So, several months ago I started looking into filling pouches myself. Now that my daughter is 10.5 months old and only wants to feed herself, making trying to get a spoon into her mouth both a big mess and frustration for both of us, so I've been making sure I have a good supply of homemade pouches for her to eat on a daily basis. Not only are they more cost effective, I like knowing exactly what's in them, and can put fresher food (no high temperature sealing required), not to mention a variety of tastes and ingredients that aren't available in premade pouches. I've gotten lots of questions about them, so thought I would do a review of what I've used and liked! All links are to amazon because they have free shipping we aren't affiliates :)
In the photo above, the top two are Squooshi brand pouches. The blue bird on the right is the small size, 2.5 ounces, and the purple walrus on the left is the large size, 4.5 ounces. They have a double zipper at the bottom that seals really well, although I do have to be really careful to line both zippers up with each other. I also like that they don't have any corners for food to potentially get stuck into, which makes rinsing and cleaning easy. More on cleaning pouches below. At over $4 each, you will still definitely save money if you're going to refill them many times, but I like to make food in bulk and freeze it, so at that price point I'm not able to buy a bunch. Also, I like to refill with the Infantino Squeeze Station, although that isn't necessary, (again, more on that below) and the nozzle on the Squooshi pouches is enough different that, while possible, it's not really convenient.
Bottom left, pink chevron, is the Nourish pouch. It is a 5 ounce size, and has a single zipper at the bottom. However, I've never had any issues with leakage at all, and find it significantly easier to get tightly sealed then the double zipper. I do usually use a bottle brush when rinsing to get the remains of food out of the corners of the rectangular design, but a quick swish is all it takes. They are made out of the same material as the Squooshi pouches, but the price is much more economical, at about $1.50 each. They also fit perfectly onto the Infantino Squeeze Station, making filling a lot of pouches quick & easy. $1.50 is less than the price of some of my favorite prefilled pouches, so you can see how very quickly the savings add up when you're filling and reusing your own!
Bottom right, clear with an orange lid, is the disposable Infantino pouch. They hold 4.5 ounces. I love that it's clear so I can see what's inside, and that since a zip bottom isn't required for refilling, they have a box pleat, and stand up on their own like a store bought pouch does. There's obviously no cleaning required, and at about $0.30 each, I have figured that I can still come out ahead financially over buying premade pouches, especially when it comes to the ones with premium or organic ingredients, but the reusable pouches are obviously a better value and better for the earth. I use these very sparingly, only when my reusable pouches are all full of yummy stuff already!
Infantino Squeeze Station when I'm going to be filling a lot of pouches at once. If I'm using leftover smoothies, or steamed veggies from dinner, I just spoon it into the pouches, but when I've steamed a lot of food just for making pouches in bulk to have in the freezer, I do find it quicker to use the squeeze station. It's pretty self explanatory, you pour food into the chambers, plunge it into the pouches, remove, and attach a cap. The Squeeze Station is the only way to fill the disposable Infantino Pouches.
As far as cleaning the reuseable pouches, I try to always give them a quick rinse after using them. Then, I either do a quick wash inside with a bottle brush and a tiny dab of soap, rinsing well, or put them in the top rack of the dishwasher over two prongs. To make sure they're fully dry, since the plastic sides to tend to want to stick to each other when they're damp, I put them on our Grass drying rack and accessories to air dry until I'm ready to use them again!
If I've made more pouches than my kid(s) will eat in a day or two, I store them in the freezer, moving a day's worth into the fridge to defrost the night before. I've thrown them into my bag when we are going places many times, and not had a leak yet!
Elyse, that makes the Nourish Pouches that are my favorite, generously offered to send a 5-pack of the super cute (and economical!!) pouches to one of our readers! All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment on this post telling us who you'd love to fill pouches with yummy homemade food for.
If you share about the giveaway on Facebook, like Thrice the Spice on Facebook, like Nourish with Style on Facebook, or pin this review post, using the top photo, on Pinterest, you can leave a comment for each activity for a bonus entry per item done!
The contest will end next Tuesday, 1/21/14, at midnight central time, and the winner will be selected using random.org and posted the following day.
If you have any other questions that I didn't answer in this post, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to answer. Enjoy!