Perhaps you want to avoid the over-processed baby food in your local grocery aisle, or maybe you simply want your baby to have a little taste of what you eat day after day. You can make meals for your baby fairly easily, but it can be hard to make everything in such tiny batches. When it comes to freezing meals for babies, you want to make something that is convenient and organized enough to be hassle free during a time that you probably already have your hands full. The type of freezer meals you make for your baby will depend largely on the age of your child.
Until six months, all your baby should eat is breast milk or formula. While formula should generally not be frozen, breast milk can and should be preserved in frozen form. Breast milk storage guidelines suggest that you freeze the milk as soon as possible. Your milk will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but if you plan to store the milk long term, it is best to simply keep it in the freezer from the start.
There are many different freezer storage systems for milk, but freezer bags are probably your best option. Freeze the milk in amounts small enough for a single serving, and lay the bag flat to freeze the milk. Then, you can easily store the milk upright in a bin, placing older milk at the front so you use it up first.
Once your baby is six months old, you can start freezing small portions of food to have on hand whenever the little one gets hungry. An ice cube tray is the perfect tool for freezing baby food, since the servings will be small enough for your child and easy to retrieve when you are ready to use them. Since food before one is mostly for fun, you don’t want to freeze large servings that probably won’t be finished during a meal. Ice cube-sized servings are just enough to give baby a taste without wasting food. Fun first foods like squash, sweet potatoes, bananas and avocados can be smashed or pureed, then frozen.
As your baby gets older, you will be able to try different combinations of food to add flavor and fun to meals. The food combinations you try will depend on your baby’s food tolerances and preferences, but start with a combination of two ingredients, then work your way up. For example, you can make a sweet potato and apple puree, then add cinnamon or another fruit or vegetable to the recipe a couple of months later. Keep freezing your food portions in ice cube trays; if your trays are getting full, simply dislodge the cubes and store them in a labeled freezer bag.
As your baby approaches the end of the first year, he will be able to eat chunkier foods and more flavor combinations. In addition, you may find that your baby is starting to feed herself with her fingers or eat much larger quantities. If this is the case, you can start freezing your baby meals in larger containers to accommodate for the growing appetite.