Leftover baby food recipes

Clever Ways How To Use Up Leftover Baby Food

Baby food can be so convenient when your baby will gobble it down. But what can you do with that leftover baby food they don't like or have outgrown? Well, don't throw it away! We've got some clever ideas to share.

Most people have a love/hate relationship with baby food. It's so dang easy when your baby loves the food and can't get enough of it! But by some miracle, it also seems to multiply in the pantry. What on earth do you do with that leftover baby food?

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Well, if you've been asking yourself this question, then consider it your lucky day! We're going to share some out-of-the-box ideas for storing and using up all that goodness. Have we piqued your interest? Keep on reading to find out more!


What should you do if you have dozens of baby food jars cluttering up your pantry but you're not quite ready to use them? Well, you've got options! You could keep them in the jar for a while and call it a day (that stuff basically lasts forever), but we've got a few other ideas we think you'll love. These are perfect for those half-eaten jars, too!

  • Ice Trays – Did you know you can freeze baby food? Oh, yes, you can! Our favorite way is to scoop those purees into ice trays, then pop the cubes in a plastic bag. This way, you can use the cubes for cooking or drop them in a smoothie.
  • Cookie Sheet Blobs – Looking for another way to freeze that food? If you have a cookie sheet, you're golden. Just scoop blobs onto that baking sheet (think cookie dough), then freeze and place in plastic bags.
  • Cupcake Liners- One more freezer trick! Spoon that food into cupcake liners for freezing. Muffin trays work, too!
  • Plastic Pouches – If you're packing for a trip or just looking to save space, you can transfer baby food to plastic food pouches for safe-keeping. Serving the food to your toddlers or babies that way prevents messes, too! If you ever ended up with a spoonful of peas all over the wall, then you know what we're talking about.

If you open and refrigerate leftover baby food, be sure to use it within 48 hours. Ready to use the food you froze? Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and use it within two days. Now that you're up to speed on baby food storage let's chat through some ways to use it!


These ideas are going to rock your world! We bet you'll be excited you have some leftover baby food hanging around by the time we're done. And mama, you can just sit back and smile as you watch your family gobble up that food with hidden fruit and veggies in it! 😉 Your secret's safe with us!


We call these breakfast, but you may call them lunch, dinner, or snack. We won't judge! Just throw some leftover baby food in them and call it a day.

  • Pancakes – Have leftover baby oatmeal? Make pancakes with it! Bonus points if you add some fruit baby food to it, too!
  • Waffles – Add any fruit baby food you have to your homemade waffles to make them extra tasty! Whip that batter up, let the waffle maker do all of the work, and call breakfast good.
  • Muffins – Did you know you can add leftover fruit or veggie baby food to muffins? They turn out so moist and delicious! Perfect for toddlers or any member of the family, really. You can also sub out part of your flour with baby oatmeal!
  • Topping for Toast – Fruit baby food makes for the best toast topping! It's delicious for the whole family, including baby.
  • Oatmeal – You can mix fruit or sweet veggies, such as sweet potatoes or carrots, to plain oatmeal to give it some extra flavor.
  • Yogurt – If you have plain yogurt, add some leftover fruit baby food to give it some extra flavor. You can also do the same to plain, unsweetened applesauce!
  • Cottage Cheese – Love cottage cheese, but out of your favorite fruit to mix with it? Try adding fruit baby food to it! It's still just as delicious and you don't have to worry about running to the store to get any fruit.

Are you a baby food believer yet? If you liked those ideas, then you're going to love what we have in store for you next!


Ramp up your dinner game by sneaking veggie and meat purees into your meals! Your family will be none-the-wiser. Try one of these:

  • Mac and Cheese – You can add sweet potato or carrot baby food to the next batch of macaroni and cheese you make! Yummm.
  • Casseroles – Throw any leftover veggie purees in your next casserole you make! It'll help to hide those not-so-appetizing veggies (we're talking to you, peas!) while also getting the great nutrients from them.
  • Soup – You can make your soup extra creamy and protein-packed by adding those unfortunate meat purees to your next batch of soup! You can also add veggie purees to your soup if you need to eat them.
  • Fruit Salad – You can also add any leftover fruit baby food to our favorite cool whip fruit salad! It'll just make it that much sweeter and delicious. We'll just call this a healthy side since it has dairy and fruit in it, mkay?

