The Best Organic Baby Food Brands (Without Toxic Metals)

Avoid nasty chemical fertilizers and chemicals.

It’s super exciting when your baby starts transitioning to solids. And much like other baby products, you might have a lot of questions when it comes to knowing which store-bought baby foods are best. If you’re here, you’re probably considering organic baby food, which already means you’re off to a good start.

I’m sure you don’t need to be told that it’s better to make your own baby food.

But the truth is, we don’t always have the time to do it, and sometimes pre-packaged organic baby food pouches are so convenient that it’s hard not to use them.

The problem: Not all baby food pouches are healthy. Not even the organic ones.

From toxic ingredients to processed sugars and fillers, there’s a lot that can go terribly wrong when it comes to baby food.

Today we’re going to answer questions like:

  • Why new information shows that baby food has toxic heavy metals.
  • How to read a baby food label & what the certifications mean.
  • How to avoid the toxic contaminants that might be lurking in baby food.
  • The problem with sugar in baby food.
  • What to look for in a good baby food.
  • Which baby foods you can actually trust.

Problem #1: Toxic metals? In my baby food?

95% of baby food — even organic baby food — contains one or more toxic heavy metals.

This is the terrifying findings of a recent (November 2019) study by Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), an organization dedicated to reducing babies’ exposure to toxic chemicals.

They found the following toxic metals:

Lead – A whopping 94% of baby food tested contained lead. Extremely toxic.
Cadmium – 74% of baby foods contained this metal linked with brain damage, cancer, and more.
Arsenic – 73% of tested baby foods contained this toxic metal with links to damage to developing brain and nervous systems.
Mercury – 32% contained mercury, which is linked to brain damage and worse.

As scary as this sounds, you shouldn’t be alarmed. It’s easy to read information like this and start freaking out, but it’s not the end of the world, and it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feed your child store-bought baby food.

So if even organic baby foods can contain these toxic metals, what can you do about it?

Avoiding the toxins.

It turns out that when it comes to baby food, the worst offenders are those that contain sweet potato and carrot, even if organic.

“Most of these metals are naturally occurring in soil, water or air. Plants absorb them as they grow, leaving trace amounts of the metals in the plants we consume.”

Evelyn Benden, RD.

Sweet potato and carrots are root vegetables that are very high in Vitamin A and other essential nutrients, but unfortunately also high in lead and cadmium.

The HBBF doesn’t recommend completely avoiding baby food with sweet potato and carrot.

They instead recommend feeding these foods along with a variety of other foods to limit exposure while still getting the benefit of these nutritious veggies. It should only become a problem if you’re feeding your little one a diet consisting only for root veggies like carrots and sweet potato.

In our guide, we will identify the safe baby foods and mark those that contain high amounts of sweet potato or carrot.

But please don’t live in fear of letting your little one eat carrots and sweet potatoes. It’s actually fine — variety is the key!

Safe alternatives.

Unfortunately, making your own baby food isn’t going to avoid these heavy metals. And the standards like USDA organic certification don’t account for heavy metals, so even buying organic isn’t going to avoid it.

The following is a list of better alternatives to carrots and sweet potatoes. Since these veggies are grown above ground, they should be safe from the toxic heavy metal contamination.

However, since several of these options (like apples and pears) are known to be high in pesticide content, they should always be bought organic when possible.

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Prunes
  • Pears
  • Butternut squash (similar nutrient profile to carrots and sweet potato)
  • Pumpkin (also has similar nutrient profile to carrots and sweet potato)
  • Peaches
  • Grapes

Problem #2: Commercial baby food can be misleading and unhealthy.

You have to be very careful when it comes to blindly trusting baby food labeling. You might think that the industry has our children’s best interests in mind and would make the foods as healthy as possible, right?

Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

You don’t have to look very far to find baby foods that are full of processed ingredients and tons of sugars. Feeding your little one a diet of baby foods like this will set them up to prefer sweet foods and reject those that aren’t sweet. A recipe for a picky eater.

And what’s worse is that just because a label says it’s “spinach and beet”, if you turn the package over and look at the ingredients, you might find that it’s actually mainly just cheap fruit purees and juices with spinach and beet being a very small percentage of the actual container.

It’s super important to expose our children to a variety of tastes and textures at a young age, so they grow up to enjoy all of the different foods we have available. A child given only a diet of sweet, fruit-based foods might grow up to dislike the bitter taste of spinach and never learn to enjoy it.

Look at the label for this Gerber baby food pouch:

Ingredients including coloring, gelatin, juice concentrates (to make it sweeter), added sugars (14g of sugar!) and a bunch of ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Plus less than 1g of fiber, which is crazy considering apples and strawberries are high in fiber in their natural form.

Problem #3: Sugars.

Recently, baby food has come under fire for the high levels of sugars.

These super-sugary foods and treats are setting children up to be hooked on them. A diet heavy in sugars can lead to tooth decay, obesity and other health effects.

It’s a trick. You’ll buy a baby food pouch that says it’s “spinach, kale and apples”, but little do you know that apples are actually the main ingredient. Baby eats it and loves it, and you’re like “wow, this baby food is awesome! She’s eating spinach and kale like you wouldn’t believe!” — but it’s actually just full of sugar, and that’s why she likes it so much.

