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How Long Does Baby Food Last on the Shelf? Know When to Order More

When it comes to shelf life and how long baby food stays fresh, you’ll want to read more. Depending on your baby food brand, the shelf life differs.

How Long Does Baby Food Last on the Shelf? Know When To Order More

No matter what food product you’re purchasing, you want to know how long it’s going to last. What’s the shelf life like? Can you freeze it to last longer? How does freshness affect how long it’ll stay in your home? These questions are essential! 

As a parent, you have to plan out your little one’s meals to get the nutrition they need, and their tummies stay full.

However, the shelf life of baby food varies depending on a few factors, and the longer the shelf life doesn’t necessarily mean the better. According to recent studies, baby food can last up to two to three years on the shelf. If you cringed at this number—we did too. Let’s talk about baby food shelf life, how to order more, and how to choose fresh every time.


What Determines Shelf Life?

Shelf life is primarily determined by freshness. Fresher ingredients tend to last only a short amount of time, while heavily processed ingredients last longer. Longer shelf life is due to preservatives and additives. But are these ingredients really good for your little one?


Over 10,000 different kinds of preservatives and additives are used in baby foods today to add life, taste, texture, and modify baby food. However, evidence is growing that these additives do more harm than good and should be avoided.

Chemical Preservatives

Many chemical preservatives are used to harden the plastic in containers, prevent rust in jars, control static electricity, preserve color and enhance taste, and modify the appearance of food. Some of these chemicals include BPA, phthalates, PFCs, perchlorate, artificial food coloring, and nitrates. However, these ingredients can have adverse effects on our little ones.

They can impair physical development by increasing hormones like estrogen and testosterone in the body. They may also affect metabolic function, immune health, weight, thyroid function, brain development, and much more.

Sugar and Salt

Sugar and salt also act as preservatives for baby food to increase shelf life to one or two years. However, sugar and salt content can be harmful to your little one. The sugars found in baby foods are primarily “free sugars,” which are directly absorbed by the liver instead of being used as energy. This can cause liver damage from a young age and severely affect health in the future. Similarly, high sodium intake can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and more.


Another way some of the big-name baby food companies preserve baby foods for more extended periods of time is using extreme temperatures. However, this serves to break down nutrients in the food and concentrates sugar content.


How Long Our Baby Food Lasts

The convenience of baby food with a longer shelf life may seem promising. Still, all benefits are short-lived when you realize the preservatives, sugar content, and added sodium necessary to keep it that way.

Here at Yumi, we believe in freshness, even if it means our food doesn’t last for years on a shelf. Instead, we prepare food just like you would at home by shopping, chopping, steaming, slicing, baking, and pureeing fresh, organic ingredients right from our kitchens.

Our fresh meals are made to last for seven days in the fridge and two months in the freezer. To help you keep track of when our meals expire, we color code them! Different colors for different weeks of your subscription so you can keep track.


How We Keep Yumi Fresh

Other baby food brands cut corners to achieve freshness. We aren’t big fans of this. We got fed up with this as parents and decided to make our own.

This is how we do freshness.

1. Packaging

If you live in the desert (okay, maybe it just feels like you live in a desert) or in a warmer climate, we add some extra safety measures to preserve the freshness of baby food for you during the shipping, handling, and delivery process!

First, we use carefully maintained temperature-controlled boxes to ship your weekly subscription in. These boxes are made from recycled plastic water bottles and ice packs free from harmful toxins and non-caustic. In addition, the box’s design provides insulation, so that baby food stays fresh for 72 hours!

Refrigerate our food as soon as you can upon arrival, but our boxes provide safety and freshness until then. Plus, we want to love on our planet, so all of our materials—yes, even the boxes and ice packs—are curbside recyclable.

Learn how to recycle each part of your Yumi box here!

2. Subscription

Another way we ensure baby food freshness is through our subscription service. On top of the convenience of having a subscription, which is everything as a busy parent, our subscription also ensures freshness.

You don’t have to worry about fitting in a trip to the store to plan, shop, and buy fresh ingredients for your little one’s food. You don’t even have to worry about purchasing another week’s worth of food because we do it for you.

Our subscription service is an automatic delivery that recurs each week. So, if you can’t fit in a trip to the store, don’t sweat it. We’re already at your doorstep with your next week’s needs. Plus, we keep it fresh this way too.


3. Other Freshness Tips

While our food doesn’t last for years on the shelf, there is a way to extend the life for convenience or if you ever need to store it extra. If you need our food to last longer, you can freeze it! To do this, be sure to label the top of the baby food jar with the date you’re freezing it. This helps you keep track of when to use it.

Frozen Yumi baby food is good for up to two months! If you do freeze our purees, be sure to defrost them in the fridge and use them within 24 hours of defrosting to keep freshness in the jar.

When Should I Order More?

It’s essential to make sure you order more baby food before you run out. This depends on how many meals you give your baby per day, shelf life, shipping time, and whether you have a subscription or order one time.

Depending on how many meals you give your baby each day, you may need to order more baby food sooner. It is recommended that babies have three meals each day and 2 to 3 snacks. However, if you make some of your meals homemade, you may need a smaller subscription from us! 

We offer three plans so you can choose whether to give your baby 1, 2, or 3 meals each day. If you select the smaller plan but decide to feed your baby Yumi all day, you’ll run out sooner and need to order more sooner!

Shelf life is seven days in the fridge or two months if frozen. If you’re planning to use baby food and simply refrigerate it, be sure to order more baby food each week before the previous baby food expires.

Boxes of Yumi baby food should arrive on Wednesdays between blank and blank pm. This means the cutoff time to cancel or make an order is Tuesdays at midnight, the week before your shipment. This gives us a week to prepare, shop, chop, steam, and boil all of our fresh, organic orders for your little ones.

Helpful tip: If you do need to order more or adjust your weekly order, mark the previous week’s Tuesday at midnight on your calendars!

Knowing when to order more requires a lot of planning. Just like you plan out weekly meals and grocery trips for your family, you have to plan out when to buy more baby food. Well, you don’t have to. We’ll do that for you!

We made Yumi be about freshness and convenience. Many parents have full-time jobs, other kids and run households all at the same time. On top of planning everything else in their lives, they also have to plan out meals. So, we took that responsibility into our own hands (and the hands of our nutritionists).

You can edit your plan, pick your baby’s favorite flavors, cancel, or even pause your subscription for a week whenever you like! We simply do all the logistical stuff for you so you can have more time to enjoy with your little one.


Knowing when to order more baby food is an important part of the meal planning process. Whether you make homemade baby food or order from our Yumi specialists, you have to know how long they’ll last and when to order more to be prepared and keep your babe’s tummy full.

Our subscription service makes it easy. Not only do we take fresh, organic ingredients and prepare meals each week for your baby, but we tailor each week’s meals specifically to their developmental milestones.

We add different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients based on their growth and stages to promote their health and help them thrive.

Learn more about our subscription service and your baby’s menu here!