Many times on weekends, when we wake up and have breakfast later, we arrive for lunch less hungry than usual and find ourselves with lots of leftover food in the casserole.
The questions we ask ourselves basically surround the, What do I do with the leftovers so as not to throw them away? Fridge or freezer? Is there a danger when choosing a bad food preservation method? Which of the options is best for children? On our site we answer all these questions about food leftovers.
In the first place, throwing away food is not an option to consider at all, in addition to having the option to preserve it, we can reuse it, depending on what it is.
1. If we decide to freeze the food To consume it on another occasion there are three essential conditions to take into account:
- Meals that include potatoes and eggs should not be frozen, since the texture of these two foods changes a lot with freezing.
- Food must be warm to cold to freeze, and if it is not going to be used all at once, it is better to freeze in individual portions.
- We must subsequently respect the defrosting process, doing it in a refrigerator to prevent recontamination.
Freezing homemade foods is safe for children if these basic rules are followed.
2. If we opt for refrigeration:
- You must wait for the food to cool down before putting it in the fridge.
- A storage period of more than 2-3 days should not be exceeded.
- When consuming the food, it must be thoroughly heated to ensure that the center of the food has reached the appropriate temperature.
In this case there are no limitations since all foods are subject to the refrigeration process, which is also safe for children as long as the appropriate microbiological conditions are maintained.
The main dangers that we encounter are microbiological, since if the food is kept at a temperature at which contaminating microorganisms can multiply, we may be favoring the creating a food poisoning if a high population is reached. Normally, some microorganisms can grow in refrigeration, and almost all of them remain in a latent period, remaining viable - alive - at these temperatures. At temperatures reached by freezing, the number of viable microorganisms decreases, although their total destruction cannot be assured.
Regarding the texture and flavor of cooked foods, refrigeration rarely alters them in a relevant way, while in freezing, frozen water, ice, occupies a greater volume than liquid water, so that the structures that contain water inside they break, releasing water and drastically modifying the texture of the food.
A good system is to reuse the leftovers, that is, to cook them again to prepare a different dish, it is an option to consider, since it is normally microbiologically safe and, when preparing a different food, the possible variation in texture or flavor with reheating is not relevant.
You can read more articles similar to Strategies for storing food leftovers that mothers and fathers have to know, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.