Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Infantino Fresh Squeezed Review

I have always enjoyed making my own baby food.  I also love the convenience of pouch baby foods, so when Infantino chose me to host a "Fresh Squeezed" party I was really excited!  Their Fresh Squeezed line is all about steaming, mushing, pureeing and squeezing baby food into convenient on-the-go pouches. Plus all of the products are Phthalate, BPA, and PVC free.

I couldn't wait to unpack the product!

First up was the Peppy Puree. My initial thoughts were that it looks very similar to my other small food processor. There is one button which is used to operate the processor, the lid must be locked on before the button will engage. When it comes to baby foods, I don't do much measuring, but I thought it was neat that it had markings on the side for easy measurement, with a max fill of 1 1/2 cups.

Next up is the Steam n' Smush.The first things I noticed were the base and the grips on the handle of the bowl, smusher and lid. They are a nice no slip grip. The bowl will not slide around on the table or counter. It also seemed very sturdy and easy to clean.  I was really excited to try this out! I initially wasn't going to use the product until my Fresh Squeezed party, but I couldn't wait! This is something everyone should have, I'll get to the details later though!

This is the Squeeze Station in the storage position. There are three plastic tubes which you fill with your puree, up to 4 oz servings. It also has four grips on the bottom to keep it from sliding around.

There are two different types of pouches you can use with this system. One is a disposable pouch. It holds approximately 4 oz. of puree and can be placed in the fridge for use within a couple days, or the freezer for longer storage. Ten bags come with the Squeeze Station. Bags can also be purchased separately in a 50 count case. Each bag comes with a cap. These caps are larger than prepackaged pouch caps to prevent a choking risk.

The other option is a reusable pouch. It is made from silicone and has a handy loop hook and travel cap.

Either pouch can be used with or without the squeeze spoons, which are sold separately. These are designed specially for the Fresh Squeezed pouches. They come in packs of two and have a convenient carry case as well as a loop hook.

One reason I really wanted to test out the Fresh Squeezed product line was because I have a picky 3 year old. I can't get him to touch a vegetable for anything! But he loves to eat out of pouches and will even eat fruit/veggie combos. The pouches are truly the easiest way to get veggies in him because he thinks the pouches are a treat. Little does he know he is getting a wonderful serving of fruit and veggies! Just don't tell him it's a trick!

I also have a 13 month old. We did Baby Led Weaning with him, which means we did not feed him purees but went straight to sensible soft or steamed whole foods and he fed himself. I introduced purees in pouches while we were on family outings when he was about 9 months old. Pouches are a convenient way to feed him when we are away from home.

There are two problems with conventional pouches...
1. They are costly- Most of them cost upwards of $1.50 each.
2. You are limited to a handful of food combination options.

This line solves both of these problems!

Party Time!!

When I hosted my Fresh Squeezed "Fresh Food for the Whole Family" party, we tried to use only the products in the Fresh Squeezed line.

We did however, have to use a basket steamer and sauce pan for steaming because we had to steam way more than the Steam n' Smush could handle.

The Steam n' Smush is my new favorite 'gadget'. I steam something for Bug almost every day. This makes that process so much easier. The picture below shows a full apple serving diced and peeled. This is the perfect steamer for one size servings! The packaging did not include any directions, so I guessed. I put a little bit of water in the bottom of the bowl and put it in the microwave for two minutes. The apples came out perfectly steamed! If you are someone who steams fruits/veggies for your little one on a daily basis, you'll definitely want to get one of these.

The inside of the bowl has ridges which aid in the smushing process by holding the food in place. The smusher gave the apples a chunky applesauce texture.

The Steam n' Smush is also very easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

Next we used the Peppy Puree. We were all fairly disappointed with it. The Peppy Puree did not do a very good job puree-ing, which left our foods lumpy and difficult to use in the Squeeze Station. I do not recommend to Peppy Puree. My blender does a much better job at giving me the perfect puree. It is also inconvenient if you are making large batches of baby foods, as you can't make a lot at a time.

After we had all our purees ready to go we were ready to package them with the Squeeze Station.

To package the puree, you first slide the pouch into the channel. Once it snaps into place you screw the tubes onto the pouch from the top of the Squeeze Station. While it is easy to use, you don't save time by having three tubes. Each time you press the food into the pouch, you have to disconnect the pouch before you can remove the plunger, otherwise the food will suck back into the tube. So it isn't as quick as going from tube to tube, then removing and capping pouches. You have to squeeze one, remove pouch from station, and cap the pouch before moving on to the next. Another problem we came across was the inconsistency of the puree from the Peppy Puree. Because it left chunks in the baby food, it would clog up the squeeze station. But when I made purees with my blender I had no issues with clogging what-so-ever.

With that being said, I still like the system and would recommend it to anyone who makes their own baby food. Pouches are so easy! This is much better than the ice cube tray method. The pouches can go straight into the freezer until you are ready to use them. No transferring cubes to another bag, or having to package them again when you are leaving the house for the day. You can either thaw the pouches in the fridge, on the counter, or in a bowl of hot water. The pouches are not to be put in the microwave.

Here is the final product. Each pouch has a space to write in the date it was made and the contents of the pouch.

Here is my picky three year old eating a puree of squash, apple and strawberry out of the re-usable pouch.

He liked the puree, but had a hard time getting it out of the pouch. The re-usable pouch does not collapse like the disposables do, instead it is cylindrical in shape. So it isn't as easy as sucking out the puree. You also have to squeeze the pouch from the base and work your way up. It was even difficult for me to get all of the puree out. The shape also made filling it a bit more difficult. In order to fill it with the squeeze station you have to hold the pouch as flat as you can before screwing on the filling tube. Other wise the resistance from pressure will not allow you to fill the pouch.

  • I highly recommend the Steam n' Smush. I have been using this pretty much every day to steam veggies for my 1 year old. Quick, easy, cleans up well.
  • I highly recommend the Squeeze Station for anyone who makes their own baby food and enjoys the convenience of pouches.
  • I would not recommend the Peppy Puree because of the inconsistency and chunks left in the puree.
  • I would not recommend the re-usable pouch because it is difficult for a child (even adult) to successfully remove the puree.
  • I haven't used the spoon attachment. I just let my kids suck out of the pouch. I don't see the spoons as necessary for our family. 

Disclosure: I received the "Fresh Squeezed" line from Infantino to facilitate my review. All comments are my own personal opinion.

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