The Last Thing to Do with a Baby Food Jar Before You Recycle It

published Oct 11, 2022
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Empty baby food jar
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Cooking provides a surprising amount of re-usable containers. From berry containers that are perfect for keeping sandwiches from getting crushed in a picnic bag to large yogurt containers that are ideal for sending leftovers home with guests, kitchen “trash” often isn’t. 

One of my favorite types of containers to save is glass jars. I have a whole upper cabinet dedicated to them. I use large jars to store dry goods like beans or popcorn kernels in the pantry, and I use tall ones as containers for homemade salad dressing. I also often grab them to use as flower vases or to store extra chipotles in adobo. 

My favorite type of jar is one that I no longer have: baby food jars. I’m so far out of the baby stage (*sob*) that I long ago donated my collection to an arts-and-crafts project a friend was doing with some kids. But if you’re lucky enough to have any in your possession, don’t throw them out! 

Baby food jars are the perfect size for storing spices. I love to store spices in containers with wider mouths because then I can put my measuring spoons directly in the spices to scoop them out. In addition, containers larger than the typical narrow, tall ones allow you space to add your refill spices to the last remnants of your old container. This way you don’t end up with a bunch of containers of the same spice jamming up your cabinet.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Once you wash out your baby food jars, remove the labels and make sure they dry completely before putting your spices inside them. You can store your spice-filled baby food jars on a two-tiered turntable, in a cabinet on a spice organizer, or in a drawer. Don’t forget to label! I love my Cricut Label Maker, but masking tape and a Sharpie work too. Put the label on the sides or the top — whichever makes the most sense according to how you’ll store them. 

Using baby food jars for long-term storage lets you repurpose items that might be sentimental and that definitely are cute and functional.