Baby Food On the Go
- What: Baby food pouches
- When: Ages four months and up
- Why: Easy to pack, LONG expiration date
- Where: Amazon or almost any store
When we had our first child, baby food came only in jars. Since we made our own baby food, that didn’t affect us dramatically – until we traveled. We left the country to attend a wedding when he was seven months old. If our destination had been known for safe food handling practices, I might’ve winged it.
Instead, I packed a bunch of heavy baby food jars in flavors he’d never had before that weren’t necessarily age appropriate according to Super Baby Foods. For one week, nothing worse than a big mess happened. (He kicked a baby food jar while I was feeding him in a stroller. Orange goop went everywhere.).
But now baby food comes in a collapsible plastic pouch with a resealable lid. Every company and even a few new ones offers baby food in this convenient to-go container.
Your baby can suck directly from the pouch or you can squeeze food out onto a spoon. I recommend the former for older babies and the latter for younger ones. (If you give a six month old a pouch, they inevitably squeeze it when their mouth isn’t on the spout. I have the car ceiling decorations to prove it.)
Options range from organic to super foods, with tons of flavors and combinations. I haven’t found one brand significantly better than another. I usually buy based on two factors: what’s cheapest and which packaging my kids prefer.
That’s right. All three of my kids, now ages two, four and six years old, still love pouches. They would eat several a day if I let them. I had them limited to one per day and had to cut that off. They don’t cost much individually, but three a day adds up pretty fast, especially when your kids don’t need mushed up food and can wait the five minutes between school and home to snack.
You can get a single pouch for about $1.50 in our part of the country. Anything less than that, and you should buy as much as you can store. Buying in bulk on Amazon can get you packs of 16 or 18 for around $1.25 each. Look closely at the label because the number of ounces or grams varies slightly from company to company, and that can affect the price as well.
On the plus side, pouches generally have more vegetables than my kids otherwise choose for snack foods. They have tons of fruit, too, but eating those rarely presents a problem at my house. It’s easier to fit in more variety with pouches, though, rather than sticking with our usual berry and apple rut.
Pouches beat the pants off hauling around glass jars in your diaper bag for meals out before your baby can eat off a kids’ menu. You can store a stash of baby food pouches and easily toss one into your bag, or even leave one there indefinitely if you’re feeling adventurous. I kept a bag full in my car and fed it to my kids on the very short commute between school and home. Baby food pouches last much longer than regular fruit or vegetables and don’t suffer noticeably from the hot and cold extremes. Once you open one, you have 24 hours to consume it or toss it.
My only complaint? The trash. I’d like to have a baby food pouch that’s either recyclable or biodegradable. Other than the trash generated by the extra packaging, I love the convenience of baby food pouches. Obviously I’m not alone because any store I walk into has a huge selection.