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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?
- What to consider when buying vegan baby food
- How to make your own vegan baby food
- My mini-reviews of vegan baby food products
- Earth’s Best Organic, Stage 2 Baby Food
- Plum Organics Stage 2, Organic Baby Food, Fruit and Veggie Variety Pack
- Happy Tot Organic, Stage 4 Superfoods: Variety Pack
- NuturMe Organic Baby Food: Apple + Pumpkin Beet
- Beech-Nut Naturals Stage 1 Baby Food Jar Vegetable Variety Pack
- Pumpkin Tree, Peter Rabbit Organics Fruit Vegetable Variety Squeezable Pouches
- Sprout Organic Baby Food, Stage 2 Pouches, 12 Flavor Fruit Veggie & Grain Variety Sampler
- Which vegan baby food is the best?
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 tablets) 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.” (1)
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: (2)
- 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? It’s worth bearing in mind which produce is most important to be purchased organic vs. conventional. (3)
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. (4, 5)
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. (6)
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!
IMPORTANT NOTE: A recent congressional report released 02/04/2021 indicated that some baby food products contain dangerous levels of toxic metals. As this article was written before the report was released, we urge you to research each product further before purchasing (7)
Earth’s Best Organic, Stage 2 Baby Food
These pouches from Earth’s Best come in a range of flavors too wide to mention here. Their ingredients are certified USDA Organic, Kosher, non-GMO, unsalted, and of course, vegan. This one, the Blueberry Banana Flax & Oat, is amongst our favorites.
We definitely appreciate that this company commits to quality ingredients. The consistency of their food is very soft, makes makes it easy to swallow, though some may find it too “watery.”
To browse the full range of Earth’s Best products, click here. Be warned, though, not all products in EB’s range are vegan, but those that aren’t are pretty easy to spot.
- Quality ingredients
- Soft consistency
- Some may find the soft consistency too soft and a little on the watery side
Plum Organics Stage 2, Organic Baby Food, Fruit and Veggie Variety Pack
This variety pack from Plum Organics is a great way to vary mealtimes up a little, but with minimum effort. The 4oz pouches are BPA-free and resealable, making them a fine option if your little one isn’t the hungriest of hippos!
Organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO, this company is also a certified B-Corp, so you can rest assured that you’re doing your bit by the planet as well as your baby.
See the full range from Plum Organics here.
- Resealable pouches
- B-Corp company
- Nice flavor combinations
- Nothing at all!
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.
- 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.
- High-quality product
- On-the-go approved
- Mixed response to taste
- Price may be too high for some
Beech-Nut Naturals Stage 1 Baby Food Jar Vegetable Variety Pack
This variety pack from Beech-Nut Naturals is meant for Stage 1 babies and beyond, and it comes in a pack of 12 4 oz glass jars.
Like the name states, this vegan baby food product has all-natural ingredients tucked away inside: sweet potato, carrots, green beans and butternut squash.
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 sweet potato or green beans.
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. That said, they are now offering BPA-free pouches, too, so that solves that.
For the full Beech Nut range, click here (be warned, however, not all products listed are vegan).
- Simple, yet beautiful, flavors
- Non GMO project verified
- Reports of damaged products on delivery
Pumpkin Tree, Peter Rabbit Organics Fruit Vegetable Variety Squeezable Pouches
These purees from Peter Rabbit Organics are meant for babies in Stage 2 and older. The total package here consists of 18 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 bananas, mango, broccali & kale, apples, carrots, squash, 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 and veg! 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 Pumpkin Tree range here.
- Thick puree
- Portable and spill-proof
- Lovely recipes
- Good choice, given the two different variety packs on offer
- Excellent EWG ratings
- Expensive, but you get what you pay for
Sprout Organic Baby Food, Stage 2 Pouches, 12 Flavor Fruit Veggie & Grain Variety Sampler
This Sprout Organic Baby Food, Stage 2 Pouches, 12 Flavor Fruit Veggie & Grain Variety Sampler is for babies in Stage 2 and beyond.
This vegan baby food is made with an array of goodies, and 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 pouch packaged (BPA-free) product is also great to have for on-the-go situations.
- Unique ingredients
- Clear packaging
- 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 Pumpkin Tree, Peter Rabbit Organics Fruit Vegetable Variety Packs.
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), Pumpkin Tree is arguably one of the more high quality vegan baby food brands you can offer your little one (their excellent EWG ratings speak for themselves). (8)
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!
If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.
About The Author:
Carly Keyes is writer and personal trainer who decided to go plant-based after a visit to the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA. The change has completely revolutionized the way she feels, looks, thinks and behaves, making her a very vocal advocate of the vegan lifestyle.
She’s also a keen singer/songwriter and has studied screenwriting at the University of Michigan. Carly lives in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
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- Brita C. Moilanen | Vegan Diets in Infants, Children, and Adolescents | https://pedsinreview.aappublications.org/content/25/5/174
- Vincent Iannelli, MD | Making Sense of ‘Stages’ and ‘Steps’ on Baby Food Labels | https://www.verywellfamily.com/baby-food-stages-and-steps-2634465
- EWG | Dirty Dozen™: EWG’s 2021 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ | https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php
- Jane E. Brody | Are G.M.O. Foods Safe? | https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/23/well/eat/are-gmo-foods-safe.html
- Kavin Senapathy | Gerber Formula Goes Non-GMO, But Not Really | https://www.forbes.com/sites/kavinsenapathy/2016/02/22/gerber-formula-goes-non-gmo-but-not-really/?sh=31c039c27e79
- NIH | Bisphenol A (BPA) | https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/sya-bpa/index.cfm
- AP | Congressional Report Finds Toxic Metals in Baby Food Brands | https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2021-02-04/congressional-report-finds-toxic-metals-in-baby-food-brands
- EWG | Pumpkin Tree Baby Foods | https://www.ewg.org/foodscores/brands/15871-Pumpkin%20Tree/search/