So simple and so tasty, right? Pat yourself on the back for getting your family to eat those meat purees.

Is your mind blown? Now you have some of the best ideas for using up leftover baby food without it going to waste!

What's your favorite way to sneak veggies into your kids' food? Let us know in the comments!

Wanting more great ideas for leftovers?

  • Learn our best tips to take you from hating your leftovers to loving them!
  • Do you always think that leftovers just heat up weird? Maybe that's because you've been doing it wrong! We've got the best ways to reheat those leftovers like a pro.
  • Tired of eating the same thing two nights in a row? Repurpose your leftovers into something new!

Now, go eat some baby food!

Ways to use leftover baby food

By Kathryn Doherty

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure policy

Tons of ideas and recipes for ways to use leftover baby food, plus tips on how to store leftover baby food safely.

We are just back from a long weekend in Florida, a family reunion with my husband’s side of the family, and we had SO much fun! Lots of beach time, family time, play time, and tons of great food!

But whew, I’m worn out and feel like my house is half upside-down. We got home late yesterday afternoon, I immediately went to the grocery store to stock us up, made some overnight oatmeal jars to have on hand for the week, made dinner, caught up on some emails and then settled in for Game of Thrones.

I’m back at work today but feel like I need another day to get us back on track. Isn’t that always the case after being away? Ah well, we’ll just figure out as we go this week. The laundry isn’t going anywhere 😉

But I’m so excited to bring you today’s post about ways to use leftover baby food! It’s something I’ve been meaning to post about ever since I started my homemade baby food series a couple of years ago (lots of which I revamped earlier this year).

Let’s start with a quick Q&A with some common questions on how to use leftover baby food:

Can I reuse leftover baby food? Yes, if it’s not contaminated. If you’ve put a spoon in the jar or container that was in your baby’s mouth, you need to throw it out. (The germs from your baby’s mouth can turn the baby food bad.) But if it’s unopened or unused or untouched, it can be reused.

Can I store leftover baby food? Yes! If you have an open jar or container that wasn’t contaminated (see above), you can refrigerate it for 3-5 days or freeze it for up to 4-6 months.

How do I store leftover baby food? It’s best to store homemade baby food in small containers with a tight seal. This allows you to portion out just a bit at a time to avoid wasting food. If freezing, you can use ice cube trays to make small cubes. Once they are frozen, transfer the cubes to a labeled freezer-safe bag.

Can you freeze leftover baby food? Yes! You can freeze leftover baby food for up to 4-6 months. Transfer it to an ice cube tray or small freezer-safe containers. And be sure to label it!

Things to do with leftover baby food jars — I never had any because I did all homemade baby food but I found some cute ideas here and here if you want to check them out.

So now that we’ve covered the basics, what are you gonna actually do with those extras once your sweet baby has moved beyond purees?

Well, I’ve got tons of ideas for you! I got creative because I had kept a freezer stocked with baby food (I had two BIG eaters) and I hate wasting food! So all those little cubes got repurposed into new dishes that my budding toddlers could eat themselves. 👍

So here are lots of ideas for you on using up leftover baby food!

(I’ve also got a free printable if you want to save this for later!)

Ways to use leftover baby food:

  • Transform any favorite combinations into homemade baby food pouches for on-the-go eating (and see 5 more baby food pouches for more ideas)
  • Mix fruit baby food into oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese and smoothies
  • Mix fruit purees into unsweetened applesauce for a new flavor
  • Add fruit purees into muffins
  • Use fruit purees as a spread for toast or a dip for crackers or cut fruit pieces
  • Add veggie purees to tomato or marinara sauce and mix it with pasta or use it to make pizzas (I still do this for my kids, who are ages 4 and 6)
  • Use vegetable purees to make sweet potato or squash or zucchini pancakes
  • Mix vegetable purees with brown rice to make rice balls or rice patties (perfect for dipping!)
  • Use vegetable purees in muffins
  • Use veggie purees to bind together casseroles and add some extra nutrition
  • Add extra vegetable purees to eggs for omelets, egg muffins or frittatas
  • Mix corn, carrot or squash purees into mashed potatoes or mac and cheese.
  • Stir vegetable purees into soups, stews or chili (all kinds of veggies can go here)
  • Add meat purees into chili, soups or stews
  • Use meat purees to make baby meatballs or baby hamburgers
  • Use baby food meat purees to make savory muffins with meat, veggies and cheese

