Babble Best: Healthy Times – $0.89 / 4 oz
Convenient, flavorful and well-priced – we’re sold on this jarred baby food. The fruit flavors we tested were smooth and sweet (Golden Pears got a big gummy smile). Sure, compared to the fresh and frozen varieties, this tasted a tad watery. But our freezer is already packed and taking along a cooler for meals on the go isn’t an option. Founder Rondi Prescott says she uses local fruits and vegetables and cooks her food in small batches to preserve peak flavor.
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Homemade Baby – $1.49 / 4 oz
This perishable brand of baby food stands out for its pure taste and complex textures. Available in the refrigerated section (tubs can be frozen once brought home), Homemade Baby relies on a “unique fresh chill preparation” to lock in nutrients and flavors. Pick from ten flavors in three textures: So Smooth, Good Mushy, Kinda Chunky. Our baby testers swooned for the So Smooth sweet potatoes. Widely available in stores like Whole Foods and Dierbergs (check the HomemadeBaby.com store locator for a retailer in your area). The drawback? The tubs take up valuable fridge space and cost twice as much as some jarred food.
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Yummy Spoonfuls – $2 / 4 oz
Finally, some real food! That’s what we thought our baby was saying when she got her hands on Yummy Spoonfuls. The adult testers thought the organic pears were simply awesome! Why does it taste so great? Chef Agatha Achindu says it’s because the food isn’t heat-treated. Clear out the freezer – there are twenty-five flavors to keep baby happy. If the organic offerings are slim in your area, this Georgia brand ships in styrofoam coolers anywhere in the continental USA. Available in three stages: Creamy Yummy, Mushy Yummy and Chunky Yummy.
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Pomme B’b’ – $3.25 / 4 oz
Pomme’s a new player on the organic baby food scene. A five-star chef developed all twenty Pomme flavors (from basic purees to chicken asparagus orzo for tots). Instead of using high-heat, in Pomme’s kitchen they simmer the ingredients in small batches. It’ll be hard to go back to jarred food after eating these cheerful blends (Apple-Blueberry Puree is a standout), but the price is hard to swallow. If you’ve got the dough for delivery or can whiz by the store in Newport, California, this is a terrific treat for your tot.
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Earth’s Best – $0.69 / 4 oz
Old reliable Earth’s Best is the brand we’ve counted on for years. And it’s still completely competent and extremely easy to find. But now that we’ve tasted all the newcomers’ offerings, we can’t get past the watery consistency of the veggies and drab color of Earth’s Best’s food. When we popped open a jar of First Bananas we were hit with a sour smell – nothing like peeling back the real thing. But at this price we’ll keep trying. With nearly fifty flavors of baby food (more than any other brand), there are certainly a few that make babies squeal with delight.
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Vrrrrooom! Open wide! Airplane coming into the hangar! Skip the games, we’ve found a batch of baby food that will have your tot gobbling up his dinner and begging for seconds. What’s more, all these pears, peas and beets are organic, so there’s no need to worry about GMOs, pesticides or other nasties getting into junior’s peas. – Nicole Feliciano