Feeding your baby is a wonderful bonding experience that you’ll cherish forever. However, once you’ve started feeding your baby puréed and solid foods, you’ll realize that it takes a lot of hard work and patience, and not to mention a lot of cleaning. To make things easier for both yourself and your baby, you might want to consider getting reusable food pouches.
They’ll keep the feeding time enjoyable and easy, and they’ll help you ensure that your baby gets a healthy and varied diet.
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So, let’s take a closer look at reusable food pouches, see what they are, what their benefits and drawbacks are, and help you decide which one to get.
What Are Reusable Food Pouches?
You’ve certainly encountered food pouches before. Almost every grocery store has pre-filled, single-use pouches with a small twist-off cap in the baby food aisle.
Sure, they’re expensive, but most moms and dads will get them from time to time because they’re convenient. As a matter of fact, there’s a rising demand for food pouches on a global scale.
Well, reusable food pouches are essentially the same thing, except they’re, well, reusable and don’t come pre-filled. They’re typically made of plastic, feature a spout that makes it easy and mess-free for your baby to suck on them, and they have a zipper opening either on the side or at the bottom so that filling them with food is pretty simple.
They’re excellent for use on the go and can make your and your baby’s lives so much easier.
The Benefits of Reusable Food Pouches
It’s not just simple convenience that reusable food pouches offer. They come with a variety of different benefits for both you and your baby. Let’s take a look.
You know how messy feeding your baby with a spoon can be. The food usually ends up everywhere except in your baby’s mouth.
Of course, a reusable food pouch won’t eliminate the mess in its entirety. After all, it’s only natural for your kid to be a bit of a messy eater, it takes a while for them to develop the fine motor skills required for proper eating etiquette.
However, reusable food pouches will minimize the mess and make the clean-up much easier. There’ll be no more spoons flying around the house and dropping into the food jar, and no more puré in your hair.
Your Baby Can Self-Feed
Teaching your baby to self-feed is crucial for their development. With reusable food pouches, your baby can easily hold on to the pouch, put the spout in their mouth, and enjoy the food. That can come in quite handy if your baby gets hungry while you’re driving, shopping, or performing other tasks.
Of course, you’ll want to monitor your baby at all times, but at least your hands will be free while they eat.
Alleviate Teething Pain
There’s only so much you can do to help your baby when they’re teething. You can try teethers and gels, ice cubes, and you can also help your little bundle of joy while you’re feeding them.
Fill up the reusable food pouch with their favorite drink or puré, and let your baby enjoy the tasty food and chew on the spout to alleviate some of the teething discomforts.
You Can Store Home-Made Baby Food
It’s always best to feed your children home-made food. Regardless of how “natural” baby food in jars and pre-filled pouches is, you’ll usually find that its nutritive value is nothing compared to a nice meal you’ve made yourself.
You can puré fruits and veggies, and easily store them in the reusable food pouch to feed your baby. As a general rule of thumb, you can leave the puré in the reusable pouch in the fridge for about two days and in the freezer for up to two months.
Reusable Food Pouches Are Affordable
Since you can easily make home-made purés for your baby, you’ll get to save a lot of money on baby food. Feeding your child can cost up to $3,000 in just the first 12 months, so the more you can save, the better.
As a parent, you learn how important it is to take care of the environment that your child will grow up in. Single-use food pouches are an unnecessary waste that pollutes the environment. Glass jars are somewhat better as they can be recycled, but a truly eco-friendly solution is to go with reusable pouches and containers that you won’t throw away after every use.
Why Reusable Food Pouches Are Not the Ultimate Solution
Of course, nothing in this world is perfect, least of all baby products. For every single baby product, you’ll hear countless praises and countless critiques. That’s why you should only do what you think is best for your baby.
With this in mind, it’s always good to be informed. So, let’s see some of the negatives that come with reusable food pouches.
Many reusable food pouches have a warning that they’re not recommended for children under the age of three. But they’re made for babies, so what gives?
Well, to help you store the baby food, reusable food pouches have a small plastic cap on the spout that you need to remove before giving the pouch to your baby. This small-cap is why you’ll see the aforementioned age restriction as it can be a choking hazard for babies.
So, make sure to always remove the cap before giving the pouch to your baby, and keep a close eye on it, you don’t want your baby to find it somewhere on the floor and try to eat it.
Not for Everyday Use
Pouches require your baby to suck on the food, something that your baby already knows how to do. If you want to help your child develop proper feeding skills, you’ll need to give them food of more solid texture, such as finger food, and you need to teach them to use utensils such as spoons.
So, don’t use reusable food pouches every single day. They’re designed for occasional feeding and snacks, not to be used for every meal.
They’re a Bit too Convenient
Reusable food pouches are so easy to use and so soothing for your baby that it can become your go-to trick for calming your baby down whenever they become whiny, and this isn’t a good thing.
