Freezing Baby Food
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Having moved onto solids, there’s a fair chance that you’ll find preparing and storing baby food time-consuming and perhaps even confusing. Freezing homemade baby food allows you to ensure that you always have access to nutritious snacks for your baby and save time preparing meals. Here’s what you need to know.
Use appropriate containers
Ice cube trays are the favourite storage container when it comes to freezing pureed baby food, because they allow you to access small portions as you need them. Flexible ice cube trays make popping the food cubes out that much easier. Certain foods are better frozen in small chunks rather than pureed, so make sure you have some containers for these as well.
After the age of six months, babies don’t need the containers of frozen baby food to be sterilized, but it is important that you clean the containers thoroughly before use. Make sure you prepare the food in a hygienic way, with clean hands. Once you have prepared the food that you will be freezing, allow it to cool before transferring it to the containers, but don’t allow it to sit at room temperature long. Ensure that your freezer is set to a cold enough temperature – at least -18°C.
Label everything and pay attention to dates
Pureed foods often start looking very similar once frozen, so it helps to have some labels handy as you prepare and freeze baby food. Also record the date on the label so that you use the various food types within the recommended time frame. Frozen pureed fruit and vegetables can last in the freezer for up to 6 months, but it’s ideal to use them within 6 weeks. Frozen meat, poultry and fish can last around 3 months, but again it is preferable to use these items within a few weeks.
How to defrost frozen baby food
Leaving the frozen baby food to thaw at room temperature is not recommended, as this may allow bugs to breed. For food that is needed right away, it’s best to defrost on the stove or in the microwave. You’ll want to heat it right through and then let it cool before serving – simply warming it up a little is insufficient. You can also defrost the frozen snacks in the fridge, which will take a few hours, and you’ll need to use the food within a day or two. Do not refreeze unused baby food once you’ve thawed it.
The information in this article is intended for general purposes only. If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.