Updated: Oct 6, 2017
Baby Food Reviews:New parents have the challenge of buying baby food when their child moves on from breastmilk or formula. Baby foods are much more diverse than even a few decades ago with organic brands and countless choices on the shelves of supermarkets. There are some guidelines as to when to introduce solid foods for babies, but each child is a little different in their development and eating habits. It's not even easy to pick the "best baby food" since infants eating it can't verbally say what they like or don't like. Only their physical cues can tell us if they are at least enjoying it. I remember feeding my daughter things like baby carrots and she loved them (smile on her face) but the peaches made her practically cry. One of the better websites for baby foods and reviews of products is at Babyfoodreview.com. The site is focused on parents opinions on jar foods like those from BeechNut, EarthsBest, Gerber and other homemade options. It's certainly a great place to go and get educated on what is available and hear what other moms and dads are saying about the lastest in terms of baby food quality and brands. Perhaps you might want to leave a review on their site or post a comment in the online forums.
Babycenter.com is another very informative website focused on babies and all that goes into raising them. One section that is relevant to our article is their section dedicated to baby food basics and how to pick a balanced diet for your infant. Essentially there are 4 levels of baby foods and you need to be familiar with each type. Level 1 foods are things like rice cereal or even the pureed vegetables and fruits. Stage 1 foods are meant for infants from 4 to 6 months of age and includes items like Earth's Best 1st Beginner Foods and Heinz Step 1 Beginner Foods. When your child gets closer to 7 or 8 months of age, consider moving them on to stage 2 foods which are strained, but not pureed. Some examples of stage 2 baby foods are Gerber 2nd Foods Garden Vegetables and Beech-Nut Naturals Stage 2 Apples & Bananas. Stage 3 foods often have chunks of food within the mixture and are meant for kids 9 to 12 months in age. Items include things like Earth's Best Chunky Orchard Fruit and Gerber 3rd Foods Broccoli & Carrots with Cheese. Eventually, you can move your child up to table foods when they are a little over 1. All kids are different and some progress faster or slower than the next. If you have any questions or issues with feeding, always contact your pediatrician and get their opinion. All the baby food jars in stores are pretty clearly marked as to what stage food it is and what ages it is appropriate for. Experts do tell parents to check the expiration dates on the bottles/jars. Also, introduce single ingredient foods one at a time to make sure your baby can handle the food and doesn't have adverse reactions to anything. Many parents even try making their own homemade baby food by pureeing the ingredients up in a blender or food processor and feeding it to their child. It is time consuming and not always the easiest route to go, but you can control the ingredients a bit better. Some basic questions like "how long does the food last after I open the jar" come up often in parents online forums. Generally, once a baby food jar is open it can last between 24 hours and 2 days, depending on the ingredients. As with any foods, sometimes your child will like one product from a particular company and something from another brand. Keep trying new food items to figure out what they prefer the most and if you have to, mix the fruits and vegetables to the right consistency so they get a little bit of everything. I remember our daughter not liking certain foods so we would pick the baby food apples (since it was sweet) and mix it into the veggies and she never knew the difference. Organic baby foods are more expensive than their traditional counterparts and certainly you need to be aware of pesticides and chemicals that may have been on the foods that are now in the baby foods jars. As we mentioned, some parents choose to buy organic ingredients and puree up their own creations to feed to their infants. You can browse the top selling baby foods online here.
Best Baby Food:Is Gerber the best baby food? How about Beech Nut? In recent years more attention has been placed on kids nutritional intake as obesity is rampant even amongst the younger generation. Baby food companies have tried to reach out to concerned parents with new offerings and product selections, but many new parents are still confused. Gerber.com has put a section called "Nutrition and Feeding" on their website with lots of information on feeding your toddler, healthy eating habits, and food allergies and safety. It's a great place to start, but keep in mind that it's all PR from Gerber and their goal is to get you to buy their products. Beech Nut is another popular baby food brand and they too offer up educational tips on feeding your infants cereals, Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 foods. They offer downloadable coupons for baby food and give special offers online. There really is no "best baby food", it will probably come down to "what does your child eat". Keep it simple at first in terms of diet and then try lots of different foods to give your infant the best chance at a well balanced diet. You can see all the Gerber baby foods online here.
Organic Baby Food:Organic foods are popping up on supermarket shelves all over the country and more parents are realizing how important natural, fresh foods can be to their childrens diet. "Organic" is a catch phrase that allows stores to raise the price on foods labeled that. With concerns over pesticides and chemicals being sprayed on everyday foods, parents are buying more organic baby food than ever. Companies have risen to top to take advantage of this increased interest and they are making huge profits on parents buying baby foods for their infants. Organic baby food is no doubt better for little ones, but how much better than everyday brands is still yet to be seen. Consumer Reports has written some articles on this topic but they have not come up with any recommendations in terms of products or brands. Earth's Best is probably the most recognized organic baby food producer but other companies like Wild Harvest Organic, Happy Baby, TastyBaby, and Plum Organics all produce similar products. If you go to the Earth's Best website HERE, they offer coupons and online promotions for their products. You may have seen their commercial on PBS since they sponsor Sesame Street. You can even buy their organic baby food online. We understand that organic foods are pricier than regular selections, so don't feel bad if you can't purchase all your baby food in the organic department. RECOMMENDED - We like the Earth's Best brand overall. You can view the all the most popular Earth's Best Organic baby food offerings here.
Baby Food Coupons:One thing that you will find after having a new baby is that the companies that supply baby food will practically come knocking in your door to get you to sample their products. I see baby food coupons in our Sunday newspaper ad section and in mailers to our house all the time. I don't know if we got on a mailing list when we left the hospital but companies like Gerber and Beech Nut have us on their radar screens. There are lots of websites with printable baby food coupons that you can find on the Internet.
- Gerber.com - Sign up online for special offers and printable coupons.
- Beechnut.com - Periodically coupons are posted on their website for discounts. Also, you can signup for their e-newsletter that has money saving coupons.
- Earthsbest.com - Specials offers and coupons you can print on the website.
- Heinzbaby.com - Find out about new products and promotions on their site.