Can you freeze baby food from jars

How to Make and Freeze Baby Food in Jars

Share This


February 11, 2014 Preserving Recipes, Recipes

Making your own baby food is great way to ensure your baby is eating the freshest locally grown fruits and vegetables. It is quite simple to do and before you know it you’ll have a freezer stocked with your local bounty.

Once your pediatrician has suggested it’s time to introduce solid foods, which is usually around 6 months of age, you’ll want to determine which foods to start with. Common first foods are carrots, apples and sweet potatoes. Here’s a list of suggested first foods. After your baby has been eating solid foods for a few months you may want to try introducing some other foods such as, broccoli, avocados and cauliflower.

Three basic ways to prepare baby food:

Certain produce tends to respond better to steaming, such as apples, pears broccoli, and plums. Put an inch or so of water in a pot, add in the produce, cover and steam until soft.

Utilizing your oven to roast is a good method for cooking carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash and beets. Chop food into small/medium pieces, or roast whole in an oven at 325 degrees.

Foods like bananas & avocados are perfect in their raw state. Once ripe, just mash with a potato masher. For a smoother consistency you can puree with a blender or an immersion blender.

Here’s how to make a basic carrot puree for your baby

  • Rinse carrots in water.
  • There’s no need to peel carrots, especially if you are using organic carrots. The vast majority of the nutrients in carrots are contained in the peel! Find out more about whether or not to peel produce for your baby here.
  • Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Slice the carrots into strips.
  • Place the carrots in foil and wrap them up, creating a foil pocket for the carrots to cook in.
  • Place your foil pockets on a cookie sheet and place in the oven.
  • Cook until the carrots are soft. (45-50 minutes)
  • Place the cooked carrots into a large bowl and use a immersion blender to puree, add water as needed. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could use a food processor or blender.
  • Once the puree is smooth spoon into 4 ounce jars, top with lids and freeze.
  • Here’s more recipes for carrot baby food.

Here’s how to make a basic broccoli puree for your baby

  • Rinse broccoli in water.
  • Cut broccoli florets into similar sizes.
  • Fill a medium pot with about an inch of water.
  • Add broccoli to pot and cover.
  • Simmer broccoli until soft and bright green. (5 minutes)
  • Add broccoli to a large bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree, add cooking liquid as needed.
  • Once puree is smooth spoon into 4 ounce jars, top with lids and freeze.
  • Here’s more recipes for broccoli baby food.


  • Do not overfill jars when freezing. Allow enough headspace for the expansion of your product. Read our post about how to freeze in jars for more important tips.
  • Do NOT try to microwave a frozen jar. Thaw jars in the fridge or on the counter, if you are able to monitor them.
  • Use jars that are appropriate for freezing food. Jars that do not have shoulders are the easiest because the contents can expand upward in the jar during freezing.
  • We recommend the 4 ounce Regular Mouth Tapered Jars, or Ball’s 4 ounce Quilted Crystal. However, you could also use our 2 or 4 ounce Straight-Sided Jars. We’ve pictured both the Tapered and Straight-Sided jar styles below.
  • If you’ve been blessed with multiples and wish to freeze in larger volumes to split after thawing, the 8 ounce Widemouth Jars would work well and they’d stack nicely in the freezer.

Pictured from left to right – 4oz Regular Mouth Tapered Jars 70G CT, 4oz Straight-Sided 58CT

Want to learn more about making your own baby food? Here’s a great resource for baby food recipes.

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. 1

Baby food storage guidelines
  • 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.2

Be sure to refrigerate freshly cooked baby food within two hours as bacteria will start to grow at room temperature after those two 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.3

Want 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!4

Read more: How Can I Make my own Pureed Baby Food?

How 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

How to freeze baby food
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 one 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 Breastmilk

You can also use formula to 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.6

Let’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 dietitian nutritionists 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. Chat Now!

Read more about the experts that help write our content!

For more on this topic check out the following articles

How do I Choose Store Bought Baby Food?

