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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

How to Store Homemade Baby Food Like a Pro

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It’s easy to make and store homemade baby food. In this post I provide an in-depth guide with everything you need to know about how to store homemade baby food like a pro!

how to store homemade baby food - pureed carrots stored in a jar

What Is The Difference Between Homemade Baby Food And Store Bought?

When you make your own homemade baby food you know exactly what you’re putting into your baby’s food. The cost of making your own baby food is much less than buying store bought. You can also create your own baby food blends depending on your child’s likes, dislikes, and nutritional needs.

Store bought baby food is more convenient. There is no prep or storing necessary. Unlike homemade baby food, you don’t have to worry about storage. Jarred food will keep in the pantry until opened. It’s also easy to bring with you when you are on the go.

However store bought baby food costs more. You end up with quite a bit of waste, because of packaging. There are also a variety of preservatives added to baby food that may not be healthy for your child. Some store bought baby foods contain contaminants like heavy metals.

For more information about contaminants in baby food pouches check out my post, The Best Baby Food Pouches.

Is Store Bought Baby Food As Good As Homemade?

In my opinion store bought baby food is not as good as homemade for afew reasons:

  1. Potential heavy metal contamination found in many brands
  2. Store bought baby food tends to be very fruit forward and therefore much higher in sugar (some baby food pouches can contain up to 17-20 grams of sugar – as much as a Snicker’s candy bar!)
  3. Store bought baby food is more expensive than homemade baby food.

What Baby Food Can I Make At Home?

You can make virtually anything into baby food recipes at home. You can make the meals that you are cooking for yourself, into baby food by simply pureeing the food. For older babies, you can just leave the foods soft and mashed so they’re chunkier in texture.

  • Pureed vegetables
  • Pureed fruits
  • Combination of fruits and vegetables
  • Grains, pastas, and cereals
  • Combinations of vegetables, grains, or fruits
  • Soups or stews

What Baby Foods Cannot Be Made At Home?

You can virtually anything into baby food, however, there are certain ingredients you cannot add to your child’s baby food.

  • Salt: Do not add salt to your child’s baby food. Salt is not good for babies’ kidneys (this applies to babies under the age of 1). In addition, foods or spices that contain a high amount of salt, should also be excluded. Some of these foods include bacon, sausage, high salt crackers, crisps, or chips.
  • Sugar: Babies do not need sugar. Avoid adding any foods that are high in sugar. This includes high sugar fruits, syrups (like maple syrup, agave, etc), and fruit juices.
  • Honey: Avoid adding honey to your baby’s food. Honey contains bacteria that contain toxins that can cause infant botulism.
  • Nuts and Peanuts in Whole Form: Introducing nuts is a tricky process because your baby may have allergies. But it is especially important not to feed your baby whole nuts as they are a choking hazard. When you feel like you are ready to introduce nuts, work closely with your pediatrician to get guidance on the best time to introduce it to your baby as well as how much to introduce at one time. And make sure you are using a nut powder, puff or paste (vs. the whole nut).
  • Cheese: Babies should not eat soft cheeses or mold-ripened cheeses such as brie, or blue cheese. Soft cheeses have a high risk of containing listeria.
  • Eggs: Avoid raw eggs, or eggs that are not fully cooked.
  • Large Fish: Large fish such as swordfish, marlin, tuna, shark contain high amounts of mercury.

In addition to this, there are certain whole foods you shouldn’t give babies under 1 year old. Here is the list of 10 whole foods to avoid for babies.

Does Homemade Baby Food Need To Be Organic?

