How long is thawed baby food good for

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: 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.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

For more information, read: 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 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 Breastmilk

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.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 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. 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

Tips for Making, Storing, and Thawing Baby Food At Home – Square Baby

Katie Thomson MS, RD | Cofounder

How long can you freeze homemade baby food?

  • You can store baby food in the freezer for up to six months.
  • I recommend storing in an airtight container with minimal air or headspace.
  • For optimal taste, quality and nutrient retention, consume frozen baby food within 1-3 months.

How should you defrost/heat homemade baby food?

  • The best way to thaw baby food is to put tomorrow’s food in the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
  • You can also use the microwave on the “defrost setting” if your baby food is in a microwave-safe dish.
  • Remember, food that has been thawed should never be frozen again.
  • Once thawed, keep refrigerated and consume within 2 days.

What's the best way to prep homemade baby food?

Food safety is of utmost importance. Before getting started:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Scrub all working surfaces & equipment with antibacterial soap and hot water

Food Preparation Tips:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be scrubbed, peeled (as appropriate), and removed of any seeds that could pose a choking hazard.
  • Meats and Proteins: remove bones, skin, connective tissue, and gristle.

Cooking Tips:

  • If boiling, use a small, covered saucepan with a small amount of water until tender. The less water used, the more nutrients retained in the food.
  • Puree food using a blender, food processor, baby food grinder, spoon or fork.
  • Add a liquid such as breastmilk, infant formula, bone broth, yogurt, or water to achieve a desired consistency.

How should you store homemade baby food?

There are a couple options for freezing baby food:

  • ICE CUBE TRAYS: scoop pureed baby food into clean ice cube trays, cover them with plastic, and stack them in the freezer. Ice cube trays are ideal for creating individual, 1-ounce servings so less food goes to waste. And you can mix & match 1-oz cubes for variety.
  • Put frozen cubes in freezer bags. This frees up the trays to make your next batch. As long as the cubes remain thoroughly frozen, they won’t stick together in the bag.
  • 2-4 OZ CONTAINERS: There are several options in stores or online. Look for containers with a resealable lid. Microwave, dishwasher, and freezer-safe is most preferred.

Once thawed, how long does homemade baby food last?

  • Once thawed, keep refrigerated and consume within 2 days.
  • Always throw away any leftovers in which the baby’s spoon has dipped. Bacteria is introduced when you put a licked spoon back into a container.
  • If your baby is not going to eat a full container, portion out what you think he or she will eat into a separate container and then serve. The extra thawed food can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two days from the date it was thawed.

Square Baby's Story & Mission

100% Daily Nutrition. 0% Effort in the Kitchen.

I’m Katie Thomson -- a mom of 2 boys and a Registered Dietitian with a Masters in Nutrition. I’ve spent 15 years in the food industry leading health and wellness initiatives and consulting for brands like Starbucks, Red Robin, and Naturebox.

My badass cofounder, Kendall Glynn, is a mom of 3 and Certified Genetic Counselor with a Masters in Biophysics and Molecular Genetics. She spent her career in perinatal services and family planning. She was part of the leadership team at CPMC in San Francisco, launched San Francisco Perinatal Associates (SFPA), the first private, full-service perinatal center in SF. Since leaving SFPA, she has been actively involved in philanthropy for both Children’s Hospital Oakland and George Mark Children’s House raising millions for these two worthy causes.

We created Square Baby® to solve for every pain point we had when feeding our kiddos. We were disappointed with the options on the market — often unbalanced, misleadingly marketed, and a sea of uninspiring, shelf-stable, muted flavors.

We didn't want the next generation of babies growing up on so. much. applesauce. PSA: did you know many baby food pouches have the same grams of sugar as a bowl of LUCKY CHARMS? Mind. Blown.

Babies deserve better.

Our handmade meals are made with whole, organic foods — gently cooked, pureed in small batches, quickly frozen, and delivered right to your doorstep. Just like homemade, but better!

With my Dietitian hat on, I created the Square Meal System™ — where every Square Meal is perfectly BALANCED with organic veggies, fruits, whole or sprouted grains, and various protein sources. We even add healthy fats, herbs and spices for optimal nutrition and palate development. Balance is in the numbers! Our meals have HALF THE SUGAR as most pouches!