Food Safety for Babies and Toddlers

Everything You Need to Know About How to Prepare and Store Infant Formula

Avoid Giving Your Child Too Much Sugar And Salt

Is it possible to freeze baby puree in a glass jar + at home, secrets, methods

Frozen puree - harvesting vegetables and fruits for children for the winter

Every mother wants to feed her child with good nutrition so that the baby receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals . In summer, this is easy to do, there are many fresh vegetables and fruits, and in winter you need to come up with alternative options. A large number of manufacturers offer a wide range of ready-made baby purees, but are they really that good? After all, we do not know exactly what is in their composition, whether the technology of preparation and storage of products is correctly observed. And even if everything is fine there, then such a puree consists not only of vegetables and fruits, but at least sugar and thickeners are added there. So how to be? The answer is simple - make your own puree and store it in the freezer. You can freeze in the form of mashed potatoes absolutely any fruit, vegetable or even meat that a child can eat. nine0006

Freezing fruit purees for children

Summer gives us a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. They are rich in vitamins, nutrients, fiber and sugars. And I want to stock up on these gifts for the whole winter. The most useful way to prepare food is freezing. Jams and compotes from fresh berries and fruits contain a lot of sugar, they are not recommended for children under one year old.

How to freeze fruits correctly? First, thoroughly wash pears, apples, peaches, plums - everything that you plan to freeze with warm water and soap. Then cut into small pieces and lay out on paper or a clean cloth. In no case do not dry the fruits on a newspaper - they will absorb elements harmful to the body. When the pieces are dry, put them in bags. Count each package so that frozen food can be used immediately. For example, cook compote, make mashed potatoes so that you don’t have any excess. Re-frozen and thawed fruits lose almost all vitamins. nine0006

You can also freeze ready-made fruit puree. Take a product of industrial production or made by yourself. Prepare as many yogurt cups or baby food jars as possible. Fill all containers with fruit puree and place them in the freezer. At a temperature of -18 degrees, they can be stored there for up to 3 months. Then fruit purees begin to lose vitamins. Although even after six months of storage they will be tasty, but, unfortunately, they are no longer so useful. Therefore, for feeding children under one year old, it is better to use freshly prepared or recently frozen jars of fruit puree. nine0006

In order for the puree to thaw properly, never put it under hot water. It is better to pull out the jar in advance so that by the time the baby has lunch or dinner, it is completely defrosted. You can warm the puree in a water bath or in a microwave oven, after transferring it to a suitable dish. Before you give your child food, be sure to try it yourself! Perhaps there were ice cubes in the puree. Or, conversely, you overheated it, and now it burns your mouth.

Although modern household appliances allow you to keep many products frozen for a long time, it is better to use fresh products for feeding babies. After all, it is not difficult to make mashed potatoes immediately before eating. And in winter, if you are afraid to feed your child with imported fruits, you can buy industrial-made mashed potatoes. It is manufactured and packaged in accordance with all quality standards. And it contains all the nutrients and vitamins that are so important for the health of your crumbs. nine0006

Freezing vegetable puree

Most often, mothers prefer to freeze seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, pumpkin, rhubarb, celery, green peas, cauliflower, broccoli, spring carrots, spinach. In order to freeze mashed vegetables, you must first bring these same vegetables to readiness. In this case, stewing vegetables is most suitable, this allows you to save more vitamins than boiling. It is necessary to cook each vegetable separately and strictly observe the cooking time, so the zucchini will be ready in 15 minutes, and carrots or cauliflower will need 7-10 minutes more. You can also add pre-cooked meat to vegetables, children love this puree very much. Immediately after cooking, while still hot, it is necessary to turn the vegetables into a puree using a blender or by rubbing through a sieve, put them in a clean, dry dish and send them to the freezer. nine0006

Frozen mashed potatoes

Another option is to freeze mashed potatoes . It can be topped with honey, maple syrup, or other sweeteners. You can also use it as a filling in potato casserole, bread, cookies, puddings, brownies or potato pie.

