Turn juice pouches into food storage containers!

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Juice pouchParents of young children are no doubt familiar with the ubiquitous juice pouch.  They are easy to pack for quick snacks and, of course, kids love ‘em.  Instead of tossing the empty pouch in the trash, here’s a great way to reuse the pouches to store food in your get home bags and other kits.
These are also great on kayaking and canoe trips because they keep the contents dry, even submerged in water. They may even float, which makes finding things a heck of a lot easier if they fall of the boat! This also makes them a great way to keep small electronics safe on the water.


Here’s what you need for this project.

  • Empty juice pouches
  • Scissors
  • Clothes iron
  • Food to put in the pouches (we’ll get to that shortly)

Looking at the front of the empty pouch, you’ll see the hole for the straw.  Cut the pouch open, all the way across, just below that hole.  Wash and rinse the inside of the pouch.  To dry, turn the pouch upside down over a wooden spoon or something similar in your dish drainer.

Let the pouch dry at least several hours or overnight.  It must be absolutely dry inside before you move on to the next step.

Filling the Pouch

Next, you are going to fill the pouch.  Suggestions include white rice, dry pasta, or beans.  Add a bouillon cube for extra flavor, if you’d like.  Measure the ingredients carefully so you know exactly how much rice, beans, or whatever is in the pouch.  I usually use ½ cup of white rice.

Shake the pouch a bit to allow the contents to settle to the bottom, then gently squeeze the air out.  Fold the top of the pouch down two or three times, going about 1/4 inch down each time. (Note: If you are using them for a canoe trip and want them to float, don’t squeeze the air out.)

Finishing the Pouch

Plug in the clothes iron and turn it to permanent press or another hot setting.  When it is hot, lay the pouch on its side and run the tip of the iron back and forth across the fold on the pouch a few times.  Press firmly with the iron as you do so but don’t let the iron linger in any one spot.  What happens is the fold will melt and seal.  Let the bag cool for a minute, then gently tug on the fold to make sure it is sealed completely.

Use a marker to label each pouch with the contents and any preparation instructions.  When it comes time to prepare the food, simply cut the pouch open and cook the food.

Note: you cannot cook the food right in the pouch.  You’ll still need a pot to heat the food.  This is merely a means of storing food in your kit.  Being that the pouch, if sealed properly, is water and airtight, the dry food inside will stay fresh for quite some time.
This is a great family project if you’re getting ready for a camping trip, a Scout project, or a way to keep anything fresh and waterproof.

13 thoughts on “Turn juice pouches into food storage containers!”

  1. Thank you, Jim. I love this idea! I am going to ask my friends to save their pouches for me so I can do this. It sounds so much easier than cutting my larger mylar bags down to portion size.

  2. The neighbor kids leave these juice pouches all over outside, and I wondered how they might be reused since the recycling center won’t take them. I had also thought about “stitching” them together with an iron. Thanks, it’s nice to know that the iron will work on these!

  3. Starla Withey

    I’ve been doing this for a while and have hundreds of these little packs stored. I add an O2 absorber in it as I’m thinking more along the lines of long-term storage. They can be really useful as a barter item if things ever get crazy.

  4. Yes, a bag sealer should work just fine. Note, though, that the mylar on the juice pouches may be a bit thicker than the bags you normally use so adjust your settings or time accordingly. You may have to play around with it a bit to get it right.

  5. I’ve been using my grandkid’s juice pouches for a couple years now. I cut the end, wash & sanitize and store them. When I start dehydrating fruit, they get them back sealed up with mixed fruit snacks inside. They love them! I have some water stored in a few, just trying it out, for about 2 months now, gonna check it a 6 months and see how fresh it still is.

  6. Just had a barbeque and wondered what I could do with all of these empty pouches. Guess they would be handy for anything needing to be kept dry-fire starters, first aid kit, medicines. Just have to have a good labels on each one. Thanks, the tip came at just the right time.

  7. I was wondering if you could use them again. Thanks
    Donna, I would be interested in how the water came out when you do open a pouch

  8. I discovered on the box the pouches come in, there is a place/way to recycle them http://www.terracycle.com
    But this is wonderful! I love the idea of dried fruits and barter items. This community is so awesome with their inspirations! Thanks!

  9. Amy Hassenpflug

    Is it possible/advisable to use a hairdryer set on “LOW” to make sure that it is really, really dry inside? I hate to think I might be ruining what I’ve saved if it is not quite dry when I begin. Thanks for your help. This is a super recycling idea!

  10. I use a vacuum bag sealer to seal the pouches I bought from the LDS BIshop’s Storehouse, so it should work fine with these as well.

  11. I gotta ask, have you considered this from a food safety stand point? I work in the cannd goods industry and while this idea is very cool, it also sets off a lot of bells and whistles for me. If there were even one bit of moisture inside the bags, or they werent thoroughly rinsed and sanitized, you could easily create a spoilage situation. Spoilage is ok in a way because most people wont eat something that smells rancid. But then all your efforts are wasted. Also its to be considered that most occurances of Botulism poisoning occur from home canning projects, not food industry failures. Just my two cents about the matter.

  12. I did this and i LOVED it but i fill mine with 1/2 cup of rice and then seal them so i have an average meal sized portion of rice without using up all my mason jars to store it! i dont put oxygen absorbers in them or anything but i guess if you wanted to store it for a long long time you could. they are very convenient when we go camping too!

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