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 an easy way to make homemade baby food pouches you can buy at the store, which can save money and give you total freedom over the foods you put inside them.
They’re typically made from silicone or BPA-free plastic. And they make it easier for little kids to drink smoothies and to eat foods that are otherwise tricky to self-feed with a spoon from a young age.
TIP: These work well with any puree, applesauce or yogurt type of texture. Or try my 10 No-Cook Baby Foods.
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 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. I love to combine purees, pouches, and baby led weaning style foods when feeding kids.
We started using these around 7 months as an option to have in the mix at mealtimes.
TIP: Try my top Baby Food Combinations in your pouch!
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 my kids and find them to be one of our most beloved items of feeding gear. We use them at home and to pack smoothies, applesauce, and yogurt for daycare and school.
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.)
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.
We’ve steadily used our three for the past 5 years and have seen no signs of wear or tear. These are my top pick since the kids can’t deliberately (or accidentally) 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.
These Weesprout 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 since you can make a batch of food in bulk and freeze them for future use.
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. I prefer to start with the smaller 3.4 ounce size.
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.
There’s no one right serving size for every child, so start with a smaller amount and offer more as indicated by baby. When they turn their head or close their mouth, end the meal—it’s usually pretty obvious when they want to be done!
With just a few basic ingredients and fresh apples, your crock pot can do the rest of the work of making applesauce!
Made with a base of just two ingredients, this Apple Yogurt takes just seconds to make—and is a delicious breakfast or snack option.
This recipe make enough for 2-4 servings of yogurt, depending on the appetite of your child. See the Notes at the bottom for storage tips if you have leftovers. You can also cut the recipe in half to make a smaller amount.
You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, freeze-dried strawberries or strawberry puree. This is an easy way to make flavored yogurt at home for breakfast or snack.
Learn to customize yummy smoothies for your toddler by starting with one simple recipe, then adjusting based on which fruit and veggies you’d like to use.
You can easily double (or triple!) the recipe to make more servings. It uses a 1 to 1 ratio of yogurt to applesauce so you can easily scale it up. Mix these up the night before you plan to serve them.
I like to use canned full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and creamy texture, though you can use “light” coconut milk if that’s what you can find at your store.
The amount of ingredients you use will depend on the size of your pouch, which usually ranges from 3-7 ounces. Nutrition will vary based on the ingredients you use.
For a 6 month old baby, 1-2 tablespoons baby food may be plenty for a single serving. For a 9 month old baby, they might want ¼ cup or more. Adjust the servings based on your child’s hunger, using a roughly one to one ratio of the purees in each combination. Nutrition will vary according to the combinations you use.
You’ll choose ONE ingredient to blend up—a fruit, a veggie, or beans. See the list below. You can make enough for a few days or make a double batch to freeze more baby food for future weeks. The nutrition information will vary based on which ingredients you use.
Best Recipes for Homemade Pouches
Making homemade baby food pouches can be no muss, no fuss, and super yummy with these 15 easy recipe ideas. These are a great way to save money, share lots of flavors with babies and toddlers, and have convenient foods ready to go!
TIP: Find my 15 best homemade pouch recipes here.
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.
Best Tips for Success
- 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.
- You may also like Favorite Kids Plates, Best Utensils for Kids, Favorite Suction Bowl, Best Sippy Cups, and Ultimate Guide to Baby Led Weaning.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on using reusable pouches and do let me know if I missed your favorite!
This post was first published May 2019.