Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ode to an ice cube tray

There is not a single item in my kitchen that comes in more handy, when it comes to feeding my toddler, than an ice cube tray. Really. These are the trays that I have. They're sturdy and the lid fits very securely. I originally bought them to freeze pureed fruits and veggies for Fintan when he first began eating solid foods, but as he grew I just kept finding more and more uses for them.

One thing I use them for is to freeze leftovers like casseroles and soups, so that rather than having a big solid chunk of something that you'd have to defrost all together to serve it, you can just pull a few cubes out of a freezer bag for a toddler meal and maybe even a few more cubes for your own lunch.

In addition to leftovers, I also use ice cube trays to freeze things like homemade cheese sauce and spaghetti sauce for fast and easy pasta lunches (cheese sauce also makes a good dip for whole grain crackers and breads, too). And I don't just use them for homemade sauces. They're also great for freezing toddler-sized portions of our favorite store-bought sauces. Pasta sauce is a good bet for most toddlers--I often melt two cubes for Fintan to dip his ravioli in. But I'll also freeze more unusual ones like Tikka Masala sauce for example. Then, since I have a handy stock of little toddler-sized portions of frozen chicken strips (as I described my previous food post) I can just pop a packet in the microwave for 30 seconds, poach the chicken in a bit of water in a frying pan for a few minutes over medium heat, remove any leftover water when fully-cooked, and add a defrosted cube of Tikka Masala sauce to the pan. Yum.

I've definitely found it easier to broaden my little one's food horizons on a regular basis having these trays handy. The possibilities really are endless with a good ice cube tray!

I'd love to hear your toddler-feeding tips if you have any. Or ideas of other things to freeze in ice cube trays. I still have lots of freezer bags to fill...

1 comment:

Dawn said...

great ideas...keep 'em coming! :)