Let’s admit it: the pressure on moms and dads to be amazing is unfairly measured in time spent on doing baby-related things. We live lives where the efficiency matters, though, and saving time on preparing food for your kids does not make you a bad parents. If anything, it gives you enough time for other activities!
Prepare formula bottles in advance
If your baby is formula fed, there’s no need to make a bottle when the baby is hungry – it creates additional stress and tension – imagine a crying baby while you’re mixing the powder every time! Instead, wash/sterilize all the bottles once a day, prepare some water (boiling tap water and letting it cool is the most efficient way), set the bottles on the counter, put the formula in, cover with water and voila! You can safely store untouched formula bottles for 24 hours in the back of the fridge (not in the door, due to temperature flux due to opening of the doors).
Also, if your baby prefers cold formula (mine has preferred cold formula and bottled breastmilk, straight out of the fridge) – there is no need to heat it up!
Prepare baby purées in advance
We all know that cooking every day, three times a day, feels like you’re dedicated to your baby. However, there is no need for a freshly made purée every time. If you’d like to have more time with your baby, while providing the same nutritional value in their meals, I highly suggest cooking larger quantities of baby food and freezing it. This is what I suggest (and what I do!):
- Pick a recipe and scale it to multiple portions (I end up with 1-2L of baby puree per batch)
- Every two weeks, cook two types of food per each meal: two different kinds of breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Cook the ingredients in a large pot and blend it with a hand mixer or blender
- Pour the food into empty ice cube trays
- Let the food cool on room temperature for an hour
- Freeze the food in the back of the freezer
- After 24 hours, pop the cubes into a labeled box: “breakfast 1”, “lunch 2”, “dinner 1”, etc.
- Heat the ice cubes in a microwave (I do it on the thawing mode for 5 minutes) just before the meal
- Serve a different menu each day: days 1, 3, 5 and 7 in the week will be “menu 1” days, while days 2, 4 and 6 will be “menu 2”
- Fresh, after all, is best: if you have fresh fruit, or a baby-friendly cooked meal, feel free to skip the ice cube food and add some variety!
- Do not store food in the freezer for more than 3 months
- Make sure the ingredients you’re freezing are suitable for it – do your research beforehand!
- If you’re using thawed breast milk to make food, don’t re-freeze it with the food after cooking: the whole batch will go bad! Add thawed breast milk before serving it to your baby instead.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!