The days of bottle-feeding are winding down, and you’re ready to introduce your baby to solid foods. Your little one is about to open up her palate and feast on a Top Chef-worthy menu (well, kind of). Moving from a liquid-only diet to foods with a little more substance isn’t always easy. Everything is new, different, and — let’s face it — kind of weird. You might *love* the taste of an avocado, but your baby has never experienced anything that’s so, well, mushy. The good news: There are so many baby food options, including purees, mashes, and portable squeeze pouches, available. Before you buy out the baby food aisle, trying to determine which product your little one will love most, check out these healthy options that are nutritious and delicious.
1. Yumi: Everything else is delivered right to your door, so why not your baby’s food too? Yumi was founded by awesome mom (and former investment banker) Angela Sutherland and her business partner, journalist Evelyn Rusli. After learning about the importance of nutrition in baby’s first 1,000 days, Sutherland went on the search for a healthier baby food option. She didn’t find one, so she created her own, and eventually founded a whole company that is devoted to feeding babies healthy, organic, locally sourced foods. Selections such as blueberry chia seed pudding and rosewater overnight oats are made fresh and delivered to you — that is, if you live on the West Coast. Don’t worry, mid-Westerners and East Coasters, Yumi is set to expand (hopefully soon)!
2. Pure Growth Organic: With products that are all certified USDA organic, kosher, and made with no artificial flavors or preservatives, it’s obvious where this company got its name. Launched in 2016 by Sabrina Peterson and Chris Clarke, Pure Growth organic’s line has grown to include oatmeal and an array of kid-friendly snacks (popcorn, veggie chips, snack mix, super chips, animal crackers, biscuits, biscuit bites, and breakfast bars). So, you say your kiddo is all about her favorite animated characters? Well, this organic snack line sports packaging that features Mickey Mouse, Paw Patrol, and the Lion King.
3. Nourish Baby: When nutritionist Marissa Lippert and health-supportive chef (and alumni of the Natural Gourmet institute) Lizzy Rizzuto teamed up to create a healthy baby food subscription service, Nourish Baby was born. Their healthy meals are prepared from fresh foods that are sourced by local New York purveyors. You tell Nourish Baby what age and stage your little one is in, pick a one, three, or six-month subscription, and you’ll pick up five days’ worth of meals. Not only can you get nutritious food for your baby, but you can also order a family meal or add-ons for the postpartum mom (such as lactation cookies or bone broth).
4. Raised Real: You’re all about making your own baby food. And then you think about the time it takes to shop for all the ingredients. Oh, and you also have to come up with a recipe and figure out how the heck to mash, puree, steam, or do whatever it takes to actually cook it. Don’t stress. Raised Real is here to the rescue. They’ll send you organically sourced meals that are prepped and pre-portioned. You’ll also get The Meal Maker, an all-in-one mini machine that steams and blends the pre-prepped ingredients, turning them into a nutritious meal for your baby. These dietician-created meals include tasty combos such as sweet potato, mango, ground chia, coconut milk, and lucuma powder, or red pepper, black beans, avocado oil, cumin, and cilantro.
5. Sprout: Founded in 2008, Sprout makes an “Honesty Pledge” to their customers that includes only using whole foods that don’t come from concentrates, have zero preservatives, and are non-GMO. Their baby foods are divided into age-graded categories, and feature simple one-ingredient purees for new eaters, fruit and veggie blends for babies who are ready for some added adventure, fruit and grain blends, veggie and grain blends, and yogurt blends. As baby’s palate gets more sophisticated (and her ability to tackle new textures develops), Sprout offers hearty blends of protein, veggies, and grains, and plant protein blends. Along with baby foods, Sprout’s expanded line includes snacks such as red berry and beet crisp chews and broccoli curlz.
6. Little Spoon: This subscription service lets you pick a plan that’s based on your baby’s individual nutritional needs. You tell Little Spoon about your baby, and they help you choose nutritious meals that are sure to meet your new eater’s needs. Not only are the meals delivered to your doorstep, but the delivery itself is free.
7. Once Upon a Farm: You’ll find this organic, non-GMO brand in the refrigerated section, and not on a dusty shelf. That’s because this baby food isn’t filled with preservatives, and uses cold-pressed methods instead of heat to kill potentially harmful bacteria. Along with buying it in natural food stores, you can also get this nutritious option sent directly to your door. If you’re wondering exactly where your baby’s meal is coming from, the company’s website provides a list of certified organic farms where they source their ingredients.
8. Nurture Life: This parent-founded company provides a subscription service that includes healthy foods for baby to munch on. You give them your child’s age and dietary preferences, and Nurture Life then gives you their Chef’s Choice menu. If that doesn’t work for you (or your baby), pick meals from the seasonal or favorites menus. You’ll get a week’s worth of chilled, but not frozen, meals. All you need to do is warm and serve.
9. Ella’s Kitchen: Named after founder Paul Lindley’s daughter, Ella’s Kitchen features products that get your little one started, help her to continue on in her eating adventure, and eventually move into big-kid snacks. These organic baby foods are available all over the place, really. You can find them in big chains such as Whole Foods and Target, along with smaller local retailers.
10. Thistle Baby: They’ve got organic, nutritious, pre-prepped ingredients that come to your home on a weekly basis. You get a box of flash-frozen goodness that you need to steam and blend. It’s convenient, healthy, and costs less than most organic store-stocked brands.
What’s your baby’s favorite food? Share your pick and tweet us @BritandCo!
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(Featured photo via Raised Real)