A sneaky way companies add sugar to their baby foods is by using concentrated juices, such as pear. You might read the label and see “concentrated pear juice” and not think twice about it, but it’s adding a lot of unnecessary sugar.

Giving kids a sweet tooth from an early age.

A big side-effect of giving our kids too much sugar is that it’s giving them a taste for sweet foods, which can continue as they get older.

It’s important to expose children to a variety of tastes—sweet, sour and bitter—so that they learn to enjoy them as they get older.

If we feed our children purees that are full of sugar, they might very well grow up to only appreciate sweet and sugary tastes.

Feed a variety of foods, not just fruits.

A lot of store-bought purees are essentially boiled and reduced fruits, making them concentrated in sugar. Often, manufacturers use fruits like banana and mango, which are naturally high in sugar, and when reduced end up making for a baby food that is very high in sugars.

You might be wondering: if it’s fruit sugar, isn’t that okay?

Unfortunately, it isn’t.

We believe that baby food should be, ideally, lower in sugar, and we will indicate which foods have acceptable levels of sugar.

The solution: a healthy, organic baby food that’s low in sugar.

Thankfully, even with the issues outlined above, it’s still possible to find a great, organic store-bought baby food that you can trust. No harmful, toxic chemicals, not loaded with sugars, and full of good, healthy nutrients that your little one needs.

To be sold as organic in the USA, baby food needs to be certified by the USDA. But there are 3 different certifications the USDA might give an “organic product.”

Let’s take a look at them.

What do the organic labels on baby food mean?

usda organic logo

In the US, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) controls the labeling of organic products.

A product that has the USDA logo is certified organic. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is 100% organic.

There are several certifications you’ll find on organic foods. They are as follows:
  • 100% Organic: Completely free of all chemical fertilizers, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and genetic modification. You won’t find any baby food labeled 100% organic.
  • USDA Organic: This label can be used on any product that contains at least 95% organic ingredients. The 5% non-organic ingredients must either be unavailable commercially in organic form.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients: If a product is labelled “made with organic ingredients”, it must contain at least 70% organic ingredients.

The Non-GMO project.

non-gmo project label

For a baby food to carry the “non-GMO Project Verified” label, the company that sells the product has both:

  1. Paid a fee to the Non-GMO Project.
  2. Had their product lab-tested to insure that the product has no genetically-modified ingredients.

However, this testing isn’t perfect.

While the project does do their best, with current technologies, they can’t 100% guarantee that the ingredients haven’t been genetically modified. In reality, the label means that the product contains little GMO material, not that it’s necessarily completely free of GMO material.

The Non-GMO Project isn’t without its controversies. Many critics claim that the non-profit is preying on consumer’s fears because they will certify any product as being non-GMO even if it can’t possibly be genetically modified.

If you’re shopping for baby food at the store and one catches your eye because it says “contains no cyanide”, you might think to yourself “Wow, I had no idea that baby food could contain cyanide, I better buy this one.” But in fact, none of the baby foods contain cyanide. It’s the same idea with the non-GMO verification.

Having said that, it’s the best we have right now, and I’d definitely prefer a product with the non-GMO label over one without it.

How to find a healthy, organic baby food.

Here is some helpful criteria you should follow, that we used when making our list of the best organic baby foods:

  1. Low in sugar content. Manufacturer’s love to put a ton of sugar in their products, so aim for those that have 8g or less sugar per serving.
  2. Avoid products that contain any ingredients that are likely to be contaminated with heavy metals. The worst offenders are those with sweet potato and carrot and we will label those that should be avoided.
  3. Go for non-fruit pouches. Veggie-based pouches are typically more nutrient-dense and have less sugars. Not only that but it helps your little one get used to the taste of actual vegetables.
  4. Beware of the labels. If a product says it’s “spinach, broccoli and apple, you have to read the label. The actual main ingredient might be just apple.
  5. Look for the fiber. A lot of baby foods are filled with water or fillers and have very low fiber. 2g of fiber is a good place to aim for.

The best organic baby food brands.

Serenity Kids (Good but expensive)

Serenity Kids is one of the best brands of store-bought organic baby food and one we’d recommend.

Click here to see their full range of baby foods.

Not all of their products are certified organic by the USDA but they have a good reason for it. The beef and pork are raised organically without GMO feed, hormones or antibiotics, from small family farms. Due to the prohibitive costs, these small farms can’t afford USDA certification. The wild caught salmon can’t be certified organic because it’s not a product of agriculture.

What we really like about this brand is that the pouches contain a lot less sugar than most. We looked at all of the products, and at most they contain 4g of sugar per serving (the entire 100g pouch) where many competing brands have 12g or more sugar in the same serving size.

Parents of picky kids, rejoice

Serenity Kids has a great policy where they will refund your money, no questions asked, if your child simply doesn’t like the product.

The downside to this brand is that some of their product is expensive. The pouches that have meat protein are $23.95 for 6 (or $4 each per pouch) while the veggie-only ones are $13.95 for 6, (or $2.30 each per pouch). The meat ones are the best, but at $4 per pouch it’s not the most affordable option on the market.

