Battle of the Squishy Food Pouches: A Product Review

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Perhaps the greatest invention since sliced bread is the squishy food pouch. If you have a child under the age of 5 you know exactly what I’m talking about. They are these little squishy pouches filled with fruit and/or vegetable purees. Simple, right? And sometimes the simplest things are the best things. As is the case with the squishy food pouch.

The great appeal of the squishy food pouch is that it’s easy to transport, it’s easy to feed to a baby (no spoon required!) and a toddler can feed himself with very little mess.This product has truly revolutionized the way baby food is transported and administered. Of all baby products on the market today, the squishy food pouch is probably in my top 3 of “items I could not live without”.

The popularity of the squishy food pouch seems to be on the rise lately. In the last few months I’ve seen several new products that are catering to people (such as myself) who love, love, love their squishy food pouches. I, of course, had to test a few of them out. Here’s my review in: The Battle Of The Squishy Food Pouches.

Product:
Pre-filled disposable pouches (There are dozens of brands available. Some of my favorites are made by Plum Organics, Happy Tot Organics, and Ella’s Organics)

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Price (*Note* All prices are an average of what I could find online or in my local stores. ):
$1.50 – $2.50  per 4.2 ounce pouch (35 cents – 59 cents per ounce)

Pros:
Super-convenient–just grab one and go. There are a lot of flavors and varieties to choose from. Organic options are readily available. Varieties are available that would be suitable for older children and even adults (don’t tell anyone, but my husband likes eating the squeezy applesauce!). Coupons are readily available to get the price down a bit. No prep work or clean up required–just throw the pouch away when you’re done.

Cons:
Expensive (if you consider that a baby eats 3-5 times per day you could be spending upwards of $10 per day on pouches!). Creates a lot of waste because you are throwing away each pouch after only one use.

Product:
Beaba Babypote Reusable Food Squeeze Pouch

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Price:
$11.95 for the 4-ounce pouch, plus the cost of whatever puree you put in it.

Pros:
Reusable, easy to fill, fun colors, the mouthpiece is made of hard plastic (my 2-year old hasn’t destroy it yet despite constant biting), dishwasher safe. You can fill it with whatever purees you like, homemade or store-bought (applesauce, yogurt, rice cereal, and baby food all work well). No waste because it is reusable. BPA free.

Cons:
Food squishes out way too easily, so it’s not something you can give to a child who is still learning how to feed himself.  Expensive for one pouch.

Product:
Squooshi Food Pouch

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Price:
$16.99 for a 4-pack of the smaller pouches (2.5 ounces) – $38.88 for an 8-pack of the larger pouches (4.5 ounces). This comes out to $4.24 – $4.86 per pouch. This means that after 3-4 uses, each pouch will pay for itself. You would also need to pay for the puree that you put in the pouch.

Pros:
Easy to fill with a ziploc-style opening on the bottom. Easy to clean up (use a bottle brush to scrub it out or put it in the top rack of your dishwasher). Fun designs. Feels and works just like the disposable pouches so it’s an easy transition if you’re used to those. You can put homemade purees in the pouches (which can be very cheap if you puree food you already have on-hand). You can also fill the pouches with store-bought purees so you don’t have to do any prep work for much less cost than the pre-filled pouches (you can get organic applesauce at Costco for about 4 cents per ounce). Food doesn’t squirt out too fast and my 9-month old can use it to feed himself (see photographic evidence below).

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Cons:
Not a lot, really. It’s slightly more time-consuming to fill a pouch and clean it when after each use than to just grab a pre-filled pouch and throw it away when you’re done.

Conclusions:
For ease and convenience go with the pre-filled pouches. If you’re interested in saving money in the long-run and/or are environmentally conscious, go with the Squooshi pouch. Since they both meet slightly different needs, I will continue using both the pre-filled and Squooshi pouches on a regular basis.

This Week’s Menu and My Recipe For Baked Potato Soup

This week we have a few extra outings planned during the day, so I’m sticking with  recipes I make all the time and that I know I can throw together really quickly. At the end of the post I’ve included my mom’s recipe for my mom’s Baked Potato Soup–I hope you love it as much as we do!

Sunday: Our sweet neighbors brought us over some spaghetti carbonara that we’ll eat tonight. I baked some chocolate chip cookies to fill their serving dish with before I return it.

Monday: Indian Curry and Naan

Tuesday: Community Group Potluck- I’m bringing the main course, Baked Potato Soup (recipe at the end of this post)

Wednesday: Orange Chicken and Rice

Thursday: 7-layer Casserole (Made from rice, ground beef, veggies, and tomato sauce)

Friday: Beer Brats and Balsamic Potatoes

Saturday: Roasted Pork Loin and Veggies

Mom’s Baked Potato Soup
I got this recipe from my mom, an excellent cook who never writes down her recipes. In fact, my copy of this recipe is hand-written on a scrap of paper and includes two helpful directions: cook, add this last. Good thing I’ve watched her make it a time or two! I love this soup because it can be made ahead of time and reheated in a Crockpot or on the stove for dinner on a busy night. I like serving this with cornbread. Enjoy!

baked potato soup
2 cans chicken broth, plus extra for thinning the soup (or use vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian dish)
1 medium onion, diced
4-5  medium baking potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 can evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste
instant mashed potatoes to thicken
*Optional stir-ins: cooked diced ham, frozen corn, shredded cheddar cheese
*Optional toppings: cooked crumbled bacon, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced chives or green onions

Put the broth, onion, potatoes, and celery in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft and starting to break apart, about 20 minutes. Add evaporated milk, salt and pepper. Thicken to desired consistency with instant mashed potatoes, or thin with extra broth. Add any stir-ins that you’d like. Serve and soup bowls, and top with desired toppings.