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Kathleen Harris

Best Organic Baby Food

Give baby a healthy start with the power of pure, organic food. From formula to cereals and purees, we've rounded up the best organic baby food options.

As parents we want the best for our babies—and that includes feeding our little ones the healthiest food possible. If you have the luxury of growing your fruits and vegetables in the backyard, you know exactly where your child’s food is coming from and what’s in it, but most of us don’t have that option or, to be honest, inclination. Your next best bet? Organic baby food. From baby formula to baby cereals and pureed meals, here are some the best organic baby food selections for babies of all ages.

Benefits of Organic Baby Food

Of course, you don’t have to go organic to provide baby with healthy food: Conventional foods have the same vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as organic options, and often at a fraction of the cost. But there are several key reasons you may want to opt for organic baby food:

It contains lower pesticide levels, which can be a significant benefit for young children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics: Since their immune, nervous and hormonal systems are still developing, they’re more vulnerable to chemical exposures than adults. Organic farmers avoid chemical pesticides and herbicides and use natural fertilizers instead of synthetic—especially noteworthy when it comes to baby food, which can contain concentrated pesticide residues as a result of condensing fruits and vegetables.

It’s less likely to be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria, since organic farming rules prohibit the use of antibiotics.

It contains no genetically modified ingredients and fewer additives. Hydrogenated fat, the artificial sweetener aspartame and monosodium glutamate are all additives banned by organic standards.

It’s environmentally friendly. Organic farmers provide their animals with organic feed, year-round access to the outdoors and care that’s in keeping with animal welfare standards. They embrace practices that promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity, and studies say these farming techniques lead to less pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.

Best Organic Baby Formula

With numerous organic baby formula choices available these days, you can offer baby the benefits of organic right from the start. All of the following formulations are milk-based and include iron, which is recommended for babies under a year old.

Photo: Courtesy Similac

Similac Organic Infant Formula with Iron

Similac, a long-trusted brand that’s been around for some 90 years, offers an organic baby formula with OptiGRO, a proprietary blend of brain-enhancing supplements like DHA, lutein and vitamin E, making it more nutritionally similar to breast milk. Bonus: This formula is widely available at grocery stores nationwide, so there’s no need to panic when you realize you’re running low.

Buy it: $30 for 23.2 ounces, Walmart.com

Photo: Courtesy The Honest Company

Honest Company Organic Premium Infant Formula

This organic baby formula from The Honest Company features added vitamin D3, calcium, choline and folic acid to support easy digestion and healthy development. What’s not added to the formulation: Carrageenan (an ingredient that thickens), gluten, sucrose or DHA. Parents also love that Honest will deliver formula right to your doorstep each month, saving you headaches and hassle.

Buy it: $33 for 23.2 ounces, Honest.com

Photo: Courtesy Plum Organics

Plum Organics Grow Well Infant Formula

You won’t find any corn syrup solids in this organic baby formula—it derives all its carbohydrates from organic lactose. It’s easy on baby’s tummy and offers added DHA and ARA fatty acids to boost baby’s brain and eye development.

Buy it: $32 for 21 ounces, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Earth's Best

Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula

Like other brands of organic baby formula, this formulation includes DHA, ARA and lutein to support brain and eye health—plus, it folds in prebiotics to strengthen baby’s immune system. Earth’s Best also offers an organic Non-DHA Infant Formula, for those who prefer fewer additives, as well as an organic Sensitivity Infant Formula that’s made with less lactose.

Buy it: $42 for 35 ounces, Buybuybaby.com

Photo: Courtesy Happy Baby

Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula

Happy Family splits its organic baby formula offerings into two age groups: Stage 1 for babies from birth to 12 months, and Stage 2 specifically for babies 6 months and up. The Stage 1 formula contains DHA and ARA, calcium, choline and vitamins C and D, while Stage 2 features higher levels of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, choline and vitamins C and D to promote a strong heart, brain, bones, eyes, teeth and muscles.

Buy it: $26 for 21 ounces, Target.com

Best Organic Baby Cereal

When baby is ready to graduate to solids (usually between 4 and 6 months), consider offering an organic baby cereal. Each of these options is iron-fortified with no artificial colors or flavors.

Photo: Courtesy Gerber

Gerber Organic Oatmeal Cereal

The organic baby cereal from Gerber, an established baby food giant, is a great option for baby’s first solids: It’s made of organic whole grain oats, topped off with iron, calcium and vitamins C and B to help baby grow up strong.

