I admit, I was skeptical of baby food pouches at first. Early in my pregnancy, I was strolling through Costco with my mom and whispered "I think those pouch things are weird! I feel like they are for raising astronauts?" I have since discovered that astronauts eat in way cooler ways than pouches. I also learned that pouches of purees can be a life saver when you are on the go, or if your kid just needs food right that minute, and you've already given them two packages of peanut butter crackers that day and you really feel like they need a different snack. We have been buying pouches for my kiddo pretty regularly since he was maybe a year old, mostly for travel options and immediate food needs. *This post contains affiliate links, but I was not compensated in any other way for this review. Affiliate links mean I get a tiny portion of the sale if you click and then buy through it. Thanks for supporting Hey Jillian!*
When my friend asked me to join her for Plastic Free July and give up single use plastic items for a month, I realized I probably wasn't up for that level of challenge, but I could do a lot better than I had been. My three big changes have been: 1) Actually remembering my reusable bags at the grocery store. 2) Going to the butcher counter for meat wrapped in waxed paper instead of getting plastic wrapped to styrofoam (they still use a thin sheet of plastic with the butcher paper, but definitely an improvement over the styrofoam!) 3) I decided it was time to make the plunge into reuseable food pouches. (I know that for varying reasons making your own pouches isn't feasible for everyone, but two of the big pouch companies have TerraCycle programs where you can mail back the pouches and recycle them instead of going to the landfill. Here's the links to GoGo Squeeze's program, and Earth's Best.)
I looked around at quite a few different options, and settled on the Squooshi Filling Station and 6 Reusable Pouches I chose this option because it had a filling system that used pressure, rather than just pouring from a pitcher, and the pressure system seemed like it would make better use of the pouches and fill them completely. I made a little video of my process making the food, filling the pouches, my son eating one, and then cleaning the pouch, just to give you a real sense of what this product is like.
I am really happy that I bought this set. The animal pouches are adorable, but the designs don't keep you from seeing if the pouches are fully clean. I like that I can create my own recipes, and fill in any gaps in my son's diet by fully customizing the ingredients. The filling station itself if easy to wash, and there are no small moving parts that are likely to break. The only real downside to making your own pouches is that they need to be refrigerated. We have a small sandwich sized freezable cooler bag we had originally gotten to transport pumped milk, but it works great for throwing a few homemade pouches in your purse too. At the end of the video, I present a bit of the math of how these pouches work out cost wise, but here it is in black and white, sitting still on your screen instead of flashing by in a video:
Ingredients for this batch of pouches, which was all organic. (Also, here's the recipe, if you were wondering):
2 bananas- $0.70
1 can white beans- $1.99
Handful frozen mango- $0.25
Handful spinach- $0.25
Splash rice milk- $0.10
$3.29 total = $0.54 pouch for 6 pouches
Organic stage 4 pouches with some kind protein in them cost approximately $2.20 each if you buy a pack of 12. If you subtract $0.54 ingredient cost from $2.20, that gives us the cost of the convenience of the premade pouch, so the number to beat is $1.66.
The Squooshi Filling Station and 6 Reusable Pouches cost me $27.99. $27.99 divided by $1.66 is a little more than 16. So your kid only has to eat 17 pouches for the initial investment in the filling station and pouches to pay for itself, and after that each pouch only costs you the $0.54 ingredients cost. I hope that all made sense. This would be even cheaper if you really went wild and got dry beans and soaked them instead of buying canned, your cost would go down to around $0.25 per pouch for ingredients.
Thanks for reading my review, let me know if you try this, or if you have another similar system that you like!