*Editor's note: as I review new food pouches, I'll stick them in here so as to keep the list ever growing and all-inclusive! The latest update is 7/27/2014.
We all know them and love them - the food pouch is an ingenious idea that has sparked a TON of competition out there on the market. Of course you have the one and done kind by companies such as Happy Family, Plum Organics, Ella's Kitchen, Earth's Best, Sprout, GoGo Squeez...the list goes on! But, these are expensive, not environmentally friendly, and did you hear the urban legend that there were MAGGOTS inside one of them?? You're just handing over this pouch for your child to suck down and you have NO confirmation of it's contents, other than the label. YIKES! That said, 99.99999% of them are probably just find, and really really convenient!! But they're just not feasible as a staple on my shoe string budget!
So, that brings us to reusable food pouches. You fill them with your own food (my toddler's go-to breakfast is yogurt, kale, and berry smoothie!!), pour/scoop in a portion from a store bought bulk container (such as applesauce). Kid slurps it down, then you wash and reuse! But there are a bunch of brands out there, all slightly different from one another, so what's a mama to do?? Well, I have tried out 4 kinds so far, and am happy to give you my feedback, for what it's worth! *Disclaimer: you may or may not have the same results as me, so take my reviews with a grain of salt!
PROS: It has a no-spill insert that actually works - turn it upside down and nothing comes out, even with juice! Of course the goods will come out with a good squeeze or suck. (You can use the pouch without the no-spill insert as well). It is made of a very flexible bacteria resistant silicone (100% food-grade; BPA/Phthalate/PVC free) that you can actually turn inside out for easy cleaning. It's dishwasher and top-rack freezer safe. Also, the top and bottom are both flat meaning it can stand on its own so you don't have to hold it while filling it!
CONS: There are five parts which is a wee bit confusing at first, but you'll get the hang of it after the first use. Also, it's a bit pricier than the others, closer to the cost of a good sippy cup or water bottle. But, totally worth it.
PRICE POINT: $12.99 for one 6oz or 3.5oz pouch on Amazon.
TAKEAWAY: This is my all-time favorite food pouch. It seriously blows all the others out of the water! Every issue I've had with one brand or another has all been resolved with Squeasy Gear. This thing is amazeballs!!
I reviewed their original design a few months ago, and was pleased at first but after a few uses the flip top would randomly come open mid-use, getting really messy. Turns out, I wasn't the only one with this problem so they redesigned and now feature a screw top, which is FABULOUS!!
PROS: See through front allows you to see what's inside. No ziplock to deal with. The cap remains attached so it's not a choking hazard. The opening is rigid plastic which is somewhat easier to fill (and you don't have the over-fill issue as you might have with ziplock), and also seems like it makes it harder for them to "accidentally" squirt their snack all over themselves and their surroundings. BPA, PVC & Phthalate Free. Freezer, microwave and top rack dishwasher safe.
CONS: Some kids might find the attached cap annoying - as you can see in the photo it'll kind of rest upon their cheek. My little guy wasn't phased in the least, on the contrary, he enjoyed playing with it and trying to screw it back on after he finished eating! Another slight con is that the lid and the cap both screw on, leading to one coming undone while you're trying to do up the other one. But you'll quickly figure out how to hold it to prevent this from happening, as I did.
PRICE POINT: 2-pack for $8.99 on Amazon
BOTTOM LINE: This is one of my favorite pouches, and really stands out from the masses in it's unique ziplock-less design. And it seems to be the only one that is microwavable!
This is a brand new company jumping in on the reusable food pouch band wagon. I love their tagline: Prep it, Fill it, Press it!
PROS: This one also features a see-through front, which I love. It's a very simple and sleek design - I wouldn't be embarrassed to use it myself! haha!! Great for traveling because it packs really flat! BPA/PVC/Phthalate Free. Freezer/Dishwasher Safe. Cap is a common size and thus interchangeable with many other pouches, including disposable ones.
