I Tried 8 Baby Food and Kids’ Meal Delivery Services to Find the Best of the Bunch
I’m not sure what it is about planning and preparing meals for my kids, but it’s honestly one of the most difficult parts of parenting for me. Perhaps it’s because I prefer to graze and snack all day, but providing three square meals plus nutritious snacks is difficult and exhausting for me. I know it’s a struggle for many other parents, too. Once babies start eating solids, it can feel like all I do is prepare meals, feed kids, and clean high chairs. That’s why I went on a mission to find the best food subscriptions to make this part of parenting a little bit easier.
Before we get into my favorites, here’s some background on my testers. I have three kids: a 4-year-old daughter and 11-month-old twin boys. One of my kids is a pretty selective eater, one is on the picker side but will try most things, and the other will eat just about anything. I also made sure to try the food from each company.
The Baby and Kids’ Meal Subscription Companies
I received editorial review samples of eight different subscription brands: Cerebelly, Little Spoon, Mission MightyMe, Serenity Kids, Nurture Life, Once Upon a Farm, Tiny Organics, and Yumi.
Our Top Picks
And without further ado, our favorites were Nurture Life and Little Spoon. Of the six other brands I tested, none offered the same variety and convenience that Nurture Life and Little Spoon did. I found that many of the companies offer too many purées; most babies don’t stay in the purée phase for very long. Others provided a lot of snack options, but not too many meal options.
Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to try out Nurture Life a number of times, and it has never disappointed. The meals are well-balanced, and my kids actually eat them. I’ve even eaten them in a pinch when I needed something quick and convenient.
Nurture Life offers a wide variety of meals and meal types. It’s one of the few brands that has meals appropriate for older babies and young toddlers who have moved past purées but aren’t yet ready for full kids’ meals. The company offers snacks, smoothies, finger foods, and kids’ meals. They don’t offer purées or pouches.
Heating the meals is convenient; they can be heated in the microwave or the oven. The finger foods need to be moved to a microwave-safe bowl, but the kids’ meals can be heated right in the container they come in.
Currently, there are over 25 kids’ meals available and over 15 finger foods. My kids have enjoyed almost every meal they’ve tried, but some favorites have been beef meatballs with peas and pasta; butter chicken with peas, rice, and mini naan; and teriyaki salmon with rainbow rice.
You get to choose how many meals you want per week, from six to 15. You can also skip weeks or cancel at any time. Whenever life gets on top of me and I need a little extra help with meals, Nurture Life is my go-to.
This was my first time trying Little Spoon, and my kids and I were impressed. They offer babyblends for babies, plates for toddlers and big kids, and smoothies. As with Nurture Life, I appreciate that Little Spoon has meals for kids of all ages. The plates can be heated in the microwave, or you can transfer the food to an oven-safe container.
I was particularly impressed with their offerings for babies. They break their baby food into stages one through six; the food gets thicker and includes more ingredients as the stages increase. They also come with an adorable blue spoon, although be aware that it’s small enough to be a choking hazard for babies.
There are currently over 40 babyblends available and 30 plates. My 4-year-old gobbled up the banana and pitaya babyblend before my babies even got a chance to eat it, and some other favorites were chicken pot stickers and chicken super nuggets.
I wish Little Spoon had more options for the in-between crowd — the babies who are done with purées but not ready for bigger meals. My twins were able to eat many of the plates as long as we cut the food for them, but food designed specifically for their age would have been more convenient. Most of the food was very soft and safe for them once cut. If you’re looking for a variety of food choices that are appropriate for various age ranges, Little Spoon is definitely worth a try.
The Best Baby Purée Subscription
If you’re looking for something that makes starting solids simple, Yumi is a great choice. They provide baby food in stages one through seven, with stage one being thin purées and stage seven being soft bites. The purées gradually get thicker as your baby becomes a more proficient eater. All of their meals are free from the big 9 allergens. They offer some unique ingredients and flavor combinations, and my pickiest eater was a big fan of the apple pie purée.
The Best Snacks Subscriptions
Mission MightyMe and Serenity Kids are two brands that I really like and feed to my kids often. My babies would live off Mission MightyMe’s puffs given the chance, and the Serenity Kids pouches are their favorite pouches. Serenity Kids sells grain-free puffs as well. Both brands aren’t subscription services in the traditional sense, but they do offer subscribe-and-save options on their websites. Mission MightyMe puffs stand out because they’re made of peanuts and tree nuts, which helps with early allergen introduction. Serenity Kids products stand out because they’re made of organic vegetables and grass-fed meats, and they don’t include added sugars.
How the Other 3 Brands Stacked Up
Cerebelly sells purées, smoothie-inspired pouches, and smart bars. They recommend products based on your answers to a quiz that takes into account your child’s age, developmental milestones, and eating habits. My kids liked the pouches well enough, but the brand just doesn’t provide the variety that others do.
Once Upon a Farm sells organic pouches and meals. The pouches include various types of blends, and the meals include mixtures of nutrient-dense food like sweet potato, kale, and quinoa. The pouches and meals are ideal for babies, but could also serve as snacks for older kids.
Tiny Organics makes organic baby and toddler meals. They sell purées, baby meals, and toddler meals, although the bulk of their product line is geared toward babies. All of their meals are plant-based and peanut-free, providing good options for families with special dietary needs.
This post originally appeared on Cubby. Read it now: I Tried 8 Baby Food and Kids’ Meal Delivery Services — Here Are the Best of the Bunch
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