Can i store baby food in the fridge
Little Remedies Blog - Making Baby Food at Home: Safety Tips You Should Know
Food and Nutrition
Cathy Haleon May 17th, 2016productslittle tummys
Paving the path for a life of nutrition can start at home in your own kitchen with a food processor. If you’re interested in making homemade baby food your hungry little tot, you’re not alone. Today lots of moms and dads are preparing their own baby food at home, which is wonderful. But before you grab your apron and potato masher, there are some important things to consider.
Just like in every other situation with your baby, safety comes first. If your store breast milk, you already know there are rules you follow for safe storage. When you make baby food, similar rules apply. That’s why you need to be knowledgeable about proper preparation and storage.
• As always, wash and rinse your hands and equipment prior to use.
• Don’t just rinse off fruits and veggies before your prepare them, scrub them to make sure they are clean, even if you will be peeling them.
• The best way to preserve all of the yummy nutrients is to bake, steam or roast the foods you’re going to prepare.
• Store your baby food in the refrigerator or freezer in airtight containers. Unlike pre-packaged baby food you buy at the grocery store, homemade baby food can’t be stored in the pantry.
• The rule of thumb is pureed homemade baby food can be stored up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. Many food safety authorities say that 72 hours is fine too. This time limit decreases the likelihood of bacteria growth in the puree. Plus, it keeps that icky “taste of the fridge” out of your tasty meals.
• Harmful bacteria can grow quickly if foods aren’t properly cooled. Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods within two hours of preparing them.
• You should not freeze meat purees from meats that have been frozen when raw, thawed, cooked and then frozen and then, thawed again.
• Freeze ground meat, poultry, fish and shellfish if you don’t expect to eat it within two days, and freeze other beef, veal, lamb or pork within three to five days.
• It’s best to transfer hot food you have cooked to the fridge and then to package for freezer storage within 2-3 hours after it has cooled off. Again, you may safely leave prepared foods in the fridge for up to 48 hours (72 hours max) before you freeze it.
More Food for Thought
• Don’t Double Dip - If you do make small batches of baby food and store in the refrigerator, please remember you shouldn’t feed your baby from that container and then re-store it. That’s because saliva may contaminate the food and bacteria can grow. I know it means more dirty dishes, but you should always put the portion you serve in a different bowl.
• No Need for Sugar or Salt – Salt and sugar are never needed when making baby food, so it’s best to just leave them out of the mix. Literally!
• Frozen Food is Fine – Contrary to myth, freezing foods (fruits and vegetables in particular) does NOT deplete 100% of that food’s vitamins and minerals.
• Afraid of Freezer Burn – During your first few attempts at freezing baby food, you may think it has freezer burn because you’ll see ice crystals from on it. That’s actually just excess liquid. Freezer burn is when you see leathery looking grayish brown spots. Ice crystals are A-Okay!
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About Cathy Hale
Cathy Hale is a nationally recognized writer and lifestyle blogger.
About Cathy Hale
Cathy Hale is a nationally recognized writer, lifestyle blogger, autism advocate and proud mother of two. In 2008, she began navigating the wild world of motherhood as a mom blogger after her oldest son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Cathy's candid perspective about raising a child on the autism spectrum garnered national interest. Cathy has contributed articles and appeared in lifestyle powerhouses like Babble, iVillage, Betty Confidential, SELF, HLN, Marie Claire, Parents and Parenting. Cathy grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she graduated with a BA in English and a German minor. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family and writes about life in the Texas Hill Country for LakeTravisLifestyle.com.
Storing Baby Food | Happy Baby Organics
AndieM.Ed., RD, LDN, CLC, RYT-200
Read time: 6 minutes
How to store homemade baby food and store-bought pureed foods
How to thaw and re-heat pureed baby food
How to help prevent bacterial contamination of baby foods
Whether you buy baby food at the market or make it from scratch, it’s important to know how to store, prepare, and reheat your baby’s food correctly and safely. Store-bought baby food usually comes in a glass jar, plastic container, or pouch and usually does not require refrigeration or freezing before opening. These foods are manufactured to be shelf-stable, like any other pantry item (think beans, soups, or condiments). They can typically stay fresh on the shelf for 1 to 2 years, but always check expiration dates carefully.1Baby food storage guidelines: 2
Pureed store-bought baby vegetables and fruits can stay in the refrigerator for up to 48 to 72 hours and in the freezer for 6 to 8 months.
Pureed store-bought meat, poultry, or fish can be refrigerated for 24 hours after cooking and frozen for 1 to 2 months.
Homemade baby foods will keep for 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator and for 1 to 2 months in the freezer.
Be sure to refrigerate freshly cooked baby food within 2 hours as bacteria will start to grow at room temperature after those 2 hours are up. Note that your refrigerator should be kept at, or below, 40 degrees F. Any warmer and illness-causing bacteria can thrive and quickly multiply.3Want some tips on feeding your little one or on making baby food? The Happy Baby Experts are infant feeding specialists and here to help (for free!) with questions about starting solids and picky eating, as well as formula and breastfeeding. Chat now!
Can I feed baby directly from the jar or pouch?
If you feed your little one directly from the jar or pouch, all leftovers must be thrown out after the meal. Saliva from baby’s mouth gets back into the jar or pouch via the spoon, this introduces bacteria that can quickly multiply and contaminate the food. If you know baby won’t finish it all, spoon a serving in a separate bowl and feed from that. Then you can refrigerate the jar or pouch of remaining food for an upcoming meal!4For more information, read: Making your own baby foodHow to warm refrigerated or shelf-stable foods and thaw frozen foods:
Microwave: Warm up store-bought food directly in its glass jar or transfer the food – including previously frozen purees – into a separate glass bowl (never heat up pureed food in a plastic container or pouch). Reduce the microwave to 50% power (or use the defrost feature) and then warm the puree in 15 second increments. 4 Check and stir the food thoroughly each time to ensure even heating and to eliminate any heat pockets that may burn your baby’s mouth.
Stovetop: Warm your baby’s store-bought food or thaw frozen baby food on the stovetop by placing the food in a small saucepan and warming on low heat until the puree is the same consistency and no longer frozen. To preserve the nutrients, heat only as much as is necessary.
Submersion Method: Thaw frozen baby food by placing the pureed cubes in a plastic bag and then inside a bowl filled with hot or warm water. This method allows for even warming but does take a little longer – figure about 10-20 minutes for the food to thaw fully. 5 Many parents also use the submersion method to thaw frozen breastmilk.
Refrigerator: Thaw frozen baby food simply by transferring it to the refrigerator. 5 This process will take 4-12 hours so plan ahead (transferring the food the night before it’s needed to allow thawing overnight is a good rule of thumb). Homemade frozen baby food that’s been thawed can safely stay in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Be sure to keep thawed baby food in a sealed container to avoid contamination.
DO NOT let baby food thaw for long periods of time on the counter at room temperature. This will allow bacteria to grow. 5
Freeze purees in ice cube trays or on a cookie sheet
Sanitize or thoroughly clean standard ice cube trays before spooning the puree directly into each cubed section. You could also cover a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper and spoon small ‘mounds’ of puree onto the sheet to freeze.
Cover the tray with plastic wrap and place into the freezer.
Once the cubes or ‘mounds’ are solidly frozen, pop them out and store them in plastic freezer bags.
Label the bags with the type of baby food as well as the date. This allows you to use it before it expires. (Remember: store-bought fruits and veggies can be frozen for 6 to 8 months, while meats, poultry, and all home-made baby food can be frozen for 1 to 2 months).
When your baby is ready to eat, grab an individual portion of the cubes you want to use and thaw!
Ice cube trays are not only convenient, they are also incredibly helpful in portioning out homemade baby food. The cubes are roughly 1 ounce each, so you can easily measure the amount of food your baby is eating and thaw small portions at a time to reduce waste.
Do not freeze food in glass containers
Glass baby food jars (or any glass container) are not meant to be frozen. Frozen glass can burst or cause tiny fractures in the glass leaving behind microscopic shards that you may never see.Freeze baby food in safe “ok to freeze” plastic containers instead.
Consider a deep freezer if you want to store purees long-term
For best results, frozen foods should remain at a constant sub-zero temperature. A deep freezer is better equipped to handle this temperature control as opposed to your regular freezer, which may fluctuate with you opening and closing the door often.Throw away leftover food that’s already been reheated
You cannot reheat (or re-freeze) baby food more than once, so once you’ve thawed a frozen puree, toss any leftovers. This rule also applies to breastmilk. So if you’re using breastmilk to thin out your homemade baby food purees, add the milk while it’s fresh!Read more: Safe Storage of Pumped Milk
You can also use formula too thin a puree. Do not freeze formula in its original can or bottle, but once mixed into a puree it’s ok to freeze. Freezing formula causes a separation of the fats from the liquid, which may negatively impact the texture and quality.6Let’s Chat!
We know parenting often means sleepless nights, stressful days, and countless questions and confusion, and we want to support you in your feeding journey and beyond. Our Happy Baby Experts are a team of lactation consultants and registered dietitians certified in infant and maternal nutrition – and they’re all moms, too, which means they’ve been there and seen that. They’re here to help on our free, live chat platform Monday through Friday, from 8am–6pm ET, and Saturday and Sunday, from 8am–2pm ET.
Read more about the experts that help write our content!
For more on this topic check out the following articles
Choosing Store Bought Baby Food
Food Safety for Babies and Toddlers
Preparing infant formula
Avoid Giving Your Baby Too Much Sugar And Salt
How to store baby puree correctly and for how long
When a baby grows up, in addition to breast milk, he is given various vegetable, fruit or meat purees. The proper development of the child's body will depend on the quality of complementary foods. Therefore, you should buy only fresh products from time-tested manufacturers. Where and how to store baby food puree, you can read on the jars. But it will not be superfluous to familiarize yourself with the general rules for storing food for babies in order to prevent poisoning, indigestion and other negative consequences of eating low-quality or expired products.
How to choose
When buying baby puree for future use, you must strictly follow the storage rules specified by the manufacturer. But if after opening the jar there are doubts about the quality of the product, you should not give it to a child. Better to play it safe and go for fresh mashed potatoes than put the child at risk of poisoning.
Quality fruit or vegetable puree should not contain any additives other than water and, moreover, preservatives.
Making a choice in favor of one or another type of product, first of all, its useful qualities are evaluated. Exotic fruits, for example, will not bring as much benefit to the children's body as an apple or a pumpkin.
The fruits and vegetables best absorbed by a child are those grown in the area where he lives. Therefore, when choosing baby puree, preference is given to products of local manufacturers. More natural and useful for the digestive system of our child will be puree from ordinary carrots, apples, pears, zucchini than from mangoes, bananas and other exotic fruits.
There are three types of baby puree packages:
- cardboard (Tetra Pak).
It is impossible to say exactly which package is better. Each of them has its own disadvantages and advantages.
- In glass container the product can be stored without fear that this material will somehow change the composition of the baby puree. At the same time, the small volume of the jar (100 ml) allows you to use its contents without residue. And in this case, you no longer have to store baby puree.
- In metal containers the shelf life of baby puree will be longer. In addition, it will not break in case of careless handling.
- Baby food in carton is the most budget option for low-income families. But this does not mean that the contents of the package are worse. Just monitor the safety of the product should be more carefully.
Pre-sealed baby food containers can be stored even at room temperature. The manufacturer creates a vacuum environment inside each of them, which minimizes the development of harmful microorganisms. But if the storage of baby puree occurs without a refrigerator, the product is placed in a cool place, closed from sunlight. It should be understood that when heated, the contents of the containers will deteriorate faster than the period specified by the manufacturer.
Tetra Pak carton packs are as convenient as glass or metal packs. In it, the product can also be stored for a long time. Unlike a glass jar, cardboard does not let in sunlight and is cheaper.
The disadvantage of cartons is their relative fragility. They are easily deformed and may lose their tightness during transportation.
While still in the store, you need to read the information that is present on the container with baby food. First of all, pay attention to the date of release of the product, and its expiration date.
At home, prepare baby puree immediately before use. Storage is contraindicated for it, since cooling and subsequent heating deprive the product of useful properties.
How long can homemade puree be kept when there is no other way out? No more than 24 hours in the refrigerator, and within 3 months in the freezer.
To freeze the product, it is laid out in ice molds and sent to the freezer. After solidification, the cubes are transferred to special freezer bags or food containers, after which the date must be indicated on them. Then the product is sent to the freezer for 3 months.
When preparing and freezing baby puree, use only sterile containers and cutlery.
Product can be defrosted on the refrigerator shelf or at room temperature.
Opened baby puree
The answer to the question of how long open baby puree can be stored can be found on the product packaging.
Most manufacturers do not recommend storing baby puree after opening in general . Or it allows it to be in the cold for no longer than 1 day. This will allow you to divide the product into 2 feedings, but you should not heat it directly in the jar. The necessary part of the puree is transferred to another container and heated. If you heat the entire jar, the shelf life of the baby puree that remains in it will be reduced to a few hours.
