Great Things To Do With Baby Food Jars

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With a baby and two preschoolers, I don’t have the time or inclination to make homemade baby food. My Meijer grocery store puts Gerber baby food on sale frequently, and with coupons it’s the same price as generic.

One way to reuse those Gerber plastic fruit/veggie tubs is to rinse them out and put cheerios, goldfish, pretzels, and/or raisins in them for trips to the park, zoo, or car trips in the van. They contain just the right amount of snack for a preschooler, the child can get the lid on and off, and I don’t care if they get lost or are used as a sand toy!


I don’t keep them around long, however, as those plastic tubs don’t hold up forever.



I’ve never had baby food jars since I make my own baby food. (Yes, it does really take less than 30 seconds to mash up some of your food). This is a great way to use these, especially the plastic containers! They would also be good for puddings and yogurts in lunch boxes.



Funny how things and attitudes change. I did buy baby food for my kids. At that time, you were considered strange if you made your own baby food. Back then we didn’t have all the fancy grinders, choppers and blender things we have now. It was very time consuming and cost more to make your own.

As I look back, I think I mostly bought it because of the baby food jars themselves and the thousand and one different ways I could find to use them. It was kind of like the way we used to buy a certain kind of jelly because it was put in jars that made really cute glasses. Back then we used even the containers that things came in.

This was especially true with baby food jars. They were the perfect size containers for storing so many things from the sewing room to the garage. I save all kinds of jars and containers. My kids often tease me about it but I use them all.



Here are some other uses for glass jar baby food containers:

  • To hold nails, screws and other hardware


  • To store buttons, snaps, seam rippers, hem ruler, wood iron and small things in sewing room. For items where you need easy access, you can use them without the lids.


  • Use without the lids to set on a counter or in a drawer to store Q-tips, make up pencils and tweezers.


  • Ise them to organize all kinds of small collections of things like rubber bands, paper clips and other odds and ends in the junk drawer.


What do you use baby food jars for?


Photo by: arascats


  1. says

    I also love collecting various containers–mostly from food. The plastic boxes that baby food comes in are soooooo handy, I use some of them for mini sewing kits for traveling. I keep a spool of thread, several needles, a few pins, and my thimble pad. The usefulness of these little plastic boxes are endless.

    I justify buying baby applesauce just to get the containers. I also love applesauce with pork, so I get my money’s worth. When I get enough containers ahead, I make my own applesauce and freeze it in those 1-portion size boxes.

    Regards, Peg

  2. Gayle says

    Too long since I have had to buy baby food, so I don’t know if it still comes in the little glass jars….but my Amish-Mennonite uncle had a fantastic use for them. He owned a saw-sharpening and cabinetry business. One day I toured his shop and saw a plywood board on the wall with baby food jars screwed on. Each lid was attached with a screw from the bottom of the lid. Then the jars could be screwed onto the lids. That was where he kept his odds and ends of nuts, bolts, screws and nails, etc. Neat as a pin! —Ought to work in a sewing room too.

  3. Lisa B says

    I had lots of baby food jars with my first child but almost none with my second… I sometimes find them at garage sales and good will stores.

    I use them to fill up with homemade bath salts.
    Or homemade body butters.

    Heres a recipie for a great healthy homemade bath salt…

    IN cool whip container or any plastic bowl with a spoon you’ll never use for food again

    3 cups cheap epsom salts ($store/walgreens etc)
    3 tablespoons edible organic coconut oil.
    (you can use non edible kind but I prefer the edible for tub baths)

    Mix very well until lumps are tiny, will have a light coconut almost vanilla scent…Does a phenominal job softening your skin…

    fill all the baby jars with this…each jar makes 1-2 baths worth.

    So one batch of salts can make quite a few jars :)

    For Homemade body butter….

    Mix 1 cup cheap non edible coconut oil
    1/2 cup cheap coco butter cream

    Mix well… makes a nice body cream in winter for all over…. use less coco butter for a thicker cream.

    Smells great if you add 10 drops of lavender essential oil.

    The cheapest coconut oil (non edible) comes in a purple jar with silver lid from sunflower market or vitamin cottage. the brand is called “now”…
    It is normally $5 a jar but of ten its on sale for $2.99.

    With coconut oil a little goes a long way so its worth the money…The coco butter cream I can find at any walmart,sally beauty supply or family $ store for cheap.

    **You could make someone a great gift with homemade salts and body butters with some bath poofs/brushes from the $ store.

  4. Amy says

    I have never given birth to a child but I’ve raised a few. Every fall I make fruit butters (apple, pumpkin, peach, pear etc.) and found that the baby food jars are just about the perfect size for storing and freezing the butters. Especially since we make so many different flavors and everyone has their favorite. This way, we only have about 1/2 cup of each butter in the fridge as opposed to the usual pint sized jars. And they make great “samples” for family members who are wanting to try something new!!

  5. Jaime says

    You can tape the glass jars together (with clear packing tape) in a tree form, then use a string of christmas lights to put 1 or 2 lights in each jar. Tape the light string to the top of the jars, which will be the back of the christmas tree when it is stood up. Someone made 1 of these for my sister-in-law and it is beautiful. I assume you could also try different forms and different colored lights for other holiday projects.

  6. rose says

    lisa b .. what brand is that coco butter cream? just curious ..
    and those fruit spreads/butter ideas are awesome for gifts …
    also can u reuse the top/lid to re-can them or do u need to get new lids to do this? i ask bc well this xmas i would like to make something homemade and try to do some canning and have all my gifts ready for thanksgiving weekend (that is when we all get together for the holidays for our side of the family and on xmas day most of the family either spends it with their own little family or the other side of the family (the in-laws) ..
    and with us preparing to move and setting up a new house and etc (dr’s and etc) i dont want to be blindsided like i usually am ..
    so, i am quite curious on this .. and if not well i know it wouldnt take me long to do the jams/butters in one day ..
    and those little glass jars are the right size i need for this ..
    and to be quite honest, my hubby is liking this idea more and more .. he normally doesnt get too involved in the holiday’s and etc but i told him i thought it would be a great idea to give homemade gifts that use real fruits/vegi’s and the soap detergent (no harsh chemicals) .. and well, he is coming up with something to (to share) …
    thanks for sharing everyone 😀

  7. Lisa says

    Years ago when I had a surplus of glass baby food jars, I used them to make refrigerator jam to give as Christmas gifts. That way I could give a variety pack instead of just one type.

  8. April says

    I use baby jars to store small amounts of herbs from my garden. :) Sometimes a plant will just not put enough to fill a larger jar, so baby jars are perfect! I just tape a label on the front with the name of the herb and the date it was placed in the jar. Very handy.

  9. Rachel says

    I use the plastic Gerber baby food containers they have now to hold my baby’s pacifiers. They stay clean and I can find them in my diaper bag. I also love that lunch meat comes in tupperware now. They are the perfect size for leftovers.

  10. Rose Marie says

    The homemade jelly in jars sounds wonderful. My aunt used to do this with strawberry and blackberry jellies and freeze them. Everyone looked forward to her jams and jellies. You might need to put paraffin on the top of the jars if you are not freezing them–reusing the lids with a waterbath probably is not a good idea. Once the seal has been used it probably won’t make a good seal again. Good luck! Rose Marie

  11. says

    Never having children, I still love these jars for their size and shape for all the things mentioned. Painting the outside with glass paint turns the little jars into really clever additions to your banquet, baby shower,buffet or picnic. Painted to match your color scheme or theme, they are just the right size for condiments, dips and sauces by just adding a pretty little dipping spoon.

  12. Linda Cabler says

    Baby food jars are nice to use for lots of uses. I store flower seed in them, take lipstick on trips in them ( it doesnt melt on your clothes) and I also use them to store left overs.
    I sometimes use them to put 1/2 can of tomato sauce etc in since there are only 2 of us and I dont need a whole recipe of the dish I am making.( I only make 2 servings)I freeze the left over portion in the jar.

    I have used a baby food jar to measure with when camping. It holds 4 OZ.

    These jars are used in my sewing box to hold needles, pins, snaps. hooks and eyes etc.

    I also use a lot of Piminto Pepper jars for storage too.

  13. Becky says

    Babyfood jars are a great size for homemade dip mixes, seasonings, and drink mixes. We spray paint the lids, print out a label on the computer (or write by hand) and viola! a perfect, little gift. I use the larger sizes to neatly store string and twine. I poke a hole in the lid, put the roll of string/twine in the jar, thread the loose end through the hole in the lid and screw the lid on the jar. Whenever I need a length of string or twine, I pull out a piece a bit longer than what I need and snip it off at the length needed. Pulling out a little bit more than needed keeps the string from slipping back down into the jar. I have also used the larger babyfood jars for transporting drinks for my little ones. They love having their own “water bottles” just like the big kids. I love having an alternative to plastic cups. And one of the all-time favorite uses? An observatory for fascinating insect and lizard specimens, just make sure to poke air holes in the top. (but don’t make the holes too large–yes, this is experience talking)

  14. Jessica says

    Having a child with several allergies, he was on baby food a little longer than most (thus having several baby food jars). Most common use-packing sides for my older son’s lunch (plastic or glass). Dipping cups for ketchup, salsa, etc.
    Our local recycling center does not recyle glass, so yes, I have to find a purpose for them. I gave them to a lady (I didn’t even know) to use as center pieces for baby shower (she used cute card stock and ribbons to decorate and baby’s breath inside-so cute), I also gave a bunch for an organization to use as a fund raiser and the kids purchased them to fill with colored sand (the sand art raised a lot of money).

  15. Donna Friend says

    I love baby food jars, the perfect size for the little bits!My favorite use for them is I paint the lids all the same color (any color you want) and use them for spices.They look exceptionally pretty in masse with different spices in them, easy to refill, easy to spoon from & inexpensive to add to.

    • says

      They are fun Finn. My kids did these in school years ago and they can be adapted for so many things. One thing I might suggest is they showed using a scraper to scrape all the labels off, you might try just setting them in a sink with enough water to cover the labels or the method I always use is too lay a sopping wet dish rag on the label and just leave if for about 10-15 minutes and the labels almost always peel right off. Sometimes I peel a little bit of the corner of the label back to expose it and allow the water to seep under. Much easier then using a scraper.

  16. Jennifer Marks says

    I use them to pack my own lunch & my husbands — perfect sour cream from last nights tacos ( or salad dressing) glass is heavy enough that it doesn’t break. haven’t bought any in plastic but its worth the try for the container. LOL :)

  17. Laura says

    Many times schools will take the jars for crafts. My son made lots of votive candle holders from those jars. He’s now 23 & I still have them.

  18. Elaine A says

    I once made a spice set using baby food jars and a wooden cola crate. I spray painted the crate and the jar lids in colors that complimented each other. With a labeler I made labels for each jar. I then filled each jar with spices picked up at Big Lots. This made a great one of a kind wedding gift. The bride was of the thrifty variety and she loved it.

  19. says

    I use them for lots of things. They are just so handy! One of the things I use them for is paint. When I am painting and I mix together a color I like on my palatte, instead of leaving it to dry I scrape it off into the jar. The lid keeps it moist, and ta-da! You have your color for next time.

  20. AddisonDillard says

    hey… just a note.
    for preserving anything in a used baby food jar you would need anew lid. after one has been sealed you can not actually reuse it for that purpose. I have not found any New lids for the Baby food jars that fit for preserving in them.

  21. Haley says

    I use my glass jars to keep quarters for laundry days, and another for the infamous penny collection. They are also great for some dry baby cereal to leave with a babysitter or a weekend at Grandma’s.

  22. says

    I go to a Thrift Store nearby and buy the box of Gulf Wax (or generic kind of wax) and form a craft store I buy the wicks by the foot and cut to size, then using cans that I fold one side to form a spout, I boil water, melt the wax and pour into the baby food jars, place the wick inside and use a close pen on top to hold the wick in the center of the jar until the wax sets and cut to size and place the lid on and have a home made candle to share with whomever when the power goes down, also use the jars of all sizes to put in rice, beans, sugar, coffee, dry powder milk, etc. to share with those in need in an emergency situation. You can use all these thing above as well, I do.

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