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Starting a baby out on solid food can be scary, especially with recent baby food recalls and heavy metals found in the food. Finding the time to make fresh homemade baby food may be a safer alternative but presents its own challenges. That’s why I looked into baby food delivery services that promised to deliver all-natural, organic ingredients for my 5-month-old, Zeke.
Little Spoon’s baby blends.
You can find baby food delivery services that offer freshly prepared meals and don’t use preservatives to extend their shelf life. They’re convenient for parents who want their baby to eat healthy homemade dishes but don’t have the time to make them — similar to meal kits like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.
Here are my favorite baby meal delivery kits that you can try for every stage in your baby’s food journey. For more, here’s how meal kit prices stack up to grocery store prices.
Little Spoon has an assortment of organic baby food to choose from, with more than 40 flavors across the six baby food stages. The meals I received arrived in two packages. One was in a pouch with a resealable top and the other was in a small tub that came with a spoon — very handy if you’re planning on feeding your baby outside of your house.
Instead of heat pasteurizing the purees to remove harmful bacteria, the baby food company said it uses cold pressure and refrigeration to prevent bacteria from growing. Cold pressed baby food is closer to what you’d make at home if you were to do it yourself, the company said. The food is also Clean Label Project verified, which means it’s been tested by a third party for more than 400 contaminants, including heavy metals, Little Spoon said.
The company groups its baby-food meals into six stages, starting with single-ingredient purees for babies up to 6 months old, moving to multi-ingredient blends that babies can try after 6 months. Once your baby masters each stage and hits their age target, they can move up to the next round of foods. For instance, stage 2 foods have two ingredients and are for babies 6 months old, and stage 3 foods have three ingredients and are for babies 7 months old.
The food is made fresh each week, the company said, and you’ll either need to use it within 14 days or freeze it, which may not be ideal if you’re trying to only give your baby fresh food.
Price: Starting at $2.96 per meal
Cerebelly’s baby food comes packaged in pouches with a lid so you can take them on the go — just remember to bring a spoon with you and shake the pouch before serving. We tried the pea-spinach-pear meal, and it was blended well enough for Zeke to eat — not too runny and not too thick. He loved it, which was surprising since he usually makes a disgusted face when eating peas. The multi-ingredient meals may be great if you have picky eaters like my boy.
When you sign up for Cerebelly, you’ll start by taking a quiz so the company can customize the food choices for your child’s age and developmental milestones. You can then select a bundle based on your baby’s results. For babies new to solids, you’ll want to stick with meals for those aged 5 to 7 months.
Cerebelly foods have been tested for potentially harmful chemicals by the Clean Label Project and are all preservative-free, the company said.
Price: Starting at $2.71 per meal
If your baby has tried purees and can successfully swallow them instead of pushing the food back out with their tongue, they’re ready to try a thicker blend. Tiny Organics baby food is good for babies 6 months and older. So if you’re starting your baby out on food any sooner, I recommend waiting until they’re a bit older or sticking with the smooth purees. These meals are also compatible with baby-led weaning for parents interested in letting their babies feed themselves at the dinner table.
Tiny Organics has plant-based meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they look like meals that I would actually eat. For instance, one breakfast option is potato hash, which includes potatoes, spinach, bell peppers and onions — something I’d make for myself in the morning. Some lunch or dinner options include a baby burrito bowl and cauliflower macaroni and cheese. Many of these are finger foods, so if you’re just starting your baby out on solids, try the smooth purees first, like the blueberry and banana puree.
Since Zeke has been eating pureed food for nearly two months, I tried a thicker puree — pineapple, mango and oats — but he didn’t seem ready for the thick blend yet, so I’ll give it another try in a few weeks.
The meals come frozen in small cups and will need to be stored in your freezer until you’re ready to feed them to your baby. You can either heat them up in the microwave or on the stovetop. In either case, make sure to let them cool down before serving. These handy spoons I use for Zeke turn white when the temperature is too hot for his little mouth.
Price: Starting at $3.36 per meal
Before I knew baby meal delivery services were a thing, I was giving Zeke Gerber baby food to try. But when I found out about a report on heavy metals found in commercial baby food, I decided it was time to try something different.
Immediately, I could see a difference between the freshly prepared food and store-bought food. For example, when comparing Gerber apples to Little Spoon apples, the texture was different and so was the taste — yes, I tried them. Gerber’s tasted sweeter while Little Spoon’s tasted more like Granny Smith apples — Zeke made a sour face while eating them. As for the texture, Gerber’s is more like a smooth applesauce while Little Spoon’s has more of a ground apple texture.
As for the price, a four-ounce tub of apples from Little Spoon will run you $2.96. With Gerber, you can get two 4-ounce tubs for $2.
One thing that stood out to me was the nutrition label. Apples naturally have calcium, but the Gerber apples label showed it had none; Little Spoon’s label listed 10mg of calcium.
It’s recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wait until infants are roughly 6 months old before adding anything other than formula or breastmilk to their diet. However, some babies may be ready for solids as early as 4 months old, according to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
How do you know if your baby is ready to try solids? The Mayo Clinic says between 4 and 6 months old, they should show signs they’re ready by holding their head up on their own, sitting with support, leaning toward the food with their mouth open and putting toys or their hands up to their mouth.
Before giving your baby solids, always ask your pediatrician if it’s the right time. Your doctor can help you determine whether your baby is ready to begin eating solids based on their development.
Interested in other meal kits for grown-ups? These are the best cheap meal delivery deals right now. Here are also some tips and tricks to get the most out of your meal kit subscription.
The 3 Baby Food Delivery Services My 5-Month-Old Loves as Much as I Do – CNET
Your guide to a better future