Get Started: How to Freeze and Store Baby Food
If you follow the instructions provided with the baby food menus, you’ll notice that they instruct you to place your purees in non-freezer gallon sized storage bags for pouring into ice cube trays. Then you put your purees into the refrigerator and fill your ice cube trays later in the OAMM Big Day. What is this all about? I thought a quick run through of what this means might be helpful – especially with some pictures. I’m a visual person, so I always like to see pictures.
How exactly you freeze your baby food depends somewhat on your resources. If you have a limited number of ice cube trays (if you don’t have enough yourself you might consider borrowing some from a friend), you may want to spread this task throughout the day. On the other hand, if you have enough ice cube trays for all of your baby food you can save this step for the end of the day.
So, what do you do? Note: I’m making the assumption that you are freezing all your baby food at the end of your OAMM Big Cooking Day.
1. Pour your puree into a gallon freezer bag. For this step you can use a storage bag instead of a freezer bag since this bag will not be going into the fridge. Squeeze out as much air as possible and lay flat in your refrigerator.
2. Continue to place all your purees in storage bags in the refrigerator until you have completed all your recipes. Label each bag (a sharpie works great) so you remember which bag contains which puree. Many purees look similar so you do not want to forget this step!
3. Place all your ice cube trays on a flat surface. Pull the first puree out of the refrigerator and snip a small hole in the bottom corner.
4. Use the snipped hole to pour the puree into the ice cube tray. If you’ve ever done any cake decorating, you use the gallon bag just like you would a decorating bag. Carefully squeeze the bag to pour your puree into each cube. Be careful not to overfill your tray. Only fill each cube up to the sides and not overflowing the sides. Overfilling your tray will cause the baby food cubes will freeze together and they will be more difficult to separate and remove from the ice cube tray.
5. Cover each tray with aluminum foil and label. Place in the freezer, making sure that your trays are level. Sometimes I use a cookie sheet to put my ice cube trays on to keep them nice and level. You don’t want your carefully prepared purees to spill!
6. Freeze for at least 24 hours before transferring to quart or gallon freezer bags for long-term storage. Your baby food should keep for 3-6 months. Beyond this point your food will start to lose quality and taste.
My baby food cubes are stuck in my ice cube trays, how do I get them out?
A common difficulty involves removing your frozen cubes from the ice cube trays to transfer them to bags. The simplest solution is to run a little warm water over the bottom of your ice cube tray until your cubes loosen enough. After a few seconds they should pop right out.
My baby food is frozen and stored in the freezer, how do I prepare it when mealtime comes for my baby?
Frozen baby food cubes need to be thawed either in the fridge overnight, in a hot water bath, or in the microwave. If you use the microwave be sure to stir completely to distribute any hot spots and test for temperature before serving the food to your baby.