See, there’s tons of things you can do! And if you are looking for a little more guidance…

Here are a few specific recipes that use or could be adapted to use leftover baby food:

  • Berry beet smoothie with broccoli
  • Homemade applesauce: 5 fruit flavors
  • Spinach banana mini muffins
  • Almond butter zucchini muffins
  • Apple and butternut squash muffins
  • Butternut squash and kale mac and cheese
  • Veggie mac and cheese muffins
  • White turkey chili
  • Hobo stew

Be sure to check out this video, too, to see how easy it is to make some of these leftover baby food recipes! Press play 👇

I would love to hear if you have other ideas for using up leftover baby food! Please share them with me in the comments below!



P. S. Here’s that one-pager free printable again!

Baby food leftovers - Encyclopedia Baby food

Victoria Levchuk©

Offering tons of ideas and recipes for using leftover baby food, as well as tips on how to safely store leftover baby food.

Store-bought puree can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. At the first feeding, a jar of baby food is opened each time a new one, with the introduction of 2-3 new products, you can store baby puree in the refrigerator for 24 hours and give the baby during this period. The main thing is to let the child adapt to a new product without pathogenic organisms inside the baby puree for the first time, which appear during long-term storage in the refrigerator.

Usually, when a certain amount of complementary foods is introduced into the child's diet, mothers transfer the baby to homemade baby puree, which is prepared every day, after 8-9 months - every other day.

Good to know!

  • How to make baby puree thick in consistency
  • Clean Plate Syndrome - why it is harmful to force a child to finish eating.
  • Tasty tales, if the child does not eat well - fairy tales that can be read to the baby.
  • Fish food is all about introduction to fish food.
  • Day 1: Child's breakfast - a step-by-step guide for parents on how to return healthy food to the family.

Leftover baby food, both industrial and homemade, can be easily frozen and used within 3 months of freezing. The main thing is to follow all the rules and regulations for freezing baby food, which can be read here.

And now let's get down to the fun part, how to use leftover baby food, we'll describe everything in more detail.

Table of contents:

Can leftover baby food be reused? Yes, if the product is not a first food and is not contaminated. If the baby was fed directly from the jar, and a spoon that was in the child’s mouth often fell into it, you need to throw away the baby food or finish eating it yourself. Microbes from a child's mouth can make baby food an ideal breeding ground for pathogens.

If the jar was warmed up with baby food, then it is also better to refuse long-term storage of baby puree. But if the right amount of baby food is laid out with a clean spoon on a plate, and then immediately closed with a lid and put in the refrigerator, then baby puree can be used within 24 hours from the moment the jar is opened.

Leftover baby food can be used within 24 hours or frozen for up to 3 months.

How do I store leftover baby food? Homemade baby food is best stored in small containers with tight lids. Store-bought baby food is best stored in the same glass jar it was sold in. It is best to freeze baby food in special freezer jars or ice molds to make small cubes. Once they are frozen, transfer the cubes to a bag and leave in the freezer. Be sure to note the date of freezing baby food.

What can be made with leftover baby puree:

1. Leftover fruit baby food can be used as a regular breakfast jam, or simply spread on bread or toast with baby puree. Various spices can be added to these baby purees to enhance the taste, for example, cinnamon can be added to applesauce.

2. Mix baby food fruit puree with oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese or milkshake. Perfect for smoothies, the remains of baby porridge for thickening, will also add nutrition and nutrients.

3. Add leftover fruit puree to a cake or any other pastry. Baby food adds moisture and extra flavor to the flour product. You can make cookies, cake, pancakes or bread.

4. Use the fruit puree as a jam and dip crackers or other pieces of fruit into it.

5. Use leftover applesauce to make homemade ketchup.

6. Add leftover vegetable puree to the tomato sauce and mix with pasta or use on pizza. For example, zucchini or zucchini baby food pairs perfectly with spaghetti sauce.

