I'll admit it: As much as I do care about minding what my kids eat and being eco-friendly, I made baby food exactly one time, and it was a fail. I didn't realize you were supposed to cook the carrots before puréeing them — no wonder my daughter rejected my attempt at baby food.
After that moment, I embraced my #mamatried attitude and happily bought baby food in packets and pouches until my kids grew out of them. (Well, almost grew out of them. See: 10 Toddler Foods My 5-Year-Old Is Still Happy to Eat.)
So when I learned about refillable pouches for toddlers, I was interested to see what my friends who actually made their own food thought. Of the moms I surveyed, most either hadn't heard of them or had never considered them, but a few had deeper thoughts. Here, three of my mom friends weigh in on the refillable pouches.
1. Totally worth it!
"I love these! I use the Healthy Planet Solutions pouches. They are great, as I make most of my own food. They are also good for smoothies, yogurt, and soup. If my son won't eat much of his dinner, I usually just blend it and put it in a pouch and down it goes! I put them in my backpack and haven't ever actually thought about them bursting. They seem pretty strong. I wash them by hand and in the dishwasher. I make food in bulk and freeze stuff too, then I just take out a bag and it's defrosted by the time he needs a snack. They are great when we are out, as it's less mess that using a spoon. They're also good for storing pesto and things like that. I highly recommend them!" — Becky, mom of one in Whistler, BC
Buy: Healthy Planet Solutions Pouch, $14 for six
2. They have a time and place!
"I used refillable pouches (my favorites were Little Green Pouch) when my daughter was first in daycare. I made all my own purées and loved that the bags were reusable and freezable. Plus, they were lower-cost, as I was making the food from scratch. I threw them in the dishwasher, even though they probably aren't supposed to go in there, and then they needed a little extra hand-washing to get clean. As my daughter got older, we stopped using them. She has feeding difficulties and is not able to suck out of the tube, so once we needed bigger quantities it made more sense to use solid containers to spoon-feed her. I would have used them more if they were easier for snack purposes. Plus, I was always a little concerned that they might burst in a full backpack." — Abi, mom of one in Raleigh, NC
Buy: Little Green Pouch, $25 for four
3. Totally not worth it!
"I've thought about doing the reusable pouches many times, but I just can't deal with it all. The cleaning, filling, and making food — no way! I'll pay $2 per already-made pouch for my sanity. I made the food when my son was in the baby food stage, but I just put stuff in the glass OXO Tot containers. The pouches seemed weird then to me. And even though they're BPA-free, they're still a type of plastic. Not that I care so much about that but it is another concern. The refillable pouches seemed like more of a headache and something I would use for a limited time. But I still use the mini glass containers!" —Dwyer, mom of one in Brooklyn, NY
Buy: OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks Food Storage Containers, $20 for four
What do you think? Have you tried them?