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. :)

Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Who doesn't love a good banana muffin/bread recipe?? How about if I said it is gluten free?? Does that help? Well if it does this should make you smile. These muffins are moist and have plenty of flavor with the spices used (I use the higher amount because I love good flavorful banana muffin). While you can use chocolate chips in this recipe I do recommend, per everyone that has had them with those, that leaving them out has been far more popular. These make a great addition to any party or brunch that you may be hosting also!! :)

  • Gluten Free Banana Muffins
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon coconut flour, I use Bob's Red Mill
  • 1 tsp. aluminum free baking powder, again I use Bob's Red Mill
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (good quality matters)
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, allspice, cloves (put all three or use 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie spice)
  • 3 ripe organic bananas, peeled
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (I used 'The Greek God's honey vanilla once and strawberry honey another time both turned out awesome)
  • 1/2 stick of cultured or grassfed butter 
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 6 pasteurized eggs
  • Otional - 1 cup organic fair trade chocolate (soy free), chopped, Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, (chocolate chips were found to take away from the taste of the muffins, family prefers this without) OR 1 cup crispy walnuts (my favorite!! I do grind mine fairly fine to hide them from my kiddos that don't like nuts in their muffins. :))


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk well with a wire whisk to combine and set aside.
  2. Break the bananas into thirds and place the in the bowl of your food processor, pulse until chopped. Add 1 cup of sour cream to the bananas and process until combined and smooth. Reserve. (Alternately, you could mash bananas with a fork and whisk in the sour cream by hand.)
  3. Using an standing electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the flour mixture by half, alternating with the banana mixture, beating only until blended, until all of the dry and wet ingredients have been added.
  5. Using a mini muffin tin, place a liner in each muffin tin and fill each cup with batter. Then place a few pieces of the chocolate into the center of each muffin if you chose to it in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake in the middle of a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 22-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked throughout. Baking time will vary depending on your oven. The muffins are cooked when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, remove muffins and let cool completely on a wire rack before consuming.


  1. Oat Flour variation; Prepare as above, except switch to using 1 1/3 cups of gluten free oat flour (or sprouted oat flour), 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 4 pastured eggs, all other ingredients remain the same.
  2. Pumpkin variation; Prepare as above, except switch the banana out for 1 cup of organic pumpkin puree (I usually make my own, know that it may add extra liquid if you don't reduce it enough and get all the liquid out) and use the full amount of sugar allotted (if you chose) plus 1 Tbsp. organic maple syrup. Cook for 25-30.