Their labeling is also a little bit misleading. For example, the expensive meat pouches are labelled things like “Free Range Chicken with Organic Peas and Carrots.” But if you take a look at the nutritional information, the first ingredient is actually peas, then carrots (which are both cheap), with the free range chicken being the third ingredient.

Yes, it’s marketing, but it’s misleading marketing, especially considering the cost of the meat protein pouches.

But having said that, if you have the money, this is a great brand that we highly recommend.

The best options from Serenity Kids:

  • Uncured Bacon with Organic Kale and Butternut Squash (1g sugar)
  • Wild Caught Salmon with Organic Butternut Squash and Beet (2g sugar)
  • Grass Fed Bison with Organic Kabocha Squash and Spinach (2g sugar)
  • Organic Butternut Squash and Spinach (2g sugar)
  • Organic Squashes (2g sugar)
  • Grass Fed Beef with Organic Kale and Sweet Potatoes (3g sugar)
  • Free Range Chicken with Organic Peas and Carrots (3g sugar)
  • Pasture Raised Turkey with Organic Pumpkin and Beets (3g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (metal contamination risk):

  • Organic Roots (4g sugar)
  • Organic Sweet Potato and Spinach (4g sugar)

Once Upon a Farm (cold-pressed and no preservatives)

Once Upon a Farm is a great newer brand that makes some excellent options for organic baby food pouches. Of course, they’re certified Organic and non-GMO and made in California.

Click here to see their baby food on Amazon.

They don’t use any preservatives and the pouches are perishable and must stay refrigerated. If you look for them in store, they’ll be in the refrigerated section! They’re available in most Whole Foods.

They use a process called HPP (coldpressing) which uses high pressure rather than heat to prepare the product. This helps maintain the taste, texture and color of the product as opposed to shelf-stable baby food products that are heated and pasteurized, which destroys a lot of the nutritional value.

They’re a bit expensive at about $2.50 per pouch (if bought from Amazon — higher from their official site), but they’re definitely one of the better and more trustworthy brands out there.

Best choices from Once Upon a Farm:

  • Brocc-On! (1g sugar)
  • Green Bean-y Zucchini (2g sugar)
  • I Carrot Lot Cup (3g sugar)
  • Cauliflower & Bell Pepper Power (2g sugar)
  • Sun-Shiny Strawberry Patch (7g sugar)
  • Strawberry Beet Basil Cup (7g sugar)
  • Farmer Jen and the Giant Squash (8g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination):

  • So Sweet Potato Cup (3g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Mama Bear Blueberry (7g sugar, contains sweet potato)

High in sugar content:

  • Prince of Prunes Cup (11g sugar)
  • Apple Bowl (12g sugar)
  • Magic Velvet Mango (12g sugar)
  • Wild Rumpus Avocado (10g sugar, main ingredient is actually pineapple)
  • Straw-pear-y Carrot Cup (9g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Blueberry Bear Cup (9g sugar, contains sweet potato / heavy metal contamination)
  • Pineapple of My Eye Cup (11g sugar)
  • OhMyMega Veggie! (9g sugar, apple is first ingredient)
  • Green Kale & Apples (9g sugar, main ingredient is apple and little kale)
  • Banana Strawberry Beet Bowl (11g sugar)
  • Apple Sweet Potato Blueberry Bowl (11g sugar, contains sweet potato / heavy metal contamination)
  • Pear Carrot Mango Bowl (9g sugar)
  • Squash Bucklin’ Sage Cup (10g sugar, main ingredient apples)
  • Beauty and the Beet Cup (10g sugar, main ingredient apples)
  • Gold-y Mango & the 3 Coconuts (10g sugar)

Earth’s Best (good options, inexpensive)

Earth’s Best is a well-established manufacturer of organic baby food. Their products are widely available in stores and online and best of all, the price is good: about $1.25 per pouch in bought in bulk.

Click here to see their baby food on Amazon.

They have some good choices available and a whole bunch that have way too much sugar for our liking.

They’re all certified USDA organic and non-GMO, and really, you can’t go wrong. They’re not prepared without preservatives like some of the other brands on our list, but the price is right.

Best choices from Earth’s Best:

  • Pumpkin & Spinach Veggie Puree (1g sugar)
  • Pasta with Tomato & White Bean (1g sugar)
  • Cheesy Pasta with Veggies (1g sugar)
  • Carrots & Broccoli Veggie Puree (2g sugar)
  • Squash & Sweet Peas Veggie Puree (2g sugar)
  • Turkey Quinoa Apple Sweet Potato (2g sugar)
  • Chicken Pot Pie (2g sugar)
  • Beef Medley (2g sugar)
  • Spinach Lentil and Brown Rice Veggie & Protein Puree (3g sugar)
  • Wholesome Breakfast Blueberry Banana (6g sugar)
  • Chicken Casserole (6g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination):

  • Sweet Potato & Beets Veggie Puree (3g sugar, possible heavy metal)
  • Sweet Potato Garbanzo Barley Veggie & Protein Puree (4g sugar, possible heavy metal)
  • Wholesome Breakfast Sweet Potato Cinnamon (4g sugar, possible heavy metal)

High in sugar content:

