Before I had a kid, I’m pretty sure I did a little bit of judging about pouches. Why weren’t these parents making their babies home-cooked meals? Was it really so hard to chop and steam and blend and freeze in individual ice cubes? Why were these children not feeding themselves? Did these parents not care about their children at all?!
Turns out pouches (packets, squeezies, however you call them) are really convenient.
- they often have a variety of foods, including vegetables, many of which you’re probably not preparing for your toddler at home
- when you’re just starting puree, you can experiment with flavors and foods without making a huge quantiy. If your kid likes something, you can always make it yourself at home.
- shelf stable, backpack stable, car footwell stable. It’s really nice to have backup food, or food to take out with you to restaurants. Once they’re open they can be refrigerated for 1-2 days, but sealed, they’re good for a long time. While you can make home-made pouches (and I did, for food to send to daycare), they’re not shelf stable.
- finely blended for those using baby food for tube feeding, and again, shelf stable
- can be really expensive — I have Amazon links below in the table (just click on the flavor), but it’s worth watching for 20-35% off coupons, which are stacked with the 20% off you get with Subscribe & Save. I try not to pay more than $1.25 per pouch and can frequently get down closer to $1.
- often low-calorie and very often are low-protein
- my kid would eat basically anything, but would not not not eat any of the animal protein pouches, so the high protein links below use plant protein, not chicken or salmon or whatever else they blended up at the pouch factory. YMMV.
- wasteful — I can’t fix this one, but we save the caps for games (sorting games, fine motor games) and crafts, and the pouch itself can be recycled.
- can potentially make a big mess when your kid is pre-competent at carefully holding edges and not spurting it all over. There are a couple accessories that can reduce this risk, like Pouch Pals (pictured) or Easy Pouch.
So, I’ve rounded up a collection of high calorie, high calorie pouches. I’ll add to this table as I find more high density pouches. By and large the most cost-effective option is to get them at sale at your grocery store, or with Amazon Subscribe & Save. You’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member to do Subscribe & Save, so if you’re not already a member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.