Babies only survive on breast milk or formula milk in the initial few months. After 6 months, they start having solid foods. This is when you, as parents, need to start planning on what to feed your child.
It is essential to feed a balanced, tasty, and nutritious meal to your child. On the other hand, sometimes it is very tough to do everything from scratch. Baby foods can come to your rescue.
Remember that these baby foods are not substitutes for their daily meals. These are ideal when you are tired or out with your baby.
With plenty of options available in the market, it can be tough to choose the right one. Thus, we explain to you how to select the right one and we have also reviewed the 10 best baby food products that you can opt for.
We have even answered a few commonly asked questions that would help you solve your doubts.
How to choose the right baby food?
With so many brands and options of baby foods in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.
This is why we have come up with a list of important points that you can consider while buying one as per your requirements.
‘Ready to eat’ or ‘need to be cooked’
Both these options come in handy in different situations. For example, if you are traveling with your little one, you can opt for ready to eat baby foods.
On the other hand, if you are at home and too tired with all the work, you can choose ‘need to be cooked’ foods. These foods need not be cooked from scratch. You need to put in a few minutes and its done.
Consider the baby’s age
Not all baby foods available in the market suit every baby. Babies need to be fed solid foods slowly and steadily.
Consider the baby age and choose baby food. Every food packet has a specific age printed on it. Buy the most suitable one that goes with your baby’s age.
Snacks or meals
We recommend you to choose the baby foods depending on this need. What would you want to replace home-cooked food with, snacks or meals?
You may choose to replace snacks or meals with packaged baby foods, but remember to fulfill the daily recommended nutrition value.
Look for IRON content
Iron is an important nutrition that your baby needs for developing the brain and body. Make sure to include iron-rich foods in your daily meals like meat and cereals.
Cereal – Look for single grain, iron-fortified, and plain baby cereal. Do not choose flavoured cereals as they are full of sugar and other unwanted ingredients. Combing cereals with some veggies and fruits is a good idea.
Meat – Kook for single meats like turkey, chicken, or pork with no additional/unwanted ingredients except water.
Go for veggies that are real veggies
Your child does not need sugar or any other preservatives that might be in the baby foods. Thus, look for baby food that contains only veggies and maybe added water.
Do not choose fruits and veggies combo because that teaches the babies taht veggies taste good only with sweetened fruits. When you expose your child to tasting plain veggies when he/she is little, you are setting him/her up to enjoy veggies when he/she grows up.
Say no to canned juice
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children should not be drinking fruit juice until they are one. Juice consumption at an early age may lead to:
- Increased risk of tooth decay
- Poor nutrition
- Increased risk of gas, bloating and diarrhea
- Increased risk of bacteria in unpasteurized juices
Remember that baby juice is the same as any other juice. Your child can get all the nutrition that he/she needs from real fruits and veggies. Develop in them a habit of eating real fruits and veggies.
Pay attention to the labels
It is important to read the ingredients before you buy any baby food. Make sure to avoid these:
Added sugar – If the food has any extra sugar, it will be listed on the food label as cane sugar, sugar, syrups, and fruit juice. These are often sold as ‘baby desserts’.
Salt – exposing your child to salt at a young age means taht he/she will want more in the future. Also, his/her kidneys are still developing and cannot handle too much salt.
Thickening agents – starches and flours are tough on their tummies and also replace the healthy foods that you are giving him/her.
Don’t be fooled by “Organic/Natural” gimmick of marketing
Today, baby foods are also labeled as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ just like other foods. But what the brand claims may not be a complete truth.
Thus, the best thing you can do is read the ingredient list and focus on the first three ingredients because that’s what the food mostly consists of. This will help you know if the brand has marketed in the right way or not.
Pay attention to packaging
Glass food jars are more convenient than pouches. You can microwave the jar, stir and serve. Glass jars can also be re-used, unlike pouches.
Make sure you do not feed your child directly from the jar and refrigerate the remaining food as the bacteria from his/her mouth can spoil the food.
Another reason why glass jars should be preferred is that slurping food from the plastic pouches does not teach them the basic process of eating.