Buy it: $4 for 8 ounces, Babiesrus.com

Photo: Courtesy Beech Nut

Beech-Nut Stage 1 Organic Multigrain Cereal

For a healthy multigrain option, look no further than the Beech-Nut organic baby cereal: It boasts a hearty mix of wheat, oat and rice flours, complete with iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin D. Plus, it comes in a handy canister with a cap that doubles as a measuring cup and an easy-pour spout to prevent messy spills.

Buy it: $4 for 8 ounces, Buybuybaby.com

Photo: Courtesy Earth's Best

Earth’s Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal

This whole grain brown rice cereal comes unsweetened and unsalted for a delicious, unadulterated taste. Moms with babies who didn’t take to other cereals say their little ones love this organic baby cereal from Earth’s Best. It’s also packed with iron and six B vitamins to give baby a healthy start.

Buy it: $4 for 8 ounces, Walmart.com

Photo: Courtesy Happy Baby Happy Bellies

Happy Bellies Organic Oatmeal Baby Cereal

If your child has special dietary needs, give the organic baby cereal from Happy Baby a go. Not only does it have DHA, choline, iron and other essential vitamins and minerals, it’s dairy-free, soy-free and Kosher-certified, and contains probiotics to strengthen baby’s delicate digestive system. Patriotic parents (or those who just like to know where their food comes from) will be happy to know it’s made in the USA.

Buy it: $4 for 7 ounces, Buybuybaby.com

Photo: Courtesy Nuturme

NurturMe Organic Quinoa and Banana Infant Cereal

Tired of plain-jane rice and oatmeal cereals? NurturMe spices things up with its quinoa-based baby cereals, which come in apple, banana and raisin and sweet potato flavors—yum. Good news for parents with allergy-prone babies: The entire line of organic baby cereal is free of soy, gluten, egg and dairy.

Buy it: $4 for 3.7 ounces, Amazon.com

Best Organic Baby Food Pouches and Puree Packages

Organic baby food pouches are a great way to introduce exciting, nutrient-packed flavor combinations as baby grows and is ready to test out new food groups. From wholesome single-food options to exotic fruit-and-veggie blends, here are some of the best organic baby food pouches, bowls and jars.

Photo: Courtesy Pure Spoon

Pure Spoon Organic Simply Baby Food Sampler

Pure Spoon stands out among the best organic baby food options thanks to the fact that it’s always fresh, never frozen. The brand pasteurized its cold-pressed fruit and veggie purees without the use of chemicals or high heat, meaning the food’s nutrition, flavor and texture is kept intact. The baby food has zero preservatives, additives or coloring, and comes in completely transparent packaging so you can see what you—and baby—are getting every time.
Buy it: $30 for 10, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Peter Rabbit Organics

Peter Rabbit Organics Fruit & Vegetable Puree

When you’re working with such delicious fruit-and-veggie combos as carrot, squash and apple; kale, broccoli and mango; and pea, spinach and apple (among eight others), there’s no need to mess with a good thing. Which is why Peter Rabbit skips adding any sugar, salt and even water to its organic baby food pouches. They’re resealable and don’t need to stay in the fridge, making them ideal on-the-go snacks.

Buy it: $16 for 10 pouches, Jet.com

Photo: Courtesy Plum Organics

Plum Organics Baby Bowls

Eager to introduce baby to exciting new tastes? These organic baby food purees from Plum Organics come in 10 different flavor options, including foodie-approved pairings like mango, carrot and tumeric; pear, cauliflower, cherry and raisin; and pumpkin, banana, papaya and cardamon. Even the packaging is impressive: Made from recycled BPA-free plastic, the patented bowl shape is perfect for holding, spoon, resealing and stacking.

Buy it: $15 for 12 bowls, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Ella's Kitchen

Ella’s Kitchen Organic Stage 2 Meals

From fruit and veggie purees to textured meals that introduce baby to proteins, Ella’s Kitchen offers a range of organic baby food options for varying ages—all without preservatives, additives, thickeners, gluten or added water. And with scrumptious flavor combos like apples, carrots, prunes and butternut squash; pears, mangoes and papayas; chicken casserole with vegetables and rice; and a whole lot more, baby’s curious taste buds are bound to be satisfied.

Buy it: $16 for six, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Sprout

Sprout Organic Baby Food Pouches

Sprout was the first company to put organic baby food in a pouch, revolutionizing the way parents work solids into baby’s diet. Years later, it’s still a favorite: Once baby has moved on from stage 1 foods, she can start enjoying preservative- and concentrate-free fruit-and-veggie purees like apricot, peach and pumpkin; green beans, peas and butternut squash; and sweet potato, apple and spinach. The line offers drool-worthy fruit-and-grain and veggie-and-grain blends to boot.

Buy it: Sprout Organic Baby Food Pouches, $9 for six, Amazon.com

Published January 2018

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PHOTO: Getty Images