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How Long Does Baby Food Last? [Shelf Life Guide]

Baby food is a great way to introduce solid foods to your little one.

It is not as easy to store and prepare as adult food.

There are many factors to how long baby food will last, including how the baby is fed and how fresh the ingredients were.

Here are some guidelines for how long it takes for a jar of baby food to spoil, how it should be stored, and how long it will last.

How to Prepare Baby Food?

how to prepare baby food

The term “baby food” covers the many different foods and drinks that a baby eats.

Some parents make their homemade purees, while others buy them premade from specialty stores or grocery stores.

With every stage of life comes new challenges in feeding your child; following these simple steps will help you prepare healthy meals for your newborn as they grow into toddlerhood:

  • A child’s first solid foods are often cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula, or water. Cereal is a good source of iron and other nutrients for your baby. It can be given as early as four months old to help boost their immune system.
  • You may introduce pureed vegetables such as carrots, peas, sweet potatoes (yams), green beans (string beans), and squash at six months old.
  • You may also give them mashed bananas; these are easy on the digestive tract and an excellent source of potassium which provides many important nutrients like vitamin C that helps in building healthy bones and teeth.
  • When they reach nine months old, you should start giving your child finger foods along with soups or cereals.

These foods come packed with calcium to grow healthy bones and teeth by providing plenty of fiber.

These make excellent baby snacks because they’re easy on an infant’s digestive system while providing nutrients from more than one food group at once.

How to Store Baby Food?

how to store baby food

Baby food is usually sold in jars or packets, but it can be challenging to store them.

They can get forgotten in the refrigerator and cause a mess, especially when they leak.

Here are some storage tips:

  • Label and date each jar as you put it into the fridge to get mixed up with other foods. This is especially important if you have more than one baby who eats different food.
  • Spoon out individual servings of baby food from the jar or packet before putting it in the refrigerator. This will help keep your child’s food fresh longer because air won’t get to all parts of the container when it’s stored upside down on its lid, as most people do with yogurt containers (unless there’s something solid inside).
  • You can also freeze baby food in ice cube trays and then transfer the cubes to a hard-sided freezer container.
  • Never leave baby food out at room temperature for more than two hours. The warm temperature will cause bacteria to grow, which can lead to food poisoning.

How Long Does Baby Food Last?

Baby food is important for your baby’s development.

The type of food you feed your infant is based on your child’s age, stage, and weight.

The first months are spent exclusively breastfeeding because it offers all the necessary nutrition for a growing baby.

Your milk changes as they grow to provide them with everything they need during that particular developmental period.

When solids can be introduced around six months old, the baby food needs to be appropriate for the stage and age of your child.

Follow these guidelines when deciding how long you should store a jar of baby food:

Baby food should be refrigerated, ideally in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for three days or less.

If it’s frozen, baby food will last up to six months in the freezer and is best used as quickly as possible because freezing changes some of its properties.

When kept at room temperature, your jar of baby food may only last a few hours before spoiling due to bacteria growth, so make sure you don’t forget about feeding time.

Whenever you prepare food for your baby, make sure to use clean hands and utensils as well as a fresh jar of food.

Don’t forget to label ingredients and the date to help you keep track of when the food was last eaten.

How to Tell if Baby Food is Bad?

how to tell if baby food is bad

Babies are super sensitive to foodborne illness because their immune systems are not fully developed.

Why is it important to know if baby food has gone bad?

Babies can get sick from eating moldy or expired foods, which will make them feel nauseous and give them tummy aches.

This could also cause diarrhea due to the bacteria in spoiled food.

And even worse, babies with a weakened immune system might need hospital care for weeks or months.

That would be scary. So how can we tell if baby food is bad?

The best way to check the freshness of any food is through smell.

If it smells sour, rotten, or moldy, then that means something went wrong, and you should toss out the food right away.

If a jar of baby food seems too thick, gummy, or pasty when opened, there could be bacteria growing in it because air cannot reach the inside.

Also, avoid jars with bulging lids as this may indicate spoilage.

Check if they have a strange color; greenish-yellow usually indicates spoilage, and browning typically means rancidity.

Check the “sell by” date and compare it with when you opened it.

It is important to know how long your family’s baby food lasts to plan what will be cooked evenly distributed, and eaten first.

does baby food go bad

How Long Does Baby Food Last? Does Baby Food Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Baby food
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
  • If frozen, thaw in the fridge before use. Always check for signs of spoilage before using.
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