We've been bitten by the baby food pouch bug! Lighter, easier to recycle, and available in more interesting flavors than traditional baby food jars, squeezable baby food has quickly taken over the shelves at our favorite stores. But until recently, the squeezable trend didn't have room for homemade baby food advocates. That is until now. Over the past few months, we've seen an onslaught of packages designed to be filled with purees mama's whipped up (literally) at home. Check out six options that redefine the concept of make and take when it comes to homemade baby food.
By now, pouches of squeezable organic food have become the norm. What started out as a lighter, more earth-friendly way to transport baby's purees has expanded to a convenience enjoyed by older kids too. For some reason though, once tots graduated beyond stage 2 purees, the sole proprietor of the pouches has been fruit. Taking a page from their baby food siblings at Plum Organics, Revolution Foods is mixing things up and adding vegetables to their popular Mashups line of squeeze pouches. Mashups Fruit & Veggie Smoothies ($5 for four) are certified organic real fruit and veggie blends made without any added sugar. I put the blends to the test with my notoriously veggie-shy son.
Who is this product designed for? According to Revolution Foods, Mashups were created for kids 5 and up who don't want to eat the same squeeze packets as their baby siblings. As with all squeezers, they are designed for families on-the-go – creating a neat way to eat a snack when mama doesn't have time to cut up some fruit and vegetables.
Is it practical? Any mama that's rushed to pack her tot's lunch box and needed to throw some snacks in a bag knows how hard it can be to find wholesome, organic treats that aren't packed with hidden sugar. These packs give mom peace of mind knowing that she's giving her lil ones a healthy snack with the ease of simply reaching into the pantry.
Give it a squeeze! My home converted to the ways of squeezable nourishment as soon as my lil one started solid foods. We' now tote packs of pureed organic fruits and veggies with us everywhere we go. But to my older tot, the pouches are nothing more than baby food. He sees his younger brother suck down spinach, pear, and pea combinations that he wouldn't dare try himself. Even when I offered him all fruit versions, he'd tell me they were for babies, "not big boys like me."
So when Nature's Child sent over their Nickelodeon Squeezers ($3 for a box of four), I was sure he would turn up his nose. Rather, he took one look at SpongeBob on the packet and declared them a big boy treat. Having been around the block a few times, I was certain that this character-laden snack would be packed with sugar, preservatives, and other nasties like many cartoon products are. Much to my surprise, the packs (adorned with either SpongeBob or Dora) are packed with 100 percent all natural fruit, without any added sugar.
Who is this product designed for? The packs are great for families on the go. Stick a few in the car, mama's purse, or a tot's lunch box, and hungry kids can get one full serving of fruit with a single squeeze.
Is it practical? I'm already a believer in the wonders of squeezable packets, and these don't disappoint. Fruits can be consumed mess-free – without the need for utensils or napkins – and don't have to be refrigerated until they're opened.
Trends may come and go, but when they're here — they're hot. We looked back on the biggest trends to hit the kiddie world and put together our list of nominees for the best tot trends of 2010. We present you with elaborate dessert tables, iPads for kids, squeezable baby food, all-day pajamas, Silly Bandz, unisex dressing, adult brands entering the baby market, and incredibly modern cribs. Click through to view the trends and vote!
Feed your baby with one arm tied behind your back? You can do that! When lil ones are first introduced to solids, moms can spend most of the meal batting their hands away from the oncoming food and ending up with a lap full of pureed veggies. Using their experience with the Squirt Dispensing Spoon, Boon has teamed up with Plum Organics to introduce the Plum Dispensing Spoon ($4 for two), a set of two BPA and phthalate-free spoons that attach directly onto squeezable pouches, to allow for one-handed feeding. The company recently sent us a set to try out.
Who is this product designed for? The spoons are ideal for busy moms of infants who are starting solid foods.
Is it practical? Yes. The spoon twists onto any pureed food pouch (not just Plum Organics) in a matter of seconds and eliminates the need to dirty a bowl when feeding a tot. Once baby is done, the spoon is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
What sets it apart? The Plum Dispensing Spoon is the first of its kind.
What could be better? I wish the actual distance from the stem to the bowl of the spoon was longer, allowing parents to place it further into the lil one's mouth, and at more of an angle. At the current length, I felt like the pouch (which came from a dirty store shelf) was too close to my tot's lips.
Would you buy it? Yes for on the go feeding and traveling it eliminates the need to pack bowls. At home, I would stick with my regular baby spoons.
Would you give it as a gift? It would make a fun gift, along with a few pouches of food for a mom who is introducing solids for the first time.
Uh oh — I've created a foodie! My 7 month old got hooked on the first food I fed him — Ella's Kitchen organic baby purees. There wasn't a fruit and veggie variety he didn't gobble down before the store I bought it at sold out. I tried to trick my tot into eating a few other brands and it was a no go. He pursed his lips and fasted (with the exception of milk) until I offered him Plum Organics. Available in squeezable pouches, the brand offers up seven stage two combinations from sweet potato, corn, and apple to spinach, peas and pear. ($8 for 6 packs).
Who is this product designed for? This product is perfect for parents who like to tote food on the go. The convenient packs can be popped open in the car or at the park and squeezed on to a spoon for easy feeding.
Is it practical? I didn't understand the pouch concept until I gave it a whirl with my third kiddo and now I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
What could be better? I wish I could buy it in bulk! I cleared out the Whole Foods supply because my baby eats four to six containers a day so I have to stock up.
Would I buy it? I already did.
What did baby think? My son kicks his legs and reaches out to grab it. He's loved every flavor except for the blueberry, pear, and purple carrot, which wasn't available at our grocer.
My son is six months old and he's already part of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution! I've been through a bunch of different organic baby foods (both homemade and store bought) with my two older kids, but juggling three leaves a limited time for a mom to concoct her own edible creations. While the goal is to make foods from scratch for my lil one, I decided to try Ella's Kitchen's — squeezable fruit and veggie pouches moms laud. Started by a father in the UK who believes his children should eat the very best, the 3 oz. purees ($10.50 for 7 packs) come in fruit and vegetable medleys that are appetizing to adults!
Who is this product designed for? This product is perfect for parents on the go! If you're really in a jam and don't have a bowl and utensil on hand, a mama could probably even just squeeze the nutritious goodness right into her tot's mouth for a quick fix to calm the hunger pangs. (But, you didn't hear that from me!)
Is it practical? I've done baby food in jars, in tubs, and in containers — these squeezable packets with a snap off top are perfect for tossing in a diaper bag and storing in limited pantry space. They do not need to be refrigerated until they've been opened, but once they are the puree needs to be eaten within 48 hours.
To see what could be improved and if I'd buy it.