How long can frozen baby food last
How Long Does Homemade Baby Food Last?
As your little one grows and develops, they will continue to reach new milestones along the way. One of the most memorable (and messy!) experiences you will have with your new baby is their introduction to baby food! Many parents prefer to make their child’s baby food at home, as opposed to purchasing pureed foods in-store.
Although the possibility may seem daunting, it can actually be quick and easy! Making homemade baby food also has tremendous benefits for your little one (and you)! Not only will your baby benefit from more variety and textures, fresh tasting food, and more nutrition, but you’ll be able to have more control over what your baby is eating and can easily keep track of the ratio of fruits and veggies their having.
Shopping trips are reduced, and buying fresh fruits and veggies in bulk to make your own baby food can produce more ounces of fresh purees than store-bought baby food jars can offer. However, without a printed expiration date on a jar, it is important to pay attention to how long homemade baby food lasts! Here are some guidelines for keeping your little one’s purees safe and fresh:Refrigerated - 48 Hours
If you are storing your homemade baby food in the refrigerator, freshly made baby food will last in the fridge up to 48 hours. However, if you store purees in individual containers for quick, single-use servings, this storage method can be a convenient option (as it will eliminate the need for defrosting or any other extra steps).
Be sure to write the date on the containers, to ensure that they are being thrown out after the 48-hour window closes! If you do not plan to freeze your homemade baby food, we would suggest that you make the puree on a day to day, or every other day, basis. Also, never feed your baby directly from the original storage container and then re-store. Saliva and other bacteria can contaminate the food if you do so.Frozen - 3 -6 Months
For optimal quality and nutrient retention, it is suggested to keep homemade baby food in the freezer for a maximum of 3 months. However, it is still safe for your baby to eat for up to 6 months. The ideal way to freeze homemade baby food is by using the Infantino Squeeze Station™.
The Squeeze Station makes the task of making homemade baby food even easier by offering an easy container for immediate use, or storage for later in the fridge or freezer. Convenience is key when you’re a mom on-the-go and the Squeeze Station is the perfect tool to help with all of your baby food needs.
Another way to store frozen baby food is to put your homemade baby food in ice cube trays covered in plastic wrap, and then pop them out into freezer Ziploc bags once frozen. Be sure to label with the type of food and the date it was made. This method can help to keep track of portioning because every ice cube sized frozen baby food puree is approximately one ounce, which helps you measure how much food your baby is actually eating! You can also defrost one cube at a time, which creates less waste than traditional baby-feeding methods.
Whether you choose to refrigerate or freeze your homemade purees, you may find it convenient to make your own baby food pouches and our Squeeze Station can help with just that. Homemade baby food pouches can be stored in the fridge or the freezer, and they follow the shelf life and freshness guidelines as homemade baby food that is stored in other containers. If baby food pouches seem like the best option for your family, whether at home or on-the-go, Infantino has some great products that can help!Squeeze Station™
You can make and store your own convenient food pouches with the Infantino Squeeze Station. It's quick and easy! Just pour in the purée and press down to fill. The non-skid base stays secure on your counter, and the soft press ensures a stable grip. Plus, the station is dishwasher safe, so clean up is simple! The Squeeze Station is perfect for homemade baby food and smoothies, as well as store-bought applesauce, yogurt, and purées. Your little one can enjoy the pouches right away, or you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer for later. These are perfect for making on-the-go feeding a breeze! The Squeeze Station also includes 10 Squeeze Pouches™.50-Pack Squeeze Pouches™
You can also purchase more squeeze pouches in packs of 50! Use the Fresh Squeezed® refill pack of pouches with the Squeeze Station™ to create homemade food pouches. The pack includes 50 food-safe, disposable pouches, and 50 kid-safe caps. Each pouch holds up to 4 ounces of food and features a clear window to see the food inside. The rear window also has a space to write dates, name, and the food type. All of the pouches are freezer safe and BPA, PVC, and phthalate free!Reusable Squeeze Pouch™
This environmentally friendly, reusable food pouch can also be used with homemade purees, smoothies, applesauce, yogurt and more. Use the screw top to pour in your child’s favorite snack. Perfect for The secure, screw top prevents leaks and messes. Plus, the Reusable Squeeze Pouch includes a handy clip for attaching to bags and strollers. This silicone pouch is easy to clean, dishwasher safe and BPA, PVC, and phthalate free.
We hope that these freshness guidelines will help you along your homemade baby food journey, keeping your little ones healthy, happy, and safe!
