Once your baby hits the 6 month mark, it’s likely that you’ve had time to think about the type of baby food you want to feed them. Baby food is a great way to get a baby used to solid foods, which can be a gradual process after being on a diet consisting of formula or breast milk. It’s an effective way to adjust them to life in the solid lane and gets them used to the idea and method of eating solids.
Can my Baby Eat Baby Food?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breast-fed entirely for the first four months and ideally up to the age of at least 6 months. Many children are breast fed much longer than this period, even when they begin eating solid foods. Commonly parents begin introducing solids in the form of baby food after 6 months and when they show signs of having an interest in solids. However, it goes without saying that you should always get dietary advice from your paediatrician, who will be able to provide guidance on how and when to introduce new foods.
The Organic Argument – Is Organic Baby Food Better?
Many people prefer to choose organic food due to the potentially negative things often found in non-organic foods, such as pesticide residues and fertilizers. Traditional baby food options typically contain many preservatives too, while organic options often contain zero preservatives.
In terms of nutrient content, the debate is still open as to whether organic fruit and vegetables contain more nutrients, so you shouldn’t let this be the main reason behind choosing organic.
Opting for organic foods is largely to avoid the potentially toxic residues left from modern farming practices. Regardless of where the evidence is currently at, many people continue to vouch that organic fruit and vegetables taste better than non-organic options, which have got to be seen as a positive.
A Guide to Food Labelling:
With so much jargon and marketing terminology thrown around these days, it’s unsurprising that so many parents find themselves confused. These are some of the most common:
- USDA Organic:This means they are free from chemical fertilizers, hormones, pesticides and genetic modification and consists of at least 95% organic ingredients.
- 100% Organic: Same as above but made with 100% organic ingredients.
- GM-Free:Free from Genetically-modified ingredients.
- Made with Organic Ingredients:Made with at least 70% organic ingredients.
Our Top Picks
Founded in 2006, Happy Baby is a relatively new brand, offering an all-organic range of baby food, largely served in pouch-design packaging and containing zero preservatives.
Pouches are a relatively modern innovation that allows convenient serving on the go and at home – you simply squeeze into a baby bowl and your little one is ready to eat. This certainly beats having to empty a jar that can be a laborious task, especially when you have a million other things to do. Like all organic food products, it does need to be used within 24 hours of opening.
The outer packaging itself is clear, well labelled and offers a realistic display of the listed ingredients inside, it looks very appealing and is a great way to teach kids to name the items of food they eat.
The ingredients are all certified USDA Organic, free from gluten and contain no added sugar or artificial flavourings. They have a brilliant range of foods for a variety of stages; the baby options include single fruit purees such as mango, banana and butternut squash. This is a good range of different tastes and textures to experiment with, bland carbohydrates and sweet fruits are baby faves.
As well as puree pouches, Happy Baby also offers a range of other creative baby foods including super food puffs packed with vitamins and minerals, and gentle teethers that are organic teething wafers.
Another largely pouch-based baby food brand, but as their name suggests they put a huge emphasis on their organic based baby food. Reflecting this, their puree based food is certified USDA Organic and free from preservatives.
The flavors and ingredients Plum offer are unique, which is perhaps one of the biggest selling points against the competitors. Simple ingredients are good too, but unique flavour combinations such as “pear, spinach and pea” and “banana pumpkin” offer more ways to experiment with different textures, tastes and mixtures.
Better still, the ingredients are all sourced in the US, this obviously doesn’t include the fruit and veg that don’t grow here though – these are imported from Mexico. Still organic of course!
The pouch design is bright and inviting to kids, and easy to pack away in a bag for busy parents on the go. The pouches are also BPA free and the caps are recyclable, meaning they are better for your child and for the environment.
Named after the founder Paul Lindley’s little girl Ella, the story of behind the company’s mission is very relatable – organic foods that offer convenience and variety while tasting great (If you’d like, you can read more about Paul and the Ella’s Kitchen philosophy here).
This brand is an all-organic range of baby food, which gets the vote from parents concerned about the nasties often found in non-organic foods, such as preservatives, pesticide residues, fertilizers and antibiotics.
The range itself has a selection of fruity flavours including strawberries and apples, a very enticing sweet taste for even the most stubborn of babies. The ingredients list also highlights just how simple and healthy they are, for example, one pouch just contains: organic pears, organic apples and organic brown rice.
The packaging is often as important as the taste when it comes to children, so the fact that the pouches are bright and colorful makes them super child-friendly. The pouch itself is also very tactile and easy to use, further stimulating your child and encouraging them to have a taste. Another bonus is that unlike glass jars, pouches won’t smash and are very easy to pack away in rucksacks.
Established back in 1985 and known for their whole natural and high-quality ingredients, Earth’s Best is an organic baby food that is available in stores and online. They are a bit pricier than other baby food brands, but you can save a lot by buying online.
The variety of flavors largely includes a selection of fruit and veg, such as carrots, peas and potatoes, bland enough for baby’s taste buds, but still enticing enough to encourage them to experiment with their first solids. The ingredients are incredibly simple, which will be reassuring to many mothers and fathers out there. Take the “My First Carrots” ingredients list for example: Organic carrots and water – nutritious, healthy and natural food.
Unlike many baby food brands, Earth’s Best does not contain any added sugars, salts, artificial flavors, preservatives of any kind. Obviously, the downside of this is that it has to be used within one day of opening, but well worth the sacrifice for feeding your baby fresh, natural food.
The jar containers are all made from glass, which alleviates any concerns regarding BPAs commonly found in plastic packaging. It’s also worth mentioning that the lids no longer contain BPA either.
Peter Rabbit Organics
A character driven brand is always a good idea to entice kids, especially one that is organic and based in Oregon, USA.
As well as the attractive packaging, the flavors on offer include a banana, mango and orange combination and apple and grape. They also provide kids with “one of their 5 a day” which is always a bonus. Many parents have concern about the sugar content; however, these are natural sugars, not the processed variety, which should be people’s main focus.
One of the common critiques of this brand lies in their labelling of the ingredients. Take the “pea, spinach and apple” puree for example, it’s made mostly of apple. The other options in the range that contain apple are also mainly apple. This isn’t the end of the world by any means, but something that may irk some parents.
Apart from that, these are all natural baby food products packed nicely into a convenient pouch design. In terms of price, they’re very similar to other rivals, so it’s largely personal choice that will drive the final decision.
Which Baby Food Brand do you think is the best?
With a variety of baby food options out there, it can be quite difficult to decide which one to select and sometimes it’s just a case of getting your baby to try a few and seeing which they take to.
And there we go, please let us know if we’ve left anything out!