Contents - Click a link to skip to the section you want to read
- 1 Is it safe to raise my baby vegan?
- 2 What to consider when buying vegan baby food
- 3 How to make your own vegan baby food
- 4 My mini-reviews of vegan baby food products
- 4.1 Earth’s Best Organic, Stage 2 Baby Food
- 4.2 Pure Food Garden Fresh Organic, Stage 2 Baby Food: Sampler
- 4.3 Happy Tot Organic, Stage 4 Superfoods: Variety Pack
- 4.4 NuturMe Organic Baby Food: Apple + Pumpkin Beet
- 4.5 Beech-Nut Naturals, Stage 1: Just Sweet Potatoes
- 4.6 Peter Rabbit Organics: Strawberry + Banana
- 4.7 Sprout Organic Baby Food, Stage 3: Butternut Chickpea + Quinoa + Dates
- 5 Which vegan baby food is the best?
When it comes to children, especially infants, it’s important to set a good dietary example and take extra care of their rapidly developing bodies! So, for vegans, it’s crucial that the nourishment we give our offspring is both cruelty-free and contains optimal plant-based nutrition.
After all, Popeye didn’t get big and strong by eating Oreos (which, though vegan, are not exactly the health-food wonder that is spinach)!
So, when it comes to vegan baby food, which brands are the best? And what about the best vegan baby food products? We’re here to compare and contrast what’s currently available on the market for vegan parents wishing to raise their young ones in the same compassionate fashion.
Is it safe to raise my baby vegan?
We’d just like to quickly-yet-definitively address this common misconception about plant-based eating for infants. Just as a large portion of today’s population still questions veganism as a nutritionally sound dietary decision, these same people will undoubtedly argue that a vegan diet is no way to bring up a healthy, thriving child: but this dogmatic outlook is based on opinion, rather than the facts.
Currently, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that raising a child on a vegan diet is dangerous–or adult humans, for that matter—as long as we make sure to supplement the appropriate vitamins and minerals (such as B12, and for some, calcium) and consume enough calories to support activity levels. Seeing that we accomplish these things, at every age and stage of life, we’re not at risk of any health-compromising deficiencies.
In fact, a 2004 article titled “Vegan diets in Infants, Children and Adolescents,” by Pediatrics in Review clearly states that “multiple experts have concluded independently that vegan diets can be followed safely by infants and children without compromise of nutrition or growth and with some notable health benefits.”
Here’s just one example of what a vegan mother and her baby eat in a typical day!
What to consider when buying vegan baby food
Before we get to our vegan baby food reviews, let’s identify the criteria we’ll use for evaluating each brand and product.
By the way, we know that while one criterium will matter most to one vegan parent or expectant couple, this same element might not matter quite as much to another. Of course, it’s up to you to identify your priorities as you best determine what to feed your infant or baby-to-be.
You’ll find that almost all baby food products (vegan or not) are labeled by “stage,” which corresponds to an infant’s stage of development, or more simply, his or her age.
According to an article by Verywell Family, while there’s certainly no gold standard and exact age windows may vary slightly from company-to-company, most popular baby food brands work around four stages:
- 4 to 6 months
- Single ingredients: pureed fruits or vegetables
- 7 to 8 months
- Single ingredients and combination foods that are strained instead of pureed
- 9 to 12 months
- Textured foods with small chunks to encourage chewing
- 12 months and older
- “Table food:” infant may begin to eat with the rest of the family
We know this all too well as adults: just because a food item is labelled vegan does not automatically mean that it’s healthy, too. And while we have the ability to choose for ourselves, our offspring has no such luxury when it comes to maximizing nutritional density.
So, here are a few categories to keep in mind as you choose a vegan baby food brand or product for your little one(s):
Look at the ingredient list. Do you see anything on there that you can’t pronounce? If so, it’s not something Mother Nature created. If this is paramount for you, then you’ll want to find a vegan baby food brand that prides itself on using only real food in its products.
Not all-natural food is also going to be organic. Is the vegan baby food company transparent about the source of its ingredients? Here’s a quick reminder about which produce is most important to be purchased organic vs. conventional.
If this is an important factor for your own diet, we surmise it might be of concern for your child’s diet, too, and not all vegan baby food companies will offer gluten-free products.
It’s amazing how many food items these days have been created using genetically modification. And while the current science does not suggest they pose a massive health threat, a recent Forbes article suggests that certain GMO baby food may be less nutritionally dense than a non-GMO counterpart.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical incorporated in the production of polycarbonate plastics that is widely used in food and drink packaging. Many companies will proudly label their products “BPA-free” or use glass instead to ensure safe consumption.
Maybe you want to simplify your shopping and order all of your food from one vegan baby food company. With how much and how often babies need to eat, we definitely understand! So, if this is the case, then you’ll want to make sure the vegan baby food brand offers the product you want in bulk. This will not only save you time, but money, which is another important element that we’ll get to in just a bit here.
