Are you trying to figure out the best baby food for your child? Introducing solid foods to your baby is one of the most exciting milestones in your baby’s first year of life, so you want to pick the right food.
Between 4-6 months of age, you have to decide when it’s time to add solid foods as a supplement to breastmilk or formula feeding. Not all baby food is created equal.
Picking the wrong food could deter your child from wanting to eat solid foods, and you want to avoid unnecessary ingredients that could be harmful.
Is it food you pick really that important?
Yes! Feeding to your baby helps them adjust to solid food that they’ll eat when they grow up. You want your baby’s first experiences to be incredible!
Have you ever had a nasty dinner? We all have, and it made you question trying that dish again.
Now imagine that it was your only experience with food. Encouraging your baby to love food is a goal we all should have as parents.
Gerber Baby Food
Why is it better?
- They offer an affordable organic line with unique flavors.
- You can find their baby food in most grocery stores.
- Gerber doesn’t use any preservatives, salt, or sugar.
- They also sell organic snacks, like Puffs, to accompany your organic baby food.
The Lineup At A Glance
Reviews of the Best Baby Food Brands
1. Happy Baby Baby Food – Best Organic Baby Food
Happy Baby is a newer brand of baby food that offers an all-organic choice of food for your baby. The food is mostly provided in pouches, but they do sell jars. Best of all, their food contains zero preservatives.
- Comes in jars and pouches
- Zero Preservatives
- Delicious flavors
- Consistency is watery.
- Not enough veggie choices
Happy Baby was founded in 2006, so it’s a newer brand on the scene. They primarily offer their food in pouches, which are modern innovation for convenient feeding on the go.
However, your local store might sell their jars. Most of their jarred foods are their stage one and come in the most basic flavors.
We like that the packaging is colorful, well-labeled, detailing what is inside of each pouch. All of the ingredients are certified USDA organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, and free of artificial flavoring.
Parents love the variety of flavors that Happy Baby offers. They do the classic mangos, bananas, and other fruity mixtures, but they also have inventive flavors that expose your child to different tastes.
If you love Happy Baby baby food, they offer a variety of other baby foods, such as superfood puffs and organic teething wafers.
2. Earth’s Best Baby Food – Best Jarred Baby Food
It’s hard not to love Earth’s Best; they’ve been around for over 30 years. Their baby food comes in jars, crafted with the best ingredients possible. You can trust Earth’s Best with your child’s health.
- Uses simple ingredients
- No preservatives used
- No salt, sugar, or unnecessary ingredients
- Only comes in jars
- A bit runny
Chances are you’ve heard of Earth’s Best before. They’re one of the oldest organic baby lines on the market; they began creating products in the late 1980s!
Because they’ve been around for so long, it’s clear that they’re products are some of the most trustworthy. Not only does Earth Best’s sell baby food, but they also sell formula, diapers, and more.
Earth’s Best creates a wide variety of flavors, mostly from fruits and vegetables. Their combinations aren’t as unique as some of the other brands on this list, but they’re tasty enough to encourage your child to love solid foods.
Earth’s Best offers a fantastic stage one food, so they’re a good brand of baby food to start with. For example, we love their “My First Carrots.” The ingredients are – organic carrots and water – that’s it!
Their Stage 2 line offers diverse flavors and some exotic fruits and veggie blends. Stage 3 offers new chunky combinations of fruits and veggies, plus soups.
Next on the plus side is that Earth’s Best doesn’t contain any added sugar, salts, artificial flavors, or preservatives. That does mean you have to use the containers without one day of opening, but you’re feeding your baby fresh, natural food.
Most of their baby food is sold in glass jars, but you can find some in pouches.
3. Gerber Baby Food – Best Pureed Baby Food
If you need diapers for a diaper cake gift then call on Huggies brand!
- Certified organic
- No preservatives, salt, or sugar used
- A bit watery
- Too sweet
Gerber Baby is one of the most well-known baby food brands on the market. Everyone knows about Gerber.
Recently, Gerber jumped into the organic baby food market, releasing a considerable line of affordable organic baby food that parents love. Their line also has included more interesting foods with great nutrients, such as zucchini and spinach.
