Squooshi. Who knew that one funny little word would change a mom’s life? (Or at least her shopping habits.)
If you’re a mother to little ones, you know that kids adore the “pouches,” those little pockets of applesauce and other ingredients with the twist-off caps. Kids love the pouches and their contents so much, you find yourself having to spell out P-O-U-C-H when you’re around the kids so as not to incite an all-out riot. Children – toddlers in particular – start acting like crazed tweens at a Justin Bieber concert around the fruity pouches of mush.
What’s not to love? Pouches are portable, allow the kids to independently feed themselves, (usually) contain healthy ingredients and taste great. It’s a win for kid and parent alike. But gosh, they can be pricey. Even when you purchase them on sale, the less expensive pouches can cost around 75 cents each. Feed your kid one each day, and it really adds up. And what if you’re feeding multiple children? Yowza.
So one day during our playgroup, the other mamas and I chatted about how we could make our own refillable pouches. It seemed to be a daunting task, and the best ideas we came up with included pastry bags and duct tape. Hmm. A little bit of internet research revealed that many enterprising mamas who came before us had the very same ideas and had already created such pouches.
I ordered one brand first and enjoyed the pouch, but after just a couple of months, the zipper holding the two sides of the pouch together separated from the plastic. But the Squooshi brand pouches seemed to hold their own for a much longer period of time. Squooshi pouches are just right, not too thick or too thin, so little hands can easily squeeze/roll them and mom doesn’t have to worry about the pouch getting punctured easily. (But it would behoove parents to remind the kids to squeeze the pouch ‘only when it’s IN your mouth!’ I’ve learned the hard/messy way.)
Squooshis come in two sizes – 2.5 oz and 4.5 oz – for different kids’ appetites. Kids are also drawn to the cute designs – a walrus, panda, bird and lion adorn the pouches. Other features that make Squooshis family friendly:
- Freezable! Though the refillable pouches aren’t shelf-stable (a small minus), freezing them allows you to put them in the lunch bag to gradually defrost, acting as a little ice pack. If it’s not defrosted by the time the kiddo is ready to eat, put it under cool running water to more quickly defrost.
- Dishwasher safe and easy to wash by hand.
- Free of BPA, Phtalates, PVC and Lead.
- Caps. One or two of my Squooshi caps failed (I think I screwed them on too tight), but I found that caps from most disposable pouches fit the Squooshis, too.
But are they really affordable? Let’s do some quick math: $18.49 + free shipping = $4.60 per pouch (or $5.86/pouch if you pay for first-class mail). Then let’s say you fill each pouch with your favorite yogurt, just to keep it simple. Ours costs $2.99/32 oz. That’s about 10 cents per ounce, costing 25 or 45 cents per pouch, depending on the size you use.
Seeing as I’m a writer and not a math whiz, I can’t tell ya *exactly* how long it takes for the pouches to pay for themselves, but let’s do a little more math. If I fill the large pouch 10 times with yogurt, the grand total is $9.10/10 pouches and contents. Let’s say I buy 10 large yogurt-based pouches at the store for $1.25 *on sale*. That costs around $12.50/10 pouches and contents.
I’ve refilled my Squooshis more than 10 times. Plus, I know exactly what I’m putting into the kid’s pouch, and I’m able to use all kinds of ingredients, depending on his preferences. PLUS, I’m not throwing used pouches into the garbage (the county I live in doesn’t allow you to recycle them).
My favorite Squooshi item is the four-pack that contains two of each size. I’ve owned them for 5+ months, and they’re still going strong.
So what do I put in my kid’s Squooshis?
Lately, I make Green Monster Awesomesauce!
In the blender, mix yogurt, frozen strawberries, frozen or canned pineapple, frozen mango, a handful of fresh spinach leaves and a couple of cubes of frozen coconut milk. You’ll need to add a little water or juice as you blend to get the ingredients to come together into a smoothie, but keep the consistency thick. Spoon the mixture into the pouches, seal and freeze. BONUS: If you fill the blender, there’s usually enough Awesomesauce leftover for mom and dad to partake in the smoothie goodness.
If you order before April 1, 2013, you can use this coupon code from Squooshi: AHHHSPRING.
DISCLOSURE: I was not compensated by Squooshi in any way for this post. I just love the product and want other families to enjoy them, too!
Do you use refillable pouches? What’s your favorite brand? And your kids’ favorite pouch filling?