  • Follow the baked potato method to the third step. Then take the cooled sweet potatoes out of the oven, remove the skins and place the flesh in a large bowl. nine0031
  • Blend sweet potatoes until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every 500 grams of sweet potatoes. Lemon juice helps prevent browning, but it's not necessary.
  • Pack the sweet potato mix into bags and flatten the bag to remove as much air as possible before placing it in the freezer.

See also: Five main sauces

Eating frozen baby puree

or vegetable oil and you can eat. nine0006

Fruit puree is simply enough to defrost at room temperature, without cooking. Fruits and vegetables in the form of puree are successfully combined with various cereals, cottage cheese and kefir and make these dishes more attractive for little gourmets.

See video: How to make pumpkin puree

Simply thaw fruit puree at room temperature, without cooking. Fruits and vegetables in the form of puree are successfully combined with various cereals, cottage cheese and kefir and make these dishes more attractive for little gourmets. nine0006

Shelf life of mashed potatoes

Potatoes please with taste and benefit only when freshly prepared. Ideally, the housewives cook it at a time. As it cools, after the refrigerator, the consistency changes. The tender mass thickens, freezes. It is difficult to gain a steep mass, lumps form. Taste also changes. Only sometimes the dish is still prepared in advance, remains after the holidays. Have to store.

Where do you store mashed potatoes? nine0006

Refrigerator Freezer

Suitable dishes:

  • enamel pots;
  • glass, ceramic containers;
  • plastic food bowls.

Not suitable:

  • oxidizing packaging;
  • polyethylene;
  • open containers.

It is advisable to immediately cool the excess, transfer it. Don't leave mashed potatoes in the bottom of a large pot. It will dry up and change. We select a container of a suitable size. It is important to have a tight lid. Instead, it is allowed to stretch the cling film. nine0006

Vegetable mashed potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. When adding butter, milk 48 hours. In room conditions, 6 and 12 hours, respectively.


The official shelf life for plain mashed potatoes in the refrigerator is 72 hours or three days. During this time, the vegetable dish will be nothing. If the composition contains milk, butter, the dish is not stored for more than two days. It is important to consider the quality of these ingredients. If they are not initially the first freshness, we keep no more than a day. We recommend boiling butter with milk before adding it. nine0006

How to store:

  1. Cool immediately. Warm product must not be placed.
  2. If necessary, transfer to a suitable size dish.
  3. Close tightly.
  4. Place in the refrigerator.

If you plan to take mashed potatoes with you to study, work, or on the road, we recommend immediately decomposing them into convenient portion containers. You do not have to take out, pack, waste time.

How to freeze baby food - Encyclopedia Baby Food

Viktoriya Levchuk©

Knowing how to freeze baby food, you can cook and store whole batches of homemade food for your child, because this is a real find for busy parents.

Table of Contents:

There are several ways to freeze baby food—they all work equally well—but may take up varying amounts of freezer space.

By all means...

... homemade baby food must be prepared and then cooled as quickly as possible to prevent bacterial growth. Any food left at room temperature for more than two hours is not safe for a child to consume and should be thrown away. nine0006

To cool cooked food quickly, you can try putting it in a shallow container - you can even dip the container in a pot of cold water to help speed up the process.

How to Freeze Baby Food Method 1

Thoroughly clean the ice tray and the spoon that will be used in filling each section. An ice tray with a resealable lid is ideal as it prevents food from freezing or picking up any odors from the freezer. If there is no mold with a lid, you can cover with food-safe plastic wrap. Some people use foil, although we don't recommend it as some of the foil will remain in the food! nine0006

Place the filled ice tray in the freezer, and - once completely frozen - place them in ZIP bags that take up less space in the freezer.

This method produces small portions of baby food that are ideally sized - typically around 30 grams or so. One cube per meal may be enough for a child to start with, but as they grow, you may need to increase the number of cubes at a time or increase the ice cube tray.

You can also make many different flavors of baby food by mixing and matching different fruit and vegetable cubes, for example, the combination of apple puree cube with carrot puree cube, delicious! nine0006

Which ice mold should I choose?

