More Green For Less Green

Living more eco-friendly for less money


Using Glass For Expressed Milk

We have a minimal-plastic home, so when it came to pumping milk for our little ones, I wanted to find a minimal-plastic option. Ultimately, we decided to go with Ball's quilted canning jars in the 4 ounce size. These are also called jelly jars.

Quilted jars are different than other glass because they are designed to be freezer-safe. Other glass can get microscopic cracks through freezing and defrosting or even completely shatter. Many folks are fine with freezing food or drink any kind of glass jars, but I wasn't comfortable with that for breast milk, especially.

I pump into the plastic bottles that came with my Ameda Purely Yours pump and then immediately transfer the milk to a quilted canning jar. (I do have some small glass bottles that fit on my pump, but it makes it too heavy for my super-amazing Made By Moms Pumping Band to support comfortably.)

Once the milk is in the jar, I top it with the typical canning band and lid paired with a piece of unbleached parchment paper or a BPA-free plastic lid, also made by Ball. (Yes, it is plastic. Yes, they are worth it.)

With either kind of lid, it is easy to write the date on the top with a grease pencil or put the date on a piece of tape.

The milk defrosts at a reasonable speed in the fridge or quite quickly when placed in a bowl of hot water.

Best of all, when our nursing days our over, we're left with something perfectly usable. These little jars are great for packing dry snacks (like nuts or trail mix) or something wet, like yogurt dip for raw veggies.

While you can find canning jars online, I've found that hardware and grocery stores have better prices. In Northern Virginia, check at Ace Hardware and Wegmans year-round.

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