Also, you wouldn’t be able to check the condition of the food inside the pouch as it goes directly into your little one’s mouth. If you are to use pouches for any reason, we recommend you to remove the food into a spoon every time you feed your child.
List of the 10 best baby foods in India
1. Nestlé CERELAC Fortified Baby Cereal with Milk
Most popular and trusted baby cereal
Nestle is the largest food company in the world. It was established in 1866 and has headquarters in Switzerland. The brand has 29 sub-brands and operates in 189 countries.
Nestle Cerelac is the most popular and trusted baby food in India. This baby food is ideal for children above 6 months.
As we know, children have high needs of nutrients than adults and this is what Nestle keeps in mind. 2 servings of this baby food provide 75% of his/her daily requirement of iron.
Cerelac is also a source of 19 other nutrients including vitamins and minerals. It is free from artificial colours, preservatives, and flavours. The brand recommends you not to use fewer scoops than suggested because that might not provide enough nutrients to the child.
Make sure to transfer the contents to an airtight jar instantly after opening. The baby food is available in various options like wheat apple, rice vegetables, multigrain and fruits, etc.
2, First Solids Organic Baby Food Sprouted Ragi Porridge Mix
Nutritious and natural porridge mix
Another baby food in this list is by First Solids. This baby food is ideal for infants who are 6 months and older.
It has a unique which is loved by many children- sprouted ragi with elachi. With super grain adds the needed calcium, vitamin D, and fiber to your little one’s diet.
It is 100% natural and contains only two ingredients – sprouted ragi and cardamom. The grains are organically grown. It is free from artificial colors, flavours, salt, sugar, pesticides, and preservatives.
The brand has converted traditional healthy eating in a modern way. The baby food is prepared in a hygienic and safe environment.
The best part is that the cereal is homemade and not factory-made, which ensures quality control.
3. Early Foods Sprouted Ragi Almond Date Porridge Mix
Easy to make and healthy porridge mix
If your child is 8+ months and you are looking for baby food, Early Foods Sprouted Ragi Almond Date Porridge Mix is an ideal option.
This porridge is freshly prepared at home with the highest quality ragi, almonds, and dates. It does not include any extra salt, sugar, and milk powder. It also does not contain any nasty items like artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, and additives.
The porridge is 100% gluten-free and vegan. It contains organic sprouted ragi, dates, almonds, watermelon seeds, makhana, and cardamom.
It is very simple to cook this porridge and all you need is 5 minutes. The porridge is slightly sweet because of dates in it, so your child can develop a naturally sweet taste. It has a shelf life of 4 months.
4. Tiny Spoons Organic Baby Food Puree with fruits
100% EU certified fruit puree
If you are looking for baby foods that you can carry while traveling, then the Tiny Spoons Organic Baby Food Puree with fruits is an ideal option.
It is easy to carry the pouch baby food wherever you go. This Tiny Spoons baby food puree is 100% EU certified.
This baby food is ideal for those who are 6 months and older. It contains natural fruits and nothing else. It is rich in vitamins, fiber, and carbs.
The puree does not contain any sugar, water, or salt. It is also free from nasty items like preservatives or artificial additives.
The baby food is 100% gluten-free and vegan. The packaging of the product is BPA free and super convenient.
We recommend you not to directly feed the child from the pouch but remove the puree into a spoon and then feeding.
5. Early Foods Organic Porridge Mixes & Dry Dates Powder
Healthy and nutritious Porridge mix
Here we have another baby food from Early Foods. These are powdered porridge mixes available in sachets.
These are trial packs that allow you to try all the flavours without spending a lot of money. You can then continue buying the ones that your child likes the most.
This porridge is ideal for children above 8 months. This porridge is freshly prepared at home with the highest quality organic certified millets, cereals, dry fruits, seeds, cardamom, and makhana.
It does not include any extra salt, sugar, and milk powder. It also does not contain any harmful items like artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, and additives.
It is 100% gluten-free and vegan. The meals get prepared in just 5 minutes. The instructions are clearly mentioned on the pouches. It has a shelf life of 4 months.
6. Timios Mix Flavours Melts Healthy & Natural Energy Food
Energy food from the ‘Most trusted kids foods brand’
Timios is a popular kid food brand. IT has been awarded as the ‘Most trusted kids foods brand’ in India in 2019.