The temperature at which baby puree should be stored after opening should be between 0°C and +4°C. If you keep it in a warmer place, it will lose quality after 5 - 6 hours. The product cannot be kept on the refrigerator door due to constant temperature changes every time the door is opened.
- When closed baby puree can be stored at a maximum temperature of +22°C
- A after opening at a maximum of +4°C.
You can read the manufacturer's instructions for how long puree can be stored in the refrigerator, but if the jar is opened, it will not be possible to give the product to the child in a day.
Out of the refrigerator, opened baby food will retain its quality for up to 6 hours at temperatures up to +20°C, and no longer than 4 hours in an even warmer place.
If your baby consumes poor-quality products, it can lead to serious consequences, so you need to know how to store baby purees in jars (other packaging).
- Closed baby food containers should be kept in a dry, dark place. These are various closed cabinets, pantries, etc. There should not be heat sources nearby, otherwise bacteria will begin to actively develop even in closed packaging.
- Arrange the jars so that those with the earliest expiration date are closest. Accordingly, they must be used first.
- Lids on containers must always be tightly closed.
Do not feed your baby directly from the bottle if you plan to continue to store the contents. When children's saliva enters the container, the development of microorganisms occurs. Then the product becomes unusable.
If you leave an open jar right on the table, after 2 hours, bacteria dangerous to your baby's health will begin to develop in it.
It is categorically impossible to continue to store expired baby puree and, moreover, to offer it to a child. This can lead to severe poisoning.
If the product has not changed its appearance, smell and seems to be quite edible, but its expiration date has passed, it should not be given to children.
Every mother should know exactly how to store baby puree and strictly follow all the manufacturer's recommendations.
How and how long to store baby puree for babiesOther products
- How to properly store baby puree
- How to store opened baby puree
In order for your baby to actively grow and develop, it is necessary to take care of the complete nutrition of the crumbs. The counters of today's stores are full of multi-colored jars of fruit and vegetable purees intended for children under one year old.
The assortment includes products of both domestic and foreign manufacturers. However, it is not always possible to find complete information on its storage on the product packaging, both after purchase and after opening. Therefore, in today's material we will talk about how to properly and how much to store mashed potatoes for children.
How to properly store baby puree
Storage temperature for baby puree
The standard storage temperature for an unopened jar is 0-15°C.
Modern baby food manufacturers take care of young mothers, making their work much easier. Today, even in a small shop you can find special food for babies. And it is convenient to store such food.
Fruit and vegetable purees are sold in jars, inside which a special vacuum environment is maintained, as a result, the food does not spoil, and harmful microorganisms do not enter the puree. Closed jars of baby puree can be stored even at room temperature. However, it is not desirable for the jars to be exposed to sunlight. From this mashed potatoes will deteriorate earlier than the expiration date declared by the manufacturer.
Puree is sometimes available in Tetra Pak. As a rule, such food is cheaper, but soft packaging is in no way inferior to glass counterparts. In addition, it does not let in sunlight, which has a positive effect on the taste and beneficial properties of the grated product. The only disadvantage of such packaging is the relative fragility. A box of puree is easy to wrinkle, which is why it is deformed.
And with strong compression or impact, its integrity may be violated.
After buying baby food, read the information provided by the manufacturer. This is usually the shelf life of the jar when closed, as well as the range of recommended temperatures within which the quality of the product will be good throughout the shelf life.
Separately, I would like to say about mashed potatoes prepared at home. You need to store such a dish only in the refrigerator and no longer than 1-2 days.
If you want to extend the shelf life of your baby food, just freeze the puree. To do this, lay out the prepared chilled product in containers and freeze using the "emergency freeze" mode. When you need a serving, simply remove the container from the freezer and thaw the puree in a baby food warmer or water bath.
How to store opened baby puree
Baby puree can only be stored for a limited time after opening. Most manufacturers recommend consuming the puree immediately or storing it in the refrigerator for no longer than 24 hours. Thus, a serving of puree can be divided into 2 times. Give the child half the serving after opening and feed the puree the next day. At the same time, it is impossible to warm up the puree in a jar.
It is necessary to put the required amount of food in another container, and only then heat it up. Otherwise, the shelf life of puree will be reduced to several hours. The optimum storage temperature for an open can is 0-4 degrees. At a higher temperature, puree should be stored for no longer than 6 hours.
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