Spouted pouch snacks are all the rage these days, with their "no mess" factor, convenient size and oodles of available flavour combos. Parents are snapping 'em up like hotcakes, kiddos love 'em and new brands continue to jump on board with their own offerings. The downside is they can be quite pricey (especially organic variants) and their disposable nature results in significant waste. What if there was a way to enjoy the benefits of this snack format without breaking the bank nor adding to our landfills? Well I'm happy to let you know there is, thanks to a mompreneur named Michelle Zacharias and her her nifty and whimsically-named Squishy Snak Pak!
- Snack container you can fill it from the bottom, squish it out the top
- Our product is made from BPA-free materials and features a choke proof cap along with a heavy duty zip closure. Fill it up with any creation your little one loves.
- Wash it and reuse it over and over again
- The clear window on the back allows you to see the contents
- Holds 1/2 cup of your creations
- Ideal for use on the go
- Fun for at home snacks
- Great freezer storage for portioned baby purees
Michelle sent me a 2-pack of Squishy Snak Paks to review. All packs currently come in the same bright & colourful, gender-neutral design.
Right away I noted how thin and light-weight the packs are. I'd guess a similar amount of material goes into the creation of a Squishy Snak Pak as a disposable variant, but these, of course, can be reused! The lids are, indeed, pretty large and would be difficult to choke on, however they don't pass the "toilet paper tube test" so technically there'd still be a small risk. As such, they should be kept away from young'uns inclined to put things in their mouths.
To get started, you first need to cut/tear off the excess material at the bottom below the zip closure. This wasn't specified anywhere directly but it was pretty obvious from the pack's construction. (See above photo - note the little holes on each one near the bottom.)
I got to work quickly making a pureed apple, carrot and cinnamon blend for my 2 1/2 year old daughter S.
Next, I rinsed and filled one of the two packs. I used a large spoon which was pretty easy & effective, though a little did get on the outside which I rinsed off afterwards. Pouring directly into the pack or using a funnel would probably work for a thinner puree.
There's a fill line on the pack, but I wasn't able to add puree all the way up to this line as it would start squishing out when I closed the zip. I think the issue with a fill line on a container like this is that the capacity is variable depending on how wide you open the mouth. So I found it easiest just to eyeball it.
The zip mechanism secures easily and results in a strong and leak-proof closure which would be difficult for little hands to rip apart. The window at the back is useful as it allows storing a few kinds at once and knowing which one you're taking out each time without having to unscrew the caps. It also helps show how much is left when a snack is in progress.
The spout is a perfect size for dishing out the pack's contents.
I tried out the first pack myself (delish!!) and then filled up the other one and gave it to my daughter. She's had pouch snacks before so knew exactly what to do with it!
Here's a video of her first Squishy Snak Pak experience. As you can see, she was pretty self-sufficient though I did remove the lid myself and helped her squish the last few mouthfuls of puree from the bottom.
The next time I handed her a pack, she got a little too excited and gave it a good squish before bringing it to her mouth. Needless to say, this was a bit messy! So it's a good idea to remind younger ones in which order operations should occur. :)
In terms of clean-up, these puppies are easy peasy. If you wash them immediately after usage, a simple rinse gets the job done. If a used pack sits for awhile, I just soak for a few minutes in soapy water to loosen the grime and then wipe and rinse. Michelle confirmed that the packs are dishwasher-safe; I haven't washed them this way yet but will do so periodically to give 'em a really deep clean.
Longevity-wise, Michelle mentioned she's used and washed her own packs over 100 times and they're still going strong. They're made of a nylon/poly blend free of BPA and other toxic materials, so she has no concerns of them leaching over time.
Finally, a peek into cost savings vs. pre-made/disposable pouch snacks. The puree I made from two apples and 4 carrots (all organic) cost just under $3.00 and made six full packs. This is about half the cost of pre-made. If I went with non-organic, I probably could have made the same amount for $1.50 or less. Of course, there's the time factor of making purees, filling the packs and clean-up. As such, when time is short a pack could be filled with store-bought foods such as yogurt or jarred applesauce and this would still result in significant savings.
As for areas of improvement, the main one I can think of is that the packs don't stand up on their own like many disposable versions do. Not an issue for our little monkey since she gulps each one down without taking a breath, but I can see this as a desirable feature for slower eaters. Second, from an aesthetic standpoint it would be nice to see a variety of styles in the future. In terms of the website, an FAQ section (or more comprehensive product info page) would be helpful clarifying details on the packs such as whether they're dishwasher safe, specific materials they're made out of, etc.
Overall, I'm a big fan of the Squishy Snak Pak; it functions very similar to pre-made snack pouches but at a lower cost and without all that waste. Plus, there are practically unlimited options for healthy & tasty "squishables" to put inside! You just need a few extra minutes here and there and a dash of creativity. As for our daughter? She's hooked! Whenever we tell her she's getting a Squishy Snak Pak for dessert, her face lights up and she giggles excitedly. Definitely 10/10 on the "fun to eat" scale!
Squishy Snak Paks can be ordered directly from the website or via numerous online and "brick and mortar" shops. A store locator tool is currently under development.
One lucky Manager to Mom reader will win two Squishy Snak Paks of their own! Open to CAN/US.
To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow all instructions within each entry option to ensure your entries are valid.
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Disclosure: The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Squishy Snak Pak. I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample items free of charge. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.