If you had to whip out the food processor every time you need to feed your baby a tasty home cooked meal, the routine would get old really quick. Fortunately, the majority of food purees you create can be made in bulk and easily frozen with the help of a simple household object, the ice cube tray. If you're looking to prepare baby food but don't need to freeze it, you might like reusable baby food pouches for on-the-go convenience.
Many big-name commercial baby brands sell plastic containers that have been designed specifically to freeze baby food. Guess what? They are rubbish. Not only are they much more expensive than ice cube trays but (from personal experience) less effective as well. These products are a solution to a problem that never existed.
While ice cube trays are a cost-effective and efficient way to freeze baby food, it may surprise you that not all ice cube trays are created equally. Since you are freezing baby food instead of water you will find some ice cube trays will outperform others in leaps and bounds.
For those of you who came to this page wanting the answer to what ice cube tray is the best for baby food, then look no further. For those of you who want to know what makes it so special and the competitors it beat outright, read on.
It's BPA free.Unless otherwise stated, BPA (bisphenol A) is commonly found in products made of plastic. BPA may have negative health effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of babies and young children. Needless to say, you don't want BPA in baby products.
It's not made from silicon. Unfortunately, silicon can absorb the odors found in the freezer. This is particularly noticeable with older silicon trays that have spent the majority of their time in the freezer. The problem is, the silicon trays can pass this odor onto the baby food within them, giving the baby food a foul tasting flavor.
Ice is easily removable. Have you ever gone to retrieve your newly frozen ice cubes only to discover you need the strength of a thousand elephants to remove it? I don't know Rubbermaid has done it, but Ice cubes are easily removable by mere mortals with a simple twisting action. No need to heat the ice cube tray in warm water or bang it against the kitchen counter.
It's durable. I have personally been using Rubbermaid ice cube trays for over 12 months now. The ice cube trays have outlasted the period in which I needed to freeze baby puree and are now used to freeze ice to cool my favorite summer beverages.
It's stackable. As someone whose freezer space is at a premium, I was impressed that the ice cube tray stacks rather than "nestle". This means that you can place your baby food in multiple ice cube trays and stack them on top of one another without having them freeze together.
It freezes baby food. Perhaps the most important point of them all given the intended use of the ice cube tray. If you fill each slot to the top, you can make frozen baby puree cubes of one ounce. This removes the guesswork when measuring how many cubes you will need to defrost for your baby's meal.
You can find out more about this amazing baby food tray over at Amazon.
Let us look at the Rubbermaid ice cube tray competitors that came so close but were held back by one flaw or another. Don't get me wrong, these were all great ice cube trays but for the purpose of making baby food, the Rubbermaid tray just crept ahead.
I wanted to like the Tovolo ice cube tray, I really did. It's soft, flexible nature makes removing a single frozen baby food cube dead simple and an ounce of baby food easily fits into each slot. It could have been the perfect baby food freezing device.
Unfortunately, this particular ice cube tray quickly absorbs the smells from your freezer and then passes the odor onto your baby food. After just two months of use, the ice cube tray started to develop a bad smell. Any baby food that was frozen in this ice cube tray from that point on had a noticeably foul flavor.
According to other owners of this ice cube tray, you can remove the odor by either soaking the tray in vinegar or cat litter for two days. Really? Why would I make extra work for myself when the Rubbermaid ice cube tray performs the same function (holding baby food while it freezes) without the extra effort? I have two kids and am time poor enough without having to worry about smelly ice cube containers.
An ice cube tray with a silicone lid. The idea is great and if I was only freezing water then I would even consider this being my go-to ice cube tray. However, since we are using this for freezing baby food there are some issues you need to be wary of.
The first issue I have with this tray is that due to the size of each slot, 1 ounce of baby food is roughly 1 1/2 frozen cubes. Depending on how many ounces of baby food your baby eats each meal there could be some wastage and it can be a chore to cut an ice cube in half when you are in a hurry.
The next problem is the cost. For the cost of a single OXO ice cube tray, you could purchase two of either ice cube tray I have mentioned earlier. For me, I like to prepare an abundance of baby food and freeze it in one go and, as a result, I use quite a few ice cube trays in the process. I would be a very poor mother if this was my go-to solution.
That brings me to the end of my ice cube tray review. Do you have a favorite method you use to freeze baby food? let me know in the comments below.
Featured Image Source: Flickr
Related Resources BPA information.