Once you’ve made a batch of food, you’re ready to put it away in a nice, organized, easy to use fashion. When it comes to making batches of purees or even finger foods, there are many ways that you can store them in the freezer for easy access.
Ice Cube Trays and Freezer Bags
This was my go-to method for freezing purees. Once you’ve prepared your food, let it cool somewhat and then pour or spoon into ice cube trays. You can buy fancy ones made especially for baby food or you can just use regular ice cube trays. You may want to pay attention to see if they are BPA free. If yours come with lids, then cover and stack in the freezer. If not, then cover tightly with aluminum foil before stacking in the freezer. Let them freeze overnight and the next morning they’ll be ready to pop out. Do this on a clean surface and have your freezer bags ready and labeled with the name of the food and date. I use the quart size and only put 12-20 cubes in each one. I would suggest coming up with a number that is convenient to thaw at once. With two boys, I knew I could go through this money in just a couple of days. Keep in mind that this may change as your variety grows or as your baby’s appetite grows as well. Another idea is to freeze them in batches of meals mixing a number of fruits and vegetables that you would want to thaw together. Either way, avoid making extra large bags of too many cubes that you have to open and close over and over again just to get out a few for thawing.
- Be sure to measure the amount your cube trays hold so you know how much your feeding your baby per cube. Trays vary in size.
- Cubes are super easy and I think work best for just starting out and the younger babies who eat less. If your baby is eating more or your feeding more than one baby, going straight to individual dishes does save an extra freezing and transfer step.
This soon developed into my method of choice as my boys grew and were eating more at a time. I could still prepare a large batch of food, but then spoon or pour into individual containers for freezing. I use various containers, but tend to like glass best. It just seems more natural than plastic and I’ve always liked good, sturdy containers like these pyrex ones. They seem to be just the right size for my needs and I like that you can see what’s inside. I still put these inside of large gallon freezer bags so that I could seal and label the outside with the item and date. It just seems like an extra layer of protection and made for nice organization in my freezer.
- Choose dishes that will hold the amount that you can thaw and use from the refrigerator in just a couple of days.
- Remember to keep out a fresh dish for the refrigerator so that you can serve something that day or the next day for meals.
- It’s also best to put the amount for the meal in a dish to eat from with the spoon so that the remainder doesn’t have any bacteria or contamination for the rest of it’s time in the refrigerator.
- You can also expand on this idea and make dishes of whole meals that can be thawed for a quick lunch or dinner left with a babysitter when you’re away. Think ahead as to how you will use your food once thawed and make it work for you.
Cooked Pieces and Freezer Bags
This continues to be my current method for freezing some of my boys’ now favorites such as spinach bites and pancakes. Once you’ve prepared a food, let it cool, then put it in freezer bags to freeze. Remember to only fill your bags with an amount you would want to freeze at one time. This is such an easy way to prepare ahead and be ready for great, healthy food at any time.
- You may need to separate or layer some items with wax paper inside your bags or even let some things cool or solidify more in the refrigerator before transferring to bags for freezing.
- These are also great items to freeze in bags as whole meals. Mix items together that can be thawed together to be enjoyed at the same meal.
There are many, many other ways to freeze and store your food, but these are the ones that I have found to be my favorites and the most convenient over the past 10 months. I started making food for my boys before they were ready to eat and storing the cubes in the refrigerator. I no longer make cubes, but still make batches of things to freeze in individual dishes and bags. These are great to be able to pull out and thaw for a few days worth of healthy options. I’ve mentioned this before too, but these frozen foods are also great for on-the-go. You can always have a healthy snack or meal to take with you to the ball park, an afternoon at grandmas, or a road trip on the weekend.
Remember, you don’t have to have a huge amount of freezer space to make a big batch of food for your baby or toddler. I only have the side-by-side freezer in my kitchen refrigerator and still make enough to last a good bit while still keeping the rest of my frozen items in there as well. My freezer is full, but good organization will help you make the most of your space.
Please share your thoughts and ideas.