Freezing purees and baby meals
When baby first begins ‘solids’ serving size is tiny – just a few teaspoons. Even if you purée a small amount you will probably have enough for several baby meals, so it is worth freezing little portions for later.
And when baby is eating larger servings it’s a time saver to have suitably-sized portions of baby food in the freezer for quick reheating.
Make your purée then cool and freeze it straight away.
You can freeze purées in cubes or drops (little spoonfuls), then once they are solid, pack them in plastic bags and refreeze.
Or use special freezer/microwave/dishwasher-safe Baby Cubes. A set of Baby Cubes consists of a tray holding 10 minute plastic boxes with hinged lids. Each wee box holds 35 ml (about 2 tablespoons).
Freeze larger meal-sized portions in lidded freezer containers.
Freezing purée drops
Consistency of purée for freezing in drops should be quite thick, not watery.
• Spread a sheet of clean foil or plastic-cooking film on a baking tray, shallow plastic container or a plate
• Put small spoonfuls of purée (soft but not runny) onto the lined tray /container
• Cover with another sheet of plastic film or foil, or with container lid
• Freeze until solid
• Then tip frozen drops into a clean freezer bag
• Extract as much air as possible. (Use a straw: gather the top of the bag tightly around the straw, then suck out air.) Tie with twist-ties. Fold zip-lock bags to remove as much air as possible, then seal
• Label bags with contents and date
• Promptly refreeze
Freezing purée blocks or cubes
Purée to be frozen in ice blocks or cubes can be quite wet. Spoon or pour purée into clean ice block trays or cubes. Cover and freeze as for purée drops.
Storage time in the freezer
Do not keep frozen baby foods long. They are best used within 2 months.
Although usual freezer storage times for vegetables, fruits and meats are longer than this, remember that baby portions are tiny and so can dry out quickly.
Thawing frozen food
• You can reheat frozen purée drops or cubes directly from frozen
• Or, thaw baby food in a covered container in the refrigerator
• Use food as soon as it has thawed
• Once food has thawed, do not refreeze
Heating baby food
Refrigerated or frozen baby foods can be heated:
• In a covered oven-glass dish, ramekin or feeding bowl (use microwave-safe cooking film or a saucer to cover), or in lidded Baby Cube, in the microwave oven
• In a foil-covered cup, ramekin or small bowl standing in a pot of hot water, or in a steamer
• In the top of a double saucepan (simmering water in the bottom)
• In a stainless steel or oven-glass bowl, fitted over a pot of simmering water
Remember, texture is as important as flavour.
If frozen purée is too thick when it is reheated, thin it with boiled water, breast milk or formula milk before serving.
If the purée is too thin, thicken it with baby rice.
Or mix and heat purée with bought baby food from a jar, or with freshly cooked, mashed foods to get the right consistency. For example, heat frozen drops of spinach purée with hot mashed potato or butternut.
Heat chilled or frozen baby food until thoroughly heated right through. Cool to serving temperature. Taste test food to be sure it’s cool enough, then serve promptly.