While baby food does not need to be organic, it is better to make your baby food using organic ingredients. Organic foods do not contain hormones, antibiotics, or synthetic pesticides that have potentially harmful acute and chronic effects, especially for children and babies that are more susceptible to their harmful effects. Organic baby food is better to make for your child.

pureed food in small serving bowls including pureed bananas in pink bow, pureed plums in purple bowl, and pureed carrots in orange bowl

My Go-To Homemade Baby Food Recipes

My top 10 easy go-to homemade baby food recipes include vegetable purees, low sugar fruit purees, and vegetable and fruit combinations.

sweet potato baby food in a white bowl
Baby Food Recipes: Sweet Potato Puree
This simple to make, sweet potato baby food recipe is an easy puree that is quick, easy and great for babies 6 months of age or older! It's popular first food for babies, and is packed with vitamins and nutrients!
View this recipe
Zucchini Baby Food Puree in a glass jar
Zucchini Baby Food Puree
This zucchini baby food puree with apples and carrots is a delicious combination your baby will enjoy! Zucchini and carrots are on the sweeter side in the vegetable category, and when paired with apples it becomes a healthy sweet treat for your little one!
View this recipe
Vegetable Puree for Baby: Broccoli, Spinach, Cauliflower in a white bowl
Vegetable Puree for Baby: Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Spinach
A nutrient rich vegetable puree for baby with three of the healthiest green vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach have tons of health benefits and essential nutrients for young babies. This green vegetable puree has a mild flavor baby will love! Make sure your baby gets their veggies by introducing this puree into their daily repertoire!
View this recipe
Carrot baby food puree in a white bowl.
Carrot Baby Food
Naturally sweet and full of vitamins and nutrients, carrot baby food is an excellent stage 1 food! Pureed carrots for baby is simple recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare! Your baby will love this orange vegetable and easy starter puree!
View this recipe
Butternut Squash Baby Food in a white bowl
Baby Food Recipes: Butternut Squash Puree
This butternut squash baby food puree is rich in flavor, vitamins, and minerals for your little one! It's a simple puree recipe that has a naturally sweet flavor your baby will love! A delicious stage 1 food to introduce to your baby.
View this recipe
Baby food with peas in a white bowl with a spoon.
Baby Food With Peas: Pea Puree
Simple to make baby food with peas, a pea puree for baby, that is rich in protein, folic acid, and vitamins and minerals. This stage one baby food can be served to your baby as young as 4 months. It has a fresh flavor and can be combined with fresh herbs for an earthy flavor.
View this recipe
Avocado puree baby food served in a white bowl with a spoon.
Avocado Puree: Baby’s First Food
Creamy avocado puree is a great first food for your baby! Avocados are super healthy, packed with essential nutrients for growth and development. This simple recipe requires no special equipment and is ready in less than 5 minutes! Avocado baby food is one of the easiest purees you can make for your baby, and will quickly made your list of favorite baby food recipes! And the best part? Babies love it!!
View this recipe
prune baby food puree served in a white bowl
Prune Puree Baby Food
This simple recipe for prune baby food puree will quickly become one of your baby's favorites. Full of healthy antioxidants and fiber, prune puree helps keep baby regular!
View this recipe
green bean puree baby food recipe - served in a glass jar
Green Bean Puree: Baby Food Recipe
This green bean puree for baby is smooth, creamy and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. A great first food for babies that you can start at 6 months of age, and it's a simple recipe that will help your baby get used to less sweet flavors.
View this recipe
Baby Lentil Recipe: Veggie Lentil Baby Puree in a white bowl
Baby Lentil Recipe: Veggies and Lentils Baby Food Puree
Lentils, rice and veggies in a "stew" are one of the easiest meals to make for your little one. This baby lentil recipe in India is called "khichdi." With some added spices for additional flavor, and a variety of veggies this is a one pot complete meal for baby.
View this recipe

How Much Baby Food Should I Make?

I recommend making large batch of baby food, and storing the leftovers in the freezer.

This will make feeding baby a variety of foods each day without having to make a variety of batches of different purees.

How to Store, Freeze & Thaw Homemade Baby Food Purees

mom scooping pureed homemade baby food into ice tray

When preparing baby food there are a few things to consider when storing.

Do you want to use the puree right away?

Do you want to freeze some of the puree to use later?

How do you thaw frozen baby food?

How long does the baby food last when frozen or when in the refrigerator?

What is the best way to store homemade baby food?

I recommend storing baby food in individual servings. That’s why using the baby food trays or ice cube trays is a great option. Each cube is one serving (which equals one ounce of food). So that way you do not need to defrost more food than your baby can eat at a time.

