Freezing and defrosting homemade baby food safely

Here’s everything you need to know about freezing and defrosting homemade baby food safely.

Freezing and defrosting homemade baby food is a great option for busy moms. The other wonderful thing about cooking and freezing foods for your baby is that you don’t have to cook every day.

12 must-know tips for freezing and defrosting homemade baby food:

  • Never freeze food in glass jars. Ice cube trays or specially designed cube trays are best. Cover them with proper freezing bags. Any other containers or wrapping might give off undesirable colours and could even be toxic.
  • Take out one cube at a time for young babies. As your baby gets older, you will notice how much she eats. You can then take out four or six cubes according to her appetite.
  • Steam-defrost the food by placing it in a small pot within a larger pot with some water. Let the water boil until the food is thoroughly defrosted. There should be no cold ‘pockets’ in the food. When defrosting in a microwave, never defrost the food on ‘high’ – use the proper defrosting setting. Stir every now and then. Once again, make sure that there are no frozen or very hot ‘pockets’ in the food.
  • Let the food cool down to room temperature before serving. Cover with a clean cloth while waiting.
  • The trays should always be covered with plastic so that juice from other food can’t drip on it.
  • Never defrost and refreeze food.
  • Never defrost and refreeze breast milk.
  • The consistency of certain foods might change when defrosting. This doesn’t affect the nutritional value. If need be, mix with a little fresh breast or formula milk.
  • Don’t worry if ice crystals form on top of the food – this doesn’t affect the food.
  • Most kinds of food last about three months in the freezer. Use within one to three months.
  • When putting the trays into the plastic bag, make sure you let out all the air.

Baby foods that freeze well

  • They may turn brown, but that doesn’t affect the nutrient content.
  • Mix with a little lemon juice if they turn brown.
  • They may turn brown, but it’s all right. Preferably mix them with other fruit.
  • Members of the cabbage family such as broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Green beans.
  • All kinds of meat, especially when mixed with fruit or vegetables.
  • Peaches.
  • Pears.
  • Mangoes.
  • Peas.
  • Papayas.
  • All kinds of pumpkin.

Click here to download Annabel Karmel’s purees meal planner.

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