer and let the avocados freeze. Transfer the avocados into freezer bags when they’re completely frozen.
If you want to avoid feeding citrus to your baby in any way, then this bath mix is not recommended for you.
How to make and store baby food?
Easy tips on making baby food will not only make the food prepping easy for you, but it will also save you so much time. When you’re making baby food, there is no need for fancy equipment at all. A steamer and a blender will do the job. It’s better if you keep it simple at first, but when she’s grown up a little, you can go crazy on feeding your little one all sorts of foods with lots of spices. Taking it slow will help you figure out your child’s sensitivities and allergies.
It’s better to cook in batches and store the food. Freezing a batch of food and serving it on a daily basis is quite a convenient and fast way to feed your little one all the nutritious meals that she needs. You can combine your baby’s food with your family meal planning. For example, if you are making roasted potatoes for the family, make some for your little one too, in mashed, chopped or pureed form. Make sure to omit the spices from your baby’s side of the food because babies tend to have sensitive digestive tracts.
Safety tips to follow:
- Always wash your hands before touching the food.
- Prevent contamination by storing uncooked or raw foods like meat, poultry, eggs, etc., separately.
- Check the nitrate levels of water if you’re not using tap or bottled water.
- Use clean utensils and thoroughly cleaned raw food for prepping your baby’s meal.
How to Store Baby Food in 8 Creative Ways
1. Ice cube trays
An ice cube tray allows you to store at least a dozen of baby food servings ahead of time. Ice cube trays are easy to stack in the freezer and don’t take up much room.
Before using an ice cube tray, make sure to rinse it thoroughly. Fill all the ice cube cubbies with the baby food puree. Cover the tray with a plastic wrap or lid (if available), and stack it in the freezer.
2. Bulk freezer bag storage
It’s easy and convenient. Plus, you can label the bags for reminders.
Prep the baby food and freeze it in ice trays or spoonfuls, and once they are completely frozen, put them in a freezer bag, and you’re done. Don’t forget to label the bags by food name and date.
3. Cookie sheet splats
If you have cookie sheets available, cover them in parchment paper, and you are good to go. After preparing baby food, drop it in by the spoonful on the cookie sheet covered by parchment paper. Stack it in the freezer, and when frozen completely, you can store the food in plastic bags or Tupperware.
4. Silicone muffin cups
Silicone muffin cups are incredibly flexible, reusable, and convenient for a single serving. After preparing baby food purees, you can store them in the silicone cups and pop them into the freezer.
When frozen, either let the food stay in the cups or pop it out and place it in plastic bags or freezer-safe Tupperware.
5. Ice pop trays
Ice pop trays are a really cool way to store your baby food. Once you have prepared baby food purees, store it in the ice pop trays and put them in the freezer.
Ice pop trays are made from BPA free, and dishwasher safe plastic, which is a win-win situation for your baby and you. Plus, when your baby grows up, you can use the ice pop trays to make popsicles.
6. Freezer-safe jars
Reusable and recyclable freezer-safe jars are incredible and totally retro. Before buying jars, make sure that they are freezer-safe otherwise, they’ll crack. After putting baby food in the jars, seal them tightly and store them in the freezer. When you want to take out the food for serving, thaw the jars under warm water.
7. Freezer-safe baby Tupperware
Baby-sized, freezer-safe Tupperware is cute and can be used to store toddler snacks when your baby grows up. After preparing baby food, just pop it in the storage container, close the lid, and you are good to go. Freeze the food, ready for serving anytime you want.
8. Mini-muffin trays
When you’re not using mini-muffin trays for muffins, they can be used to store baby food. They are perfect for your baby’s mini meals. Put mashed, chopped, or pureed food in stackable trays.
After filling all the available space with baby food, cover the tray tightly with a lid or a plastic container and pop it in the freezer.
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In a world filled with mass consumerism, homemade baby food is undoubtedly the better way to feed your baby all the nutrients she needs. The reason is because we cannot guarantee the nutritional value of the baby food we buy at a store. When you’re making homemade baby food for your baby, why not make it as simple as possible? You can take one day off from everything else, and just prepare batches of different baby food and freeze them in a freezer.
Every time your baby needs her meal, pop out one serving of baby food from the freezer, defrost it and you’re good to go. This way, you won’t only be saving your time, but also feeding your baby the best food that is fresh, nutritious, and healthy.