If you’ve ever wandered down the baby food aisle at the grocery store, you’ve seen those cute little food pouches with the brightly-colored caps lining the shelves.
Often filled with organic or “better-for-you” ingredients, they’ve garnered a reputation as some of the healthiest baby food options on the market today.
Not only that, but they’re incredibly convenient. Pop off the cap and pop the spout into your baby’s mouth, and they feed themselves from an early age.
So what about parents who make their own food? Or who feel guilty for tossing all that trash into the garbage, meal after meal?
Enter the reusable baby food pouch. All of the convenience, with none of the waste.
Here’s what you need to know to buy the best.
- Environmentally friendly & recyclable
- Comes with an extra lids
- Waterproof and leakproof
- Made of very flexible material
- Can be easily washed
- Multiple sizes
- Include soft spouts
- Free of harmful chemicals
- Free of harmful chemicals
- Larger than other pouches
- Used for multiple ages
- Easy to clean
- No pesky corners to trap food
- Freezer safe
- BPA-, PVC-, phthalate-, and lead-free
- Can be labelled
- 5-ounce capacity
- Can be stored in freezer
What are Reusable Baby Food Pouches?
Reusable baby food pouches are food storage containers that resemble the popular, squishy, single-use baby food pouches with twist-off caps available at most grocery stores. This pouch-style design is a newer innovation, compared to the more traditional glass baby food jars.
Reusable baby food pouches typically have a spout on one end for releasing the food, and a zippered enclosure on the other end for filling the container.
Why Do I Need Reusable Baby Food Pouches?
- They’re convenient: Because of their squeeze-and-suck design, pouches make it easy for babies to self-feed. This makes them ideal for on-the-go situations or when mom just doesn’t have time to sit down and feed the baby.
- They’re economical: Disposable pouches of baby food can cost upwards of $2 each. Glass jars can run around $1. Buy organic, and the prices jump even higher. You can make your own baby food for pennies, spoon it into a reusable baby food pouch, and — voila! — instant savings.
- They’re healthier: When you make baby food at home and serve it in a reusable baby food pouch, you control the quality of ingredients and the sugar content of the final product. You ensure that you’re only giving your baby your best.
- They’re less messy: If a baby is self-feeding, they can pop the spout of the pouch in their mouth and feed themselves with minimal mess. If you’re feeding your baby with a spoon, it’s also less messy to simply squeeze the puree onto the spoon as opposed to dipping it in a jar where the handle may get food on it and make a mess.
- They’re environmentally friendly: One of the major drawbacks of the baby food pouch craze is that they’re not recyclable like the old glass baby food jars (1). Using reusable baby food pouches gives you the feeding convenience of a pouch without all the waste.
How to Choose the Best Baby Food Pouches
- Size: Know the volume your baby eats, and buy a pouch that corresponds or is a little larger. You can always fill it with less food, but if you overfill it and your baby does not eat the whole container, you’ll need to toss out the leftovers, which is wasteful.
- Material: Choose a container made of a material free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates as they’ve been linked to cancer and hormone disruption.
- Easy to Clean: Choose a pouch that’s easy to clean. Rounded corners are less likely to retain small food particles than sharp, square corners.
The Best Reusable Food Pouches of 2020
Life with little ones can be chaotic, to say the least. I’m for anything that helps moms do what they need to with the most ease and convenience, and that’s why I love things like reusable food pouches. The right ones will help you take one more thing off your plate and give you more quality time with your baby.
1. Healthy Planet Clear Reusable Pouches
These pouches are transparent on one side so you can see how much food is left — and verify that it still looks good and fresh when you take it out of the fridge. That can be a great comfort to moms who worry about spoilage.
The bottoms open completely to clean them, and the leak-proof dual zipper helps prevent messes. If you’re like most moms, the last thing you need is another mess on your hands.
They’re both freezer and dishwasher safe, and completely recyclable once your little one doesn’t need them anymore. They also come in two different sizes to make sure you get the perfect capacity to match your little one’s belly.