CONS: I love the color, but some moms are picky about "boyish" colors for their girls. I'm sure they'll come out with more color options down the road. Not microwavable. Cap is not attached so could be easily lost, and while being the minimum size required by industry standards to be considered "chokeproof", you still never know!
PRICE POINT: 3-pk for $14.99
BOTTOM LINE: A great option if you want a pouch with a zipper and a window.
First of all, I love this name. Between the name and all the adorable designs they offer, Squooshi really takes the cake in the category of cuteness!! They offer 2 sizes (4.5oz and 2.5oz) and also other accessories such as a 17oz Filling Station (which I haven't tried but looks awesome!!), silicon soft tops by ChooMee, dissolvable contents and date labels, and replacement caps.
PROS: 2 sizes, and very cute designs such as monkey, lion, panda, walrus, penguin. Great accessories to make your pouch making and using much easier. Freezer & Dishwasher safe. BPA Free, Phthalate Free, PVC Free, Lead Free. Great for traveling because it packs really flat! Cap is a common size and thus interchangeable with many other pouches, including disposable ones.
CONS: Not microwavable. Not recommended for liquids. Cap is not attached so could be easily lost, and while being the minimum size required by industry standards to be considered "chokeproof", you still never know
PRICE POINT: 4-pack for $19.99 on Amazon
BOTTOM LINE: If you're looking for a great pouch with tons of designs, sizes, and accessories - bingo - we have a winner!
Yummi's pouch places the spout on the side, which was quite different from others I've seen. Not better or worse, just different.
PROS: This was the only one we've tried that had a "fill to" line, which on a ziplock pouch is really really helpful! If you fill them too much, they just spill over and make a huge mess (and waste) when you seal them up. So the "fill to" line is great!! It's also 6oz, which is the biggest I've seen. Freezer and dishwasher friendly. BPA & Phthalate free. Great for traveling because it packs really flat!
CONS: Unfortunately the ziplock on this one detached after our 3rd use - I dunno if we had bad luck getting a faulty one, but it was very disappointing to see it break so quickly. The cap could be a choking hazard or lost easily.
PRICE POINT: 4-pack for $11.99 on Amazon
BOTTOM LINE: Great for a novice thanks to its "fill-to" line, or if you're looking for a bigger pouch.
REUSABLE FOOD POUCHES: TIPS & TRICKS
Having used these pouches for a couple of months now, I've surmased a couple of tips and tricks I'd like to share
CLEANING: Clean pouches with a soft bottle scrubber (you have no hope of getting your hand in there with a regular sponge!!). Also, if I can't clean it right away, I rinse it out and fill it with warm water til I can get around to it.
DRYING: The ziplock pouches can be touch to dry as they tend to flatten out and not let any air in. I try to stand them upright with something that'll keep them open, such as a spatula or even their own caps. I also received a tip that you can place a paper towel in them to help with drying.
WARNINGS: If your little one isn't ready, or is feeling naughty, these things can get really mess really quickly! For a baby not quite ready to suck on it, you can squirt contents directly into a spoon. This will save the need for a bowl. If they're ready to suck, and will let you, you might consider holding it for your little one until they're ready to do so themselves without squeezing it all out all over themselves. Also, BIG warning, though most of the removable caps are big enough to be considered "chokeproof" by industry standards, but you should still never leave a child to play with it unattended, and never give it to a child under 3. On the other hand, most of the different pouches' caps are the same size and interchangeable, meaning if you lose one, you can most likely replace it with a cap you get from a disposable pouch. Easy peasy!
OTHER USES: Yummi has a great list of other uses for food pouches. Check it out here! I especially love ideas for bubbles and wet wipes!
Found a reusable food pouch you love (or hate), or a fun use for them? Share below!!
*Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do these product reviews. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
12/2/2014 05:18:12 pm
wow your review is so nice, now i can understand how to use reusable food pouches
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I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!