If you have your own vegetable garden at home, you know there is no better feeling than plucking a cucumber off of its vine and devouring it knowing it is fresh and grown safely, without the use of chemicals.
It seems that eating organically these days is not just a choice, but is a responsibility! You owe it to yourself and your toddler to eat nothing but the best.
And while you may not have time to always whip up your own baby food, you do have time to purchase food that you can feel good about feeding to your baby.
Read on to learn all about organic baby food basics, as well as my personal recommendations of the top five brands that will nourish your tot’s tummy, and will give you peace of mind during feeding times!
Quick Picks: Best Organic Baby Food Brand
Healthy, tasty, and coming in a variety of flavors, Plum Organics is the best baby organic food you can get today.
Why eat organic?
Organic food is defined as food that is grown without the use of toxic chemicals and genetically modified ingredients.
I was horrified when I learned that there really is a lot of gross stuff lurking around on the non-organic foods that I was eating. Things like pesticide residue, fertilizer, and even antibiotics were all going into my mouth and body!
There was no way I was going to do that to my baby!
I also learned that when you feed your baby regular food out of a jar, that it is filled with preservatives.
While whipping up my own baby food just isn’t an option every day, I was so happy to come across some awesome organic baby food brands that boast zero preservatives and are labeled 100% organic!
In fact, anything that is labeled 100% organic must contain no genetically-modified ingredients by both American and Canadian law.
These items do not contain pesticides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and are not genetically modified.
Levels of organic foods.
As I just explained above, some food items are labeled as 100% organic, while others can be labeled as:
- USDA Organic: Same as above, but is about 95% organic.
- GM-Free: These foods are free of genetically-modified ingredients, but not organic.
- Made with Organic Ingredients: These foods have about 70% organic ingredients.
What to look for in a good baby organic food brand.
So, now that you understand what the labels mean, let’s discuss some other things you should consider when picking out a brand to feed your baby.
- It’s tasty! No matter how “organic” your baby food may be; if your child won’t eat it, you’re out of luck! Read on to learn about some awesome brands that are tried and true (and that my son absolutely devours).
- High-quality ingredients. Some people believe that great taste and high quality ingredients go hand in hand. So, I’ve learned that some baby food that is on the pricey side tends to be made of better stuff. You get what you pay for!
- Level of organics. I try to only pick out 100% organic food, no matter what!
- Price. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. But I have found great baby food brands that are not unreasonably priced, yet that still boast big taste and high quality ingredients. Many of the baby food brands listed below allow you to buy them in bulk, yielding you some big savings.
Maternity Glow Picks: My 5 Favorite Organic Baby Foods
I came across Plum Organics (click here to check all 9 flavors on Amazon) when I was browsing the never-ending options on Amazon, and they are in my opinion the best organic baby food pouches.
Like any mom, I got super excited when my little one began to show an interest in solids. I wanted him to get off to a healthy start, so I really wanted to make an impression on his little taste buds.
Plum Organics (which is USDA Organic Certified) is a brand that helped me do just that!
I learned long ago to always get your baby hooked on veggies first, before introducing lots of fruits. This way, they won’t be partial to the sweet taste. Plum Organics has so many veggies and veggie mixes to choose from.
My son eats absolutely anything from their line, and has graduated to eating the veggie and fruit blends since he’s mastered showing a love for all things green.
As a new mom, I had no idea what I was doing at first with which foods I should offer my baby. The line has a little number on the top of the pouch for you to use as a guide as to when you should introduce a certain food to your little one (because allergies are a common concern).
I also love the pouch design. It made it easy to squeeze some food out on a spoon (you can even find plastic spoons to twist on and toss when you’re on the go).
And, it makes it easy to save for later, or tote along with you without worrying about it leaking or spilling (never had any problems!).
The price is also quite reasonable, and Amazon usually has the best price!
So, overall, Plum Organics has my four things to consider when buying baby food covered!
While Plum Organics is my favorite, Happy Tot Organic pouches (click here to see all 17 flavors on Amazon) come in a close second!
My son really likes the flavor of these easy to feed pouches as well. The price is comparable to Plum Organics, and you can save money by buying them in bulk online.
I do have to give it to this company and their brand, though. They have created an awesome combination of flavors to introduce to the kiddos, which helps them build up their palette and develop their taste buds.
I am totally convinced that my son is more inclined to try new foods and like all kinds of flavors because he was exposed to so many in unique ways, thanks to Happy Tot.
The brand often mixes their greens with fruits, so a word to the wise: be sure to read the back of the pouch carefully because while you may think are loading your baby up with greens, they may actually be getting more fruit than you bargained for.
While I totally think any amount of veggie is great, this may bother some moms. So, just be advised to always read the back label of any pouch you pick up.
Again, Happy Tot has the benefit of being able to carry around a pouch of food, rather than a jar.
And, the company is certified organic (because of this, keep in mind that pouches have to be used up within 24 hours because they do not contain preservatives).