You can get Gerber baby food in pouches and jars, but most of their jarred food isn’t organic. Their Gerber Organic pouch line starts at Stage Two, and they’re USDA certified organic and NON-GMO Project Verified.
We love that their foods are unsweetened, unsalted, and they don’t contain any artificial colors, flavoring, or starch. As a preservative, they use lemon juice and ascorbic acid.
One unique feature is that Gerber created their Smart Flow Spout that controls the flow of the food, so you get more on their spoon and less on their clothes.
We love that you can find this baby food in most grocery stores around the United States. You don’t have to order online unless you want.
4. Beech-Nut Baby Food – Best Food to Start Baby
Beech-Nut offers parents a variety of baby food choices, from their Classic Stage 1 to their new Organic Pouch line. You’re bound to find one of these lines is perfect for you.
- 100% natural ingredients
- NON-GMO Verified
- Meat available
- Expensive pouches
- Hard to find the pouches
Beech-Nut offers a variety of baby foods for parents to pick. Not only do they now offer a new organic baby food pouch line, but their Natural brand is a favorite pick for parents.
Let’s take a look at what they have to offer.
First, Beech-Nut Stage 1 is one of the few meat baby foods, and many doctors encourage parents to introduce meats to their baby because it’s a source of iron. It’s a great first food for your baby.
Then, their Naturals line is 100% natural, get the name? It’s NON-GMO verified without any preservatives and additives. They use only fresh ingredients in some unique varieties, like Just Pear & Blueberry.
Last, Beech-Nut just released their organic pouch line. This line is inspired by homemade.
Doesn’t organic pears, organic pumpkin, and organic cranberries sound delicious?
This link is certified USDA organic and NON-GMO verified. It’s 100% natural without any artificial flavors or colors.
5. Plum Organics – Best Unique Flavors
Plum Organics offers a certified organic baby food line with exciting textures and delicious flavors. Their food tastes fresh and comes from high-quality products without preservatives or additives.
- USDA certified organic
- No preservatives used
- No artificial flavoring and colors
- Only comes in pouches
- Contains citric acid and vitamin C.
Plum Organics is another mostly pouch-based baby food brand, and, based on their name, you can tell that they focus on organic baby foods. Their puree based food is certified USDA organic without any preservatives.
We love the unique flavors and ingredients that Plum Organics bring to the table. That’s genuinely where they stand out from the competition.
Talking about their ingredients, Plum Organics ensures most of its components in the U.S., unless that food isn’t grown in the US. So, you know the apples and pears used in their baby food comes from US farmers.
What do we mean by unique flavors? Try banana pumpkin or pear, spinach, and peas. Plum Organics isn’t afraid to experiment with flavors and textures to introduce to your baby.
There are no added salts and sugars, preservatives, additives, artificial colors, and flavors.
One thing to note is that they do offer stage one and stage two baby food. We love their line of first foods; it’s JUST Veggies and JUST Fruits, so it’s perfect for babies who are just starting pureed foods.
6. Ella’s Kitchen – Best Food for 1-Year-Old Baby
- Unique flavors
- Great meat options
- No preservatives
- Only pouches
- No Stage 1 Available
Ella’s Kitchen is named after the founder’s, Paul Lindley, daughter, and their goal is simple. They want to create convenient, organic food that tastes great.
This baby food brand is all-organic that removes all preservatives, pesticide residues, antibiotics, and fertilizers. You can feel confident giving your baby these foods; they’re safe as safe can be.
Ella’s Kitchen offers a range of fun flavors, including strawberries and apples. That’s a flavor that even the most stubborn baby will enjoy.
We love that the ingredient list is pure and healthy. If you take a look at the list of ingredients, you’ll find simplicity – organic apples, organic brown rice, and organic pears.
For older and babies, Ella’s Kitchen offers some unique flavors, including meat. You can find choices like Chicken Casserole with Vegetables and Rice, and Beef Medley with Vegetables and Potatoes.
All of the pouches are 4.5 ounces, but Ella’s Kitchen only sells in pouches. Their line is meant for babies who are six months and older.