  • Apple Strawberry Baby Food Puree (13g sugar)
  • Peach Mango Baby Food Puree (14g sugar)
  • Apple Peach Oatmeal Fruit and Grain Puree (14g sugar)
  • Orange Banana Baby Food Puree (18g sugar)
  • Butternut Squash Pear Baby Food Puree (11g sugar, main ingredient is pear)
  • Wholesome Breakfast Apple Raisin (10g sugar)
  • Sweet Potato Apple Baby Food Puree (13g sugar)
  • Banana Raspberry Brown Rice Fruit and Grain Puree (14g sugar)
  • Banana Blueberry Baby Food Puree (15g sugar)
  • Apple Sweet Potato Pumpkin Blueberry Baby Food Puree (11g sugar)
  • Wholesome Breakfast Banana Apricot Pumpkin with Yogurt Oat & Quinoa Baby Puree (11g sugar)
  • Pear Carrot Apricot Baby Food Puree (14g sugar)
  • Pumpkin Cranberry Apple Baby Food Puree (13g sugar)

Sprout (Some good options)

Sprout is a very popular brand that offers an array of organic baby food pouches that are available online and in some retail stores.

Click here to see their baby food on Amazon.

They’re certified USDA organic and all of their ingredients are sourced from organic farms in the US.

They don’t offer a lot of non-fruit-based pouches so they’re not the best choice in the world, but they’re rather inexpensive at under $2 each if you buy the big multi-packs.

Best choices from Sprout:

  • Butternut Carrot & Apple with Beef Broth (5g sugar)
  • Butternut Blueberry Apple with Beans (5g sugar)
  • Apricot Peach Pumpkin (6g sugar)
  • Homestyle Vegetables & Pear with Chicken Broth (6g sugar)
  • Strawberry Apple Beet Red Beans (7g sugar)
  • Mixed Berry Oatmeal (7g sugar)
  • Blueberry Banana Oatmeal (8g sugar)
  • Spinach Banana Apple (9g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination):

  • Sweet Potato White Beans with Cinnamon (3g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Sweet Potato Apple Spinach (6g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Carrot Apple Mango (8g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)

High in sugar content:

  • Apricot Banana Chickpea Fig (10g sugar)
  • Carrot Chickpeas Zucchini Pear (10g sugar)
  • Apple Banana Butternut Squash (11g sugar)
  • Apple Blueberry (10g sugar)
  • Pear Kiwi Peas Spinach (12g sugar)
  • Strawberry Pear Banana (12g sugar)
  • Peach Oatmeal with Coconut Milk & Pineapple (9g sugar)
  • Peach Banana Quinoa Raisin (11g sugar)
  • Apple Oatmeal Raisin with Cinnamon (10g sugar)

Plum Organics (Good veggie meals)

Plum Organics is a company that sells only organic baby food and is readily available on the internet and in some stores. They were founded in 2007 and were acquired by the Campbell Soup Company in 2013.

Click here to see their products on Amazon.

Their products are all certified organic by the USDA and non-GMO by the non-GMO project.

Not the best brand in the world and not the worst, but the hearty veggie meals, which come in at about $2 per pouch, are an excellent option.

Best choices from Plum Organics:

  • hearty veggie meal: pumpkin, chickpea, spinach & broccoli (1g sugar)
  • hearty veggie meal: butternut squash, carrot, chickpea & corn (2g sugar)
  • hearty veggie meal: carrot, bean, spinach & tomato (2g sugar)
  • hearty veggie meal: kale, corn, carrot & tomato (3g sugar)
  • pear, green bean & greek yogurt (5g sugar)
  • carrot, spinach, turkey, corn, apple & potato with celery & onion (5g sugar)
  • pear, blueberry, avocado & granola (6g sugar)
  • guava, pear & pumpkin (6g sugar)
  • pea, kiwi, pear & avocado (6g sugar)
  • pear, spinach & pea (6g sugar)
  • apple, cauliflower & leek (7g sugar)
  • mango & pineapple, white bean, butternut squash, oat (7g sugar)
  • apple, plum, berry & barley (7g sugar)
  • pear, purple carrot & blueberry (7g sugar)
  • strawberry, banana, greek yogurt, kale, amaranth & oat (8g sugar)
  • apple, raspberry, spinach & greek yogurt (8g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination):

  • sweet potato (7g sugar)
  • carrot, sweet potato, corn, pea & chicken with quinoa, celery & leek (3g sugar)

High in sugar content:

  • prunes (10g sugar)
  • peaches (8g sugar)
  • mangoes (13g sugar)
  • apple, butternut squash & granola (9g sugar)
  • strawberry, banana & granola (9g sugar)
  • mango, carrot & coconut cream (8g sugar)
  • apple, spinach & avocado (9g sugar)
  • apple, blackberry, coconut cream & oat (11g sugar)
  • mango, banana, white bean, sunflower seed butter & chia (10g sugar)
  • apple, raisin & quinoa (12g sugar)
  • banana, zucchini & amaranth (11g sugar)
  • banana, white bean, strawberry & chia (9g sugar)
  • pear, white bean, blueberry, date & chia (10g sugar)
  • carrot, pear, pomegranate & oats (10g sugar)
  • spinach, grape, apple & amaranth (9g sugar)
  • zucchini, apple, watermelon & barley (11g sugar)
  • sweet potato, apple, banana, carrot (10g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • banana, blueberry, sweet potato, carrot, greek yogurt & millet (10g sugar)
  • sweet potato, banana & passionfruit, greek yogurt, oat (9g sugar)
  • sweet potato, apple & corn (12g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • banana & pumpkin (14g sugar)
  • pear & mango (9g sugar)
  • peach, banana & apricot (13g sugar)
  • apple & broccoli (10g sugar)
  • apple & carrot (9g sugar)
  • apple, banana, blueberry, sunflower seed butter with DHA (11g sugar)

Happy Family Organics (great veggie options)

Happy Family Organics launched in 2006 with a line of USDA organic baby food pouches and jars with good ingredients.