Our foolproof, interchangeable system means that ANY 2-3 Square Meals per day offers 100% Daily Nutrition! Our meal plans are customizable -- vegan? dairy-free? vegetarian? meat-eaters? looking for extra iron or omega-3's?

We got you!

And most importantly, we are the ONLY fresh baby food company supporting an allergen introduction menu for several of the top allergens including milk, egg, wheat, soy, sesame, fish, tree nuts, and peanuts!

That’s right!

As a science-based company, we are following the research and offering options like Peanut Pumpkin Pie, Coconut Shrimp Fried Rice, Almond Butter & Banana, and Salmon Mash. Because the research has shown that introducing babies to allergenic foods early and often may help prevent food allergies from developing by up to 80%!

Follow us on Instagram @squarebabyfood or reach out with any questions to [email protected] -- we're so happy to help!

Whether you prefer to make your own baby food, or need a little help -- we're here to support and cheer you on.

xo, Katie & Kendall

This blog post is for information purposes only and shouldn’t be used as personal, health, nutritional, or medical advice. Always consult with your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child's health or readiness for various foods.


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${name} Box

You currently have ${quantity} meal(s) selected out of ${meals}.

Only ${mealsToGo} more to go to complete your box!

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Almond Butter & Banana

Apple Curry Chicken

Apple Rosemary Lentils

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Avocado Greens

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Baby Blues

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Beet Berry

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Coconut Shrimp Fried Rice

Greenie Baby

Harvest Feast

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Lil Carrot

Lil Mango

Lil Peach

Lil Pear

Lil Sweet Pea

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Lil Sweet Potato

Mango Coconut Chicken

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Mango Rice Pudding

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Minty Green

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Peachy Oatmeal

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Peanut Pumpkin Pie

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Salmon Mash

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Spinach Dahl

Turkey Tacos

Veggie Scramble

Choose Meals

${this.quantity}/${this.meals} meals


Meal Type +-

Dietary Needs +-

Protein Source +-

Benefits +-

Texture +-

Allergen Introduction +-

Almond Butter & Banana

Apple Curry Chicken

Apple Rosemary Lentils

Sold out

Avocado Greens

Sold out

Baby Blues

Sold out

Beet Berry

Sold out

Coconut Shrimp Fried Rice

Greenie Baby

Harvest Feast

Sold out

Lil Carrot

Lil Mango

Lil Peach

Lil Pear

Lil Sweet Pea

Sold out

Lil Sweet Potato

Mango Coconut Chicken

Sold out

Mango Rice Pudding

Sold out

Minty Green

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Peachy Oatmeal

Sold out

Peanut Pumpkin Pie

Sold out

Salmon Mash

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Spinach Dahl

Turkey Tacos

Veggie Scramble

Defrosting and serving baby food.

Your baby from birth to two years old Defrosting and serving baby food. Your baby from birth to two years


Your baby from birth to two years old
Sears Marta


Defrosting and serving baby food

Frozen meals should not be thawed at room temperature for long periods of time. When it's time to use frozen baby food, try these tips:

• For slow defrosting, place one serving or a day's supply in the refrigerator and leave for three to four hours.

• For quick defrosting, use an electric defrost or place a frozen cube or open jar in a heat-resistant small container and place in a small saucepan. Fill the pot with water just short of the rim of the food container. Defrost and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to heat evenly.

• Before giving baby food to a baby, be sure to mix it thoroughly and taste to make sure there are no areas too hot for the baby. Touch the product with your upper lip each time you load another spoon. Even the smallest amount of food that is too hot can teach a child not to trust what lies in the spoon approaching him. You can better check the temperature with your finger.

• Because microwave heating can create hot spots in food that can burn your child's mouth, we do not recommend this method. If you choose a microwave, be very careful to stir and always try a little yourself to see if the food is evenly heated before feeding your baby.

• To avoid wasting food, feed your baby with a spoon of the portion you think he can handle. If he wants more, use a clean spoon to place the topping on his plate. You can store the rest of the dish in the refrigerator for two days, but only if saliva does not get into it.

Some babies don't eat "baby food" at all, and all this information on how to make it can be skipped if your baby tolerates a fairly firm texture, refuses solid foods for a long time, can't stand being spoon-fed, or transitions immediately to hand feeding. Some mothers really go into making baby food; others simply cook for the whole family and mash a portion for the child with a fork.

