I always knew when my daughter had Go-gurts at preschool.
Usually there was a fruit or vegetable offering, but if there wasn’t (and I didn’t catch it in time to send a substitute), she was allowed to choose a "fun food" snack.
I knew about the Go-gurts every time before she even shared with me what the snack choices were because of the state of her shirt.
You see, to a 4-year-old inexperienced in the ways of tubular yogurt-plus-sugar-and-food-coloring (I’m sorry, I can’t in good conscience call it "yogurt"), Go-gurt has a 94.3% chance of volcanic action. In fact, she’s even come home with purple on her shirt from someone else’s Go-gurt. I would have loved to witness how that happened, wouldn’t you?
I was just reading in Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss (on Amazon) about how Go-gurt propelled General Foods (or Kraft? Philip Morris? General Mills? See how much I care about big food processing companies? The book was due at the library…whoever it was) to multi-million dollar sales in the yogurt category, mostly because of the allure of two things: sugar and fun packaging.
Squeeze-Its and Kool-bursts did the same thing.
And now I can do it too.
Being a Real Food Kid
I say "no" an awful lot to my kids (but not even nearly as much as I probably should) when it comes to processed foods, sweets, and junk food treats at church or school functions. I know their bodies don’t need the empty calories, the industrial fats, the toxic sugars.
Sometimes they’re missing out on more than food, though – they’re missing out on a social experience, on something fun.
I have to say I was pretty excited to get to test out a product that would bring that fun back into our lives without the added sugar, colors, and expense.
When I was opening the box and washing up our Squooshi reusable food pouches, guests at our house immediately likened them to whatever the Go-gurt pouch is called (you can see how much I know about processed food!). My kids immediately started arguing about who would get to try which animal first. They’re eye-catching!
How to Use a Squooshi
You can kind of see in the photo above that there’s a super-tough zipper (like a Ziploc bag, but sturdier) on the bottom. To fill, you put on a lid, either the twist off green ones shown or the cool new "Sip’n soft top" that works like my son’s Camelbak (shown below with John).
Just fill 2/3 full, either with a spoon, by pouring, or with help from a funnel, and seal. Check the seal and you’re on your way to packable fun!
Tips we’ve learned so far include:
- Squooshis can still spill…er…squoosh out…if kids aren’t careful. Ask me about blueberry smoothie on my living room carpet (and I’ll tell you about a new cleaning product we are luckily also testing out!).
- The Sip’n tops are definitely the best spill insurance for younger kiddos OR for more liquid-y fillers. They do work with thick stuff like applesauce too. If it were me, I’d just get a bunch of these because all my kids like them the best – we only have two and they’re always arguing about whose turn it is…
- I don’t think I’d give a very young child something thin like smoothie with the open top, but John did great with applesauce.
- The Sip’n tops do come off easily enough for a 2yo to open them, just FYI.
- Rinsing as soon as possible is a very good habit.
- Squooshis come in two sizes, 2.5-ounce and 4.5-ounce, and unless I had a baby eating purees, I would not bother with the little ones. It’s less than a 1/4 cup of food, and even my 2yo isn’t satisfied with that amount.
I have a chance for you to win a starter pack of Squooshis, coming up in about half an hour!!!
Squooshis freeze great, and frozen smoothie is a super fun, super easy dessert! In a lunch box with an ice pack for 4 hours, our smoothies got just soft enough to squoosh out the top. My package came with "dissolvable labels" and I was so curious to see how well they worked.
Too well! The labels come off on the child’s hands as the Squooshi is wet from condensation. So…they do come off very easily for washing purposes, but you might want to remove the label before sending a frozen Squooshi for lunch.
Cleaning the Squooshi
My biggest question – and one I’ve been asked on Facebook when I posted about using them – was how easy they’d be to clean.
They’re easier to clean than I thought since they open on both sides, BUT they’re still something I’m not willing to give my kids every day when we’re just sitting at home. Like string cheese, our frozen muffin stash, and homemade strawberry fruit rolls, our Squooshis are in the category called "For When We’re Out of the House."
They clean up all right with a bottle brush inside, although messy smoothies it takes a little extra care on the zipper. Squooshis are dishwasher safe, which was very surprising. I washed a few and wasn’t crazy about the results:
- Both sizes tend to bend about 2/3 of the way up because the spout is heavy, and the very top just doesn’t get the water flow.
- They seemed to come clean the first time (with applesauce), but when I tested with a smoothie – rinsed both times – I could still find smoothie bits inside.
- Also, they come out so hot, and since they’re plastic, I think I’d rather just wash by hand.
Yes, for those of you wondering, I WILL be reviewing all those cool lunch box thingys, sometime in September once we’ve really used them daily at school. Above is a Planetbox Shuttle.
- Brings the fun back to food for kids.
- You are in CHARGE of what you put in! No nasty ingredients, and a way to pack yogurt that won’t spill or require a spoon for lunch.
- So kid-friendly it’s not even funny.
- Cute. So cute.
- Not horrible to clean.
- BPA free.
- No spills with the Sip’n top; very few otherwise, especially with thick foods.
- Not terribly expensive – at $5/large pouch, you’d recoup that quickly vs. buying disposable pouches at the store (and did I mention you’re in charge of the ingredients?)
- No waste lunch option while still being single serve and user-friendly.
- Created by a father-daughter team, a mom like me who cares about her kids’ food.
- Not exactly mess-free on the filling side, but there is a fill station that you can buy to make that process run more smoothly. It’s not that hard without it, but more work than filling a glass 8-ounce container with yogurt.
- Made of plastic – for some of you, this is a deal breaker. For me, for a treat for school lunches that helps my kids feel more like the other kids without having to compromise on ingredients, I’m happy to use BPA-free, Phthalate-free, PVC-free plastic. Besides, at least the food is only in them for hours instead of months for commercial versions.
- Not crazy about the dishwasher results.
- Hand-washing one more thing.
- The Sip’n tops, which I LOVE, double the price. They’re worth it…but you’ll cry if one ever get accidentally throw into the garbage at lunch!
And the best advantage yes is that I got to avoid controversy in Target the other day when my daughter wanted one of the brightly colored yogurt tubes. "We can just make that at home with our Squooshis!" I said brightly.
"Oh yeah!" she chirped. "Can we make pink Squooshi yogurt?"
"You bet – we’ll blend strawberries and yogurt and it will be just like that."
"It’s my turn for the birdie," she closed the deal.
Two happy people, walking away from processed food at Target. Now that’s a happy picture.
What do you think? Would you Squoosh?
Disclosure: I did receive products for my review free of charge, but that doesn’t affect my opinion any more than my begging children get to eat candy for supper. This post is not a paid post.
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.