Click here to see their products on Amazon.

At about $2.50 per pouch when bought in bulk, they’re a bit on the expensive side. Some of the products have way too much sugar for our tastes, but they do have a bunch of great choices for organic baby food pouches.

All of the ones we have listed below in the “best choices” section are great, veggie-based pouches that are low in sugar and are full of good ingredients.

Because of the great choices they have available, they’re one of the better organic baby food companies out there.

Best choices from Happy Family Organics:

  • Harvest Vegetables & Chicken with Quinoa (2g sugar)
  • Root Vegetables & Turkey with Quinoa (2g sugar)
  • Vegetables & Beef Medley with Quinoa (3g sugar)
  • Carrots, Strawberries & Chickpeas (5g sugar)
  • Squash, Pears & Apricots (6g sugar)
  • Zucchini, Apples, Peas, Quinoa & Basil (6g sugar)
  • Purple Carrots, Bananas, Avocados & Quinoa (6g sugar)
  • Pears, Pumpkin, Peaches & Granola (7g sugar)
  • Black Beans, Beets & Bananas (7g sugar)

Jars:

  • Green Beans (1g sugar)
  • Carrots & Peas (4g sugar)
  • Carrots (4g sugar)

Feed these jars sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination):

  • Apples, Sweet Potatoes & Granola (5g sugar)
  • Sweet Potatoes (6g sugar)

High in sugar content (jars):

  • Apples, Mangos & Beets (14g sugar)
  • Pears, Pineapple & Avocado (10g sugar)
  • Pears & Prunes (10g sugar)
  • Apples & Blueberries (13g sugar)
  • Apples & Spinach (13g sugar)
  • Apples, Oats & Cinnamon (12g sugar)
  • Bananas & Strawberries (15g sugar)
  • Bananas & Sweet Potatoes (12g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Bananas, Blueberries & Beets (16g sugar)
  • Pears (11g sugar)
  • Pears & Kale (9g sugar)
  • Pears, Mangos & Spinach (11g sugar)

High in sugar content (pouches):

  • Bananas, Pineapple, Avocado & Granola (13g sugar)
  • Pears, Pumpkin & Passion Fruit (9g sugar)
  • Pears, Zucchini & Pea (9g sugar)
  • Bananas, Raspberries & Oats (12g sugar)
  • Bananas, Sweet Potatoes & Papayas (13g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Pears, Kale & Spinach (9g sugar)
  • Apples, Blueberries & Oats (13g sugar)
  • Pears, Squash & Blackberries (8g sugar)
  • Apples, Pumpkin & Carrots (10g sugar)
  • Apples, Guavas & Beets (13g sugar)
  • Apples, Kale & Avocados (12g sugar)
  • Bananas, Plums & Granola (10g sugar)
  • Sweet Potatoes, Mangos & Carrots (11g sugar)
  • Prunes (9g sugar)
  • Mangos (13g sugar)
  • Peas, Bananas & Kiwi (9g sugar)

Ella’s Kitchen (UK-only)

Ella’s Kitchen is a British brand that makes a whole bunch of good baby food pouches. They’re not the easiest brand to source in the US, but some of them are available on Amazon.

They’re all certified organic and best of all, a lot of them are veggie-based instead of fruit-based.

If you source them from Amazon, they come out at a little more than $2 per pouch, which is a typical standard price.

We do wish this brand was more widely available in the US and because of this we can’t give it top marks, but if you’re in the UK or are okay with the small selection available here, Ella’s Kitchen is a good brand.

4+ months

  • squash, sweet potatoes + parsnips (1.7g sugar)
  • Sweetcorn (2g sugar)
  • carrots, peas + kale (2.2g sugar)
  • Courgettes, apples + avocados (6.7g sugar — 60% apple)
  • spinach apples + swedes (7.4g sugar)
  • Strawberries, rhubarb + apples (7.6g sugar)
  • Mighty grains peach, mango + amaranth (8g sugar)
  • Mighty grains squash, apple + quinoa (8g sugar — 74% apple)

6+ months

  • mmmmm bubble + squeak with leeks (2g sugar)
  • mmmmm macaroni cheese with basil (2.5g sugar)
  • mmmmm cauliflower cheese with butter beans (2.5g sugar)
  • mmmmm veggie couscous with herbs (3g sugar — has carrot)
  • mmmmm tomato + lentil bake with red peppers (5g sugar — has sweet potato)

7+ months

  • fabulously filling Fish Pie with parsley (3g sugar — has carrots)
  • wonderfully warming Beef Stew with spuds (2.6g sugar – has carrots)
  • chick-chick Chicken Casserole with apricots (5.5g sugar – has carrots)
  • very, very tasty Vegetable + Lentil Bake with sauce (5.3g sugar)
  • lovely Lamb Roast Dinner with all the trimmings (2.3g sugar)
  • oh so creamy Chicken + Veg with sweetcorn mash (2.5g sugar)
  • lip smacking Spag Bol with a sprinkle of cheese (4g sugar)
  • punchy Pork Roast Dinner with apple sauce (4g sugar)
  • full of beans Veggie Feast with basil (4g sugar)
  • big smiles Cheesy Pie with veggies (3.4g sugar)
  • oodles of fun Chicken + Noodles with red peppers (2.7g sugar)
  • Zingy Lamb + Cous Cous with mangoes + raisins (6.8g sugar)
  • vroom vroom Veggie Lasagne with a sprinkle of cheese (4g sugar)
  • bang bang Bangers + Mash with veggies (3g sugar)
  • cheery Chicken Roast Dinner with stuffing (3.4g sugar)
  • cheeky Greek-y Veggie Moussaka with red lentils (2g sugar)
  • jammin’ Jamaican Curried Pork with rice + peas (3.3g sugar)
  • moreish Moroccan Chicken with chickpeas + cumin (4.7g sugar)
  • arriba arriba Mexican Chicken with rice and peppers (3g sugar)
  • seriously comforting Cottage Pie with a pinch of cinnamon (3.1g sugar)
  • groovy greens Veggie Risotto with cheese (1.2g sugar)
  • mild chilli con carne (2.2g sugar)
  • Tomato-y pasta with plenty of veg (4.4g sugar)

10+ months

  • Nicely spiced chicken curry with veggie rice (6.6g sugar)
  • Easy Peas-y Cheesy Pasta with lots of veg (5.7g sugar)
  • wonderfully warming Beef Stew with spuds (3.8g sugar)
  • lip smacking Spag Bol with a sprinkle of cheese (5.9g sugar)
  • full of sunshine Thai Curry with noodles + coconut (6.7g sugar)
  • lovely Lamb Roast Dinner with all the trimmings (3.4g sugar)
  • chick-chick-Chicken Casserole with apricots (8g sugar)
  • perfectly pleasing Tomato-y Pasta with plenty of veg (7.2g sugar)
  • super scrummy Salmon Risotto with a sprinkle of cheese (3g sugar)
  • seriously comforting Cottage Pie with a pinch of cinnamon (4.9g sugar)
  • totally cool Caribbean Chicken with mangoes (7.4g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination):

  • sweet potatoes broccoli + carrots (8g sugar)
  • squash, sweet potatoes + parsnips (6.7g sugar)
  • sweet potatoes (3g sugar)
  • parsnips (3g sugar)
  • carrots (3g sugar)
  • mmmmm chickpea + sweet potato mash with sweetcorn (5g sugar)

High in sugar content:

  • sweet potatoes + pumpkin apples + blueberries (11g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Carrots apples + parsnips (11g sugar)
  • strawberries + apples (12g sugar)
  • bananas + apples (20g sugar)
  • broccoli pears + peas (9.5g sugar)
  • peaches + bananas (16g sugar)
  • butternut squash carrots apples + prunes (11g sugar)
  • plums pears parsnips + swedes (9g sugar)
  • carrots peas + pears (9g sugar)
  • mangoes pears + papayas (10g sugar)
  • red peppers, sweet potatoes + apples (9g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • blueberries apples bananas + vanilla (16g sugar)
  • bananas + coconuts (22g sugar)
  • Pears, nectarines + guava (10g sugar)
  • Mighty grains raspberry, apple + buckwheat (8.6g sugar — mainly apple)
  • peas, peas, peas (0.4g sugar, but 50% water, 50% peas)

Square Baby (good, but expensive subscription service)

Square Baby is an interesting new brand. They’re only available online, and currently only deliver to the US states of: CA, OR, WA, ID, UT, NV, AZ, and CO. They’re a subscription-based startup where you receive their frozen meals on a scheduled basis.

Their products are all USDA certified organic and non-GMO.

The brand does do a good job at creating healthy, organic meals that aren’t full of sugars and fruits. Apart from some of their baby fruit purees, the rest of the lineup is quite good.

However, this comes at a cost. At the lowest tier, you’re spending $79 for 14 meals, which works out to $5.64 a meal for a 113g container. This is likely out of budget for a lot of people, and since they’re only available to a few select states on the west coast, it’s definitely a niche brand.

But if it sounds appealing to receive, healthy, organic frozen meals to your front door that you simply reheat and serve, and you’re okay with the price, Square Baby isn’t a bad brand at all.

