Many mums shudder at the thought of having to prepare meals for their infants who are of age to start solids because it can be time-consuming and tedious. Fortunately, there are many super simple food prep hacks and shortcuts to help moms save time while ensuring that the baby receives all of the amazing nutrients they require to grow up and develop significantly.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Homemade meals are so hard to make!” and wished you could save time in the kitchen, this post is for you! Below are ten of the best food prep hacks to help you save time and make baby food making ten times easier.
1. Organize your workspace
A clean and organized work area can make or break productive meal preparation. Clear some space in your kitchen to serve as a workstation, so you’re not constantly stopping to move things off your counters. Also, extend this level of organization to your refrigerator and pantry by keeping all of your ingredients in one place, so you don’t have to waste time looking for them.
While preparing solids for infants, you can assemble all ingredients, measuring utensils, mixing bowls, pots, pans, or dishes needed for a recipe before beginning to cook. Having everything in its proper place lets you function more efficiently because your thoughts aren’t scattered, and you don’t have to waste time looking for the items you require.
2. Prep Meals beforehand
Perhaps the most least practiced one of the food prep hacks is to actual prepare for making food. As soon as you know what your baby likes and dislikes, you can prep meals ahead of time. But bear in mind that what your baby enjoys one day may not be the same as what they want the next, so having a few variations on hand may be beneficial.
3. Make Homemade Baby Food in bulk
Cooking baby food in bulk saves a lot of stress and time because you can cook once a week or once a month and have enough for your child to eat. Cooking in bulk is one of the best ways to make large amounts of baby food in the shortest time!
Ensure you have plenty of storage containers on hand when making homemade baby food in bulk. You’ll prepare the foods as usual, but instead of finishing with one cycle and storing it in a container, you’ll scoop the foods into different (or additional) containers and repeat the process. Continue until you have the desired amount of food.
4. Start Small
When you first begin to make foods while introducing solid foods to infants, it’s perfectly normal to take baby steps. Before freezing multiple batches of any food, make sure it’s a meal your baby enjoys; otherwise, it’s a waste of time and freezer space on puree cubes. But don’t give up; experts say it can take up to 15 times of trying a new food before a child decides they like it!
5. Prepare More than you need
When preparing ingredients for your meal (chopping vegetables, grating cheese, etc.), make more than you need and freeze the rest for future use in your baby’s food. Also, while making purees or sauces for your baby who is starting solid food, you can double or triple the recipe to have a larger bowl that you can save for later.
6. Make Meals for all ages
Making separate meals for the children and the adults gets old after a while (and exhausting). So instead, make a general menu with dishes like roasted vegetables that can be eaten as is by adults and instantly pureed or mashed for infants eating solids.
7. Maximize Baby Food Freezer trays
You can freeze a few batches of purees in baby food freezer trays and serve them over a few days by thawing and serving in the next few days! Use the frozen portions within three months.
Using freezer trays to portion out homemade baby food is very helpful and convenient. Due to the cubes’ convenient 1.4oz size, you can easily measure the amount of food your baby is eating and thaw small amounts of food at a time to reduce waste.
Unlike other silicone baby food freezer trays, Chiill is made using a thicker, more rigid silicone formulation and is designed to withstand heavy use, day-in, and day-out. In addition, the tray and lid are made from food-grade material, which is safe for use in the fridge, freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher.
8. Keep it Simple
There’s no need to go crazy trying to follow complicated baby food recipes. Instead, make the most of foods that require no preparation. Bananas and avocados are excellent examples – simply mash with a fork and serve.
9. Freeze Fresh produce to make later
Fresh produce does not wait for anyone, and you may not always have the time to prep, boil, and mash just because they may go bad. Instead of leaving fresh produce to get rotten, cut up fruits and vegetables and freeze for later use.
10. Invest in Time-Saving Devices and Appliances
Appliances simplify our lives and save us time. Gadgets such as a good food processor, microwave oven, blender, freezer tray, pressure cooker, juicer, storage containers, etc., are not only time savers but are also real-life savers, especially for mums who are introducing solid foods to infants.
There are kitchen gadgets that can help you speed up and streamline the preparation process, while others can give you some hands-off prep time and allow you to multitask more while your food cooks. These tools can also provide reliable operational efficiency and reduce the margin of error in your cooking. A perfect example is Quook because of its ability to perform various tasks with the press of a single button. It can steam, blend, self-clean, and sterilize. It also has an integrated bottle warmer for safe and even heating.
All of the above food prep hacks will make food preparation a breeze. However, remember that the best hack to help you save time while preparing meals for your baby is to equip yourself with tools that make the entire process incredibly easy.