7. Sprout Organic Baby Food – For Toddlers
Sprout Organic is a great organic line that doesn’t use preservatives. The line only uses whole food, and they offer a fantastic toddler line with unique flavors your older child will love.
- No additives used
- NON-GMO verification
- No preservatives used
- Not available in most stores
Sprout Organic is another line of excellent certified organic baby food that is quite similar to Plum Organics. The pouches are certified organic and use no preservatives.
Sprout Organics relies on the whole, organic food ingredients, so there are no food-based derivatives or concentrated ingredients. All of the pouches are BPA-free with recyclable twist-off plastic cap, but the pouch isn’t recyclable.
Sprout offers their baby food brand in a multitude of flavors from their Stage 1 line up to Toddler (12+ months). Their Stage 1 line offers simple foods such as Stage 1 Sweet Potatoes, and an example of a later stage is Toddler Stage Banana, Buckwheat, and Blackberry.
All of the foods are fresh and high-quality, that tastes just as good as what you might make at home.
We like that Sprouts doesn’t require their baby food to be refrigerated, but it also doesn’t contain usual preservatives. You won’t find anything on the list rather than whole ingredients.
Once opened, you need to keep the pouches refrigerated and eat within 24 hours. Expiration dates on unopened pouches are 6-10 months away.
8. Pure Spoon Garden Fresh Organic Baby Foods – Best Tasting Baby Food
If you want a fresh tasting baby food, Pure Spoon is the best choice. It uses a cold-process that maintains the flavor and freshness of the fruits, but you do have to keep this baby food in the refrigerator.
- Cold-process preserves flavor and nutrients
- Freshest tasting
- Must be refrigerated
- Short expiration date
Introduced to the market last year, Pure Spoon is making a significant splash on the baby food market, offering high-quality, organic, whole-food ingredient baby foods. Wow!
Parents are raving about their stage one and stage two varieties of baby food, and there is plenty to love.
Pure Spoon hand-makes every single batch of food using fresh produce – never frozen – using a cold-press process. A cold-press process maintains the delicious flavor and texture of the food along with keeping all the nutrients.
We also love that Pure Spoon doesn’t include any added chemicals. All of their foods are 100% organic, approved by the USDA and Nature’s International Certification Services.
All of their hand-made purees are served in 4.2-ounce containers with a resealable lid, creating in an allergen-free certified organic kitchen.
Their Stage One varieties are called “Simply Purees,” and they include only one ingredient without added preservatives, coloring, and more. Then, their Stage Two varieties offer different blends, such as Blueberry, Banana, and Apples.
One major thing to note is that, because Pure Spoon uses cold-pressure pasteurization and no preservatives, these containers must be refrigerated at all times. They’re even shipped in a cold insulated container.
How to Pick the Best Baby Food
As you can see, you have several options. You could try all of the brands to see what your baby thinks of each, but that’s wasting a lot of money.
Instead, we put together several things to consider when picking the best baby food for your child. Here is what matters the most.
What packaging do you prefer? Some parents like the classic glass jars, while others prefer pouches. Nowadays, some brands even sell frozen and refrigerated baby food.
There is no right or wrong choice here. The packaging you prefer depends on your storage, portability needs, and cost.
You don’t have to stick to one type of packaging. You might want jars for when you are home and pouches for when you travel out of the house.
A brand that sells their baby food in different packaging options has bonus points!
Non-organic foods have pesticides within limits that the government says is safe. That doesn’t mean all parents think any pesticides are safe.
Feeding your baby organic baby food lowers the risk of exposure to pesticides and herbicides. That might be an essential factor for you!
Remember though, just because it’s labeled organic doesn’t mean the brand didn’t add preservatives, salt, and sugar. Be sure to check the ingredients. Organic only pertains to how the food is grown.
Speaking of ingredients, they matter – a lot.
Preservatives aren’t always harmful. Some things, such as ascorbic acid – Vitamin C – are just chemical names, but you do want to avoid other preservatives. Nitrates and MSG aren’t good.
Keep an eye out for salt and sugar. Babies need to avoid salt because an excess amount of sodium isn’t good for their bodies to process.