Best options from Square Baby:

4+ months

  • Lil Carrot (3g sugar)
  • Lil Sweet Pea (4g sugar)
  • Lil Peach (6g sugar)

6+ months

  • Minty Green (4g sugar)
  • Peachy Oatmeal (4g sugar)
  • Peanut Pumpkin Pie (5g sugar)
  • Greenie Baby (5g sugar)
  • Beet Berry (5g sugar)
  • Apple Rosemary Lentils (5g sugar)
  • Apple Curry Chicken (6g sugar)
  • Mango Coconut Chicken (7g sugar)
  • 8+ months
  • Avocado Greens (1g sugar)
  • Salmon Mash (5g sugar)
  • Spinach Dahl (4g sugar)
  • Mango Rice Pudding (5g sugar)
  • Baby Blues (5g sugar)
  • Veggie Scramble (4g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination):

  • (4+ months) Lil Sweet Potato (6g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • (6+ months) Harvest Feast (4g sugar, contains sweet potato)

High in sugar content:

  • Lil Mango (13g sugar)
  • Lil Pear (11g sugar)

Little Spoon (good, but expensive subscription service)

Little Spoon is another newer startup that makes and delivers fresh baby food blends to your door. All of their product is made in southern California and is available only through their website.

Their blends are certified USDA organic and most of them have a great nutritional profile. They arrive fresh and must be consumed within 14 days or should be thrown out. This is because they’re not using any preservatives or pasteurization.

Pricing is based on your location and we weren’t able to find a list anywhere, but they also run on a subscription service. Shipping is only available to the continental USA.

We did a trial checkout with the area code “90210” (Beverly Hills) and the plans range from $2.98/meal for 3 meals per day, to $3.93/meal for 1 meal per day. Much like the other subscription services like Square Baby, it’s quite pricey for what you’re getting.

But the target audience of a product like this is those that are short on time and want to pay for convenience, so if that sounds like you, Little Spoon is a good brand to try.

Best choices from Little Spoon:

  • Broccoli Spinach (2g sugar)
  • Zucchini (2g sugar)
  • Butternut Squash (2g sugar)
  • Avocado Green Apple Broccoli Spirulina (6g sugar, broccoli and apple are main ingredients)
  • Kale Avocado Green Apple Chia (6g sugar)
  • Pitaya Pineapple Spinach Banana Coconut Oil (7g sugar)
  • Broccoli Pineapple Banana Hemp (7g sugar)
  • Carrot Apple Buckwheat Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Flax Oil (7g sugar)
  • Kale White Bean Pear Basil Quinoa Avocado Oil (7g sugar)
  • Quinoa Butternut Squash Kale Apple (7g sugar)
  • Strawberry Basil Beet Pear Chia (8g sugar)
  • Spinach Mango Banana Hemp (8g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination):

  • Sweet Potato Carrot (5g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)

Too much sugar:

  • Carrot Mango Coconut Milk Turmeric (10g sugar)
  • Carrot Mango Banana Chia (10g sugar)
  • Quinoa Raspberry Pear Coconut Milk Vanilla Date Wheat Germ Oil (13g sugar)
  • Blueberry Chickpea Spinach Pear Rosemary (9g sugar)
  • Sweet Potato Apple Blueberry Flax (9g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Sweet Potato Apple Red Bell Pepper Turmeric (10g sugar, possible heavy metal contamination)
  • Pea Pear Mint (10g sugar)
  • Kale Carrot Pear (9g sugar, mainly pear and apple)
  • Carrot Apple Ginger (11g sugar)
  • Beet Banana Mango (14g sugar)
  • Pear (11g sugar)
  • Apple (12g sugar)
  • Mango (15g sugar)
  • Prunes (11g sugar)

Beech-Nut

Beech-Nut is one of the biggest manufacturers of baby food in the US, being second only to Gerber. Beech Nut is not a fully organic company but do have a line of organic baby foods.

Click here to see their baby food on Amazon.

This brand has some products that are extremely high in sugar content. For example, the banana jar has a whopping 22g of sugar in a jar that’s only 113g. That’s almost 20% of the net weight being sugar! In comparison, if you took the same amount of raw banana and mashed it up, it would contain 13.4g of sugar. This is because they’re removing the seeds, mashing it up and boiling it so it’s a concentrated mass of banana.

At about $3.20 each, they’re definitely on the expensive side, but they do have some good options in both pouch and jar format.

Best choices from Beech-Nut:

Pouches:

  • Peas & Spinach (2g sugar)
  • Peas, Green Bean & Avocado (4g sugar)
  • Corn, Kale & Quinoa (4g sugar)
  • Squash, Peas & Pear (6g sugar)
  • Apple, Kiwi & Spinach (6g sugar)
  • Pear, Pumpkin & Cranberry (7g sugar)
  • Carrots, Zuccini & Pear (7g sugar)
  • Apple, Black Bean & Raspberry (8g sugar)

Stage 1 jars:

  • Organics Pumpkin Jar (4g sugar)
  • Organics Carrots Jar (5g sugar)

Stage 2 jars:

  • Organics butternut squash & sweet corn jar (5g sugar)
  • Organics apple, pumpkin & granola jar (7g sugar)

Feed these sparingly (possible heavy metal contamination)

  • Organics apple, sweet potato, pineapple & oat pouch (8g sugar)

High in sugar content:

  • Organics Apple Jar (12g sugar)
  • Organics Pear Jar (11g sugar)
  • Organics Sweet Potato Jar (11g sugar, metal contamination risk)
  • Organics Prunes Jar (13g sugar)
  • Organics apple, cinnamon & granola jar (9g sugar)
  • Organics apple, kiwi & spinach jar (12g sugar)
  • Organics banana jar (22g sugar)
  • Organics banana, mango & sweet potato jar (17g sugar)
  • Organics banana, cinnamon & granola jar (14g sugar)
  • Organics apple, raspberries & avocado jar (11g sugar)
  • Organics pear, kale & cucumber jar (9g sugar)
  • Organics sweet potato & barley jar (11g sugar, metal contamination risk)
  • Organics banana, blueberry & avocado pouch (13g sugar)

NuturMe (not many good options)

NuturMe’s big selling point is that they use quinoa in a lot of their products, including many of their baby food pouches. Quinoa is a grain that’s full of amino acids, omegas 3, 6 and 9 and more. It’s considered a “superfood” in some circles and can be a great grain for your child.