7. Use leftovers to make mashed potatoes.

8. Use leftover mashed vegetables to make zucchini, carrot or other vegetable pancakes.

9. Mix mashed vegetables with rice to make rice balls or rice cakes.

10. Add leftover vegetable puree to the omelet.

11. Add vegetable, meat and fish purees to soup, stew.

12. Use leftover mashed meats to make baby meatballs or baby burgers.

13. Use baby food puree to make savory meat, vegetable and cheese muffins.

14. Marinate meat in leftover baby puree for a rather savory dish.

15. Fish complementary foods are ideally combined with cereals, for example, if you mix the leftover red salmon from a jar with boiled buckwheat, you get an amazingly tasty adult dish. Sometimes we just buy a couple of cans of salmon to eat with buckwheat, although we are already big.

Where else can you use leftover baby puree?

1. The leftover baby porridge can be used as a face mask, or put in the leftovers directly into the bath and take it. For example, oatmeal is good for soothing irritated skin, and is suitable as an excellent light peeling.

2. Mix any leftover baby food with essential oil (a couple of drops) and add a scrub ingredient, mix everything. Use within a week. Sugar, salt, coffee, coconut flakes, tangerine or orange peels, etc. can be used as a scrubbing ingredient.

3. Use leftover baby food as sensory material, the baby can get used to the textures and feel the food in a small basin.

4. Use instead of paints, give the child a sheet of paper and baby puree, let him draw with his hands. True, the works of the young artist are best thrown away after, and the baby himself is well washed.

Remains of baby food and the older child

Also, don't forget about the older child, if complementary foods are introduced for the younger one, then the first baby can safely eat up the baby purees, especially those he likes. And leftover baby puree is a great way to add some vegetables to your older child's diet. After all, you can do it very discreetly and almost imperceptibly, cook pasta with a unique vegetable puree sauce. Fruit purees can be served to a child with pancakes, hash browns or cookies for breakfast.

You can serve the puree in a separate bowl for dipping the product, or pour the puree over pancakes or make funny faces, etc. Also, oatmeal porridge with a natural sweetener, in the form of fruit puree, is perfect for breakfast. Moreover, baby puree can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days without loss of taste and quality, the main thing is to follow the rules for use, and the older child who has gone through kindergarten is not afraid of such pathogens.

What else to do with leftover baby puree?

Baby food is perfect for losing weight and sick people who, for one reason or another, need to eat pureed food. After childbirth, women are put on a mashed diet temporarily so that the body recovers.

Also, do not forget about pets who will like the leftovers of baby food, not only meat purees, but also vegetable and fruit, the main thing is to offer.

I also heard that fishermen use baby food as bait for fish, mixing it with cereals and other products.

And also if a bodybuilder lives in the house, then you can safely feed him with the remnants of baby food, especially milk mixtures and baby cereals, which for some reason did not go into the baby's complementary foods.

I hope I have fully answered the question of how to store and use leftover baby food, what to cook with leftover baby puree, whether leftover baby puree is thrown away, what to do with leftover baby food, etc. Everyone has their own way of using the leftovers of baby purees, someone finishes eating after the child, someone throws it away, someone, in order to save money, uses the leftovers of mashed potatoes in the preparation of new delicious dishes, it’s up to the parents themselves to decide what to do, we offered only a couple of practical ideas, that can be applied in life.

What can be prepared from baby puree


09/30/2019 16:56 56 thousand

Like it?


Baby puree is a favorite food for the little ones. Complementary foods begin with it when babies are transferred to regular food. First, mom gives one spoonful of vegetable, then meat puree.

So the child tries other foods, evaluates the taste of zucchini or carrots, and parents carefully observe the reaction of the body. Unfortunately, the remnants of delicious food remain in the jar. Even the next day, doctors do not recommend giving what has already been opened, because the children's stomach is very weak, it will not cope if pathogenic microorganisms get inside.

Many young mothers are concerned about what can be made from baby puree so that it does not disappear. And there are a lot of options. True, these dishes will not be for those who could not eat a healthy snack, but for the rest of the family.


You can use baby food to make delicious homemade cakes. If you are planning to bake small cupcakes or muffins, both vegetable and fruit puree will certainly fit there. You can prepare the dough according to the usual recipe. And you will have to adjust its density by adding flour.

You can add meat puree not only to the dough, but also as a filling in the middle of the product. You will get interesting snack cupcakes that men will like.


Delicious pies with fillings come not only with jam or marmalade, but also with baby puree. They are prepared according to any proven recipe. The ideal option is grated pie. First, a layer of dough is laid out on a baking sheet, then mashed potatoes are spread, and the rest of the dough is rubbed on top.

