Sili Squeeze reusable food pouch for mess-free self-feeding: Babies, tots, kids [Giveaway+Review]

I’m always on the lookout for things that would make going out easy.

Alright, easier.

The Sili Squeeze promises mess-free self-feeding for babies, and also a healthy snack option for older kids. Yummy veg and fruit smoothies on a hot day!

So you don’t have to buy expensive ready-made food pouches – now you can make your own healthy, snacks or meals to go.

Founded by a mum in US, The Sili Company makes two versions: The original Sili Squeeze that’s spill-proof, and the newer Sili Squeeze with Eeze that’s free-flow. And each version comes in three sizes: 2oz (60ml), 4oz (120ml), and 6oz (180ml) – and four colours.

I found the Sili Squeeze after trawling through reviews of all kinds of food pouches. See this for a quick overview of the types of food pouches in the market.

The good people at Prettymums.com sent me both the spill-proof Sili Squeeze ($27.90) and free-flow Sili Squeeze with Eeze ($29.90) versions in size 180ml (60z) to review. Here’s the low-down.

What I like about the Sili:

1) Non-toxic material. Silicone is better than BPA-free plastic, because even BPA-free plastic can degrade and leach chemicals.

2) Can stand on its own, much like a bottle – no single-handed fumbling when I’m pouring a smoothie into the squeeze pouch. Most food pouches can’t do this.

3) Wide opening for ease of pouring. Sili Squeeze functions just like a bottle, so you just need a funnel to pour your smoothie in. Some food pouches have fumbly ziplock closures at the base, which sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, especially with repeated use.

4) Easy to clean, disassemble and assemble. No fiddly parts or hard-to-reach nooks and crannies that could grow mould.

Things to watch out for:

1) The Sili Squeeze and the Sili Squeeze with Eeze have different spouts. The original spill-proof version is great for mess-free self feeding, but it could take your child some time to master getting anything out of the pouch.

2) From what I’ve observed of Lil Pea – and I’ve even tried it myself – you need to combine sucking and gnawing to release the leak-proof opening of the spout. I wouldn’t complain about it, because you get what you ask for – it’s leak-proof, which means liquids don’t get out so easily.

3) Lil Pea got the hang of it after a while. But take note that it’s better to use the original spill-proof Sili Squeeze for thinner smoothies or purees which are more liquid.

4) For thicker breakfast smoothies – with chunky ingredients like oats, for example – use the free-flow Sili Squeeze with Eeze. It’s targeted at older kids who want a healthy, easy snack on the go. But if you want to use this with a younger baby, the little one will need help from you. Otherwise you will have a squirting good time (cleaning up) during breakfast!

Tip: To keep your smoothie cold on a day out – freeze a smoothie in your Sili Squeeze and chuck it into the freezer overnight.

Take it out just before going out with your child, and it will thaw nicely in a few hours into a yummy, cold smoothie. Works the same if you want to use the Sili for a pureed meal for baby; just warm it up in hot water before serving it to baby.

Recipes

Here are some recipes I whipped up for Lil Pea; really quick and easy.

 

Avocado and Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Fills one 6 oz. Sili Squeeze (more suitable for Sili Squeeze with Eeze)

80ml plain Greek yogurt or milk or formula

2 Tbsp instant oats, stirred into 20ml hot water

Half a ripe avocado

4 strawberries

Put everything into a blender and blend well till you get a smooth consistency – about 20 seconds. Add a sprig of mint before blending for a nice, refreshing zing.

 

Avocado and Banana Blast

Fills one 6 oz. Sili Squeeze (suitable for both spill-proof and free-flow)

100ml plain Greek yogurt or milk or formula

Half a ripe avocado

Half a banana

Mash the avocado and banana with a fork into the yogurt/milk and mix well. You can use your blender for smoother results; but mashing with a fork is fine, too. Add a dash of ground cinnamon and nutmeg before mixing, if you like, for adventurous taste buds.

Avocados are rich in folate (healthy cells and tissues) and potassium (metabolism and healthy bodily function) and are a good source of Vitamin K (clots blood). They are also full of Omega-3 and -6 goodness. Strawberries are chock-full of antioxidants. Bananas are creamy and give an energy boost, and Lil Pea looooves them. (“Nana! Nana! NANA!!!” he insists on having a banana every time he lays his eyes on one)

More yummy Sili Squeeze recipes here.

This is not a paid review, and the opinions here are entirely my own.

 

SILI SQUEEZE GIVEAWAY

Stardust&Bloom is giving away ONE Sili Squeeze original and ONE Sili Squeeze with Eeze. Click below to enter the contest, sponsored by Prettymums.com.

 

 

 

Myths about Baby Led Weaning

 
I wondered about many things when I was considering whether to let Lil Pea go down the Baby Led Weaning route. Will he choke? Will he eat enough? Will BLW really prevent fussy eaters? Will he be really handsome when he grows up?
 

Answers, please!

Our entire family has really enjoyed BLW with Lil Pea. But of course there are some days where he wolfs down everything and asks for more – and other days where he doesn't feel like eating so much. Just like any adult, really.

So, whether – and how – you adopt BLW is a personal choice based on what you think is best for you baby and your family. You know your baby best! Don't let judgey people get you down.
 

See my other post for an overview of our Baby Led Weaning journey.