For maximum nutrition, it’s just as important that a tiny human “eat the rainbow” as it is for us. For example, maybe you’ve found a vegan baby food product that you can order in bulk from one brand, but it doesn’t offer any other products that pique your interest.
Might you be better off trying to find a quality vegan baby food brand with a variety of attractive products that you can order in bulk? Maybe. Again, these are all just scenarios for you to consider.
We always feel that, no matter the product(s) or services we’re reviewing, that we must mention price. Typically, quality is of utmost importance to us all, and it’s usually a price tag that stands in our way.
How to make your own vegan baby food
For those of you with the time, energy and resources to do so, one way to maximize the quality and quantity of your vegan baby food while potentially minimizing cost, is to make your very own.
Though we realize that it might not be realistic to add on such a labor intensive endeavor while simultaneously enduring the sleepless nights that will inevitably occur with a newborn…. we certainly won’t stop you from trying!
Vegan baby food cookbooks
For you extra-ambitious individuals, here are a few popular vegan baby food resources to get you started.
Baby Nosh: Plant-based, gluten-free goodness for baby’s food sensitivities
If it’s important for your baby to be gluten-free, you’ll may want to check out this helpful resource of fifty plant-based recipes that will be kind to yours and your baby’s gut!
Fresh start: farm-to-table, plant-based baby recipes
This cookbook features all-natural food recipes for babies! Every recipe excludes meat, dairy, sugar, salt and peanuts.
Baby led weaning for vegans: 60 plant-based recipes for babies and kids that adults will love
If you’re looking to save time and money, you might want to take a peek inside this cookbook, which specializes in whole-food recipes for your baby to enjoy when he or she is able to consume solid food!
Lastly, here’s a video featuring a simple vegan baby food recipe for mixed vegetables and some kitchen tools you might need, too!
My mini-reviews of vegan baby food products
Now, let’s get to those reviews, shall we? Below, we assess seven different vegan baby food brands and products in hopes of identifying only the very best for you and your growing family!
Earth’s Best Organic, Stage 2 Baby Food
This vegetable variety pack by Earth’s Best Organic is suitable for Stage 2 infants and older, and it includes twelve 4 oz. jars of Sweet Potatoes, Peas & Brown Rice, Carrots and Winter Squash. These ingredients are certified USDA Organic, Kosher, non-GMO, unsalted, and of course, vegan.
We definitely appreciate that this company commits to quality ingredients. We also like that they use glass jars, which not only means they are BPA-free but that they can be recycled, too.
The consistency of their food is very soft, makes makes it easy to swallow, though some felt it too “watery.” Some also wished that they offered a larger portion size for the extra hunger toddler, and a few reported moldy contents.
To browse the full range of Earth’s Best products, click here.
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Quality ingredients
- Soft consistency
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Limited portion sizes
- Some reported spoiled product
Pure Food Garden Fresh Organic, Stage 2 Baby Food: Sampler
This sampler pack by Pure Food is meant for babies in Stage 2 and beyond, and it includes twenty-four 4.2 oz jars of a variety of flavors, ranging from Blueberry Banana & Apples to Butternut Squash Apple & Oats.
Organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO, this company also uses “cold pressure” to pasteurize their food, which preserves its nutrient content (as opposed to pasteurizing via high heat, where many vitamins and minerals get lost).
Apart from the obvious commitment to quality ingredients and unique flavor combinations (which are developed by a licensed pediatrician!), what we really like about this vegan baby food is that it truly looks, feels and tastes like its homemade. We also appreciate that the containers are recyclable and come with a lid that can snap on if your little one doesn’t finish the whole jar in one sitting.
This all being said, the price tag reflects everything you’re going to get with this vegan baby food.
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Quality and function
- Expert input
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- On the pricey side
Happy Tot Organic, Stage 4 Superfoods: Variety Pack
This variety pack from Happy Tot Organic is meant for Stage 4 infants, and it includes sixteen 4.2 oz pouches with flavors ranging from apples & butternut squash to pears, mangoes & spinach. Also, in addition to being organic, this company prides itself on nutrient-dense products: every pouch is packed with “super chia,” or simply, chia seeds, which provide an excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
We like that this is an high-quality, relatively affordable, real-food option that’s also highly portable for an on-the-go lifestyle. The sugar content is all-natural, and we can happily report that these can suitably double as a quick snack for a busy vegan parent, too.
We did, however, receive some mixed reviews when it comes to taste: we know this can vary across preferences, but it’s something to keep in mind.
We do want to mention that this is a true Stage 4 food: the texture is not like a puree, but rather, a bit chunky, though this is not due to the chia seeds, which are virtually undetectable. So, even though the chia seeds might be pureed (and so, may possibly pass the “picky eater” test!), this option is not recommended for babies who’ve yet to reach the Stage 4 age.
The good news is that younger ones can enjoy the Happy Family brand, too! For their full range of baby food products, please click here.
