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We all have big ambitions when it comes to feeding our kids, especially when they’re starting to eat their first foods. Maybe we start out promising to only serve them homemade, whole-food recipes made with organic and sustainably sourced ingredients…but then, reality hits, and we find ourselves giving them peanut butter (and not the kind from Whole Foods) on a spoon straight from the jar and calling it dinner. No judgment.
Enter the best baby food services, which make providing super-healthy meals for your little ones not only possible but easy. These industry-disrupting companies all offer fresh, wholesome alternatives to the often preservative- and sugar-laden packaged goods you’ll find on grocery store shelves and ship them directly to your door. Most will even pick the menu for you based on your baby’s age and preferences, so you truly don’t have to stress over any detail regarding your child’s nutrition.
Whether you have an infant just starting solids with purées or a toddler refusing to eat his veggies, there’s a company that caters to your tot’s developing palate. Click through to see the best options out there.
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This post was originally published in August 2018.
What to Buy
What to Buy
Photo : Courtesy of Square Baby.
When Katie Thomson, a registered dietitian, and Kendall Glynn, a certified genetic counselor, created Square Baby, they wanted to “cut through the clutter [of the industry], the confusion and the mountains of applesauce.”
With 1-3 Square Baby meals per day (depending on your child’s age), kids will eat 100% of their daily recommended servings of fruit, veggies, protein, and grains. Plus, recipes include diverse foods and flavors like “Salmon Mash” and “Apple Curry Chicken” to expand your little one’s palate.
Perhaps our favorite thing about Square Baby is that they offer an “allergen introduction menu,” which introduces your baby to allergens at a young age. (It might sound scary, but it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).
Still not convinced? Every time you tag Square Baby in a social media post about the meals, the company will donate 10 meals to the nonprofit Feeding America. For every friend you tag in send post, another 10 meals will be donated.
Boxes are customizable and delivered every two weeks.
Photo : Courtesy of White Leaf Provisions.
White Leaf Provisions
You could argue there was no duo better suited to create White Leaf Provisions than husband and wife Keith and Meghan Rowe. Keith is a classically French-trained chef hailing from a small village in Ireland, and Meghan comes from a long line of successful entrepreneurs. So it only made sense that the two would come together to produce a baby food line that is both nutritious and sustainable.
Their apple sauces and baby food pouches are made from in-season fruits and vegetables that are grown using biodynamic and regenerative agriculture practices. They are certified organic and biodynamic, GMO-free, and you won’t be surprised to hear they come in BPA-free, recyclable packaging.
Boxes are delivered every 24 days, and shoppers can filter not only by ingredients, but by health focus: “healthy digestion, healthy brain, boost immune, strong heart, and skin and eyes.”
Photo : Courtesy of Kid Snack Box.
Kid Snack Box
The delivery service Kid Snack Box will — as you can probably guess — deliver a box of snacks to your kids each month. Each of the 5-8 items will be approved by the company’s registered dietitian/nutritionist, so you can rest assured your kids are getting healthy options.
It’s also a nice way to get a feel for which snacks your kids do (or don’t) like before you buy them in bulk. Plus, Kid Snack Box will send select coupons so you can splurge on any favorites.
Photo : Courtesy of Little Spoon.
Although it started as an invite-only NYC company, Little Spoon has since expanded the reach of its plant-based “Babyblends” (aka purées) to the 48 contiguous United States. The range of 100+ flavors spans basic single-item options (apple, mango, pear) to more unusual combinations of multiple ingredients, such as the popular blend of pitaya, pineapple, spinach, banana and coconut oil.
As your baby moves toward solids, the Biteables line features a variety of pre-cut, bite-sized finger foods like orzo, squash, broccoli, and turkey kale meatballs. And for toddlers and big kids, there’s Plates, a line of $5 healthy heat-and-eat meals that range from the standard (Chicken Super Nuggets) to specialty (Gluten-Free Cauliflower Gnocchi), all of which are fortified with hidden organic vegetables and superfoods.
While you can customize your own box for the biweekly deliveries, the default ordering method uses Little Spoon’s Blueprint algorithm, which generates a personalized selection based on baby’s age, height, weight and preferences. The rectangular containers come packaged with a — you guessed it — little spoon right under the lid, making them crazy-convenient for meals on the go.
Photo : Courtesy of Yumi.
A study published in the journal Appetite in 2007 showed that early repeated exposure to a wide variety of foods will prevent your baby from becoming a picky eater, and if you’re looking to raise a gourmand, you won’t find a more diverse array of flavors than from this Los Angeles-based company. The menu of one of the best baby food services features more than 60 seasonal purées you likely won’t see elsewhere, such as adzuki bean, apricot turmeric buckwheat bowls and mango chia pudding. Everything is organic, plant-based and big-allergen-free (no nuts, gluten, soy or dairy) and packaged in generously sized 4.5-ounce BPA-free recyclable jars.
But what really sets Yumi apart is the attention to detail: The weekly deliveries come color-coded so you know what to toss when and are accompanied by a customized milestone card that explains what’s happening developmentally with your child and how food can support it. Though it started as a West Coast–only enterprise, the brand has since gone national with shipping to the contiguous 48 United States, and now also offers snacks and finger foods for more advanced eaters.