- Environmentally friendly and recyclable.
- They’re transparent.
- They come with extra lids.
- The lids are not attached so they can get lost.
- The smaller ones will be outgrown quickly.
2. Squeasy Snacker Silicone Food Pouch
This pouch is made of food-grade silicone that fills from a wide-mouth top, so it can even be filled with liquid and not spill. It comes in three different sizes and colors to suit all tastes and appetites, and also has a spill-proof insert for extra protection for liquids.
It can be turned completely inside out for complete washing, and popped in the dishwasher if you’d rather not hand wash.
And because it’s made of silicone, it will last longer than some of the other reusable food pouches. Not having to replace your baby’s food pouch as frequently might make you feel better about the money you’re spending.
- Waterproof and leakproof.
- It’s made of very flexible material.
- It can be easily washed.
- More expensive than other brands.
- You only get one per pack, so you’ll likely have to buy multiples.
3. Squooshi Family Starter Kit
This “family starter kit” includes 6 large pouches and 2 smaller pouches for varied appetites. It also includes 2 soft tops so your little one can self-feed easily without hurting their mouth.
It also includes 12 tops, since you’re bound to have one or two roll under the seat in the car, never to be seen again.
The bottom opens completely for easy filling and cleaning, or it can be tossed into the dishwasher. It’s nice for busy moms to have an easy option when it comes to cleaning. The less time we spend scrubbing and wiping, the more time we can spend with our babies.
The cute designs are adorable to help capture your little one’s attention, and the label on the back ensures you can keep track of when your food was made so you don’t accidentally feed your baby spoiled food.
- There are multiple sizes.
- They include soft spouts.
- Super cute.
- Free of harmful chemicals.
- They don’t stand up on their own.
4. Squooshi Reusable Food Pouch
These food pouches are gender-neutral with a versatile design, so they can be used for either babies or older children, boys or girls. They come in a larger size, 6 ounces, for bigger appetites, and the solid, leak-proof zippered opening on the bottom will help prevent messes.
They’re made without BPA, PVC, lead, or phthalates, and are designed to be rounded so food particles are not trapped in any sharp corners.
This is a great option if you want to use food pouches not just for your baby, but to send things like smoothies in your older child’s lunch box. When you’re a mom, you’re constantly looking for ways to extend the usage of items you’ve paid for.
- They’re free of harmful chemicals.
- A larger size than other pouches.
- They can be used for multiple ages.
- Big for smaller toddlers.
- Some users complained they are hard to clean.
5. WeeSprout Double Zipper Pouch
Food can get stuck inside pouches and be super hard to clean. Not only is this annoying, but it can cause dangerous bacteria to grow. Use these double zippered pouches to ensure your baby gets fresh, safe food every time.
Simply open the extra wide zipper-opening and turn on your faucet. Water flows through the zipper opening and out the spout. With a rounded design, there are no pesky corners to trap food.
Plus, they’re dishwasher safe. The clear areas in the back are also a plus. Not only do you see what’s inside, but you’ll have a better idea if there’s food stuck inside.
They’re a good choice for eco-friendly moms too. All of the packaging and each of the pouches are recyclable. As a mom, you’ll also feel good knowing there won’t be any chemicals in the materials.
Each pack includes six pouches that hold five ounces of baby food.
- Super large opening on the bottom makes it easy to clean.
- Eco-friendly moms will love the green materials.
- There are no pesky corners to trap food.
- They’re a little smaller and won’t hold as much as other pouches.
6. YaYa Double Zipper Leak Proof Pouch
This package gets you 50 — yes, 50 — reusable baby food pouches so you can store your food directly in the pouches for later use, instead of having to transfer it from a storage container. Each has a clearly-marked max fill line and a double zipper on the bottom to prevent leaks and spills.
