Alright, I’ll admit it, I sometimes use ready-made baby food pouches…
With the best will in the world, despite my best efforts, those pouches are, let’s admit it, invaluable. There are times when you need to give the little one food pretty quick and when you are out and about, digging into the bottom of the changing bag to find the hidden ‘emergency pouch’ is a lifesaver! However, for all their benefits there is just no getting away from how expensive these pouches are, even when brought on offer or in bulk. Not only that, as well as my nearly one year old loving the fruity pouches as a snack, the 6 year old has also decided that she also likes the same as a ‘quick fix’ snack. I decided that a new approach was needed…
As the website states, the ‘fill n squeeze’ ‘allows you to have the convenience of a portable, mess free baby food pouch, while still providing your little one with fresh homemade food and the ability to reuse the pouch over and over again!’ Purchased online direct from their own website, I paid £15.99 for the kit (normally £30.00) which included a 500ml pouch filler jug, jug closure cap, hand masher (which doubles as a plunger when the cover is used) and 5 x 50ml reusable pouches.
I decided to start by playing it safe and go for a favourite, a puree of apple and pear. I cooked the fruit as normal and then used the hand blender to puree the fruit. Using the kit was relatively easy, it just took some quick hand action to make sure that new pouch was added to the filling jug nozzle as each pouch was filled in order to avoid spillage. The results? Four filled pouches that were ready for use…however, I quickly discovered that I hadn’t made the mixture thin enough or taken care to make sure that it was smooth enough as when my 6 year old tried to suck the puree, she kept getting lumps stuck in the nozzle of the pouch which of course, made it impossible to use – whoops!
For my next batch, I read some of the suggested recipes and made sure that I added more of the water from the cooked fruit to ensure the puree was smoother, this was much more successful. Not only did my 6 year old inhale a pouch full of fruit, my baby also loved the homemade fruit mixture and was quite happy to have the homemade version instead of the ready-made. I also discovered that in freezing a pouch of fruit I was able to provide my older child with a ‘fruit slush’ which she absolutely loved! These were also great at helping keep sandwiches cool in the lunch box and defrosted quickly with a bit of squishing.
We have only had the kit a week and already have tried several different fruit puree options, homemade smoothie and also yogurt (see pictures). All of which have been happily consumed by both children! I was initially a little worried about how to clean the pouches, however, there are clear instructions about how to do this safely and after rinsing the pouch out (the longer you leave the dirty pouch the harder this becomes!) you simply add a drop of washing up liquid and some hot water, then squish the water around the pouch to clean in all the corners. Rinsing the pouch out again till it is clean and leaving it upside down to drain leaves it ready to use again and again.
It obviously doesn’t have the convenience of shop brought and you don’t have the advantage of not needing to refrigerate the pouches before opening but this is undoubtedly a much cheaper way of providing the convenience of a pouch full of baby food. For the last batch I spent £2 on a large bag of apples and a large bag of pears and ended up with enough to fill 12 pouches! So for now, I am a convert to this approach and love the fact that both children are happily enjoying healthy snacks I have made myself.
NB: Written by Mini Traveller’s writer Rachel who purchased the Fill n Squeeze herself and was not asked to write this post.