Friday, March 9, 2012

how i freeze/store my homemade baby food

When Annaleigh was old enough to eat solid food, I was excited to try and make my own homemade baby food.  But that never became as fully realized as I had hoped.  I dreamed I was going to be that mother, with food grinder in hand and a freshly baked sweet potato in the other, as I fed my daughter things grown from the natural earth.  

As with most resolutions, it soon came face to face with grueling reality.

And I failed miserably at it.

To this day, I'm not entirely sure why.

I do know, we were receiving WIC, thus giving us 32 jars of baby food a month (leaving little ambition to make my own!).  I am also high-strung.  Trying to do everything else perfectly leaves little time to do it all perfectly.  And she was my first baby...I didn't know what I was doing.

Now John David is old enough to eat solid food.  And I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing now...I think (???).  We are still receiving WIC (and the 32 jars have returned to the picture).  But I also receive $16 of produce per month through WIC, as well.  So what I do is I buy particular fruits and veggies that I know will go home and be turned into baby food.  And then I get 32 jars of every other type of fruit/veggie that I know I'm not going to be making that week/month.  This way I can have a larger variety.  Eventually, I will have stocked up enough in my freezer to have a bunch of different foods to appease his ravenous palette and appetite.  

Speaking of the freezer, I wanted to show you all how I freeze/store JD's food.  

What you'll need
"Recipe" for your baby food of choice
(I frequent this site a lot for JD's recipes.  
The one I used in the pictures below is the Squash & Apple Bake recipe.)

1 or 2 used, clean, and dry baby food jars

2 - ice cube trays
(don't buy those fancy-baby-food-freezer-tray-thingies...
seriously, think about it:  all they are is a colorful ice cube tray.)

plastic food wrap

1 - one quart sized ziploc bag

How to Freeze/Store
Step 1
Prepare your homemade baby food according to your recipe.

Step 2
Fill up a few baby food jars for portions you plan to use in the near future.  
Place them immediately in the fridge.  
(These portions may go "bad" if you don't use them right away seeing as they have not been processed to have a long shelf-life.  If you don't plan to use the food quickly, skip this step and move on to step #3.)

Step 3
Fill each ice cube space level with baby food.

Step 4
Once the baby food has been completely transferred to the ice cube trays, 
cover with some plastic food wrap.  
Being sure to press down on each "cube" 
so that the wrap lays directly on (touches) the baby food 
(this helps to lock out the "freezer air").

Step 5
Place baby food-filled ice cube trays in the freezer overnight (or until frozen solid).

Step 6
Once the food is frozen, "pop" out each cube.
I use a paring knife (anything else really thin would work, too) to help encourage the cubes out of the tray.

Step 7
Label your ziploc bag with the type of baby food you'll be placing inside.
Place frozen baby food cubes into the ziploc bag.
And put it back into the freezer until they are needed.

When  you are ready to use them, 
simply open the bag and remove the desired number of cubes 
(each cube equals approximately 1 ounce... 4 cubes should equal one 4 ounce jar of baby food),
place in a microwaveable bowl,

use the defrost option to liquefy/warm up the baby food 
(each  microwave is different, but I usually "defrost" the food for 1 minute, stirring it at 30 secs.  
I continue to defrost at 30 sec intervals -stirring every 15 secs- until it's the desired temperature:  
a little warmer than luke-warm.)

And there you have it!  I hope this helps you increase the interests of your baby's palette (you can make so many more flavors than what is sold in the stores!) as well as help ease the pain of your pocket-book!  So go that Mama who feeds her baby things grown from the earth!  But if you try, and you fail (like me).  Don't beat yourself up.  The jars of food sold in stores are more than OK for your baby.   Many children have grown up healthy while eating only those (my daughter is the proof). My motto?  As long as you are feeding your baby edible food are an AMAZING mom.  

No one is keeping score.  They really aren't, I promise.

If you have any questions or suggestions, don't be afraid to contact me.  
(Even if JD happens to look afraid....)

( son is sitting inside a PINK bumbo.  It's the unfortunate result of being a little brother to an older sister....)

44° windy and partly sunny (not as warm as yesterday, but I'll take it!)


  1. I had a hand-cranked grinder when the girls were little. I pretty much put anything we were having into that and ground it up. What a wonderful savings of money! I saw a grinder like the one I had in the store and I had one of those "Ah, remember when" moments. It's crazy what'll do that to me!


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