When you prepare homemade baby food, even when you simply use 1 carrot and 1 zucchini, you inevitably end up with some leftovers as your baby will only eat few tablespoons or even teaspoons of solid food at the beginning.
A lot of parents are concerned about how to SAFELY store baby food as harmful bacteria can start growing in the food and you either end up throwing away the leftovers or, even worse, with a bad baby’s tummy ache or diarrhea.
That being said, don’t worry, properly storing baby food is super simple and you just need to follow few basic, easy rules (that more or less are the same one when storing adult food!!!)
Let’s start from the containers. Where to store your baby food?
Yes, you can use regular kitchen containers to store baby food, but in my opinion they are not functional…simply too big. You might end up wasting food.
Baby food containers are small, usefully divided in portions. Remember, at the beginning a 6 months baby on average only eats one ice cube size of food per meal, that is 3 or 4 teaspoons only 🙂
That’s why for first foods I really like the freezer trays. They can release one cube at the time, 1oz !
Once your baby will start eating more, you can switch or add the bigger containers 2oz or 4oz.
The material of the container is also important as it can effect the safety of the food pending how you use it. Silicone / glass / plastic are the most common options on the market.
Every material has pros and cons (like everything else in life!!) so, here you are a comparison for you to think about:
LID AND TRAY.
The lid helps keeping the food fresh in the refrigerator, avoiding freeze burns in the freezer
The tray keeps the small containers together and helps organizing and stacking them in the freezer/refrigerator saving space.
INFORMATION THAT YOU SHOULD TRACK.
You might want to keep track of some relevant information like: when the food was prepared + what’s inside + how much food is inside.
It happened to me many times to prepare a lovely baby food, freeze it and, one week or more later, opening the freezer and questioning about what was really inside. A green puree can be so many things!! spinach, kale, kiwi, broccoli…and I’m not even starting the list of foods that end up in an orange/yellow puree 🙂
For this purpose I like using labels that you can easily stick on the container and wash away when cleaning it or I like playing with colors (green containers for veggies/blue for meat/yellow for fish). To be sure of the quantity inside the containers I like are the ones with measures marked on the side.
HOW TO WASH CONTAINERS: You don’t need to sterilize your baby food containers. Simply wash them very well with dish soap and warm water like you would do with your dishes.
An extra tip: let the container air dry and store them away only when fully dry. Avoid using dishtowels to dry them or use clean ones.
A very frequent question I receive is “how long can I store my baby food?”
TIMING is essential: store your freshly cooked baby food within 2 hours either in the refrigerator or in the freezer
How long can you keep the baby food stored?
tip: if you freeze any food and than thaw it, the thawed food will deteriorate faster than the original food. When you freeze a food, some ice will be formed in it. The ice will transform in water once thawed and that will cause the faster deterioration.
CONTAMINATION: never store contaminated jars/containers. If you fed your baby directly from the jar/container, whatever is left has to be thrown away. The baby saliva contains bacteria that will pass into the food through the spoon and they will keep growing in it.
If you are interested in all the useful containers you see in the video and in this post, they are from GreenSprouts, a baby and eco friendly brand I trusted and used for my kids. Click here for more information.
If you are interested in more information about baby food “handling”, you might also want to check these posts: