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Ice pops have been a hot-season favorite for generations, no summer experience is complete without them. Buying them at the ice cream truck is easy enough but, there are definite perks in making your own with an ice pop mold: getting your kids to eat their fruits and veggies with less of the hassle, for example. Interested? Then, let’s find out more!
See also: Take it to the next level with these ice cream maker reviews for the perfect counter top companion during the summer!
The Whole Family Will Love the Best Ice Pop Molds
It’s not easy, those first few months: Your little one may be outright refusing to eat their food, no matter what you try. And there’s the frequent bad mood and even crying, due to the discomfort of teething.
An ice pop can be a great alternative: it will provide relief to their aching gums, and even help soothe a sore throat. Furthermore, you may find your baby is more willing to try new foods if you present them in ice pop form; to say nothing of the added benefit of cooling them off during the hot season.
Not all molds will be appropriate for the little one, of course. Most options out there are intended for use by kids and adults, with larger handles and mold capacity which a baby just can’t grip or eat whole. Further down we present you with options featuring sizes that are certain to make your little one happy.
Healthy & Eco-Friendly: The Silicone Way
Granted, it’s not 100% natural, but it still manages to be non-toxic, as sand is its primary component. This gives silicone a near-rubber-like consistency, and several additional advantages:
- Able to withstand both very high and very low temperatures.
- Does not harden, crumble, rot, peel away or crack.
- Does not contain, nor leech, chemicals such as lead, BPA, latex and so on.
- Easy to clean.
You may not be aware of this, but silicone can also be recycled, although not every recycling facility out there is equipped to process it. It might take some digging around to find a suitable destination.
This material may be quite sturdy, but it is not indestructible: here are a few pointers to help your silicone molds (and other items) last even longer.
- Wash them before first use. You can do so by hand with warm soapy water, or put them in the dishwasher (top rack).
- If you choose to hand wash them, do not use abrasive agents or scouring pads.
- After washing, let them dry out completely before storing, be it by air or by wiping them with a soft clean cloth.
- Store them in a cool, dry place; preferably, where they will not collect dust.
- As resistant as they are to high temperatures, it is still a good idea to not use them over a direct heat source, like an open flame.
What Should Count At Decision Time
No need to rush: here’s what you should pay attention to, before making your final purchase.
It may seem largely irrelevant, but it still deserves to carry some weight: what they’re made of is likely to be a factor in the final asking price, and it may affect durability; it might also alter, if ever so slightly, the flavor of your ice pops.
The most common materials these molds are made of, are aluminum, plastic and silicone.
We touched down briefly on this when we spoke about ice pops for babies, but there’s more to it than that: a given mold may have capacity for only 4 pops, whereas another one might yield as many as 12. Your choice here will vary depending on the size of your family, and also their age (which directly influences how big a pop they can handle). Furthermore, some molds are particularly bulky, which may be a problem if space in your freezer is valuable.
This largely comes down to your taste, and that of your audience: for the kids and younger spirits in your circle, you can easily find molds that will give you pops with fun shapes and patterns, such as dinosaurs, sea creatures and so on. There are also alternatives that recreate the shapes that were popular in years past, for the nostalgic or fans of the classics. Whatever your fancy, you will likely find something to match.
Best Silicone Ice Pop Molds
Fill them out easily thanks to the included funnel, and clean them up even more easily with the brush that comes in the package. The sticks are also included, so there is no need to keep buying disposable ones.
This set has capacity for 6 molds, 3.3oz each, which should be an acceptable yield for an average family. The resulting ice pops, albeit fairly basic in look and shape, are quite certain to please your kids.
- Included accessories simplify both the filling and the cleaning.
- Sticks can be somewhat brittle, especially when frozen. Handling with care is advised.
This particular format has been around for a while, and it’s not hard to see why: a popsicle yielded by one of these molds will be about 3.8” long, 3.4 fl oz in volume. Their design allows them to pull extra duty storing candy, nuts and other small foodstuffs, since they can be stoppered. Important to note, however, that they must be placed upright when housing liquids for freezing or other purposes, so as to prevent spilling.
- Mess-free: runoff is collected at the bottom as the popsicle melts.
- Particularly sizable volume per popsicle.
- Easier to lose them, as they are not melded together.
- Their peculiar setup requirements may create an issue with freezer space.
Best Ice Pop Molds For Toddlers
If your baby is 6 months or older, then it’s a good time to put this set to use: specifically designed for making puree pops, the handle’s shape and size is made so that it can be easily held by tiny hands, with any drops being quickly collected by the drip guard before spilling onto the floor.
Capacity is 4 pops, with a tray included so setting them in the freezer is simple. Every pop is 1 fl oz, a size that should be appropriate for your little one to enjoy.
- Every aspect of its design is made with small children in mind.
- Somewhat specialized; cannot be used for older kids, adults, nor larger gatherings.
This set goes a step further, by providing a colorful look that might keep your baby quite entertained. The 4-mold tray is stable on any flat surface, simplifying the task of filling the molds with your puree of choice. The drip guard keeps any mess contained, and the handle should be an easy grip for your little one, since it is neither too hard nor too bulky.
For additional peace of mind, the manufacturer conducted an independent lab test for compliance with FDA regulations; the results are available on its website.
- Entertaining design.
- Lab tested.
- Handle might be trickier for your baby to grip compared to other options out there.
Best In Show: Zoku Fish Pop Molds
They may not be quite enough for a large gathering, but they make up for it with their unique design: every one of the 6 molds has its own ocean-themed pattern, with a stick to match. It is then fairly easy to come up with unique combinations (a whale with legs, for example, or a diver with tentacles), by pairing a stick up with a mold not its own.
Retrieving the finished ice pop requires only a light pull, which brings out the inside of the mold, for a hassle-free release.
- Full of personality.
- Kid friendly.
- Somewhat low capacity.
See also: You know what you can do with a mini deep fryer? Mini donuts of course! We’ve reviewed these models to help push you in the right direction!
All set: now you’re ready to turn your summer into a cooler, fun experience!