You shouldn’t feed your baby constantly when they’re not hungry. It will teach them to only pacify themself with food, which can lead to childhood obesity and other problems down the line.
What to Watch out for When Picking Reusable Food Pouches
Now that you know what reusable food pouches are and their biggest pros and cons, you should know how to pick the right one for your baby. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, so here’s what you’ll need to pay attention to when buying one.
Reusable Food Pouch Size
As a general rule of thumb, reusable food pouches can hold anywhere between four and eight ounces of food. You can always underfill the pouch if your baby doesn’t eat a lot, but overfilling poses a problem. If your baby needs bigger meals, make sure you get a suitable pouch size that can hold the amount of food they need.
As mentioned earlier, reusable food pouches typically have a zipper either on the side or at the bottom that allows you to easily pack the pouch with food. A zipper on the bottom is typically riskier. If it should break or leak, the resulting mess is bigger.
If you want to stay on the safe side, you should opt for a side zipper. Even if it fails, not all the contents of the pouch will end up on the floor.
Before you buy reusable food pouches, check what materials they’re made out of. You’ll want to avoid BPA and phthalates as they can potentially interfere with brain development and normal growth.
Since reusable food pouches are primarily designed for convenience, you’ll want to maximize it. Look for pouches with as crevices as possible, as this will make them much easier to clean.
Compatibility with Food Maker
You can use any kind of blender or food processor to puré your baby food and fill up the reusable food pouches – there’s no need for a special baby food maker. However, if you do have a specific device for baby food, make sure you get the reusable food pouches that are compatible with it.
Reusable Food Pouches Best Picks
There are countless reusable food pouches that you’ll find in brick-and-mortar shops and online. Here are some of the best options available for you and your baby.
What We Like:
Baby Brezza is one of the top picks because of its simplicity, affordability, and durability. You can use and reuse it as many times as you’d like, and it pretty much keeps looking brand new.
The zipper is conveniently located on the side and is quite strong, so you won’t have to worry about it malfunctioning. The cap is wide enough to prevent your baby from choking on it, making it’s one less thing to worry about.
The pouch contains no toxins, it can be easily washed in the dishwasher, and you can safely place it in the freezer.
Overall, it’s one of the best reusable food pouches for your baby, so you won’t regret buying it.
What We Don’t Like:
There are only a few things we didn’t really like about the Baby Brezza food pouches. The first is the zipper. As mentioned, it’s very strong and will keep all the food safely inside, but this means that it’s pretty hard to close.
The second issue is that these pouches don’t have a flat bottom, so if your baby tries to put them down, they’ll fall over. Not a good thing if you want to keep the feeding time as mess-free as possible.learn more
What We Like:
What makes Kiddzo Squeeze Breeze stand out is that it has a removable spoon that you can use for feeding your baby. When you attach the spoon, you’ll simply need to squeeze the pouch a bit to fill the spoon and feed your baby as normal.
Of course, the spoon can be detached, and your baby can use the Kiddzo Squeeze Breeze as any other pouch.
What We Don’t Like:
Although it’s very convenient, the food pouch only comes in a six-ounce size, so if you have a hearty eater, you should probably look for a larger pouch.
It can also be a little bit more difficult to fill with food due to its smaller size. The opening is quite narrow, and you’ll want to be careful when filling it up.learn more
What We Like:
If you were looking for an eco-friendly food pouch, this is your go-to choice. Not only is it a durable, reusable food pouch, but it’s also made of 100% recyclable materials, so when it’s time to throw the pouch out, you’ll be able to do it safely and responsibly.
Healthy Planet pouches are reliable, free of toxic materials, resistant to punctures and leaks, and perfect for use on the go.
What We Don’t Like:
As is the case with most strong zippers, the one on the Healthy Planet pouch is pretty difficult to close. You’ll need to play around with it for a bit to ensure it’s completely sealed.
Cleaning it is relatively easy, but you’ll want to pay special attention to the corners and crevices, as they can be a bit more challenging for cleaning.learn more
What We Like:
Squeasy Snacker isn’t your traditional reusable food pouch as it features no zippers. It’s bottle-shaped, made entirely of food-grade silicone, and is exceptionally easy to use and maintain.
There are no crevices where your baby food could hide, so cleaning it is a breeze.
It has a wide opening at the top, so filling it up with baby food is almost completely mess-free.
What We Don’t Like:
The only issue we’ve found with the Squeasy Snacker is that it requires greater sucking power than most reusable food pouches. Because of this, there will likely be a few spoonfuls of food left inside the pouch.
Reusable food pouches can transform the feeding experience for both you and your baby. When you find a good, reliable pouch, you’ll wonder how you’ve survived so far without it. So, go give one of these reusable food pouches a try, and thank us later.