The 4 Best Ice Cube Trays For Baby Food
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Introducing solids is an exciting milestone for both you and your baby. I’m not normally much of a meal prepper, but I found cooking and freezing big batches of purées was the key to making homemade baby food. Creating meals for my little one was much easier when I had a ready-to-go stash for the week, and for that, I needed the right gear. Whether you prefer silicone or plastic, the best ice cube trays for baby food store small individual portions of food (so nothing goes to waste) and come with lids for easy stacking.
Ice cube trays for freezing baby food are typically made of either silicone or plastic. Silicone trays are more durable so they’re more of an investment up front, and they’re also flexible, so it’s easier to pop out individual portions as needed. Food-grade silicone trays are nontoxic and free of fillers, and they’re usually safe to use in the dishwasher, freezer, and oven. Plastic trays are the more affordable option and also tend to be dishwasher-safe, but keep in mind some may warp under the heat of your dishwasher. When opting for plastic, it’s best to choose a food storage tray that’s BPA-free and free of phthalates.
Whichever material you prefer, you’ll want a tray with a tight-fitting lid to help prevent freezer burn and the absorption of odors from other foods. A lid also makes the tray conveniently stackable.
While trays vary in terms of the number of cups they have, it’s helpful to evaluate their total capacity. Smaller ones will be able to hold about 10 ounces total while others can house all the way up to 42 ounces. The individual cup size can range from approximately 1 ounce to 3 ounces, so keep in mind your baby’s mealtime intake. Some cups even have measurement markings so you can keep portions consistent even when you’re not filling cups all the way.
And a pro tip to keep in mind: It’s a good idea to transfer iced cubed baby food into storage bags and marking the date on the bag — discard any unused frozen baby food after three months.
Now, here are the four best ice cube trays for baby food, plus several accessories I’ve found make mealtime infinitely easier.
1. A Silicone Tray With Small Portion Cups
- Tray Capacity: 9 Cups, 2.5 Ounces each
The best silicone ice cube tray for portioned baby food is made of food-grade silicone that’s free of BPA and phthalates as well as BPS, latex, and PVC. The sturdy and deep silicone cups set this highly rated pick apart from some that may look similar; each of the nine rounded cups holds up to 2.5 ounces, but has measurement marking insides for both 1 and 2 ounces. The one tray makes it easy to portion out homemade food for your baby when they first start solids and as their appetites grow, too.
The tight-fitting lid gives the tray a spill-proof seal, and the maker encourages labeling the lid (it washes off) with a dry erase maker or ballpoint pen. The tray and lid are safe to use in the freezer, dishwasher, microwave, and oven up to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. So as your baby becomes a toddler, you can use this same tray to bake egg bites, cornbread, brownies or just make extra-large ice cubes for yourself. With nearly 6,000 reviews on Amazon, you can trust this pick and choose from seven colors, including blue, yellow, and gray. This ice cube tray for baby food also comes with an ebook with guidance on feeding babies and recipes to get started.
A helpful review: “Probably the best purée storage cubes I’ve found. I have three other kinds but they are either too small, the lid doesn’t stay on properly, or they are impossible to ‘pop’ out once frozen. This one is a game changer. The portion sizes are generous for my seven month old son, and yet not too bulky in my freezer. Also, the lid is secure and wraps around each edge of the base. The material is bendy and manipulative so when it’s drying you don’t have to worry about it getting misshapen. Getting the food cubes out is much easier than with other brands I’ve tried. All in all, very pleased.”
2. The Tray With Bigger Individual Portions That’s Perfect For Older Babies
- Tray Capacity: 6 Cups, 5 Ounces each
For an older baby that you’re realizing is ready for a bit more food at each meal, try this baby food tray with fewer but larger individual portions. Each of the six rounded cups holds up to 5 ounces. It’s made of food-grade silicone and reviewers commented repeatedly on the sturdy seal of this tray’s lid.
This tray is BPA-free and phthalate-free, and it’s safe to use in the freezer, dishwasher, microwave, and oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. This made-in-Italy tray also comes in blue or green trays with 3-ounce cups.
A helpful review: “Love this! I make my own baby food purees and easily freeze them in this silicone tray. The frozen food pops out like a dream and it is super easy to clean. One of the biggest pluses is that the tray comes with a flat lid to cover your food while it’s freezing, also allowing you to easily stack multiple trays in your freezer at once for big batch freezing.”
3. The Most Budget-Friendly Ice Cube Tray For Baby Food
- Tray Capacity: 14 Cups, 0.75 Ounces each
The most affordable baby food tray looks the most like a traditional ice cube tray and is made of plastic. The tray has 14 rounded cube indentations holding 0.75 ounces each, but although the cubes are smaller, you are getting more of them and can make a total of 10.5 ounces of food at one time with these trays. Its unique sturdy sliding cover cleverly lets you release as many or as few cubes as you need without the risk of them all popping out, and the set is dishwasher-safe.