What You’ll Need to Store Your Baby Food

I recommend freezing your homemade baby food in ice cube trays for storage. I love these Mumi & Bubi Trays because they come with airtight lids and hold a ton of baby food!

I freeze the baby food in these trays. Once they are frozen, I pop out the puree cubes, and transfer them to an airtight freezer safe zip-top bag.

Other ice cube trays that are simple to use for baby food storage include:

Baby Food Storage Ideas Without An Ice Cube Tray

WeeSprout Glass Baby Food Containers are another option. They are 4 oz jars that can be placed in the freezer, and are also dishwasher, and microwave safe.

If you prefer storing your baby food in pouches, the Infantino Squeeze Station is a great option. These BPA free pouches make taking homemade baby food on the go easy! They’re dishwasher safe.

How Long Can You Store Homemade Baby Food In The Freezer And Refrigerator?

Baby Food Stored in the Freezer:

Homemade baby food stored in the freezer will last for 3-6 months. The food retains its nutrient quality best if eaten within 3 months.

The baby food will still be good for 6 months, but may lose some of its nutritional value.

Baby Food Stored in the Refrigerator:

If you are storing your baby food in the refrigerator use it within 48 hours. If you are transferring frozen baby food to the refrigerator, it will take about 12 hours to thaw, once thawed use within 48 hours.

How Long Does Homemade Baby Food Last At Room Temperature?

Baby food left at room temperature is good for up to 2 hours. If the room is very warm, over 90 degrees, the baby food will only be good for up to an hour.

However, if you transfer the food to the refrigerator it will last for up to 48 hours.

How To Freeze And Store Baby Food In The Freezer

pureed food in ice tray including green peas, orange carrots, and yellow banana puree

Step 1: Prepare your fresh baby food puree.

Step 2: Scoop the puree into clean ice cube trays. You can use trays that are specifically made for baby food as mentioned above, or just use a clean and sanitized ice tray. The silicone trays make it easier to cover and seal while in the freezer, and pop out of the trays.

Step 3: Transfer the frozen cubes of baby food to a freezer safe container such as a a freezer safe zip-top bag. Make sure all air is out of the bag.

Step 4: Clearly label the bag with the contents and the date. Use within 3 months for best results.

Is It Safe To Freeze Baby Food In Zip-Loc Bags?

It is safe to freeze baby food cubes in zip-loc bags that are made for the freezer. Be sure to push out all air from the bags, so that you do not end up with freezer burn.

Does Freezing Baby Food Lose Nutrients?

No, freezing baby food does not cause the food to lose nutrients, as long as you are using it within 3 months.

If you defrost it after three months but before 6 months, the baby food will lose some nutrients, although it will still be safe to eat.

How To Thaw Baby Food

baby food in jars and bowls on white wood back drop: carrots, broccoli, squash, plums, peas - how to store homemade baby food

When defrosting baby food be sure to use within 48 hours, or throw out if you do not use all of it within that time.

Refrigerator: Transfer your frozen baby food serving to the refrigerator. Take the number of servings you desire to defrost, place in a serving bowl for each one, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. It takes about 12 hours for the baby food to thaw completely.

Warm water bath: Place your baby food serving in a water proof zip-top bag. Place the sealed bag in a warm water bath. Replace the warm water if needed. Then transfer to a serving bowl.

Microwave: Place the baby food cubes in a microwave safe dish. Use the defrost setting to thaw the cubes. Stirring in between. Make sure the food is cool for baby before serving.

How Long Is Frozen Baby Food Good For Once Thawed?

Once thawed frozen baby food must be eaten within 48 hours.

Is It Okay To Heat Baby Food In The Microwave?

Yes, it is okay to defrost baby food in the microwave. I recommend using the defrost setting so that the baby food doesn’t cook or get too hot.

Be sure to test the temperature of the food before serving it to your baby so that it doesn’t burn their mouth.

mom feeding happy baby pureed food from orange bowl

Final Thoughts

When it comes to storing homemade baby food purees like the avocado puree the process is pretty simple and once you get the hang of it you’ll be cranking out nutritious homemade food for your little one like a pro!

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