Getting babies and toddlers to enjoy a healthy spread of food during their meal times is a significant task. As babies start growing, they become aware of food texture, taste and dive right into the picky phase. Any healthy meal you serve could have them turning up their noses, leaving you in despair.
Batch cooking meals is an excellent way of making feeding time the least stressful part of your routine. If you are looking for cooking guides for babies and toddlers, this is the place to be.
What Foods Can You Batch Cook for Your Baby?
You can batch cook almost any sweet or savory healthy meal for your child. You can use fresh fruits or fruits that are canned in their own juices. You can prepare a meal using vegetables that you generally eat in your house. A tip here would be to make the most of seasonal fruits and vegetables to ensure your child gets acquainted with different sources of nutrition all around the year.
You can batch cook eggs, meat, and poultry such as chicken and turkey. The trick with meat is that, for example, once you have defrosted chicken, you cook the chicken and then freeze it. Do not refreeze raw chicken.
How to Prepare Foods Before Freezing?
You could start preparing food solely to freeze or take a portion out from the freshly prepared food and store it for later.
Make sure the produce is thoroughly cleaned, and you sanitize all utensils and countertops before you start cooking. When using fruits and vegetables, peel the skin and remove any seeds or pits in the produce. When preparing meat, remove all the skin and bones.
When batch preparing food for babies, cook the produce until it is soft. Avoid adding any artificial sweeteners or excessive seasoning. They will add empty calories to your baby’s food.
To ensure the food is safe for consumption, one should cook meat, fish, eggs, and poultry at their optimal temperatures. For example, the chicken should be cooked at around 165°F. If you are using ground beef in your recipe, the temperature should be around 160°F.
Children are susceptible to food poisoning; thus, while going through cooking guides for babies and toddlers, pay special attention to the required temperature of every type of meat you cook.
When batch preparing food for toddlers, have some fun with the menu. You could make pancakes, sweet and savory muffins, chicken nuggets, or meatballs. Spend some time researching healthy recipes that will help get the proper nutrition even in your fussy toddler’s diet.
How to Store Batch Cooked Foods?
Once you cook the food, you must let it cool down sufficiently before storing it in the freezer. You can wait for the food to cool down on its own or use an ice bath to quicken the process. You could also spread the food over a larger surface area to cool down faster.
Whatever you do, do not put steaming hot food into the refrigerator. Instead, it should be kept out for up to two hours to cool down before putting it in the freezer.
Baby food such as purees can be put in ice trays, and once frozen, you can transfer them into airtight, freezer-safe containers. You can pack other meals in individual containers.
Ideally, you should use any food you freeze within three months.
You do not have to stress about whipping up a healthy meal three times a day with batch-cooking food. Explore some cooking guides for babies and toddlers, switch up the presentation and make mealtimes a fun bonding experience.