I have to say, I LOVE baby food pouches. They are so quick and easy - especially on the go. They also keep Asher from getting food EVERYWHERE - meaning I have A LOT less laundry to do each week...which always makes me a happy momma. Now that Asher eats mostly finger foods, he has decided he will NOT eat green vegetables. So food pouches are also a great way to sneak in some spinach, kale, green beans, etc. BUT...they are quite expensive, and (even worse) they are not recyclable like glass jars. Thanks to some recent advice from a church friend, I've found an incredible solution for reusable and affordable pouches!
Here's what you will need:
1. Soft plastic pouch. This is key! Pouches made from harder plastic are more difficult to empty. I bought Hydrapak Softflasks. These have a removable bite valve that helps keep older babies from squeezing food out onto the floor (and everywhere else!). For younger babies, removing the valve makes it work like a regular disposable pouch.
2. Fruits and veggies to puree
3. Steaming basket
4. Food processor or food mill
5. Ice trays
6. Gallon freezer bags
First, you will need to make your baby food puree. There are some great recipes at this website: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/
Here are two spinach recipes I like:
Basically, you will cook or steam your fruits/veggies and then puree in the food processor or food mill.
When the food is ready, you can fill up your softflask (to be used within 24 hours) using a small funnel or piping bag (I made a "piping bag" out of a small ziplock by cutting a hole in one of the corners).
Next, put the extra puree in ice cube trays - a piping bag makes this step much easier/cleaner. Once the puree is frozen, you can put the cubes in labeled freezer bags and store for future use.
And VOILA! Reusable baby food pouches!!!
I'm SO glad I figured this out with the FIRST baby before spending $$$ on prepackaged food!
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful!
***UPDATE: Since I wrote this blog post, there have been a ton of products come on the market that are specifically designed for this purpose. Many of these products look like a good alternative to the softflask that I have used. I hope to try some with my next baby. Here are a few that I think look the most promising: