Should You Warm Up Baby Food Pouches from the Fridge? Discover the Pros and Cons!

Little Mashies reusable pouches baby food
Little Mashies reusable food pouches being served straight from the fridge

To Warm or Not to Warm: A Guide to Serving Baby Food from the Fridge

As new parents, we're constantly navigating a sea of advice and recommendations from everyone who has either been a parent or known a parent! This is especially the case when it comes to feeding our little ones. One question that often arises is: should you warm up baby food after it’s been in the fridge? And should you warm up food that is in a reusable food pouch, or just pouched baby meals in general. This seemingly simple decision can stir up a variety of opinions and concerns amoungst friends and family members, so let’s take a step back and explore the pro’s and con’s of the big debate. All of our baby food recipes are suitable to be used cold or hot in either our reusable food pouches or a suction plate or bowl.

Benefits of make baby food warm?

  1. Comfort and Familiarity: You know how we love a warm meal, especially on a cold day? Babies are kind of the same. They’re used to the warmth of breast milk or formula, so cold food might be a bit of a shock for them. Warming it up can make the food more comforting and familiar, which can help them eat better.
  2. Better Texture and Flavour: Some parents argue that warming the baby food can really make a difference in how it tastes and feels. Cold food can be a bit firmer and not as tasty, which some babies might not like. Just a little warming can bring out the flavours and make the food smoother and more appealing.
  3. Easier on Their Tummies: Another point made by parents is that cold food can sometimes be a bit harsh on tiny tummies, leading to slight discomfort. Although I’ve personally never had this problem warming baby food pouches up can make them gentler and easier to digest. In my opinion anything that helps digestion is always a good thing.

Why people keep their reusable food pouches cold?

  1. Nutrient Retention: One reason parents choose not to heat baby food is because of the risk of overheating it and losing some of the nutritional qualities. This can happen especially in the microwave, because microwaving food in general can destroy some of the nutrients. If you’re going to warm baby food or pouches, it’s best to do it gently. You can use the microwave for baby food in a bowl but be careful—heat in short bursts and stir it well every 10 seconds or so. For baby food pouches try a hot water bath instead or run the pouch under a hot water tap. It only takes about 30 seconds to heat the food inside and there is less risk of overheating the food.
  2. Time-Saving: Let’s be honest, sometimes we just need things to be quick and easy. Serving food straight from the fridge saves time, and many babies will get used to eating cooler food if you do it from the start. Personally, this was my reason to keep baby food cold for my first daughter. I was really pressed for time and I wanted her to be happy to eat anything on the go with little fuss. It worked a treat for us at that time in our lives.
  3. Safety Concerns: Warming food in the microwave can create hot spots that might burn your baby’s mouth. It’s easy to leave it in there for 10 seconds too much, or to not stir it enough. Always make sure to test the temperature before giving it to them, and ensure it’s warmed evenly, stirring properly. A good food thermometer can help with this.
Little Mashies reusable food pouches

Finding what works for your family

So, how do you decide what to do? It really depends on what you and your baby prefer and how much time you have. It’s good to think about the years to come, not just the immediate future when you start solid baby foods. Here are some tips to help you find a good balance:

  • Try Different Temperatures: Experiment with different temperatures to see what your baby likes. Start with room temperature and then try cooler options.
  • Use Safe Warming Methods: If you do warm the food, use safer methods like a hot water bath or gentle stovetop warming. If you use a microwave, be careful and make sure to stir well.
  • Check the Temperature: Always test the food’s temperature before serving to ensure it’s not too hot.
  • Watch Your Baby: Pay attention to how your baby reacts to different temperatures. Some babies might not mind cooler food, while others might prefer it warm.

At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s all about what works best for you and your baby. Consider the benefits of warming the food for comfort and digestion versus the convenience and safety of serving it cold. And remember, babies can be surprisingly adaptable, so stay flexible and go with what feels right for both of you. Mealtime should be enjoyable and stress-free for everyone!

Reusable Baby Food Pouches by Little Mashies

BABY feeding FAQS

Simply add it to the cart, pop in the coupon code, and it will remove 100% of the price.

At 6 mths of age you can introduce a range of puree's to your baby (see our baby food recipe book and use coupon code RECIPE to remove 100% of the price at the checkout).

For baby led weaning you skip the baby food puree altogether and start with large (2 finger sized) pieces of the food. We would of course do this on our Little Mashies sucky platter! So from 6-9mths of age in baby led weaning foods should be the size of about 2 fingers so that the baby can pick it up and self feed. They also need to be well cooked so they are soft, and with no loose pieces (for example tiny florets that can break off on broccoli, or a slice of apple that's so thin it can break when gnawed on).

From around 9mths with baby led weaning you chop the food very small (to avoid choking). I would suggest 2-4 grains of rice in size. It's a small piece so that if they swallow it whole they won't choke. In traditional baby food recipes this is the stage where we mash food so it has a little texture.

At around 12mths of age in baby led weaning the food goes up to bite sizes (and this is the same in non baby led weaning kids), about fingernail sized pieces. Of course some babies will be on a different timeline depending on whether they have heaps or a few teeth.