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Tip 12 More variety, please

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Power mode

Diet • Food should be fresh and look appetizing. • It is very important that meals take place at the same time. Then you will be able to ensure a regular supply of nutrients to build the growing tissues of the fetus, uterus, mammary glands, amniotic

Manufactured baby foods

Industrial baby food products What applies to baby food products of industrial production for children of the first year of life • Canned fruit, vegetable and fruit and vegetable juices and purees. • Dry instant cereals and

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2.3. Round table for teenagers: "How do friendships develop and sometimes break?"

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Wash your hands before you sit down to eat

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Packaging and storage of homemade baby food

Packaging and storage of homemade baby food Store your home-cooked meals in the freezer. Allow the food to cool slightly before freezing in small portions. What do you need to make your own baby food? • Kitchen

Freezing Homemade Baby Food Encyclopedia Baby Food

Levchuk Viktoria©

There are some important guidelines for freezing baby food to follow, they are outlined on this page, and there is even a diagram of the foods that can be frozen. We will show you how to freeze freshly made puree and store it. It will be interesting to read.

Good to know!

  • The remains of frozen baby food - what to do with them, we will find out in the article.
  • Heading Frozen complementary foods - all about baby food cubes.
  • New thinking on allergens

Easy to use sitemap Encyclopedia Baby Food with a list of all articles and recipes.

How long do you keep baby food in the refrigerator or freezer?


  • Freezer: 4-6 months (ideally used within 1 month or 3 months)
  • Refrigerator (fruits/vegetables): 24 hours
  • Refrigerator (meat, poultry, fish eggs): 24 hours

For optimal quality and nutrient retention, store frozen baby food cubes in the freezer for no more than 1-3 months.
Frozen baby food is safe to use if kept in the freezer for about 3-6 months without thawing again. However, it is more reasonable to use them in the region of 1 month to 3 months inclusive. Due to the amount of water crystals that accumulate in baby puree, and the fact that nutrients and important substances can be leached/evaporated when thawed due to these same water crystals, it is wiser to use your frozen baby food whenever possible. - no more than 3 months of storage. However, it is best to use within the first month after freezing, we advise.

Most sources advise storing fruit and vegetables for 8 to 12 months in the freezer. This is mostly true of whole foods that are congealed in their natural state. This is also provided that the refrigerator compartment remains at a constant temperature below zero. Deep-freezing is best if you want to keep frozen food for a long time. However, it should be remembered that the instructions and recommendations for freezing food for long-term storage do not imply that the fruit or vegetable has been boiled and mashed.

How long can baby puree be kept in the refrigerator?

In the refrigerator, fresh pureed homemade baby food should not be stored for longer than 24 hours. This limitation ensures that the growth of pathogens in the puree is kept to a minimum and that the food does not take on the “refrigerator flavor”. This "rule" applies to vegetables, fruits, meats, etc.

If it is not planned to freeze homemade baby food, then baby food for the baby is prepared every day if he is too small until 8-9months, or every other day, older than the specified age.

Why freeze baby food?

Save parent time, reduce food waste and ensure food safety.

For example, one potato was baked in the oven, and then the half was mashed and the other half was frozen.

Frozen vegetables or fruits are safe in baby food

Fruits and vegetables can be frozen. Using frozen fruits and vegetables is the second best option after eating fresh. The quick freezing process (food is frozen at a very low temperature and very quickly) actually preserves the nutrients optimally. Cooking destroys more important nutrients than freezing food. Contrary to myth, freezing food (particularly fruits and vegetables) does not destroy 100% of minerals and vitamins. The freezing process, subject to storage conditions at a constant temperature of zero degrees, does not contribute to the complete loss of nutrients and important substances - if this is the case, then most of the population is malnourished, since in winter we eat a huge amount of frozen foods.

Frozen vegetables not cooked at the time of packaging must be cooked before eating. Please remember to read the labels of frozen bags, as some brands of frozen vegetables may be pre-cooked.

