As you may know, I have big concerns about the amount of waste disposable baby food squeezie pouches create. I’m also concerned about the added sugar in most brand’s “healthy” purees and smoothies, along with food recalls that make your stomach churn. I spent a great deal of time researching my post about the True Cost of Baby Food Pouches, and as part of my research contacted many manufacturers of the reusable alternative in the hopes they might have some statistics about their disposable competition.
One of the companies I heard back from was Australia-based Little Mashies, run by single Momtrepreneur and former model, Talisha. She offered to send me some Little Mashies to try with Cub, and I agreed to work on a review separate from my exposé, which was not sponsored by any reusable pouch brand.
Cub was never a big fan of the disposable pouches when I tried them, so I wasn’t sure if he’d even eat out of his Little Mashies. I struggle a great deal to feed Cub wholesome food: while he eats full and balanced meals with gusto at day care, at home I am lucky if he’ll eat a bit of plain pasta! One thing he does love is fruit sauce (in our house we use the French word—compote—which out of his mouth sounds more like pot). With our day care closed for a 4-week vacation, I’ve been even more concerned about his nutrition than usual, since I can’t even count on the healthy snacks and lunches he eats when he’s there!
The first time we tried our Little Mashies pouch, it was just plain old (store-bought) applesauce, which I daringly served him on our white couch. (I would not have served him anything blueberry or strawberry based on our first try!)
It was the healthiest thing he ate all day, and also the thing he ate with the most enthusiasm. I think the timing was right for reintroducing the squeezie pouch (the few times I’d tried them when he was younger, he was more interested in squeezing the contents all over the place).
Once I had established that Cub did, in fact, eat from his Little Mashies, it was time to decide if I was a fan of their design.
How Little Mashies Work
To fill a Little Mashies, you open the ziplock bottom nice and wide and spoon or pour your food in. Yes, I said ziplock. “There’s no way the ziplock is going to withstand all the squishing,” I thought. Well, our Little Mashies have yet to burst at the seams: it’s some darn sturdy ziplock.
The Little Mashies spout and screw-top lid are identical to what you’ll find in a disposable pouch. This is good and bad. I think it’s good because, if you are transitioning a kid who’s used to the store-bought versions onto your healthier homemade versions, he’s unlikely to notice any difference. It’s bad because if you’re used to throwing away those signature caps…. well, you’ll soon run out of caps. I had to quickly educate my husband that the caps were NOT garbage. When you first unscrew the cap, you’ll notice the safety seal will also release, just like the first time you open a disposable pouch. This is to ensure the pouches when sold in stores are not tampered with, and the lids are still fully reusable. (You can cut off the little bit of safety seal if you so desire.)
Cleaning Little Mashies is easy enough, but I recommend always rinsing them as soon after use as you can (just like I try to immediately rinse my smoothie glass, since it’s harder to clean once the smoothie dries to the sides). Because the bottom opens up nice and wide, it’s really easy to fit a bottle brush inside. The shape of the pouch means there are no weird nooks and crannies for food to get stuck, either. The most awkward part to clean is the spout, as I find some food gets stuck in the crevices. Again, with a bottle brush it’s no issue to get the spout clean. (I highly recommend the Munchkin Deluxe Bottle Brush [affiliate link], by the way… we also use it on our sippy cups and other drinking vessels.)
I like to use my Ikea octopus clothes drying hanger-thing-a-ma-gig to hang my Little Mashies (and Ziploc bags, for that matter) to dry. You can put Little Mashies in the dishwasher but I haven’t tried that yet.
One of the conveniences of disposable food pouches is their shelf life. You can buy a bunch and they are ready to eat any time. If you are making your own squishy foods, you can’t really store them indefinitely… unless you freeze them!
I whipped up a batch of… well… basically whatever was in the fridge and freezer, and served one portion immediately, put one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. I took one out of the freezer last night and this morning it was ready for lunch time. Cub sucked back a blend of greek yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, banana, spinach, chia seeds and a bit of honey.
He’s still figuring out that he can squeeze the pouch to get more smoothie out: he will often ask me for more when there’s still lots in the pouch. He seems to be a big fan of the blobby Little Mashies mascot on the pouches, too.
When we’re in a hurry to get out of the house (or Cub is in too much of a hurry to get out of the house) to eat, I can grab a Little Mashies pouch from the fridge and Cub can eat it on the run:
Freezing Little Mashies is a great idea for school or day care lunches: take them out of the freezer in the morning and into the lunch box to keep the rest of the meal cold instead of an ice pack!
If I were to change anything about the Little Mashies design, it would be to have a spout that is a bit easier to clean, and a lid that is more distinguishable from the disposable pouch lids to avoid someone unknowingly tossing them out. I love the ziplock opening at the base because it makes the pouches extremely easy to fill. The drawback of this kind of opening is that the pouches can’t stand up on their own.
The Little Mashies Story
When I started looking into different brands of reusable squeeze pouches, one thing I noticed was that they were all founded by parents like me, eager to know exactly what kind of foods their children were eating. Talisha’s story actually begins with her own nutritional needs. As a Crohn’s & Colitis sufferer, baby food in pouches was one of the convenient foods she would turn to when her condition was at its most severe. When her daughter was born, she experienced another severe bout of the disease that left her both physically and financially exhausted. She sold off the designer-brand clothing she had collected as a model to finance her business venture, and as a fellow business-minded Mama, I’m so impressed with how far she’s come!
You can purchase a Little Mashies Fridge & Freeze Pack like mine via Talisha’s website.