WHEN babies start weaning at around six months, you’ll be looking for the best baby food to help your little one try out all different types of snacks and meals.
It’s one of the most exciting (and messy) parts of parenting.
From glass jars to easy-pack baby food pouches, budget buys to more expensive options, there’s a baby food brand out there for four-month-olds up to older babies and toddlers. We’ve rounded up the best baby food favourites based on our own expertise and top-rated reviews from parents.
Even if you plan to make all of baby’s meals from scratch, it’s good to have a selection of ready-made baby food on standby, in case baby doesn’t like a new flavour you’re trying out or you unexpectedly need to run out of the house and feed baby on the go.
What is the best baby food to start with?
When it comes to weaning baby off milk and getting them to try new baby food, you can either feed them purees or opt for the “baby-led weaning” method, where you let babies feed themselves.
The best baby food to start with when traditionally weaning are pureed vegetables and fruits without any lumps – puree pouches work wonders.
The best baby food for baby-led weaning include soft, cooked vegetables such as sweet potato, cut into finger-sized pieces.
Baby rice cereal, especially brands you mix with your baby’s milk, is a good way to introduce a new texture with a familiar taste.
It’s recommended you introduce one flavour at a time and can later combine flavours when you have an idea what your baby likes, and when you know they don’t have allergies.
Which baby food pouches are best?
All baby food, including baby food pouches, must meet various standards set by the European Commission so you know that regardless of brand, the pouches are safe and nutritious.
Deciding which baby food pouches are best then ultimately comes down to price and variety of flavours – our choice would be Ella’s Kitchen but your baby may prefer another brand.
We’ve listed the best baby food pouches on a budget, for flavour and for variety below.
Always check you’re giving your baby age-appropriate food.
1. Best baby finger foods
- Organix Sweetcorn Rings for 7+ months, 50p a pack at Asda – buy here
Organix is your go-to brand for tasty, on-the-go finger foods for babies and toddlers, from rice cakes to carrot sticks to baby biscuits and oaty bars.
Made with top organic ingredients, they also taste great.
The Sweetcorn rings are particularly good to munch on – essential for hangry parents who have just spent the afternoon running around a park or museum.
2. Best baby food on a budget
- Mamia Organic Stage 1 Pouch, 45p a pouch at Aldi – buy here
With no added sugars and plenty of tasty flavour combos like strawberry and apple, and apple, carrot and parsnips, Aldi’s organic grab-and-go baby food pouches are perfect for tossing in your buggy.
Parents love how they’re great value for money at half the cost per pouch of some of the other top brands.
Their Stage 1 dishes are a smooth puree from 4 months, with Stage 2 slightly textured food for ages 7+ months.
3. Best baby food for future foodies
- Babease baby food pouch, 80p a pouch at Ocado – buy here
With Stage 1 pouches featuring the likes of banana, pear, coconut water, blueberry, brown rice and quinoa in one meal, you can bet baby’s gourmand palate will develop nicely if you start them off with Babease (sounds a bit more glamorous than your lunch of beans on toast, doesn’t it?).
Made in the UK from local, organic produce, each puree pouch is packed with fruit, grains and no nasties.
4. Best baby food for all occasions
- Ella’s Kitchen food pouches, 90p a pouch at Sainsbury’s – buy here
Ella’s Kitchen pouches may not be the cheapest out there, but they certainly are winners in our book – and not just for babies.
Toddlers love getting an Ella’s fruit pouch as a treat or pudding.
You can find dishes to suit any dietary requirement (like dairy or gluten-free), and kids absolutely love the flavours, which start from First Taste vegetables and simple fruits to full meals for 12 months and up like chicken paella or veggie moussaka.
The kid-friendly packaging, with bright colours and childlike writing and illustrations, also wins points with the small crowd.
5. Best baby food for exotic flavours
- For Aisha Halal pouches, £1.50 a pouch at Sainsbury’s – buy here
For Aisha baby food pouches are all-natural, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and halal. But that’s not the only reason parents like them.
They’re a great way of exposing kids to exciting, exotic flavours from the get-go.
Think Jamaican jerk chicken, Moroccan chicken Tagine and Cambodian fish and coconut curry.
We won’t judge if you decide to eat them yourself.
6. Best baby food for taste
- Piccolo Organic baby purees, £1.10 a pouch at Ocado – buy here
Parents swear by the delicious flavours in these moreish pouches, saying they taste “homemade” and are so good, sometimes the kids don’t even get them because their hungry parents have wolfed them down.
Considering the brand is all about bringing a Mediterranean approach to their food in terms of ingredients and the joy of families gathering around the table together, we can’t say we’re surprised their fruit and veg starter pouches are so divine.
7. Best baby food newcomer
- Sainsbury’s Little Ones range, 70p a pouch at Sainsbury’s – buy here
This new low-sugar range from Sainsbury’s is a winner.
A variety of flavour combinations and great value for money gain points with parents – as does seeing their kids wolfing down pouch after pouch with gusto.
7. Best baby food jars
- HiPP Organic, 85p a jar at Ocado – buy here
Before pouched baby food became all the rage, it was all about those little glass jars.
With environmental concerns mounting, there’s no question that reusable glass jars are a better option if you’re looking to be more sustainable.
Happily, HiPP Organic, which uses organic ingredients that are steamed to preserve flavours, ticks all the boxes for convenience, taste and a good price point.
9. Best baby food for smoothie-style flavours
- Heavenly Organic Coconut Squishies, £3.25 for a box of 4 at Sainsbury’s – buy here
Heavenly is the baby brand to know about, with their delicious smoothie-style fruit and coconut milk squishy pouches (with no other added ingredients, not even water).
Parents also rave about Heavenly’s finger foods like Halo Bites and Wafer Wisps for babies and beetroot Veggie Waffles for older kids.
10. Best baby food for older babies and toddlers
- Little Dish meals, £2.30 at Ocado – buy here
Suitable from age one, these Little Dish microwave meals can be frozen or kept in the fridge.
Super convenient in flavours kids will enjoy – think Fish Pie and Pasta Bolognese – they’re ideal for those days when cooking just isn’t going to happen.
Parents find them a bit pricey to use on a regular basis.