Tips on Feeding Baby on the Go

Baby food homemade in ice cubes tray ready to be frozen

Whether you’re heading to Grandma’s for the day, taking a road trip or bringing your baby to a restaurant, planning for your baby’s meals away from home can still include fresh foods. The best strategy for feeding your little one fresh veggies when you’re on the go: Frozen food cubes. Make your own baby food, then freeze it in one-serving sizes. Frozen baby food stays fresh in the freezer for two months.

Here’s how to make and use frozen baby-food cubes :

• You’ll need a travel tote. Buy an insulated lunch bag with a reusable ice pack – like the ones kids take to school – and a set of lidded plastic containers that fit into the tote. Frozen food cubes stay cold in an insulated bag with a freezer pack for about 8 to 12 hours.

• Spoon pureed baby food into ice cube trays. Cover the trays and place in the freezer for 8 to 10 hours, or overnight. When the cubes are frozen, remove them from the trays, place in a storage container or freezer bag and return immediately to the freezer. Label the bag or container to avoid confusion.

• Just before you’re ready to hit the road, select food cubes for your baby’s meals and place them in the plastic containers of your travel tote. If you pack more than one meal or snack, label the container lids with a permanent marker or sticker. Pack them into the travel tote with the freezer pack. You may want to pack a bottle of water, too, since babies tummies are especially sensitive to unfamiliar tap water.

• The frozen food cubes will slowly defrost inside the tote, and will stay cold for 8 to 12 hours, plenty of time to reach your destination.

• Once you’re there, you can let the cubes thaw, put them in the freezer or thaw them for a quick meal. Frozen food cubes take 3 to 4 hours to thaw in the refrigerator and 1 to 2 hours to thaw at room temperature. Or microwave for 30 to 40 seconds to thaw and 5 to 15 seconds to warm if already thawed.

• If you need to defrost a meal for baby while you’re on the road, stop at a convenience store or truck stop – most have a microwave. Airlines will usually give you a bag of very hot water to warm baby food with (just be careful with this bag – the water is usually very hot).

Fruit frozen cubes in an ice cube

Two words of warning

• Always stir and test the temperature of microwaved or warmed food on your skin before serving to your baby.

• Never store frozen food cubes without refrigeration for over 4 hours.

A quick timing guide for frozen baby food

• Takes 8 to 10 hours to freeze.

• Stays fresh in the freezer for two months.

• Cubes stay cold in an insulated bag with freezer pack for 8 to 12 hours.

• Cubes take 3 to 4 hours to thaw in the refrigerator and 1 to 2 hours at room temperature.

• Microwave frozen cubes for 30 to 40 seconds to thaw and 5 to 15 seconds to warm if already thawed.

Sweet Potato Puree – a recipe for Baby on the go

Makes 24 one-ounce servings. Stays fresh for 2 months in the freezer.

Ingredients: 2-3 medium to large sweet potatoes

  1. Prep Wash. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into one-inch (3 cm) cubes.
  2. Cook. Place sweet potatoes and 2 Tablespoons (30ml) of water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover. Cook 8-10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. They are done if the sweet potatoes can be mashed easily with a fork.
  3. Puree. Place sweet potatoes and cooking juices into a blender of food processor. Add ½ cup (60 ml) of water. Puree. Add additional ¼ to ½ cup (60 – 100 ml) of water, as needed, to develop of smooth texture.
  4. Freeze. Spoon into So Easy Baby Food Trays or ice cube trays. Cover. Place in freezer 8-10 hours or overnight. Remove cubes from trays, place in storage container or freezer bag, and return immediately to the freezer.

To serve, select frozen sweet potato cubes from the freezer, defrost and warm, check the temperature and feed.

Morgan is a blogger and freelance writer living in Southern California with her two daughters and flock of backyard chickens. She is also the Associate Editor for mint.com and the Quicken blog. Her work has been featured on WSJ.com, Slate.com, The Huffington Post, and San Diego Home and Garden Magazine. In her spare time she enjoys fake shopping online, writing love letters to Ryan Gosling, and avoiding folding laundry.