This pick is free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates, and the bright green lid is easy to spot in a full freezer.
A helpful review: “I'm pretty cheap, and I just use regular ice trays to freeze my baby's food. But someone recommended this tray to me and I'm glad I got it. The cover is nice so nothing falls in it in the freezer (if your freezer looks like mine, there is an avalanche of frozen meat and vegetables just waiting to happen). The plastic seems really durable, and the cube sizes seems adequate for what my baby needs right now. It's quite cost effective [...] I may buy more as my baby starts to eat more solids.”
4. The Set For Big Batches of Baby Food
- Tray Capacity: 42 Cups, 1 Ounce each
Now, if you’re really into making big batches of baby purée at a time, consider this set of two ice cube trays that hold 1-ounce portions in a total of 42 rounded cubes. These trays are wider but flatter, so they’re actually really easy to fit into a freezer, and they each come with tight-fitting stackable lids.
This made-in-New Zealand plastic tray set is dishwasher-safe and free of BPA, phthalates, and PVC. They’re also highly rated with over 1,500 reviews, and you get an ebook with 27 recipes to get you started with homemade baby food.
A helpful review: “These worked great for making purées at home. I make big batches of baby food, freeze them in these containers, and they last for weeks in the freezer. Or I pop the frozen food cubes out of the trays and put them in zip lock bags to store in the freezer and then I make another batch. I like the snap on lids! They were easy to get on and off. The lids stayed on nicely and I never had to worry about them coming off in the freezer. I also thought the trays stacked nicely on top of each other. [...] These saved us so much money, because we were able to make all of our own baby food! This really is a great product!”
Nice To Have: A Reusable Freezer Bag For Transferring Your Batches
The reusable storage bag that’s a bit of a cult favorite with over 22,000 reviews maintains its popularity in part because of its durability and versatility. This food-grade silicone bag is freezer-safe, and it’s an ideal storage bag for keeping individual portions of homemade baby food. The air-tight pinch-loc seal on the half-gallon bag will keep the baby’s food fresh, and you’ll find tons of use for it once your baby moves on to crunchier foods.
This silicone bag is safe to use in the microwave, dishwasher, boiling water, and oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and reviewers often use it for marinating food or cooking sous vide. I’ve had these silicone bags for years, and they’ve really held up. You can also choose from several other sizes and colors, including a sandwich size and a snack size that’s perfect for a toddler's hands.
A helpful review: “I am one of THOSE people that totally cringes at the thought of ANYTHING plastic. I am so glad that I purchased this item. I use them in the fridge, freezer and just for storage. They are easy to clean too. I just throw them in the dishwasher and they come out clean and ready to reuse. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!”
Also Great: A Baby Plate & Mat That Stays Put
Now, where to serve your homemade baby food? This silicone suction plate is a bowl and placemat in one that’s made of food-grade silicone free of BPA, BPS, PVC, latex, and phthalates. The placemat sort of suctions to a flat high chair tray or dining surface, making it difficult for your baby to flip the plate or send food onto the floor. Plus, this piece is dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
The walls of the three sections can actually help your baby scoop up food more easily as they’re still developing key motor skills. The two “eye” sections hold 2 ounces each and the wider “mouth” section holds 4 ounces. With nearly 6,000 reviews, this family favorite comes in blue, coral, gray, or green.
A helpful review: “This mat has really helped my self feeding 8.5 month old get more in his mouth. He used to have a hard time picking up the food, which would cause him to push it all over his tray & eventually on the floor. This mat keeps everything contained & stays in place. Plus, it's easy to clean & a good size to throw in my diaper bag for restaurants. I highly recommend this to anyone with a small child!”
Nice To Have: Baby’s First Easy-To-Hold Utensil
Once your baby starts to get the hang of solid foods, it’s time to introduce a baby spoon. The leaf-shape design and flexible tip of this soft training spoon set it apart from others my son tried; this one seemed to fit in his small hands more naturally. The flexibility of the spoon’s tip makes it much easier for babies to actually scoop up food, and the ergonomic shape with textured base is comfortable for little hands to hold.
It’s made of food-grade silicone that’s free of BPA, latex, and phthalates, and this pick is safe to use in the dishwasher and freezer. The flat bottom of the spoon can be stood upright on a table to keep it clean. This spoon maintains an impressive 4.8-star rating with over 6,000 reviews, and parents report their babies quickly understand how to use this spoon and also love using it as a teether. This award-winning spoon has won several awards, including a National Parenting Product Award (2018) and Family Choice Award (2017), and is designed to promote self-feeding.
A helpful review: “The best baby spoons on the market!! Incredibly easy for baby to hold and scoop food with. I was shocked that my 4 month old could use this spoon on her own. She's now 6 months old and we use these multiple times a day. They have a textured handle that makes it easy for baby to hold. The tip bends when baby dips it in the food so she can scoop from many angles- perfect for learners. They wash so easily. [...]”