For both Laurel and Violet, I was really into baby food making. I enjoyed the prep process (and Laurel loved helping with the chopping and blending of Violet's food...which no doubt helped make that process happen) and I felt good about being eco-friendly on the packaging front. However, I do find baby food pouches enormously handy on many levels. So, when Target queried about testing their up&up baby food pouches, I thought, "Sure, let me see if Violet digs them" (answer = yes) and I also realized that there are several pros to them; here are six that came to mind:
1. They encourage autonomy. On occasion, Violet asks for us to feed her, but most of the time -- like many toddlers -- she wants to do things all by herself. We support that!
2. They help lessen the mess. Don't get me wrong, every now and then (usually when Vi's not hungry and just wants to play with her food), she'll look at the open squirt hole and squeeeeeze just for the fun of it. But for the most part, Vi knows the benefit of connecting mouth to squirt hole and it's way less messy than putting a spoon and dish of food right in front of her (though we also do that to give her practice...usually at dinnertime so we can get her in the bath afterwards).
3. They free up your hands. Related to #1 above, when your kids can feed themselves you can feed yourself! Take advantage of the dual awesomeness of encouraging autonomy and catching a breather.
4. They travel easily. No need to worry about refrigeration (if not yet opened). Just grab some pouches and go. Pouches are perfect for travel -- I brought a fleet of them with me for our cruise since I wasn't sure what our refrigeration situation would be.
5. Extras need not go to waste. When I discover something that works with Vi's gluten-free diet, I tend to stock up. But it certainly can be the case that a kid tires of a flavor, or isn't into a flavor straight up. In these cases, you have the benefit of instant puree on your hands; perfect for sliding some extra nutrition into baked goods; for example, by subbing some puree in for butter or simply adding a small dose of puree to a forgiving recipe.
6. They're an emergency snack for all ages. I always try to keep squeeze pouches and other snacks in my bag to prevent hunger induced crankiness when I'm out doing errands with the girls. And yes, on occasion I have slurped on Violet's applesauce pouches. Yummy.
Note: There are a lot of different types of baby food pouches out there. The up&up line is an affordable, Target-exclusive brand and though the pouches are not branded organic, the ingredient lists of the pouches Vi has tried (cinnamon applesauce, apple and sweet potato, strawberry applesauce) are pure and simple.
Disclosure: This post was inspired by a sponsored opportunity by Target and my general happiness about the convenience of baby food pouches.