Monday, September 2, 2013

Infantino Squeeze Station, is it all that and a bag of chips??

So I bought one of these as a baby gift and loved the idea so much that I got one for myself. I have used the 'Yummi Pouch' brand food pouches and found them bigger but the caps come off and with school age kids they are hard to get back from school. The nice part about them is that other caps to store bought pouches work on them so I can grab one, let baby have a treat and keep the lid to replace the one that was lost. I have also used the the BooginHead head squeeze pouches and they are some of my favorites. Unfortunately according to the reviews I am about the only one. If you fill them too full the top is hard to secure at times BUT it had a connector for the lid and for snack time works great for my grade schoolers. The idea to try this unit after having the others was based on I am always willing to try new ideas and this little system was worth a go!

I make Applesauce in big batches to bag and freeze for lunches/snacks in the pouches for ease in transport by the kiddos and then bringing them back home to be cleaned. So to find a system that potentially would make it easier was pretty cool. Problem was this may be more fun than it is practical, with the wider openings (I am talking about the tubes on top of the unit) that the BooginHead (smaller than Yummi) and Yummi had to offer for filling. Plus there are other pouches out there that offer bigger openings. One thing I also didn't notice prior to purchasing is that the pouches are single use only,  I ask what's the point being I was trying to REDUCE waste, but I had purchased 50 bags for freezer applesauce. So I was bound and determined to wash and reuse these babies, and trust me I have. We just hand wash them instead of having the convenience of being able to throw them in the dishwasher like other reusable brands like these. 

I do love that I can can get a larger amount in at one time BUT I can't honestly say that I am saving any real time. I find myself enjoying filling more and with my mess more contained to the container, but is it more efficient? I would have to say no, not really. While I might have saved SOME time and cleanup on the back end you have more goofing around with getting the bags in and the tubes screwed on. Will I still use it? Heck yeah, I do like the fact that I get in a production mode and get those filled and set then only have the unit to clean up. It does clean up nice, quick, easy and then the whole unit stores within itself which is nice for storage. 

The bags aren't huge but I only use these for snacks, usually for applesauce or sweet potato applesauce for my grade schoolers , as I said before. So I fill the tubes one and 1/3 times to fill the bags to about all they can handle then cap them. For babies this process would definitely be quicker with smaller amounts being added. 

So let's look at pros and cons;

  • Great self containment and easy to clean
  • If you want to clean the "one type use" bags they aren't that hard to hand was, this is a pro and con
  • Fun to fill with the plunger vs. trying to spoon stuff into a small opening plus the bags are held in place for you
  • Great size for young toddlers, first feeders and decent for snacks on the go for the family (about the same size as most of the store bought if you fill them full)
  • At around $20 this makes a great gift for new mom's and there are extras,like spoon attachments, you can get for it. 
  • They freeze well, even reused
  • Even though they are "one time use" the extra set of pouches you can buy for this are reasonably priced, for 50 of them it was less than $17 dollars. 
  • You really don't save a lot of time when the whole project of making and packaging is done
  • The pouches really are meant to be one time use which defeats the purpose of most of us and why we would get this. 
  • For $20 you only get 10 non reusable pouches with the unit so you would need to order more if you planned to make and freeze any real amount of food. 
  • There is a lot of extra steps that you don't have with the products like BooginHead and Yummi pouches. 
  • More pieces to potentially lose or misplace
  • The cap, once again, isn't attached like the BooginHead pouches
So, depending on what you are looking for you may either really like this unit, use it and love it OR really find it more work than its worth and wishing you had spent the $20 towards more pouches of a different kind. I love that I got all those pouches for <$17 and I am able to wash and reuse them vs. spending a ton on the "better" ones and feeling bad if anything happens to one of the caps or bags. For me, this is all that just with the bag of chips left off...

I hope this quick overview of this system helps if you are on the fence or just seeing this for the first time. I of course got mine off Amazon because of being the Amazon freak I am so here are those quick links for you to get your own if you are wanting this. :)

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