It cleans easily — water can run straight through — and the corners are rounded to prevent food particles from getting stuck. It’s even dishwasher safe if you’d rather not hand wash your pouches.
There’s a handy peek-a-boo window on the side so you can see how much food is remaining, and an area to label your pouch with your child’s name, food, and date for maximum safety.
- They’re freezer safe.
- BPA-, PVC-, phthalate-, and lead-free.
- You get a large package of pouches.
- You can label them.
- The tops are not attached so they might get lost.
- They only hold 5 ounces or 4 ounces if freezing.
7. ChooMee Reusable Food Pouch
If you’re not sure whether reusable storage pouches are right for you, you don’t want to go “all in” right away. This petite 4-pack gives you the perfect opportunity to try them out and see whether you want to start building a larger collection.
The cute, colorful designs will grab the interest of your little one, and the 5-ounce capacity is a great, versatile size that will work for both younger or older babies.
They can be washed in the top rack of the dishwasher, and tossed in the freezer for longer-term food storage. They also have a peek-a-boo window at the top to see the quality of the food.
If you have a younger baby, you can buy a silicone spout separately to cover the hard spout.
- They’re cute.
- They’re 5 ounces so they hold a good amount of food.
- The bottom opens completely for easy cleaning.
- The silicone spout is sold separately, making it an extra expense.
- There are only four in a package.
At What Age Can Babies Use Them?
You can use food pouches to feed your baby as soon as your pediatrician gives you the go-ahead to feed your baby solid foods, which is usually between 4 to 6 months. However, initially you’ll squirt the food onto a spoon and feed it to them on your own.
Once your baby gets a little older, you’ll be able to simply hand them the open pouch and have them feed themselves.
How Many Reusable Do I Need?
The number of baby food pouches you’ll need will vary based on your frequency of use and how willing you are to wash them regularly.
It will also depend on whether or not you plan to use them for food storage, or simply for eating.
Some mothers like to make a full batch of baby food and fill the pouches directly, tossing them in the freezer and having them readily available at a moment’s notice. Others make and store the baby food, filling the pouches as needed.
The good news is that most reusable baby food pouches come with several in a pack. However, if you plan to use them to store food, you may need to buy extra.
How Do I Clean Them?
While convenient to use, food pouches can be a bit cumbersome to clean. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, but cleaning for most is pretty standard:
- Remove the top/open the spout.
- Open the bottom zipper.
- Wash with warm, soapy water until all residue is removed.
Are There Any Other Considerations?
Though reusable baby food pouches are a convenient option to feed your baby the healthiest food possible, there are a few safety considerations to keep in mind.
- Length of use: Though they’re indeed reusable, they’re not designed for long-term use. So, after several uses you will need to discard them to avoid bacteria growth or product failure and leaks. Be mindful of the manufacturer’s recommended length of use — typically 2 months or 12 uses.
- Safe materials: Because the pouch will come into direct contact with your baby’s food and mouth, it’s important to be aware of the materials from which it was made and avoid products that contain BPA, PVC, or phthalates.
- Overuse: While convenient, over-dependence on food pouches and purees can actually inhibit a child’s development and their ability to self-feed and handle a variety of textures (2). Baby pouches are not inherently harmful, but should be used as part of a varied feeding strategy.
- Choking: Babies should never be given the tops of feeding pouches as they pose a choking hazard.
The Bottom Line
Our top pick is the Healthy Planet Reusable Pouch. They come in two different sizes so you can get the perfect size for your baby’s appetite, are made free of harmful chemicals, and are transparent so you can visibly see the quality and cleanliness of the inside of your pouch.
Plus, they’re recyclable so when you’re done with them you don’t have to feel guilty about tossing them in the trash.
Self-feeding is fun, but it doesn’t have to be messy. And it also doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment. Reusable pouches are great for your little one’s nutrition, good for the environment, and encourage your child’s independence.
Do you use reusable pouches? Which brand is your favorite? Let us know in the comments or share with a fellow mom!