During my pregnancies there was so much to look forward to. Holding my baby in my arms. Seeing his first smiles and hearing those first sweet belly laughs. Getting to know the little person I’d loved like we were already old, old friends.
And while breastfeeding was something that I viewed with a bit of trepidation, making baby food was something I knew I’d love doing.
It seems that more and more parents are choosing to make their baby’s food. The benefits are well known: according to WedMD, parents often choose homemade baby food since they know exactly where their babies’ food is coming from. It also gives parents more flexibility in terms of what’s available to offer their children, which in turn exposes babies to a variety of tastes and textures from early on.
Now that so many parents are making food for their little ones, there are more options than ever for storing it.
Here are some tips I’ve picked up!
Photo Credit: Tom & Katrien/Flickr
1. Prepare baby food to be stored by cooling it quickly, which prevents the spreading of quickly-growing bacteria. You’ll want to cool small portions of food in a cold water bath by placing containers in a pan of water.
2. When storing food in ice cube trays or other freezer-safe containers, remember that less is more. Since you’re not able to use any food after feedings, freeze very small portions (about 1 ounce). You can always thaw more as needed.
3. Concerned about BPA in plastic food storage bags? A friend gave me this tip: transfer food frozen in ice cubes into breast milk storage bags a couple of cubes at a time. They can be placed back in the freezer and taken out as needed. Just be sure to label!
4. Another friend stores her baby’s food in 4 oz. Ziploc snack bags, forgoing the step of freezing food into containers first. She says the bags still allow the food to “pop out” once frozen.
5. If you want to avoid plastics all together, consider storing food in stainless steel. These popsicle molds would make great storage containers for baby food now, and for yummy popsicles during the summer months!
6. Use erasable food labels on reusable containers! Genius.
7. Remember shelf life: baby food stored in the refrigerator should be used within 2 days, and frozen food should be used within 3 months. For both methods, food should be stored in airtight containers and labeled.
Do you make your baby’s food? Any tips you’d like to share? Leave ’em in the comments!
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. She writes about all things toddler at Babble’s Toddler Times. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.