Every baby is different and you just have to watch carefully and get to know how your baby is with food. Never leave them alone whilst eating, and I also recommend sitting them at a table with you for all meals if you can. It helps set the expectation for later in life and you can be a role model for how to eat well. Around 18mths you can offer your little one larger serves again (so a whole apple for example) so that they can learn to take smaller bites themselves, to chew, and to swallow.

It is widely recognised that babies should start solids around 6 months of age. At this time reusable baby food pouches can be really convenient to take your homemade healthy puree with you when you are out and about. Spoon attachments are available so you can feed your baby directly from the pouch from 6 months old. Without a spoon attachment babies usually start feeding themselves pouched food around 8 months old. This is when they hit their independant phase and what to do everything themselves. A pouch is a lot cleaner than a bowl and spoon in these circumstances. We do however advise that you give your baby a variety of meals, not just ones that are in a refillable pouch.

Refilling your reusable yoghurt pouches is easy! Simply turn the reusable food pouch upside down and open the wide double ziplock at the bottom of the pouch. Once the zipper is open you can spoon yoghurt into the pouch or pour it in (out of a jug or bottle).

If you are concerned about making a mess you can use a kitchen funnel so that all of the yoghurt stays away from the yoghurt pouch zipper.

Another idea that we commonly do at home when filming videos (but it would also be useful when holding a baby in one arm), anyway.. the idea is that you put the pouch upside down in a glass (with the lid on), open the ziplock and the glass acts like a second hand, holding the pouch still whilst you spoon the yoghurt in. This is what I do when I only have one hand to use for the refill!I also tend to refill my reusable yoghurt pouches in bulk. I'll buy a good quality yoghurt from Coles or Woolworths and will fill a whole 10pk of pouches in one go so they are all ready for snacks on the go.

My kids always want to eat when they are out and refilling the reusable pouches one at a time just doesn't work for us. The only time i do that actually is when I've pureed a meal that my toddler refused, put it in a reusable pouch, and given it to her again. Oh and the other time I do singles.. there are two actually. When we go for ice-cream (it is so much cleaner when in a pouch), and when I have leftover smoothie (again, it stops me getting smoothie all through my car, pram, or playroom).

Little Mashies refillable yoghurt pouches are compatible with pouch filling machines that are on the market. Our spout is universal so even though we don't think you need a filling machine, our reusable pouches will fit. All of our yoghurt and baby food pouches come with anti-choke lids as standard.

Cleaning reusable baby food pouches is easy! We have designed Little Mashies refillable yoghurt pouches without corners so there are no places for food to get stuck (we would hate your little one to get sick from old food stuck in corners)!

When you open the ziplock you can see all the way through the pouch to ensure it is clean. If you have a dishwasher you can clean the pouch using that, otherwise you can wash your reusable baby food pouches by hand and this takes around 20 seconds. Little Mashies squeeze pouches are BPA Free and are safe to wash with warm water.

If you need some meal ideas for your refillable pouch you can find home made yoghurt here, baby food recipes here, and pouch smoothie recipes here.

Now, to clean your Little Mashies food pouches by hand simply open up the ziplock at the bottom and take off the cap. Run warm water through the open ziplock with the baby pouch facing downward so the water comes out of the spout and into the sink. The shape of Little Mashies reusable pouches acts like a funnel, pushing out food and making the pouch very easy to clean.

To start washing your reusable pouch, squirt some dishwashing liquid into the refillable pouch, then use a baby bottle brush to clean the inside walls (just like a baby bottle). To clean the spout use a straw brush (like the ones we have here), and clean it in the same manner that you would clean the teat from a baby’s bottle. Give the reusable pouch a rinse and place it over a kitchen utensil in the drying rack to dry. If you don’t have time to dry it fully place it in the freezer until you are ready to use it again. Do not put wet reusable food pouches in dark cupboards or draws. They are very easy to dry if you have removed the cap, and placed something inside the zipper to keep the pouch open (we use a whisk, tongs or a spatula).

Note that if you continuously wash your pouches in the dishwasher the high temperature will make the zipper wear out more quickly. At home we wash our pouches mostly by hand because it is so quick and easy and then just use the dishwasher when we have had loads of kids over and served reusable yoghurt pouches or smoothies to them all.

Oh and while I remember if you use the code RECIPE at the checkout it will remove 100% off the price of the baby food recipe ebook so you can get some inspiration for your refillable pouches.

Some parents start introducing a sippy cup or straw cup to their babies around 6 mths of age. This can make it easier to transition from breastmilk or bottle feeding around 12 mths of age. Most paediatricians recommend babies 18 mths or older use an open sippy cup rather than a bottle, so anytime before then is fine. This is why we have a 4 in 1 sippy cup, so that you don't have to purchase seperate products as your baby moves through the stages of learning how to swallow and drink. To shop the Little Mashies silicone sippy cup, check out our baby feeding range here.

All of our baby food recipes are contained within our ebook. You can get a free download by using the coupon code RECIPE at the checkout. Simply add it to the cart, pop in the coupon code, and it will remove 100% of the price.