Some ice cube trays are specifically made for baby food and do not contain potentially harmful chemicals - but you can use a regular ice cube tray, or you might be advised to try a silicone mold, or even stainless steel trays, although the regular plastic version will do. if there is confidence in the quality of the workmanship.

How to freeze baby food - Method 2

Same as method 1, since the process of freezing baby food is the same, only silicone cake molds are used instead of an ice mold! Their flexibility makes it easy to remove food portions - plus, of course, their use is beneficial when the baby starts to eat more baby food!

How to Freeze Baby Food - Method 3

If no suitable freezer containers are available for baby food, baking paper can be used (although a little more freezer space will be needed initially). nine0006

Simply spoon the cooked baby puree onto the baking sheet to form small mounds (though note that this will not work if the puree is too thin). We cover the baking paper with cling film, freeze, and then mix the servings of food into bags, as before.

How to Freeze Baby Food - Method 4

Another good way to freeze homemade baby food is to divide the puree into freezer glass jars and place them in the freezer. nine0006

However, please note that you should never freeze baby food in glass jars unless the jar manufacturer has specifically stated that freezing is safe and possible.

Jars that are freezer safe must be properly labeled and distinguished from other tins (including commercial baby food tins) that are not strong enough to withstand the expansion of food that occurs during the freezing process. nine0006

This means that the jar may burst or, even worse, there may be small microcracks that cannot be seen with the eyes, but which will allow tiny pieces of glass to get into the baby's food.

How to Freeze Baby Food - Method 5

Probably the most popular way to freeze homemade baby food is to use freezer trays or jars for baby food, there are so many options to choose from! nine0006

Manufacturers, recognizing the growing trend of parents to freeze baby puree, offer special forms for baby food that make life easier, well, because there is a lid! What's more, these molds are free of potentially harmful chemicals, which is something some plastic trays for general consumption are guilty of.

Tracking the finished product

Most types of baby food - especially mashed potatoes - freeze perfectly. Sometimes you will have to experiment with texture, since the freezing process itself consists in the fact that the water in the product expands when it freezes, destroying the cell walls. This is especially noticeable when the whole food is frozen, for example a frozen banana will be very soft when thawed. nine0006

To reduce the hassle of freezing baby food here are a few tips that will be helpful. ..

- Do not puree too thin before freezing. Keep in mind that many foods become watery when thawed (especially fruits and vegetables), adding extra liquid before freezing will then add too much cereal to thicken!

- Herbs and spices tend to lose their flavor in the freezer. If a baby food recipe calls for them, it is best to add them after after the food is defrosted, just before heating.

- Baked foods - like homemade nuggets or fish fingers - are best frozen when almost cooked but not fully done. This is because the structure of the food when frozen and thawed can behave negatively.

— When freezing yogurt, remember that it may be too thin when defrosted. Sometimes stirring it well is enough to solve this problem - but in some cases, the resulting yogurt is too thin to eat with a spoon, so such yogurt can be used in a smoothie! nine0006

- A good result is obtained from freezing rice and oatmeal, which is good if the morning is like a nightmare and there is no time to organize a full breakfast. Only cereals should not be made too thin before they are frozen .

- Many fruits - especially apples and pears - can look very brown when frozen and thawed. This discoloration is a natural and harmless result of the fruit being exposed to air, but if it's a concern, mixing lemon juice and fruit puree before freezing can solve the problem. Please note that citrus fruits can cause an allergic reaction in babies, so you can use it with a changed color! nine0006

- If you want to make your own stock of vegetable or meat broth, which is convenient, you just need to prepare a large batch at a time and freeze. It's worth trying freezing in ice cube trays or baby food trays, as discussed above - then the ideal size of small portions will be in the freezer to use as needed.

- If baby food has been frostbitten, fortunately food safety is not affected - just thaw and then cut or spoon away the affected areas. nine0006

How to defrost baby food

The safest and easiest way to defrost baby food is to put it in the refrigerator overnight before feeding.

Learn more