Now that Erin is weaning I quickly realised how awkward it could be to feed her while we’re out and about. Having to mix up baby rice/ add in little pots of purees was annoying as hell and I really couldn’t be bothered with it. However, I also didn’t want to spend the money on pre-made pouches every time we went out. I had seen a few different companies offering a way to make your own pouches at home and I finally decided to buy from Fill n Squeeze.
Fill n Squeeze products are available direct from their website, Amazon and catalogues such as Very/ Littlewoods. I got my Fill n Squeeze starter pack from Very for £17.99 where it had a bit of money off the regular £19.99. Amazon also sell this set for £19.99.
The starter set consists of a pouch filler, masher and cover, cap and 5 reusable pouches and it all comes in a box. The box has instructions for how to use the product but there is no instruction booklet which is a bit of a shame. Luckily, this is something that is easy enough to use.
Before you begin doing anything I’ll explain a bit about the pouch filler. This is really just a plastic container but it has a little spout at the bottom which is where the pouches attach to. Before you start making up any pouches you should either have the yellow stop cap inserted into the spout or have a pouch attached so that food doesn’t spill out! The pouch filler is made from a clear plastic see you can see whatever you put in it and it also has measurements on the outside so you can also see how much food you’re making. The measurements are 125, 250, 375 and 500ml.
To start with you need to have prepared some food to fill the pouches with. This can either be already pureed/ mashed food or it can be freshly cooked and ready to blend. If you have already made the puree then add this straight into the pouch filler. If you are using cooked food then pop it into the pouch filler and blend in there or mash up using the provided plastic masher. Now you’re ready to fill a pouch.
The pouches have screw top caps and once you have removed this you can pop it on to the little spout. The pouch stays attached firmly so while filling it you don’t need to worry about it popping off. At this point you need to attach the masher cover to be able to fill a pouch. The cover is made from a soft silicone and is really easy to get on and off. Once this is on you then put the masher in the container at an angle and push down slowly, evening out the masher as you go. As you push down the pouch will fill up with food.
Unfortunately mashed food does not seem to work very well and I have had problems with food that isn’t really smooth. The spout on the pouch filler is really quite small (a bit smaller than the top of a pouch). If you have something lumpy that gets stuck in the spout then the pouch cannot be filled properly. I have had to unblock the spout quite a few times which is annoying.
The pouches themselves are fantastic! Each pouch is the same and I like this. The pouches are mostly blue (the sky) with some green at the bottom (the grass) and there is also a picture of a really cute monkey juggling fruit and veg on the front which makes them very gender neutral. The sides of the pouch are clear and have measurements so you know how full the pouch is/ how much food is left in there. I think this is fantastic because a lot of parents measure out their portions (I don’t) so it’s a really helpful feature. The measurements are on the back and front of the pouch so you can always see them.
The back of the pouch has a space to write the contents and date made at the top. While this is a really good idea, it doesn’t work very well in reality. In order to keep the writing on the pouch you’d either need to write it on in Biro or permanent marker which is just not useful for reusing these. You’d have to use the same pouches for the same food all of the time. The other option is a whiteboard marker. This works for storing pouches in the fridge but once you take them out and about or put them in a bag etc. the pen wipes off. Not good if you have more than 1 pouch with a similar coloured food. You could put a sticker on the pouch I guess but then you have problems when it comes to washing them. I haven’t figured out what is best yet. The back of the pouch also has instructions for heating, defrosting etc.
These pouches are reusable, freezable and can be microwaved so really, they’re perfect. The food inside can also be heated by putting it in a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes. Each pouch can either be washed by hand or can be put in the dishwasher. I find washing them by hand a bit better because then you can see that they are actually clean, especially in the corners. If you get bits of food stuck then it’s easily cleared by putting the pouch up to a running tap and swishing the water about a bit. I find that the pouches clean quite easily apart from if you’re using food like carrots or tomato then they can stain. Fill n Squeeze sell something for getting rid of stains but I don’t have it.
I absolutely love my Fill n Squeeze set and it’s made feeding Erin on the go so much easier. I can have different foods already mixed together in a pouch and I can control the portion size. I can quite easily give Erin more food if needed without having to make up a whole new batch or carry around extra pots of food. The screw caps stay on really well and are easy enough to get off when you’re ready to use the contents of the pouch. I find these pouches so easy to carry around with me because I know they’re not going to spill or leak and I did have this worry when I was carrying tubs of food around.
At £17.99 this is a good starter set but 5 pouches will not do and you won’t get much done in advance. I have also bought an extra pack of 40 pouches so that I can batch cook and freeze them so I always have a variety of meals to hand! I cannot recommend this product highly enough and it’s made our lives so much easier and less stressful.