Click here to see their baby food on Amazon.

The price isn’t bad: at about $1.25 per pouch (if you buy the 12-packs) they’re not going to break the bank, but you’d still be better off making most of these blends yourself.

The sugar content of their baby food pouches is a little higher than we’d like to see. This is because most of their blends contain a sweet fruit like banana, pear or mango. For example, the pineapple + banana + oatmeal blend has 12g of sugar per serving, which is on the high side. Because of this, we can’t really recommend this brand over others.

There’s only one product they offer that is below our sugar limits:

  • apple + pumpkin + beet (7g sugar)

High in sugar content:

  • carrot + mango + apple (9g sugar)
  • pear + pea + spinach (9g sugar)
  • mango + guava + quinoa (11g sugar)
  • pear + quinoa + amaranth + spinach (10g sugar)
  • pineapple + banana + oatmeal (12g sugar)
  • strawberry + banana + amaranth (10g sugar)
  • banana + pumpkin + celery (11g sugar)

Peter Rabbit Organics is a brand that’s easy to find in stores: they’re available in places like Whole Foods, Publix, Safeway, Target and even some Starbucks.

They’re recommended on a lot of “best organic baby food” lists, but that’s because a lot of people aren’t really looking into their ingredients and nutritional facts.

Unfortunately, their pouches are almost all very high in sugar content and therefore I couldn’t recommend them at all. For example, all of the pouches that have banana as a primary ingredient contain at least 14g sugar.

Making your own baby food.

We would strongly recommend making your own baby food over store-bought jars or pouches.

Here’s why:

  • It’s far cheaper. Organic baby food pouches can run as much as $5 per serving, which can really add up.
  • You know exactly what’s going into it. It’s easy to buy organic ingredients from the local grocery store, and you’re probably not going to add any preservatives, right?
  • Most baby purees are processed. Even if they’re organic, they’re still going through a process that can destroy some of the nutrients in the food.
  • You can use any food you want. There are some common ingredients in packaged baby foods. If you make your own food, you can use lesser-used ingredients, like melons or meats. A wider variety of food makes for a less picky baby!
  • Baby can eat the same food as the family. This not only makes for a bonding experience, but exposing them to a wider variety of foods can make them less of a picky eater as well.
  • Store-bought food can be high in sugar. Because of the process they use to make the purees, which often means boiling and reducing the fruit down, it ends up being more highly concentrated with sugars. Some companies even do sneaky things like add grape juice concentrate to the mixture, making it much sweeter than it should be.

If you think it’s too hard or time consuming to make your own food, it’s actually not. You can spend an hour or two making food and make enough for a the month.

If you want to make your own food, check out our guide!

The Dirty Dozen: Foods to Avoid

What’s the dirty dozen? Nope, it’s not a rap group.

It’s the Environmental Working Group’s list of the top 12 fruits and vegetables to avoid by the amount of pesticide residue found in them.

EWG's Dirty Dozen

If you decide to make your own baby food, you’d be best to avoid any of these veggies if you’re not buying them 100% organic.

Apples top the list, along with peaches, celery and potatoes. You can find the full list here.

Keeping Baby Food Safe: Some Guidelines

There are some guidelines you should follow when handling and using your baby food.

  1. Pay attention to the expiry dates on food. Most baby foods, even the organic ones, have preservatives and are pasteurized to make them shelf stable. But you should still be careful. This is especially true for some of the choices on our list that don’t have preservatives at lal. If it looks funky or the packaging seems damaged, throw it out.
  2. To keep things as safe as possible, throw out uneaten portions of food. It might be okay in the fridge for a few hours, but if it’s going to go overnight, just toss it out. Bacteria from baby’s mouth will multiply quickly in containers.
  3. Never feed baby any home-canned foods. These foods sometimes contain bacteria that is no problem for grown adults, but not so much for the immature immune systems of infants.
  4. If you make your own food and freeze it, make sure to label it properly. In general, fruit or veggie-based foods should be used within 3 months of freezing.
  5. If you’re traveling with a baby food pouch that’s opened, always keep it in a refrigerated container.

Summing it up.

It’s definitely worth making sure you feed your baby organic foods, whether or not you buy them premade or make them yourself!

Personally, I like the idea of doing both. Make your own natural, healthy baby food while you have the time, but have premade baby food packets or jars for the times when you don’t have the energy or time to make food.

I’m personally really glad that more and more moms are realizing how important it is to watch what we give our children!

Do you make your own baby food? If not, do you stick to organic food? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments section below!

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