It's really important to both my husband and I that we give our daughter the best start in life, as well as continuing to provide her with nutritious food. We both feel strongly about knowing what goes into her food, and consequently into her little body. Being so young we don't believe that she needs artificial sugars, chemical filled snacks and other random ingredients that we either cannot pronounce, or actually have no idea what it is. So naturally, making our own baby food was something that we were very passionate about. For a while now I have been looking forward to the time that I would get to make my own healthy food for my little ones. I stumbled across these particular products via the Baby and Toddler Town website (as they had the cheapest prices at the time) and thought I would give them a go. I initially got the plain pack of 20 'reusable on the go baby food pouches', the 'reusable freeze and squeeze ice pop pouches', as well as the 'food pouch soft spout' so bub can suck the food out comfortably. I then later got the special edition 'neon melon and hot pineapple' pouches because.. well they were cute! I recently also got this little grass drying rack online which is perfect for drying the pouches, as well as my reusable breast milk storage bags too. I'll pop links to the website's below so they are easy to find if anyone wishes to check them out.
The pouches are super easy to use! We started using them when Aria started purees. Everything you make for your bub at this stage will fit through the pouch spout, as it's the perfect consistency. You simply cook up whatever you want in the meal or snack, pop it in the food processor and blitz it to a puree consistency (or mash it good to make it a tiny bit lumpy), and then spoon it into the pouches. The options are endless really.. You can create savoury meals, sweet ones or even snacks like yoghurt and fruit. Fill it as much, or as little as you want, but always try to get the remaining air out before sealing it (especially if freezing!). I use the pouches for fresh stuff that I store in the fridge and also during baby meal prep and pop them in the freezer if I'm making food to last a few weeks. To defrost I either just get a pouch out and pop into the fridge the day or night before I need it, or defrost in the same way that I would frozen breast milk by popping it into a sink full of hot water.
I've found the pouches perfect for travelling too, especially when we went on our first big overseas trip to Bali last month. I made up a bunch of meals in the pouches just before we left and froze them. I then packed them into an esky bag with ice bricks, double bagged this in a garbage bag (just in case any condensation came through the esky bag) and then popped the esky bag into our suitcase, which went under the plane. Too easy! We grabbed one as we needed one for an easy meal on the go. This made our first holiday with a baby particularly easy, because I could plan ahead and prepare pretty much everything Aria ate, rather than having to worry about what we would feed her and where we would get the ingredients from. Especially somewhere like Bali where we wanted to make sure Aria only consumed exactly what we made for her, to reduce any risk of food or water contamination. “Bali Belly” and other gastro related issues, as well as other illnesses such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid are so easy to contract by consuming food that has been washed in contaminated water, and it wasn't a risk we were willing to take. Some of these illnesses have vaccines but since Aria is under 2 years of age they were not available to her. I hoped that the fact that I was vaccinated and breastfeeding would offer some immunity to her anyway, and we both started taking PONO Probiotics before we left for some extra gut protection, I also made some meals in little plastic containers that we took to Bali so that she had food that she could eat with her hands, rather than just from pouches. Aria loves feeding herself and letting her explore food and do this is really important to me. The baby meal prep I did before we left enabled us to have a really easy stress free holiday, knowing that we had all the meals for her already prepared. In Bali we did give her little fresh bananas as they are safe inside their peel, as well as some toast for some breakfasts, but otherwise her snacks and meals came from home. We did also take some store bought pouches with us as back up, should something have happened to my homemade pouches. I researched and found a brand that I thought was the best available and we popped some in our bag. I can also do a little blog post about her food if anyone is interested - just let me know.
So yes.. We love the pouches! We can make whatever we like, pop it into them and grab them for an easy on the go meal. Anything that can make our busy lives more manageable is fantastic, and a huge bonus for me is that I get to choose whatever is inside them. No added sugar, no artificial crap and no nasties. At the moment I have some sitting in the fridge that I have filled with full fat greek yoghurt and some pureed fresh mango. Afternoon tea sorted! She loves holding onto them and being able to squeeze the food out herself. The little spouts you attach to the end of the pouch and it allows them to suck through a soft nozzle to get the food out, rather than put their mouth straight on the opening which is quite hard and would be awkward to eat through. A couple of weeks ago I purchased this little grass drying rack, after waiting and waiting for days for my little pouches to properly dry out after a good wash. Best idea! You can get them in most baby stores I think but I got mine off Ebay. You can also dry other things like bottles on it too, and I also use it for my breastmilk storage bags now that I am back to work and Aria is regularly having expressed breast milk. I also use the same brand's 'ThermoSensor reusable breast milk storage bags'. I love that they are reusable because it's better for the environment, but also who wants to keep spending oodles and oodles of money on storage bags.. not me! Especially if you are back at work or have other commitments that results in you having to regularly pump and store breast milk. I haven’t actually used our ice pop products yet, but I snapped them up when they were on sale and I am looking forward to creating some tasty treats. Think – healthy zooper doper :) These handy little pouches can be used for literally anything, provided it is the right consistency. If you are travelling you could even use them for things like shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser or sun cream. Handy little things!
On a sidenote I just wanted to mention that this blog post is a honest post about a product that I found and I love, simply because I love sharing something that works for us, with others. It's not sponsored, paid or been gifted to me. I purchased them myself and have been using them for months, before deciding to share them. I did contact Cherub Baby via their instagram last week to let them know that I was in the process of writing a little blog piece which features their product, and gave them the link to my blog to have a look. They have offered a discount code to my followers for a massive 25% off products on their website. So if you'd love to test them out too, use the code CBBY25OFF to score a bargain.
I pictured this little section of my blog being a place I can share things I love for myself, my daughter and my little family. I'm glad to finally get it going. Hopefully you can enjoy it too - feedback is welcome :) And as always, ask away if you have any questions.