Baby food cubes are infant foods primarily frozen in ice cube trays or commercially made baby food freezing trays. While the cubes are primarily homemade, some commercial baby food companies also make frozen baby food cubes. They are primarily steamed and roasted, or occasionally boiled, before being pureed and then frozen. Many parents choose this particular form of baby food to create more flavor variety and add convenience as well as for a higher maintained nutritional value.
Typically fruits and vegetables are used for baby food cubes, but as more commercial companies begin to make their own frozen baby food, meats and cereals may also be found. While there are options to buy frozen food cubes that are already mixed with a variety of flavors, many parents prefer to make single food cubes and mix different cubes together just prior to serving. This may help to keep meals varied.
There are aspects about these types of baby food that may make it more convenient for some families. Less packaging is usually used with these food cubes, and the packaging is generally washed and utilized again. Some commercial baby food companies that produce baby food cubes state that the pre-mixed frozen foods not only provide the benefits of frozen baby food, but also an even higher convenience rate with less work to prepare the food or to clean.
The main reason many families choose baby food cubes is because they are made fresh and usually preserve the nutrient values and taste of the foods more efficiently. Normally, the food cubes are made from freshly bought produce or frozen fruits and vegetables that were frozen soon after harvesting. The roasting and steaming process often used to soften the food helps to maintain the nutrients in the food compared to most other methods, such as boiling. It is generally believed that these processes may also bring out the natural flavors of the foods. Once the food is cool, it is typically pureed or mashed and put in a tray for freezing.
Most homemade baby food cubes are frozen in ice cube trays, though commercially made cube trays are available for purchase. It is typically recommended to use an ice cube tray with an attached cover to avoid freezer burn, but it may also be acceptable to use most items around the kitchen to cover the top of the tray. Although the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that most frozen foods may be kept indefinitely, it is usually recommended that any food made for babies be used within one month for the best quality.