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Can I re-use baby-food jars to store home-cooked baby food?

(22 Posts)
BEAUTlFUL Thu 07-Aug-08 13:01:13

I have a stash of 12 baby-food jars. Can I reuse them to store home-cooked food? For example, can I heat the jars to sterilise them, then add HOT home-made food, and seal the jars? Will this mean they keep fresh?

I'm guessing not. Any ideas? I would love to have loads of home-made jars of food, but I suspect they'll just go off.


BEAUTlFUL Thu 07-Aug-08 13:02:07

I know I could just cook food and freeze it. But our freezer is rammed already, and the little jars would just look so cute. blush

BlueDragonfly Thu 07-Aug-08 13:03:40

the glass ones? I don't see why not tbh. obviously you will be washing them out.

What we did with DS2 is made up ice cubes of foods and pulled them out at night for what he would eat the next day. We just defrosted them into a tupperware thing

callmeovercautious Thu 07-Aug-08 13:04:04

It would keep in the fridge for a day maybe. Best bet is to get some small tupperware type containers (Tesco do some in their value range for 79p for 3). Cool food first then pot up, label and freeze. You can defrost and then heat in the microwave until very hot, let it cool down then feed to LO.

MamaFormerlyKnownAsGlam Thu 07-Aug-08 13:05:32

I'm wondering though if the seal is broken on the lids whether they would still be airtight? I bought a weaning ice cube tray with removable pots with lids. It takes very little room in the freezer. I got it in sainsburys.

MadameCheese Thu 07-Aug-08 13:08:45

yes it won't keep like the original baby food, best to freeze and not worry what'll look like, DC won't care

BEAUTlFUL Thu 07-Aug-08 13:48:11

Thanks! Such a shame, I was going to make my own labels! blush blush blush

I will make little pots of jam instead.

designerbaby Thu 07-Aug-08 19:46:04

You're going to MAKE jam??
[awed emoticon]...

DH is lucky if I make the bed...


ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 07-Aug-08 19:51:30

You can get really small containers from Asda that you can put in the freezer. I wouldn't rec using the jars as you might not get them 100% clean.

ten10 Thu 07-Aug-08 19:51:49

I use them in the freezer, as long as they aren't full to the brim they have been fine, but i always use them within a couple of weeks,

probably not airtight but have been good enough us,

I also save other small jars and re-use these, as well as plastic containers from hummous or sandwich fillers or pasta sauce etc, can't be bothered to buy plastic tub [scin-flint emocion]

whoisdoingthedishes Fri 08-Aug-08 00:07:12

It probably won't seal that well, so I would still put them in the fridge and use within 2-3 days. Maybe you can do a test run and see if the safety button gets sucked in again.

BEAUTlFUL Fri 08-Aug-08 00:14:06

Thanks! (DesignerBaby: jam is REALLY easy to make -- get the Delia Smith Complete Cookery Course book, she goes into blissful, anal detail and it's so easy. Makes you feel very Domestic Goddess too.)

If the safety button does get sucked back in (which it does if you make jam, btw), does that mean it's safe?

I know I should get over it and just use tupperware, but it would be lovely to reuse the cute little jars.

DH said it might not work because the air that gets sealed inside won't be sterile, like it probably (hopefully!) is in a factory.

Oh, sod it. I might just use them for jam or put nightlights in for the garden.

LynetteScavo Fri 08-Aug-08 00:44:27

Even if the safety button getts stuck in, I would still use the food in 2-3 days or freeze (I used to freeze glass jars) I used to sterilize them first, though, but that was before I had a dishwasher. wink

whoisdoingthedishes Fri 08-Aug-08 09:13:20

I remember when my mum used to make jam, she would put the jars in a water bath, boil for a while and then put the lids on. That way the air inside should be sterile (although, safety button in means there is less pressure inside than outside, and therefore, less air). But if you do that, then test that the food is well preserved before offering to the baby.

I know what you mean about getting some use for the cute jars ;) There's so much glass going into the bin.

whoisdoingthedishes Fri 08-Aug-08 10:11:38

an addition to my previous post: bacteria need air to grow, therefore the less air inside the jar, the better. But only vaccum (sp?) and sterile conditions can effectively prevent bacteria from growing. I hope this makes sense...

BouncingTurtle Sun 10-Aug-08 10:03:56

Yes you can - but the normal rules of storage of fresh food would apply.
Jars of baby food have a very long shelf life(2 years, I believe!) because they are vacuum sealed.
Basically, use them the same as tupperware containers - they aren't air tight!
So if you are storing in the fridge, use with 24 hours, in the freezer as long as it is -18deg freezer, then I would use them within a month.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 10-Aug-08 10:08:16

I find that it is much much easier to get your own food reheated in a cafe if you hand it over in a Heinz jar. open it as you hand it over so they can't tell there was no vacuum seal. A friend of mine came up with this after finding that nowhere would heat home made food, as there isn't then a company to sue if they child gets food poisoning.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 10-Aug-08 10:09:45

You can't use them to store the food, they won't preserve it for you. It doesn't work. It works for jam because of the immense sugar content. Use them for teeny little jams instead.

BEAUTlFUL Sun 10-Aug-08 12:28:01

Thank you SO much everyone! So interesting to hear the tip about putting home-made food in a Heinz jar for restaurants!

I did make jam in the end. They look SO cute.

DesignerBaby, I thought of you (not in a scary way) when I made the jam. It's a piece of piss! (That's not my secret recipe.) (what is with all my brackets today?)

All you do is chuck the same weight of strawberries and sugar in a saucepan. Leave it overnight (not on the heat!) so the sugar completely melts. In the morning, put it over a high heat and when it comes to the boil, let it boil v fast for 8 minutes, then pour a tiny bit onto a plate you've chilled in the freezer. If the jam forms a crinkly skin when you push it with your finger, it's ready.

Leave it to cool for 15 mins in the pan, pour into cute lil' babyfood jars that you have heated for 5 mins in oven (to sterilise), put waxed-paper over jam in jar... Finished.

Serve to people and await adulation.

Do it! Do it!

Mine Sun 10-Aug-08 13:46:21

Beautiful - thats sounds soo easy.... but can you do it with any fruit?? I have a pear tree that has gone a bit fruit-tastic!
Thing is i've never heard of anyone making pear jam!!!

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 10-Aug-08 14:49:32

this looks gorgeous

BEAUTlFUL Sun 10-Aug-08 15:05:55

Oooh, yum! That would be delish!

You can bottle pears, can't you? In brandy, fort Xmas presents. (If you can wait that long without ripping them open & drinking the brandy... Erm, not that I would, heck no.)

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