Here’s a step-by-step guide, from a mom who has been there and done that, to cooking and freezing your own baby food.
Mommy blogger, Dani Silbermann shares advice on how to cook and freeze your own baby food:
The Veggie Cooking days and the Protein Cooking days occur on separate occasions.
1. Buy all the veggies that you want your little one to eat. I buy packets of spinach, sweet potato, butternut, carrots, broccoli, apples and pears. I opt for organic where possible, but if you aren’t able to, don’t stress.
2. Wash, peel and prep.
3. Steam. Don’t overcook the veggies as you will kill the nutrients. Just cook until soft enough to puree / blend.
Tip: Reserve the steamed veggie liquid at the bottom of the steamer, in case you need it to thin out the puree. This way, you still get to add back some of the nutrients that are lost during the steaming process.
4. Puree or mash the veggies. This will depend on what stage of eating your baby is at (smooth vs textured). I do this using a stick blender.
5. Spoon into ice trays. (You could also “pipe” the puree using a Ziplock bag with a hole cut into the corner, but this is just an extra step that really isn’t necessary. A spoon works just fine). Tap the trays gently to get rid of any air bubbles. If your ice trays don’t have lids, use wax paper to separate them and prevent freezer burn, and stack them on top of each other.
6. Make an ice bath to cool down the trays ASAP. This step is crucial! You need to cool down the trays as quickly as possible. You shouldn’t let the food stand for longer than 2 hours at room temperature as this is a breeding ground for bacteria. Stand the trays in a basin of ice cold water to drop the temperature of the food as quickly as possible. (I didn’t always do this and #babyjake survived just fine. But I have since learnt about how dangerous it can be to allow food to stand at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.).
7. Once frozen, about 24 hours later, pop out the cubes into neatly labelled, date-stamped Ziplock Freezer bags. My freezer literally resembles a filing cabinet. We go shopping in the freezer every morning and afternoon, picking a few cubes of this and a few cubes of that. I have a dedicated freezer drawer for #babyjake’s food bags.
8. To defrost: It is not recommended to defrost at room temperature. Baby food should always be thawed in a way which prevents bacterial growth. So here’s how to best defrost the cubes:
- Ideally you want to take out a selection of cubes the night before (which I never remember to do), and defrost in your fridge overnight. Or take out in the morning, to defrost by dinner time. Must be in an airtight container so no bacteria can get in.
- Or place in a glass bowl inside another bowl of hot water to speed things up (like a double boiler). This can take 30 minutes.
- Or heat on the stove, on low heat, with a little bit of water to melt / defrost.
- Or microwave for 30 seconds at a time, on defrost function. Stir and make sure there are no “hot” spots. Use a glass bowl rather than plastic.
Food safety tips
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