Tons of ideas and recipes for ways to use leftover baby food, plus tips on how to store leftover baby food safely.
We are just back from a long weekend in Florida, a family reunion with my husband's side of the family, and we had SO much fun! Lots of beach time, family time, play time, and tons of great food!
But whew, I'm worn out and feel like my house is half upside-down. We got home late yesterday afternoon, I immediately went to the grocery store to stock us up, made some overnight oatmeal jars to have on hand for the week, made dinner, caught up on some emails and then settled in for Game of Thrones.
I'm back at work today but feel like I need another day to get us back on track. Isn't that always the case after being away? Ah well, we'll just figure out as we go this week. The laundry isn't going anywhere 😉
But I'm so excited to bring you today's post about ways to use leftover baby food! It's something I've been meaning to post about ever since I started my homemade baby food series a couple of years ago (lots of which I revamped earlier this year).
Let’s start with a quick Q&A with some common questions on how to use leftover baby food:
Can I reuse leftover baby food? Yes, if it’s not contaminated. If you’ve put a spoon in the jar or container that was in your baby’s mouth, you need to throw it out. (The germs from your baby’s mouth can turn the baby food bad.) But if it’s unopened or unused or untouched, it can be reused.
Can I store leftover baby food? Yes! If you have an open jar or container that wasn’t contaminated (see above), you can refrigerate it for 3-5 days or freeze it for up to 4-6 months.
How do I store leftover baby food? It’s best to store homemade baby food in small containers with a tight seal. This allows you to portion out just a bit at a time to avoid wasting food. If freezing, you can use ice cube trays to make small cubes. Once they are frozen, transfer the cubes to a labeled freezer-safe bag.
So now that we’ve covered the basics, what are you gonna actually do with those extras once your sweet baby has moved beyond purees?
Well, I’ve got tons of ideas for you! I got creative because I had kept a freezer stocked with baby food (I had two BIG eaters) and I hate wasting food! So all those little cubes got repurposed into new dishes that my budding toddlers could eat themselves. 👍
So here are lots of ideas for you on using up leftover baby food!
(I’ve also got a free printable if you want to save this for later!)
Ways to use leftover baby food:
- Transform any favorite combinations into homemade baby food pouches for on-the-go eating (and see 5 more baby food pouches for more ideas)
- Mix fruit baby food into oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese and smoothies
- Mix fruit purees into unsweetened applesauce for a new flavor
- Add fruit purees into muffins
- Use fruit purees as a spread for toast or a dip for crackers or cut fruit pieces
- Add veggie purees to tomato or marinara sauce and mix it with pasta or use it to make pizzas (I still do this for my kids, who are ages 4 and 6)
- Use vegetable purees to make sweet potato or squash or zucchini pancakes
- Mix vegetable purees with brown rice to make rice balls or rice patties (perfect for dipping!)
- Use vegetable purees in muffins
- Use veggie purees to bind together casseroles and add some extra nutrition
- Add extra vegetable purees to eggs for omelets, egg muffins or frittatas
- Mix corn, carrot or squash purees into mashed potatoes or mac and cheese.
- Stir vegetable purees into soups, stews or chili (all kinds of veggies can go here)
- Add meat purees into chili, soups or stews
- Use meat purees to make baby meatballs or baby hamburgers
- Use baby food meat purees to make savory muffins with meat, veggies and cheese
See, there's tons of things you can do! And if you are looking for a little more guidance...
Here are a few specific recipes that use or could be adapted to use leftover baby food:
- Berry beet smoothie with broccoli
- Homemade applesauce: 5 fruit flavors
- Spinach banana mini muffins
- Almond butter zucchini muffins
- Apple and butternut squash muffins
- Butternut squash and kale mac and cheese
- Veggie mac and cheese muffins
- White turkey chili
- Hobo stew
Be sure to check out this video, too, to see how easy it is to make some of these leftover baby food recipes! Press play 👇
I would love to hear if you have other ideas for using up leftover baby food! Please share them with me in the comments below!
P.S. Here's that one-pager free printable again!