Biggest Baby + Toddler Mom Hack
The baby product I’ve purchased the most
We’ve bought over 500 of these.
The one thing I won’t leave the house without.
My biggest tip for traveling with a toddler
Whether it’s staving off a melt down while we’re out and about, keeping me from worrying about toddler nutrition when we’re traveling abroad, or just making meal time at home a little bit easier, these pouches have been our go-to for the last year and a half.
Recently we tried Gerber® Smart Flow™ pouches (picked them up at Kroger in the baby aisle) that feature a new spout. By this point, Lincoln is a pro at eating pouches on his own with no mess so I haven’t noticed a difference with him but they are easier for me to use when spoon feeding them to Adelaide (less comes out at once and there’s less mess overall).
We introduce pouches at about 6 or 7 months and I usually start with the vegetable ones and move gradually into ones with fruit. Now that I’m certain Adelaide will still eat the vegetable ones, I’ve been giving her a variety of fruit pouches so she is introduced to the different flavors (SO much more convenient than buying a million different kinds of fruit and trying to serve them to her).
Times I pull out a pouch:
While I’m preparing a meal:
One baby is often hungry before our meal is ready and I almost always use a pouch to tie them over. Whether it’s a pouch while I scramble eggs for breakfast or a pouch while the pasta finishes cooking on the stove, I like to think of it as their first course. It is such a relief to know I can finish cooking without babies crying at my feet!
Adelaide can’t feed herself the pouch yet but if she’s the one who’s hungry I’ll just spoon feed her the contents in her high chair while I finish up cooking. If the pouch is just holding her over ’till dinner and not a big part of her meal, I’ll just put the cap on and put it back in the fridge to finish the next morning.
While we’re waiting for food at a restaurant.
The first few times we ate out with Lincoln he filled up on bread before anything else arrived and had a few very unbalanced meals. I started packing one or two different pouches for whenever we’re dining out and he’ll eat them while we wait for our food (if we aren’t using our favorite tip for eating out with toddlers). I feel so much better about being more lenient with what he eats at the restaurant because I know he’s at least gotten some fruits and veggies in.
While grocery shopping
Usually my kids are pretty good in the grocery store but if I’ve let it get too close to meal time then it’s really hard for them to see all the food and not be able to eat anything. The worst is when we get to the baby aisle and they can tell I’m buying all the food that they like to eat. On a few occasions I’ve whipped out a pouch from my purse to hold them over ’till we get home and can eat lunch.
*Adelaide can’t hold these by herself yet so I’ve only done this with Lincoln. It’s so much easier than handing him something like crackers that I have to hand over one at a time.
On long car rides
Healthy eating ofter goes out the window on road trips so I love that pouches get fruits and veggies in without the prep work or mess. I’ll let Lincoln eat one from his carseat and with Adelaide I’ll feed her one at the rest stop.
When I feel a melt down coming on
Whether it’s at someone else’s house, while we’re running errands, or just at home in the afternoon, a small stack can almost always stave off a melt down.
When we’re traveling
When we spent three weeks in Europe with 14 month old Lincoln last spring I packed three of these for each day. It relieved all the pressure of trying to find things on a foreign menu that he’d eat and worrying that he’d have something healthy in his little body.
When I need a side dish
I also use these as regular parts of our meal, especially when the fruit or vegetable the adults are eating can’t easily be chewed by small mouths. For example, Adelaide might be able to eat some pieces of whole grain pasta but not chew any of the broccoli or cucumbers so I’ll feed her a pouch along with the meal.
When I need to keep a baby quiet
Whenever we’re sitting somewhere and I need an antsy baby or toddler to be still and quiet for a few extra moments I’ll pull out a pouch (I don’t do this ’till they’re at the stage where they can eat it themselves). Usually I find myself reaching for one each Sunday when Lincoln starts getting a bit anxious in our little pew. I often have other snacks but the perk of the pouch is it is much quieter than munching on a loud cracker (although we often move onto crackers next 😉
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This post has been created in partnership with Gerber. And my love for pouches is all my own (well, mine and my babies 😉 )