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
Storage of baby food: terms and requirements for the storage of baby food
- The importance of proper storage of baby food
- About the safety of baby food
- Rules for the storage of different types of food
- General storage rules
All parents want to see their baby cheerful, active and healthy. The harmonious development of the child largely depends on the correct and high-quality diet. The market for special baby food is striking in its diversity, and everyone strives to choose the best for the child. But for the safety of the baby and its full development, it is not enough to buy high-quality products. You also need to know how to properly store baby food.
The importance of proper storage of baby food
Warmth, care and attention are necessary for all children. But the child is gradually growing, while he needs to eat varied. And here the question arises: is it possible to save the cooked product until the next feeding? Here it is important to pay attention to the fact that the child's immune system is not yet strong enough, so the storage of baby food should be given special attention. The well-being and health of the baby often depends on the conditions in which and how long they are kept.
About the safety of baby food
In the Russian Federation there is a whole regulation on the safety of food for children - that's what it is called. This document sets out requirements for manufacturers and sellers of children's products related to the protection of children from toxic and chemical substances. This applies not only to baby food produced in our country, but also imported from abroad. That is why when buying infant formula, porridge, puree or other product, you can be sure of its quality and safety. The regulation requires not only correct production, but also packaging, storage of baby food and its disposal:
- Children's products are sold only through special stores or dedicated departments of supermarkets (therefore, it is better to buy them there or at least in a pharmacy).
- Expiration dates are set by the manufacturer, who is fully responsible for the quality of his product.
- Transportation of baby food is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the technical regulations for the transportation of any products.
At the same time, in the production of baby food, a number of conditions must be observed:
- Do not use highly acidic curd products.
- Do not add soy flour or grains contaminated with impurities.
- Offal is prohibited except for tongue, liver, heart and blood.
- Do not include in baby food beef with a fat content of more than 12%, pork - 32%, lamb - 9%.
- Do not use salted butter or products with a fat content below 82%*.
For a complete list of products prohibited in the production of baby food, you can follow the link attached to the article.
Rules for storing different types of food
Undoubtedly, breast milk is the most valuable and beneficial for a child. But there are situations when a mother needs to leave the house and she expresses milk in order to feed the baby on time. In addition, the child grows, over time he needs complementary foods. Expressed breast milk, formula-fed infant formula and complementary foods require a special approach, and it is very important to know the conditions and shelf life of baby food.
How long can open packages of infant formula and cereals be stored?
This is important!
The shelf life of opened dry infant formula or cereal is limited to 2-3 weeks, sometimes 4 weeks for cereals (depending on the manufacturer - read the packaging carefully). After its expiration, this product cannot be prepared for a child. Dry mixes should be stored in a place protected from light, but not in the refrigerator.
Open jars (packages) of fruit, vegetable and meat puree should only be stored in the refrigerator. And after opening the package, you can eat only within 12 hours **. After the expiration date or 12 hours after opening the package, the product must be disposed of, since it can no longer be eaten. Yes, not only for children, but also for adults.
Also, many are interested in how long home-made baby food, such as freshly prepared vegetable or fruit purees and juices, can be stored. There are two main options to use immediately after preparation (the best) or freeze. Such a product will also be suitable for eating for 12 hours, after which it will begin to deteriorate. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored in the freezer for up to six months, depending on the culture. However, even frozen products have expiration dates, after which it would be wiser to throw them away than eat them.
General storage rules
A huge variety and affordable cost of products greatly facilitate the worries of preparing complementary foods for children. But along with this, many parents face another problem: where to store baby food? So that the products do not lose their qualities from the influence of external factors, the following basic rules must be observed.
- Hygiene. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food and feeding your baby. The child's dishes should always be clean and stored separately in sterile conditions.
- Storage location. Dry cereals and mixtures should be stored in a ventilated cupboard out of the reach of children. In caring for a baby, mothers are loaded with various problems and worries. It is difficult for them to remember everything, so it is recommended to stick a label on each product with the date of its opening. This will help you meet the deadlines.
- When feeding a child with vegetable and fruit juices, puree or sour-milk products in jars, remember that after breaking the integrity of the package, the use of its contents is allowed on average up to 12 - 24 hours. Different manufacturers may have different terms, read carefully what is written on the label! Be sure to ensure that the integrity of the packaging has not been violated even in the store. Most manufacturers on the jars have a special protection against opening. Fresh puree in jars emits a characteristic “pop” when opened, juices must have either a protective foil film or a special opening mechanism. Unopened jars of juices and purees can be stored in the cupboard, while dairy products should only be kept in the refrigerator.
- Containers for storing baby food may be glass or plastic, but must be labeled accordingly, indicating the absence of toxic impurities in the composition of the material.