One of the most frequently asked questions is "Can I use frozen fruits or vegetables for baby food and then freeze the puree?". Since there are no studies that show that repeated freezing is negative and / or can negatively affect health. The problem is that it is necessary to cook food from products that have been frozen once. But the reality is that a frozen product, going through all the stages from a fresh look to a frozen product in a refrigerator in a store, can survive several defrosting and freezing, as it was written earlier, it is through water crystals that nutrients leave. Therefore, purchased frozen vegetables and fruits must be carefully selected, and we would not recommend preparing baby food from them for subsequent freezing of baby puree. It is clear that sometimes parents have no choice and have to start complementary foods with purchased frozen food, so we carefully choose the packaging and the manufacturer, without holes, without pieces of ice.

For example, from frozen vegetables (home-made or a good quality store-bought bag) that were raw when frozen, we cook a roast, we freeze the leftovers of the roast and use it for its intended purpose next time, but it is not worth freezing the roast after the last defrosting.

Why not refreeze

Do not refreeze thawed food, this is a correct statement. Re-freezing a defrosted product can affect the quality and taste (and possibly nutritional value) of the product, and when it is thawed, pathogenic bacteria may begin to multiply. It is always necessary to prepare defrosted food before re-freezing. The preparation of a thawed product then allows it to be re-frozen in a single cycle. Storing a bag of frozen fruits or vegetables makes food preparation a quick and easy solution. You do not need to defrost the whole package, just get the required amount of the product, and leave the rest in the freezer.

The easiest way to freeze baby puree is to spread it with a spoon in an ice mold, cover with plastic wrap so that there is no air access.

Before using the ice molds, they must be thoroughly cleaned with soap and boiled water. Some parents even immerse their ice molds in boiling water for sanitization (Note: Make sure the sanitization is suitable for the molds before use.)

There are many benefits to storing your child's homemade food in an ice mold:
  • Each cube is approximately the same size, which allows parents to determine the amount of food a child consumes.
  • Minimal waste by using only 1 cube at a time and not having to throw away a lot of food.
  • Another advantage is that the ice molds are close at hand and you don't have to go out and buy them.
  • The time spent in the kitchen is significantly reduced.

You can transfer baby puree cubes to freezer bags, freeing up molds for the next batch of food and freeing up some freezer space.

Do not forget about the marking of packages with cubes of baby puree, write the date of freezing and the type of puree. This will help you quickly remove the cube from the package, as well as monitor their expiration date.

Ice crystals on baby food cubes

Don't worry if ice crystals are visible on baby food cubes. It's not frostbite, but excess liquid used in mashing that rises and solidifies at the top of the cubes. These crystals or frost are not dangerous and will not make baby puree cubes inedible or harmful.

Frostbite - what is it and how to determine?

Frostbite looks like greyish brown spots on frozen food. It looks like a leathery type of texture and is easily noticeable. Crystals on frozen foods are not frostbite, but are the result of excess liquid during the freezing process and the formation of ice crystals.

Frostbite does not make frozen foods bad or harmful; it just makes the affected areas very dry. The only thing that can suffer in food that is frostbitten is the quality. You can cut off frostbitten areas and use the undamaged area of ​​​​food. Frostbite is the result of excess air in a frozen bag that sinks onto food. Eliminate air pockets in bags to help stop frostbite.

Can glass baby food freezer jars or baby food jars like Frutonyanya or Gerber be used? and also such banks are prone to rupture. Baby food jars are not manufactured for freezing or extreme heating. There are glass jars for freezing food in them, but they can be hard to find. Many people freeze in baby food jars, but I'm not a fan of this at all. After all, food is made for the baby because we want to give him the best healthy food; Do you really want to take the risk and freeze baby food in glass jars?

There are certain plastic jars that are specially made to withstand high temperatures and/or freezing. Therefore, it is best to use plastic containers or ordinary thick plastic bags, convenient and simple. There are also special freezer bags with a zip clip - an interesting option.

Can previously frozen breast milk or formula be used to make vegetable or fruit purees?

Do not use previously frozen breast milk to prepare puree to freeze later this baby food.

Breast milk should never be re-frozen in any shape or form.

Milk formula

You can freeze puree to which defrosted milk formula has been added. However, formula should not be frozen in bottles or cans. It is impossible to add the mixture to the previously frozen mixture and freeze it. If frozen milk formula is used for mashing, then it is necessary to freeze it at a time without defrosting. Freezing milk formula causes separation of fats and liquids, and the texture suffers accordingly. Although there is no health risk, the same happens with breast milk and cow's milk, the texture and quality suffer a little.

Learn more