WHAT WE LIKE:
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Mixed reviews on taste
NuturMe Organic Baby Food: Apple + Pumpkin Beet
This Apple + Pumpkin Beet puree from NuturMe is meant for Stage 2 babies and older, and it’s part of the company’s Power Blends collection of fruit and veggie combinations.
The product, which comes in a six-pack of 3.5oz pouches, claims to be 100% organic, kosher and free of gluten, soy, GMOs and BPA with no added sugars or artificial flavoring.
We love that this vegan baby food can check many of the important boxes when considering what vegan parents should feed their infant. We also like that it’s a family company, founded by two mothers who wanted to ensure a quality product for their own.
Whether or not that makes it worth the price tag to you is, well, up to you, and again, we got a varied response when it comes to taste.
Want more flavors? Click here for the full range.
WHAT WE LIKE:
- High-quality product
- On-the-go approved
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Mixed response to taste
- Price may be too high for some
Beech-Nut Naturals, Stage 1: Just Sweet Potatoes
This sweet potato puree from Beech-Nut Naturals is meant for Stage 1 babies and beyond, and it comes in a ten-pack of 4 oz glass jars.
Like the name states, this vegan baby food product has one, all-natural ingredient: organic sweet potatoes. The company also offers plenty of other flavors, though, including “Just carrots” and “Just apples.”
In a world of variety, we like that this company offers us something simple and pure that also tastes great. We imagine how frustrating it can be when your little one won’t eat a certain mixture, but perhaps you can always count on he or she gobbling up pure bananas.
And while we love that this company uses glass (making it BPA-free), we do want to note that, in more than one instance, bottles have been reported as having arrived broken or opened.
This is another aspect of consumerism that we perhaps failed to give it’s due earlier, and that’s customer service: a company’s willingness to “make it right” can be just as important as it’s willingness to construct a quality product. The only question is, how important is this aspect to you?
For the full Beech Nut range, click here (be warned, however, not all products listed are vegan).
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Simple and organic
- Non GMO project verified
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Not ideal for those seeking a variety
- Reports of damaged products on delivery
Peter Rabbit Organics: Strawberry + Banana
This Strawberry and Banana puree from Peter Rabbit Organics is meant for babies in Stage 2 and older. The total package here consists of three 4 oz pouches that are organic and non-GMO, soy-free, nut-free, BPA-free and made in the United States.
In addition to pureed organic strawberries and banana, this product does also contain organic lemon juice concentrate. So, while there is no “added” sugar, this blend is going to taste very sweet and contain more (natural) sugar than perhaps another flavor or blended brand.
However, some reported that they feel it’s a small price to pay in order to get their picky child to gulp down organic fruit! We also like that this pouch feels seems thicker than some of the others we tried.
This product is also a great to-go option that won’t make a mess.
Check out the full Sprout range here…it’s worth a look just for the little munchkin at the top of the page!
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Thick puree
- Portable and spill-proof
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Concentrate content
- A few reported spoiled packaging
Sprout Organic Baby Food, Stage 3: Butternut Chickpea + Quinoa + Dates
This ten-pack of 4 oz pouches from Sprout Organic Baby Food is for babies in Stage 3 and beyond.
This vegan baby food is made with chickpeas, which serve as an excellent protein source for your developing tyke, while quinoa and dates provide an ideal source of carbohydrate for lasting energy.
All of Spout’s ingredients are organic, non-GMO and contain no concentrates, fillers or additives.
It’s refreshing to see a blend that includes some ingredients that go beyond your general fruits and vegetables… not that there’s anything wrong with sticking to the basics! But we, too, would like to applaud this unique mixture of such nutrient-dense vegan foods that’s also suitable for infants… and also tastes great!
This clear packaged (BPA-free) product is also great to have for on-the-go situations.
We do want to include that, like a few other products aforementioned, some reported problems with this company’s shipping, specifically, receiving expired goods.
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Unique ingredients
- Clear packaging
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Some reported spoiled contents
- A little expensive
Which vegan baby food is the best?
After assessing each vegan-and-vegetarian-friendly baby food brand and plant-based baby food products against our aforementioned criteria, we can clearly state that our pick for the best vegan baby food is the Pure Spoon Garden Fresh Organic Stage 2 Baby Food Sampler.
The quality of food for the dollar spent is relatively unmatched, and along with the standard classifications required by many (organic… gluten-free… soy-free… etc), Pure Spoon is arguably one of the more high quality vegan baby food brands you can offer your little one (cold pressurized… developed by a licensed pediatrician… raw or lightly steamed ingredients… allergen free kitchen… etc!), and it also just so happens to be a great value.
Also, if your baby is a picky eater, having a variety of flavors to offer is sure to please and nourish. Lastly, we feel that selecting a Stage 2 product (which is also suitable for infants in Stages 3 and 4 and beyond) only increases this product’s value and potential impact for the largest number of all you vegan parents who’ve given us so much of your time!
We hope this has been a helpful look into vegan baby food products and brands. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please leave us a comment below, and we’re always happy to reply to the best of our abilities. Best of luck as you curate culinary needs for you and your current or future bundle of joy!