4. The Cost
Cost is always a factor, even if we wish it weren’t. You have to stick to a budget that makes you feel comfortable.
In the beginning, your baby might only eat one or two jars per day. However, by the time your baby is older, he could eat 5-6 servings per day!
Pick a baby food brand that you can comfortably afford.
Is Organic Baby Food a Better Choice?
If you noticed, many of these baby food brands on our list are organic, or they offer an organic option. More and more companies are switching to organic certification and offering natural options to parents.
They understand that parents desire organic, affordable choices for their baby. Even store-brands, such as Aldi’s Little Journey, are switching to organic baby food choices.
That leaves parents wondering if organic baby food is a better choice, and, if so, why? Let’s look at some benefits of organic baby food.
1. Limited Chemical Exposure
Lack of chemical exposure is one of the main reasons that parents pick organic baby food over conventionally grown food. We aren’t positive about the effects of the toxins in pesticides; some evidence suggests that the toxins can affect brain development, growth rate, and overall health.
Many doctors believe that fewer exposures can help reduce eczema, wheezing, and asthma. In fact, there are many benefits to reducing exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
2. Environmentally Friendly
Non-organic foods aren’t sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, that means fewer chemicals are exposed to our environments.
Chemicals sprayed on fruits and veggies are washed off in the rain and absorbed into the soil and groundwater. That can affect wildlife.
3. Better Tasting
If you notice the commitments of each brand of organic baby food, most are focused on providing babies with the best tasting baby food.
Everyone knows that organic food straight from the garden tastes better than anything you can get in the store.
When you’re starting to give your baby food, it’s essential to give your baby the best tasting food to set the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Frequently Asked Questions
You want to know if your baby is ready to start solid foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a set of criteria for parents to follow to determine readiness.
– Watch for these signs:
– Sits with minimal support
– Has control over their head and neck
– Doubled their birth weight
– Seems interested in your food
– Brings items to their mouth
– Turns away head when full
Some doctors recommend that parents start with rice cereal as the best first food for baby, but that doesn’t mean you have to start with cereal. Many parents skip cereal altogether.
Doctors recommend rice cereal because it’s a smooth texture with a little flavor that can help your baby learn how to coordinate and swallow food thicker than milk. Also, it has added iron that your baby needs starting around six months old.
That doesn’t mean it’s necessary to start with rice cereal. You can start with any stage one baby food, such as carrots, apples, bananas, or sweet potatoes.
The choice is yours.
When you shop for baby foods, you’ll see “Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3” on the packages. What does that mean, and is it essential to understand the stages?
Yes! The stages of baby food are important. They do differ a bit by brand, but here are the general guidelines for each stage.
– Stage 1: These foods are for babies 4-6 months old, and they’re made with a single ingredient pureed. Stage 1 foods are very smooth, without any lumps or strange textures. Also, they typically don’t contain any meat, eggs, or dairy.
– Stage 2: This stage is for babies between 6-8 months old. Stage 2 foods contain fruit, veggies, and grain blends, using a combination of 2-4 ingredients. Most stage 2 foods have a bit more texture, so it helps your baby start to chew and swallow.
– Stage 3: These are for babies 8-10 months and beyond. You’ll find that these foods offer more complex blends with different textures. They might have dairy, meat, or eggs, and some are vegetarian blends.
With this stage, your baby will experience chunks and exciting textures. By now, your baby should have at least one tooth, and they’ll start enjoying finger foods as well.
It’s easy to want to introduce new foods to your baby quickly, but you do have to be careful not to give your baby too much too fast.
Most doctors recommend that parents introduce a new food every three days. That helps parents identify if your child is allergic to a specific food.
Some babies aren’t able to tolerate specific foods. For example, apples might be too acidic for your baby, creating a terrible belly ache.
Waiting three days helps you identify any reactions, so you can decide if you want to include that food in your baby’s normal diet or wait to reintroduce a few months later.
Once you know that your baby can tolerate food, move to the next food. Then, you can start mixing. Once you know that your baby likes carrots and apples separately, you can introduce the foods combined!