Here are some of the common anxieties for parents considering Baby Led Weaning. I will update this list if I think of more!

Baby might choke.

Don't mistake gagging for choking.

In young babies, the gag reflex is very far forward on the tongue (so that baby will spit out food that is too large or goes down too quickly).

When baby is gagging, let him sort it out himself. It's a life skill, like pooping in the toilet and chasing girls. He will get better at it.

What you can do is fight the rising panic and try to look calm, while mentally running the baby Heimlich maneuver in your head. When I first started BLW I was always on the alert for possible choking!

Lil Pea actually choked only once, from being over-enthusiastic about a huge chunk of raw apple at 7 months. I did the baby Heimlich (see below) and it worked. He wasn't afraid, he didn't cry, and went back to the offending apple without missing a best.

Since then, he's learnt and always spat out pieces of food too large to swallow or too difficult to chew. A tip is to steam hard foods lightly to soften them.

See the latest guidelines on choking and infant resuscitation. You can also learn from the videos by Sky News and UK National Health Service on how to help a choking child, and how to perform baby Heimlich.

Parents will need this basic first aid knowledge anyway, as baby becomes more mobile and starts putting things in his mouth.

Alright, back to your gagging baby.

When baby is gagging, he will splutter noisily while trying to spit out the food. When he is actually really choking, you will know – there is almost no sound at all because baby can't breathe, and the face and lips will start turning blue. He will try to cough out the dislodged item.

If you hear gagging noises, baby is fine.

Stay calm, wait a bit, then help him dislodge what's stuck in his airway using the method above.

The idea with BLW is that he will learn to chew, spit and swallow.

 

The cleaning up will kill you.

Yes, it might. Is this something you're prepared to do?

Anyway, having a baby is a lot of cleaning up, whether you are doing BLW or not.

I spent my mornings cleaning Lil Pea up, changing him into fresh clothes, and cleaning up his high chair, the floor, and the surrounding environment. That's after cooking his breakfast, just before I went to work.

Just like changing diapers 20,000 times a day, you get used to it.

 

Baby can't digest large pieces of food.

It's true, he has no teeth. But he can gum foods like steamed apples and carrots and even meats. When he's happily gumming food, it means that he's scraping small bits off – so don't sweat it.

Lil Pea never had tummy troubles even when feeding himself strips of meat.

It was just slightly disturbing to see food in huge chunks in his poop, almost the same way they went in. But that was soon resolved as his digestive system matured.

As he grows older, his chewing skills will become better, and his young intestines will also get better at digesting, so don't worry.

 

Baby will not become a picky eater.

Nothing can guarantee your baby won't become a fussy eater. Babies change all the time. Toddlers, especially, are likely to go through a phase of refusing foods.

What BLW does is that it sets the stage for better eating habits. If meal times are not a battleground but a place of fun and exploration, it makes things easier in future for the baby and the parent.

A study by Dr Ellen Townsend and her colleague suggests that babies on BLW have lower BMI while babies on the weaning style of spoonfeeding have a higher incidence of obesity. But picky eating? Not that much difference.

A more recent study by Sonya Cameron and her colleagues shows that while health professionals are hesitant to recommend BLW, parents have been reporting good experiences with BLW, in this first paper to include interviews with health professionals.

I suppose you can ask me again when Lil Pea goes into the terrible twos when food fussiness kicks in (here are some tips to combat fussy eating), but BLW has been brilliant for us and our entire family had so much fun with Lil Pea.

 

 

 

 

Oven-roasted Chicken with Curried Pumpkin [Recipe]

So I whipped up some lunch for Lil Pea, with spices and herbs he likes. Yes, a custom job! And no, there isn’t chilli.

Just let me say this – this is YUMMY. Heh. #humblebrag

Using the oven and electric steamer are top choices for me, because it means I don’t have to slave at the stove. Who wants to do that when there are diapers that need changing and little boys who need dancing?! Chuck it in to cook and literally forget about it.

I use fusili that’s made of brown rice and quinoa from iHerb for a more nutritious and gluten-free option. My organic spices and herbs are from the same place. (You can save $5-$10 off your first order from iherb by using this promo code LGF536 at checkout. Shipping to Singapore is only $4 up to 6.3kg. Worst kept secret in Sg, I gather!)  Continue reading

Lookback: The First Year

Some of my friends call my son Ah Huat.

I think it’s because he is so blessed, and gives us much joy. (And also because when I was pregnant with him, I was able to flag down cabs without waiting and win prizes in contests.)

Here are some of his milestones – including daddy’s thoughts – in his first year that I want to ink into digital memory.

Continue reading

Age guide to introducing solids

 

Whether you’re doing BLW Baby Led Weaning or the usual purée route, you will find this age guide for solids introduction amazingly useful.

I have this on my fridge and ticked off every new food I introduced to Lil Pea.

It also helped to keep track of any allergies (we found out he’s allergic to cow’s milk).

Age guide to introducing solids

What’s good about this’s particular chart is that it’s easy to use, laid out nicely, and takes a more prudent approach (later, rather than earlier for some possibly allergenic foods).

Also, it’s cross-referenced to well-known sources (see bottom of chart for sources).

This chart I pinned to my Pinterest board keeps getting re-pinned; no doubt other parents find it useful too!

You can follow my weaning and solid foods Pinterest boards here:

 

Age guide source: www.design-kat.com