If your child is 9+ months and you are looking for baby food, Timios Healthy & Natural Energy Food is an ideal option.
The puffs are made using 100% natural ingredients. The best part is that they are not fried. They are low on sugar and salt. These do not replace a meal but are occasional snack options.
The puffs are firm enough so that your child can hold them. They come in different shapes that help encourage creativity in them. These are rich in protein and iron and a rich source of fiber as well.
7. Happa Organic Baby Food
Organic fruits and veggies puree
If you are looking for fruit purees then this one is another option. This is ideal for children above 8 months of age.
The Happa organic baby fruit puree is made using organic fruits and veggies and nothing else. It does not contain any added preservatives, sugars, flavours, starch, colours, starch, colours, and artificial additives.
These fruits purees help your child develop different tastes and textures. It is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
The puree comes in a child-friendly package that is BPA free. The child can directly slurp from the pouch but we recommend taking it onto a spoon and then feeding.
It comes in a leak-proof pouch, thus you can throw it in your bag without having to worry about the spills. The pack contains 9 pouches for stage 2 and 3 pouches for stage 3 kids.
8. Early Foods Whole Wheat Ajwain Jaggery Teething Sticks
Fresh and healthy teething sticks for the grown-up infants
If your child has a few teeth and you want a healthy snack to bite off, then these whole wheat teething sticks are an ideal option.
Remember that these sticks are not be eaten raw but to dipped/soaked in milk and then consumed. These are freshly homemade healthy teething sticks. It contains organic whole wheat flour, organic jaggery, dry fruits, ajwain, groundnut oil, jeer, and rock salt.
It does not contain soda, maida, egg, or any raising agents. The teething sticks do not any sugar and the sweetness comes from jaggery and dates. It also does not any nasty items like preservatives or artificial colours.
Each pack contains 22-25 sticks and has a shelf life of 4 months.
9. ByGrandma Immunity Booster Baby Food
Immunity booster that also helps build strong muscles
If your child is 1+ year old and you want a healthy snack, then this immunity booster baby food is an ideal option.
The baby food is manufactured in small batches so that you get the freshest product. It is rich in calcium taht helps build strong bones and teeth. It is also a natural stress reliever. The booster powder also helps prevent infections.
It also helps boost immunity, brain development, maintains metabolism, and soothes the baby. It contains walnuts that are a powerhouse of omega 3 fatty acids and almonds help in boosting brain functioning.
This baby food does not contain any flavors and preservatives. It has a shelf life of 6 months.
10. Slurrp Farm Organic Baby Cereal
Baby cereal made using super nutritious ingredients
Last but not the least, this Slurrp farm organic baby cereal is ideal for babies above 9 months.
It contains super nutritious ingredients like ragi which are rich in calcium, wheat, and rice, which are amazing for growing bones and fortified with iron.
The cereal is rich in minerals and vitamins. It does not contain any maida, trans fats, or preservatives. It contains real mango fruit. It is free from artificial colours, flavours, and white sugar.
The mild sweetness is because of organic brown sugar. You only need two minutes to cook this delicious cereal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I give canned baby juice to my baby?
Canned juice is as bad as soda. It has as much sugar as soda. Juice can decay baby’s milk teeth. We recommend you to continue with breastmilk or formula. At a later stage, teach your child to choose real fruit and not juices.
You can even have the baby drink tiny sips of water from a cup during meals.
How many times a day should a baby eat baby food?
The WHO recommends babies should eat solid foods 2-3 times a day apart from having breastmilk. Remember than the solid food consumption will be lower and the baby will get the most nutrition from breastmilk.
What baby food should introduce first?
There aren’t any rules or scientific evidence for introducing specific solids to your baby, but baby cereal is an easy training food. You can mix the baby cereal with milk to make a thicker consistency.
Doctors recommend parents to introduce veggies first and then fruits, like sweet potato and banana. Make sure to mash them before giving it to your child.
We hope to have helped you understand the basics that will help you buy the best baby food products online
We have mentioned a detailed buying guide with important points that will help you choose the right one as per your needs.
To make your search simpler, we have also reviewed the 10 best baby foods that you can choose for your child.