Freezing Baby Food and Reusable Food Pouches
Most baby food can be frozen up to about 3 months if the correct steps have been taken to cover the food properly.
Purees with Milk 4-6 weeks
Fish 12 weeks
Meat and Chicken 12 weeks
Fruits 6 months
Vegetables 6 months
If you do not plan on freezing homemade baby food, it is advised to make and prepare pureed food every other day.
Refrigerator storage of baby food is only two days, at the most. When refrigerating homemade prepared baby food, it should be stored in a clean single serve lidded container (such as inside Little Mashies food pouches), to keep food safe, and also to make mealtimes more convenient. Little Mashies are BPA free, and dishwasher safe so they are great for using to store bulk made baby food.
Storing baby food
One of the easiest ways to store baby food in the freezer is to use a clean (sterilised) ice cube tray. To clean the trays prior to use, you can hand wash them with soapy water or run them in the dishwasher (on the sanitise setting). Once the compartments are full with baby puree, cover with reusable plastic wrap and freeze. If you are making large batches of baby food, pop the cubes from the tray and store them in a silicone freezer bag; that you have labeled with the date and food type, then clean the tray and you are ready for the next batch.
There are many benefits to this type of storage method. The first being that sections of an ice cube tray are a good serving size and it is cost effective, because you will not be wasting food. By having frozen food prepared ahead of time you will always have food handy and ready for feeding time. Another great benefit is that it doesn’t take up a lot of room in your freezer, as many ice cube trays are made to stack on top of each other. You can also easily slip 3-4 ice cubes inside a Little Mashies reusable pouch through the zip lock and have a different food combination every day and a handy way to take the food with you when you venture out of the house. Of course though Little Mashies pouches are freezer safe so you can freeze baby food directly inside the pouches if you wish.
For the best quality and optimal nutrient retention, it is recommended to keep baby food in the freezer for no more than three months. This is suggested because water crystals tend to form on pureed baby food, and valuable nutrients may evaporate during the thawing process. Of course, if at all possible, use the baby food you have prepared and frozen within 30 days.
How to safely thaw homemade baby food
You can run a frozen Little Mashies pouch under the hot water tap and it will defrost fairly quickly. Giving it a squeeze whilst the water is running over it will also help speed up the process but usually it takes only a minute or so.
Another method of defrosting is using a water bath. Simply place the Little Mashies food pouch inside a bath of warm water and give it a squeeze to break up the ice. You can also use a sealed frozen bag of baby food cubes in a bath of warm water (replacing warm water as needed) if you don’t own any Little Mashies squeeze pouches. Once the food is totally defrosted, place it in the refrigerator until feeding time.
Using the microwave is yet another option for a quick defrost. Frozen cubes should be placed on a microwave safe dish, and the unit should be set to DEFROST. The food should be stirred and rotated often during the process otherwise it gets hot spots and can burn your baby. This is also why we don’t recommend heating or defrosting food inside the Little Mashies pouches. Without the ability to stir there is no way to ensure that the temperature is evenly spread throughout the food. Hot spots in food can burn your baby so you have to be careful not to overheat. Make sure that the food has cooled enough before feeding to your little one.
After baby food has been defrosted, it should be used within two days. Any portion that has not been used, should be discarded that this point.