Food for a child is a source of energy and a guarantee of full growth and development. Therefore, it is very important not only to buy quality products, but also to learn how to properly store them. The health and well-being of the baby, the resistance of his body to the adverse effects of the external environment often depend on this.
*FZ Technical regulation "On the safety of baby food"
**Hygienic requirements for the shelf life and storage conditions of food products. Sanitary and epidemiological rules and regulations. SanPiN 184.108.40.2064-03
(3 ratings; article rating 5.0)
How should baby food be stored properly?
Proper storage nutrition , store-bought or homemade, this is the most important aspect on which the health of the child depends. When mothers are interested in “How to store baby food?”, As a rule, we are talking about dry mixes. As complementary foods are introduced, it is necessary to study whether baby food can be stored in the refrigerator, how long ready-made cereals can be stored.
Infant formula is the helper of many mothers who, for some reason, have not been able to establish breastfeeding. Unlike breast milk, which is ideal in composition and temperature, sterile, bacteria can get into the finished infant formula. Storage rules help to avoid this, and it is highly undesirable to violate them. It is equally important to know how to store dry and reconstituted baby food.
Always read the label and instructions carefully - manufacturers indicate the shelf life on the package. Most manufacturers produce mixtures in cans, opaque cans, with hermetically sealed lids. Often, products are sold in cardboard packaging with a foil bag - such mixtures are slightly cheaper. Dry mixes in tin or glass containers can be used throughout the entire shelf life. But how do you store open baby food in a carton? Many mothers simply pinch the edge of the open package with a clothespin. It is undesirable to do this, because bacteria get into the mixture, and the larvae of various pests can also penetrate there. It is best, immediately after opening, place the mixture in a glass or tin container, pick up a tightly screwed lid.
On average, the shelf life of an open mixture is three weeks. This is the optimal period after which the mixture is considered spoiled. Indeed, upon contact with air, vitamins and useful elements decay, therefore the mixture does not show any value after the expiration date.
Infant formula diluted with milk or water, if the baby has not eaten it, cannot be stored - the entire portion is poured into the sink. In a warm environment, bacteria actively multiply, so this mixture is simply dangerous when reused. Often, mothers take ready-made baby food with them. In this case, infant formula, in a sterile container, can be stored for no more than 3 hours, at temperatures up to +24 degrees.
Many mothers who often travel with a baby are interested in - how to keep baby food warm? You can wrap the bottle in several layers of parchment paper or foil. The second option: dilute the mixture with hotter water, and wait until it cools to an acceptable temperature. The best option is a thermos bag for bottles. In such a bag, you can put a thermos of hot water and dry mix to prepare fresh food for the crumbs.
Should baby food be stored in the refrigerator?
If everything is more or less clear with infant formula, then what about ready-made mashed potatoes, cereals? Most manufacturers indicate the shelf life of closed and open products, separately for cereals and purees. These recommendations are to be followed. Unopened baby food packages should be stored in a dry, cool place. Therefore, the refrigerator is quite suitable for this purpose. But this rule does not apply to open packages of porridge - in the refrigerator they will become damp and quickly deteriorate. This is easy to detect - lumps will appear in the mixture. Such porridge can no longer be used, at least for the baby. The main enemy of all dry cereals, mixtures is moisture, so always collect a portion for dilution with a dry spoon. If the package does not contain exact data on the shelf life of the opened package, it is better not to use the contents after 3 weeks after opening. So you will definitely protect the child from food poisoning or an allergic reaction.
Answering the question “How to store baby food diluted?” If we are talking about cereals, the answer will be simple - no more than 1-2 hours. Provided that you set aside part of the serving with a dry spoon. The main thing to remember is the basic rule: any food that the spoon has come into contact with is not subject to long-term storage.
How to store baby food in jars?
When introducing the first complementary foods, many mothers use canned purees - vegetable and meat. It is important to remember that an open jar of meat puree can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than a day. Do not feed the baby from a jar - transfer the portion to a dry plate, be sure to warm it up.
Unopened jars can be stored even at room temperature, according to the terms indicated by the manufacturer. Of course, it is worth removing the jars away from the windows so that direct sunlight does not fall on them. If you buy puree in metal packages, after opening, immediately transfer the product to a clean glass container.
Puree is often produced in soft packs, so-called doy-packs. This version of the container is in no way inferior to glass containers, in which the product retains its properties, moreover, the packaging does not let in sunlight. Store puree in soft packaging according to the same rules as canned puree.
Porridges, mashed potatoes prepared at home can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 1-2 days. This rule is valid provided that you set aside the right amount of porridge, puree with a clean spoon, and put the rest in the refrigerator.