Photo : Courtesy of Daniel H. Fitzpatrick/Nurture Life.
This age-spanning service will cover nearly all of your kids’ nutritional needs throughout childhood, from the moment they start eating chunkier solids at 10 months to the time they’re able to operate a microwave at 14 years old. That’s why this is one of the best baby food services—it grows with your child. Register your child’s age and dietary preferences, and you’ll be sent a week’s worth of meals in freezer-, microwave- and oven-safe trays that stay fresh for seven days.
Only antibiotic-free meat, sustainably farmed fish and locally grown produce is used for the finger foods (such as the cubed beef meatloaf, broccoli and butternut squash layered in a jar) and kid-friendly fare (chicken bites with mashed sweet potatoes, and mac and cheese with cauliflower are among the age-agnostic hits). The menu changes regularly, so things never get dull, ensuring both your tot and his or her palate grow along the way.
Photo : Courtesy of Once Upon a Farm.
Once Upon a Farm
This baby food company, co-founded by celebrity mom Jennifer Garner, is on a mission to give busy moms the freshest and healthiest food pouches possible. It’s not quite as fresh if you were to make it yourself, but it’s close. Once Upon a Farm uses USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified produce from the Garner family farm in Oklahoma, which hadn’t been farmed in 40 years before the actress had replanted in 2018. The produce is then blended with “good fats” like quinoa, coconut oil, avocado and flax seed. Lastly, it’s cold-pressed to ensure the baby food retains its nutrients.
Once Upon a Farm offers a subscription service. You can get pouches delivered as often as once a week or as little as once every five weeks. When you sign up, you get 24 pouches. You go through and select flavors, in multiple of three, that you think your baby will enjoy and then it’s sent straight to your doorstep. They make pouches for Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3, as well as for toddlers and kids. With plenty of fun flavors like Green Kale & Apples and Gold-y Mango & The Three Coconuts, your baby will have the opportunity to try a lot of pouches. If your baby doesn’t like the pouches, you can swap them out before your next order. You can also cancel at any time.
Photo : Courtesy of Cerebelly.
Talk about the mind-body connection: Cerebelly‘s veggie-forward baby food pouches were developed by a neurosurgeon with the intent to nourish and support brain development in kids under 3. While the organic, vegan pouches are available for purchase individually and in three-packs at Target, you can also sign up for biweekly subscriptions that you either hand-pick or have personalized for your child’s age and milestones based on a two-minute online quiz.
In addition to filling your box with no-sugar-added pouches in earthy flavors such as Black Bean Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash White Bean, you can also add Cerebelly’s toddler-perfect Smart Bars (including its super-cute collab with Peppa Pig!). So while the Mini (7-13 items; starting at $2.89/item), Small (14-27 items; starting at $2.60/item) or Medium (28-41 items; starting at $2.46/item) subscriptions might sound most appealing, it’s likely a lot easier to stuff a Big (42-55 items; starting at $2.31/item) or even Family (56+ items; starting at $2.17/item) than you’d think. Have we mentioned that Molly Sims is a fan?
Cerebelly Bi-Weekly Deliveries $20+
Photo : lil’ gourmets.
If you’re hoping that your little one develops a discerning and global palate, start them off with this baby food service. Lil gourmets will introduce your baby to special chef-prepared purées. Your babe will sample sweet potato curry and coconut cauliflower hash. To be honest, your baby might be eating better than you with this service. You can choose from several different plan options. The food is all non-GMO, organic and gluten-free.
Organic Variety Pack $27.92
Photo : Courtesy of Tiny Organics.
Made for babies who are eight months or older, Tiny Organics embraces organic ingredients, new flavors and baby-led weaning, which means that your baby learns how to eat by themselves. The meals produced by this company is finger-food, so be prepared for a little bit more mess than normal on your child’s high chair. Eating with their fingers and determining how much they want to eat helps babies gain confidence and develop their motor skills. Check out Tiny Organics’ explainer to see if your baby is ready to start feeding themselves.
The food itself is USDA-certified organic and non-GMO. Tiny Organics believes that kids should try more than 100 foods before they hit age 2, which will make them less likely to be picky eaters later on. With flavors like Massaman Curry and Southern Grits and Greens, your baby’s palate might be more refined than yours after a few months.
You can choose between a 12 or 24 pack, pick your meals and select how frequently you want them. You can get the meals weekly, every two weeks or every four weeks. The meals arrive frozen in a package with dry ice on your doorstep. Once you put them in your freezer, they can stay there for three months. When you want to feed your little one, you just let the meal thaw in the fridge and pop the meal in the microwave or heat it on the stovetop. This is why it’s on our list of best baby food services.
Photo : Courtesy of Yumble.
Though you won’t find any purées on the menu for Yumble, which caters to older kids, your baby can start enjoying the healthy takes on childhood classics — mac and cheese cups alongside cheese-sprinkled broccoli, chicken nuggets served on a bed of veggies — once he or she starts teetering into toddlerhood (and finger foods). The precooked meals only require a bit of heating up, and some can even be served at room temperature.
But the experience isn’t only enjoyable for parents: Since Yumble is all about making mealtime fun, deliveries come packaged with coloring pages, character trading cards and sticker sheets to keep little ones engaged at the table.
Weekly Deliveries $5.99/meal