Another brand of organic baby food that I tried (and loved), is Peter Rabbit Organics (click here to see all 11 flavors on Amazon). My son especially loves any of their pouches that contain pumpkin.
A bit more on the affordable side, you can purchase a pack of 10, four-ounce packs for less than you'd spend on Starbucks during the week!
The pouches are made in Oregon, and many moms like the fact that it’s an American made product.
There is absolutely nothing artificial included in the pouch and because it’s composed of 100% of fruit and vegetables, your child can be sure to get the recommended daily dose with ease.
The pouches are also recyclable and BPA free.
And, not to sound too consumeristic (or girly), but I really do love their adorable, vintage inspired design on their packages!
I have heard great things about Earth's Best and their baby organic food brand (click here to see all 27 flavors on Amazon).
So, I made it a point to work some of their jarred, organic baby food into my son’s diet.
I really wanted him to love it, but unfortunately, he didn’t. He would eat some of the meats and he just didn't totally love them.
But, my girlfriends’ children absolutely swoon over Earth’s Best, so it totally is all about your child’s personal preference.
Despite my misfortune, I do choose this brand as an awesome brand of food to offer to your little ones.
Why? Not only is Earth’s Best is USDA organic certified, it is very high quality stuff. There are very minimal ingredients listed and zero salt, sugar, or preservatives are used (so toss the jar after 24 hours).
And yes, unfortunately I said jar. In my opinion, jars are the brand’s only downfall.
But, if you try the brand and get your baby hooked on it, simply leave the jars for home use and take advantage of all the wonderful pouches available to take on the road instead!
Another one of my favorites brands, you can’t go wrong with Gerber (click here to see all 11 flavors on Amazon).
I like the brand because it’s a valued name you can trust.
My son absolutely devours any and every pouch they make. They have a great selection of flavors and blends.
Each pouch is USDA certified organic and contains zero flavors, colors, or sugars. The pouches make a great snack and they encourage healthy eating habits.
The pouches, much like the others, are easy to hold and are great to teach your baby how to feed themselves (with guidance of course).
Gerber products are slightly more expensive, but I often find great deals on Amazon.
Overall, each of these organic baby foods are pretty great and one of my son's favorites.
Remember, though, with any of these foods, it all comes down to personal preference (totally dictated by your baby), and your budget.
Make your own baby food!
As I mentioned before, I do not always have time to make my own baby food. But, I will do so whenever possible.
A great suggestion is to choose one day each week to do all of the peeling, pulsing, cooking, freezing, so you have ready-to-serve, purely fresh and delicious meals for the week.
If you want to make your own food, but aren’t sure how to get started, you should make sure you have a food processor. You’ll also need some ice cube trays and a large selection of organic fruit and veggies.
- First, you have to peel and pit the fruit, and peel and cook the veggies (or harder fruits, like apples). Your kitchen will begin to smell absolutely delicious! You can also stream, bake, or broil the food items. Pick your poison. All methods get the job done.
- Once the food is softened, you are ready to mash. Place it in the food processor and begin to mix it up so that all lumps and bumps are smoothed out. Sometimes, you can add a dash of breastmilk or formula to make your mixture a little thinner (and eventually add none as your child grows).
- Pour and portion out your mixture into the ice cube trays, and voila! You’ve made organic baby food. The really fun part is playing mad scientist and mixing fruits and veggies together to create a culinary masterpiece.
Keep in mind that if you are just starting your baby on solids, the rule of thumb is to start with all the yellowish colored veggies and fruits (squash, sweet potatoes, bananas) first, and work your way up to darker colors and greens.
Baby food safety tips.
Whether you have chosen to make your own, or purchase it organically, there are a few things you should do to keep your baby and the food safe.
- Never serve food directly out of a pouch. It seems tempting, but pouches can run into contamination during the packing and shipping process. It is always suggested to spoon out an amount into a bowl.
- Toss anything after 3 days. Organic baby food does not contain preservatives, which means ultimately, the food is going to perish. Toss it! Saving it will do more harm than good.
- Label your food. It’s important to label your jars or containers so you know when it was opened and when it should be used by. You may think you’ll remember all of these specifics, but trust me: you won’t!
- Throw out any uneaten food in your serving bowl. Sometimes your eyes get bigger than your stomach and you spoon out way too much food into a bowl, leaving lots left over. You may feel that it’s a waste to discard it, but it’s wise to avoid any kind of contamination when you place the bowl back in the fridge. Next time, start small, and add more food as you go!
Making your own baby food is not only ideal because you are solely responsible for whatever goes in it, but it is super cost-effective and will save you oodles of money in the long run.
But, if you have to purchase solids, be sure to choose from one of the five brands that I reviewed for you.
You’re sure to nourish your baby, develop healthy eating habits for life, and have a clear conscience because you are serving up something tasty, safe, and environmentally responsible for the little life you are responsible for!