Having a reusable pouch on hand for your baby or toddler is a great way to expand the list of foods they’re able to easily feed themselves. I sorted through the top baby food pouches on the market so you don’t have to—and found the ones that are much less messy for kids to use!
A reusable pouch is a pliable container used to hold baby food or other soft foods such as liquids or applesauce. They are a homemade version of the baby food pouches you can buy at the store and are typically made from silicone or plastic. They make it easier for little kids to drink smoothies and to eat foods that are otherwise tricky to self-feed with a spoon.
Reusable Baby Food Pouch
The beauty of these pouches is that you can control what goes in them to offer foods that are lower in additives such as sugar and salt. And you can save money since homemade foods put into a reusable pouch will be less expensive over time than buying all pre-made pouches. That’s not to say that pre-made pouches are bad, but just to explain why some of us love them so much!
Are reusable pouches good for babies?
These pouches are great for older babies as it allows them to feed themselves a wider range of foods that they could eat with a spoon efficiently. Instead of needing the coordination needed to eat yogurt from a spoon that they are holding, they can simply hold the pouch and suck it out.
Of course, babies need to be given the opportunity to learn to use utensils, and to move other textures around in their mouths, so view these as a tool in your arsenal—not the only way to feed your baby.
Are they good for toddlers?
These pouches are an awesome tool for feeding toddlers since they hand the feeding over to the child and let them be in control of what goes into their mouth—which they love! I’ve used these reusable pouches with both of my kids and find them to be one of our most beloved items of feeding gear.
They are also much less prone to making messes than some other straw cups since the good ones make it virtually impossible for the child to deliberately squeeze the food out. (But it’s easy to suck out.)
Best Silicone Pouch: Squeasy Snacker
We’re super fans of the Squeasy Snacker pouch from Squeasy Gear. It’s easy to clean, super durable, and comes in two sizes–3.5 ounces and 6 ounces so you can choose the one that’s best for the age of your child. (They also make a 16 ounce but that’s likely more than a baby or toddler would need.)
We’ve steadily used our three for the past 2 years and have seen no signs of wear or tear. My middle child is now three and she still can’t deliberately squeeze out the food. Which makes it so much less messy than other options.
TIP: Do be sure to put the red insert in the cap since without it, the food inside will go everywhere! And if your kid plays with the lid instead of drinking, simply remove it when you hand them the pouch.
Best Plastic Pouch
These reusable plastic pouches are made from food-safe and BPA-free plastic and are easy to fill—the bottom of the pouch unzips for easy filling. The one downside to these is that a child can purposefully (or by accident!) squeeze out the contents so keep that in mind. It can help to hold the pouch with your baby as they learn to suck the food out.
A set of these is a great option for sending food to daycare or preschool.
TIP: Be sure to choose the size that you want when ordering these as they come in a few options and some of the sizes may be too large for babies and toddlers.
Which foods are best to put into a reusable pouch?
Here’s a look at some of the foods we like to serve in a reusable pouch for babies and toddlers.
- Overnight oats (if blended well and smooth)
- Slightly cooled soups
- Chia pudding (if not too thick)
How to Clean a Reusable Pouch
Take the pouch completely apart and use hot soapy water and a bottle brush and/or a straw brush to make sure you get into all of the areas where food may linger. Let dry on the bottle rack.
Tips for Using a Reusable Food Pouch
- Make sure that the food you put into the pouch is totally smooth so a chunk doesn’t get stuck in the spout.
- Let your child have the time to practice using the pouch—it will be a new skill that they need to develop, so don’t get frustrated if they don’t take to it right away.
- Take all of the pieces apart before you start to clean it.
- If using the kind of pouch that seals on the bottom, triple check that it’s totally secure before you hand it over.