Ask Dr. JJ: Defrosting Baby Food

Penny:

Hello, I was just wondering what the recommendations are for freezing homemade baby food. There are so many different answers out there on the internet! For example, if I make a batch of oatmeal puree for my daughter and freeze it in individual portions, how long will it stay fresh in the freezer? What is the safest/best way to thaw it and heat it? Thanks.

Dr. JJ:

Generally, most foods are good for 4-8 weeks in the freezer. Just write the date made on the container and you can defrost overnight in the refrigerator, or place the container in a cup of very hot water until defrosted. Then, heat either in a glass container in the microwave (and carefully stir and TEST before giving to your baby) or gently heat on the stovetop. Just make sure to squeeze out any air if freezing portions in zip-lock bags. If you are using storage containers meant for baby – fill to within 1/4 inch of the top and seal tightly! Have fun, and bon appétit!

 

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About Dr. JJ Levenstein

Dr. JJ Levenstein is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and in 2012 retired from her thriving private pediatric practice in Encino, California. She served on the staff of CHLA and Encino Tarzana Hospitals for 20 years and was consistently voted one of the Best Doctors in America® from 2003 through 2012. Drawing from her experience as a pediatrician and mom, Dr. Levenstein serves as president and co-founder of MD Moms, makers of Baby Silk, the first personal care line for babies developed by pediatrician moms. She serves on the board of United Cerebral Palsy LA, is an active writer and sits on the advisory boards of several child-centered websites. She is an accomplished chef and completed culinary school in 2013! She has had a lifelong interest in child nutrition and all things related to preventive health.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the tips. I am pregnant with my second child and want to go this route this time rather then pre-packaged foods sold in stores. My best friend did this with her third and made it look easy.

  2. Amanda Benton says:

    Wow I would have thought it would stay good way longer than 4 weeks! So glad I know this now!

  3. margaret mansell says:

    didn’t know food was only good in freezer for 4-8 wks.

  4. Athena Contarino says:

    Thank you for this excellent tip on freezing and defrosting, that was one of my biggest questions about making my own baby foods

  5. Saisaimom says:

    I usually try not to make more than a months worth of food for my baby. I want him to have the freshest possible. I just make batches and use the baby bullet freezer container to freeze them for a out 4 hours then I pop out each one and add them to a breastmilk storage bag, each bag holds 3 two ounce cubes. I defrost in the freezer in the calendar cup overnight and warm them in a hot water bowl.

  6. missybosa says:

    4-8 weeks?!?!?! That’s a big window. Not 4-5, 7-8. But 4-8? I don’t want to be a Debbie downer or anything, but that timeframe isn’t helpful in the least. Thank you for the useful defrosting information, though.

    • This really depends on what type of freezer you have. If you have a deep freezer that you barely open, the food can last 8 weeks, but if your freezer is a top one on the fridge and you place the baby food on its door then 4 weeks is all that it can be good for.