Friday, July 5, 2013

Baby Food Fridays Series - Storage Methods

            The Baby Food Fridays Series is quickly coming to an end. I hope you all have enjoyed it so far. J Today’s post will be the last of the “informative” ones and we will be discussing homemade baby food storage methods. Next Friday’s post will be the mystery review/giveaway, so be sure to come back for the grand finale. ;)
            As far as mostly commonly used storage methods go, there are 3 main ones: small plastic/freezer safe glass containers, ice cube/baby food trays, and reusable or disposable pouches. One is not necessarily better than the others, but each definitely has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
            Other than just feeding your children a simplified version of what you’re eating at each meal, refrigerator and freezer safe containers were likely the first storage method used for baby food purees. One of the biggest advantages (in my opinion, at least) of using containers is that most people already have some on hand that could be used. Depending on what size you use and/or if they are stackable, they will take up a relatively small amount of space up in your fridge/freezer. In general, it is safe to store food in the freezer for up to 3 months, which is great if you like to make purees in bulk like me! You can also easily thaw your food out by just sticking the whole container in the fridge. One disadvantage of using containers is if you use large containers and your child is just starting out with food, you will have to scoop out food from the storage container into another bowl to prevent contamination. This will also mean extra dishes!
            Before we move on, I would like to note that it is extremely important that if you use glass containers, make sure they are made of tempered glass or another glass that is safe to use in freezers! Food will expand and contract from one temperature extreme to the other and you don’t want your glass containers to shatter. Ouch! You may also get tiny slivers of glass in your food if your freeze cheap glass containers. While they’re not big enough to see, they ARE big enough to do damage.
            Ice cube trays/specialty baby food trays are also a popular option for storing baby food purees. These are great to use if your baby is just starting out on solid food since the portion sizes are smaller. You can also stack them, of course, once they’re frozen, so this will take up less room in your freezer. Ice cube trays are also pretty cheap price wise and available in most big stores and some grocery stores. One disadvantage of using freezer trays is that you will have to pop out each spot and likely use a plastic bag for it to thaw out in the refrigerator. These would also be a bit of a pain if you have older babies who are eating several ounces each meal or day. Trays may also be tricky if you want more than one type of food in each tray. Last, you have to clear a level spot in your freezer while you wait for the purees to freeze.
            Finally, reusable and disposable baby food pouches have become a new favorite of parents and caregivers in the last year or two. While the reusable ones are pricier, you can use them over and over so you are actually saving money in the long run. With disposable ones you can either make bulk amounts or small amounts of food. You are also more likely to make a variety of purees with the disposable pouches. They too can last in the freezer up to 3 months. Both types of pouches are suitable for younger and older babies amount-wise as most come in 4oz. sizes. You can also use these pouches with older children as a snack and they can squeeze it themselves and eat straight from the pouch! Who doesn’t love having less dishes to wash? The major disadvantage of reusable pouches is that you are likely only going to buy a few since they are pricier, therefore not having as much of a variety in your food. As far as the disposable pouches, you are creating extra waste since you can’t reuse them, and that’s no fun. Plus you will have to buy more every couple of months or so.  

            Do you make your own baby food for your little one? What is YOUR favorite storage method? 

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