It will turn out very tasty, however, one jar of puree, and even a non-whole one, may not be enough, you will have to take more. In this case, you can collect 2-3 jars by keeping them in the refrigerator. It is dangerous to give an open product to a baby on the second day, and it will be perfect in baking.


All kids love fruit pancakes. Even if your family still has one small child, you can cook delicious pancakes for yourself and your spouse. Their feature will be that the remaining mashed potatoes are added to the dough. By the way, both vegetable preparations from zucchini, carrots, pumpkins, as well as meat or berry, fruit preparations are suitable here.

Not a single open jar of baby food will be wasted, because every day there will be a new treat for tea. The recipe can be shared with friends who will also drop by the tea party to discuss the secrets of raising young children.


No time to run to the store for cookies for the older child? Do you want to treat your girlfriend to something tasty, but you didn’t know about the arrival before? It will take only 30 minutes to prepare the simplest fruit-flavored cookies based on baby puree. You can also take food made from berries.

You will need products that are found in every home:

  • flour - about 2 cups;
  • butter or margarine - 50 g;
  • eggs - 1-2 pcs.;
  • sugar - 50 g;
  • baby puree - leftovers;
  • soda - ½ tsp;
  • vinegar - a little for quenching.

Cooking the liver is easy, using the following recommendations:

  1. First, you need to replace the dough in a bowl. Butter is crushed with a knife, then rubbed with sugar.
  2. Gradually, flour and salt are introduced into the dry mass. All ingredients are ground.
  3. A whole egg and the protein from the second are added, the yolk can be left to lubricate the top. Everything is mixed up again.
  4. It remains to put in a mass of mashed potatoes and add slaked soda. At the exit after mixing, you will get a dough that can be rolled out.
  5. On a table sprinkled with a little flour, the dough is rolled out. It can simply be cut into rhombuses, triangles, small squares, or cut out with a mold of asterisks, bunnies, flowers.
  6. The top of the blanks is smeared with whipped yolk, you can sprinkle a little sugar.
  7. These cookies are baked for about 14-20 minutes.

Spread for toast or sandwiches

And here you don't need to cook anything. The main thing is to fry croutons or cut a fresh loaf, offer cookies or crackers. And mashed potatoes are spread on top, which will perfectly replace jam or preserves. You can serve breakfast with tea.

Pancake filling

Apple or pear puree will perfectly shade the cottage cheese. By combining the two masses, you get an amazing taste and usefulness curd-fruit filling for thin pancakes. Proportions are not important at all: you can take the product in the amount that is left.

If necessary, sugar or small pieces of fresh vegetables are added to such a filling. If applesauce is taken, it is good to add fresh apples. And lovers of experiments can safely cut bananas and oranges into such a filling, it will also be very original and tasty.


Not every young mother, having a tiny child, will decide to cook fruit marshmallow, which takes a lot of time to prepare. Having baby puree will simplify the process. No need to cut fruits, boil them. You can start cooking right away.

  1. A couple of jars of mashed potatoes, of which only a little has been eaten away, are combined in a saucepan.
  2. The mass is brought to a boil, you need to add a spoonful of sugar to it and wait for it to dissolve. Boil no more than 5 minutes if the puree is thick.
  3. Spread the resulting mass on parchment in a thin layer, send to the oven to dry (temperature 70-80º).
  4. After 3-4 hours, you can roll it into a tube if the layer does not stick to your hands.

If the puree is rare, experienced housewives advise adding a little gelatin dissolved in juice to the puree. However, you need to eat such marshmallow quickly, and from one meal it will be stored for several months.

Puree soup

On the day when the baby is given complementary foods, you can cook puree soup. To add, the remaining food from zucchini, carrots, broccoli, turkey, beef is suitable. Enter into the bulk at the very end, because it is already ready for use. This way you can save vitamins.

Mashed potatoes

We are all used to the fact that mashed potatoes have a light yellowish tint. And you can make it tasty and attractive at the same time. When the potatoes are already grated with a blender or pusher, you can put baby food out of the jar. By adding a carrot product, it is easy to color the potato mass in orange, broccoli will make it greenish.

Atypical use of baby puree

You can cook not only delicious dishes from the remains of half-eaten baby puree, but also other useful things: