Last updated on August 17th, 2021 at 06:15 pm
*A quick note: Little Spoon was kind enough to offer samples of both their puré and toddler meals, however, I did not let this sway my thoughts on their products. I have sampled Once Upon a Farm and Yumi’s offerings in the past as well, and will discuss my experience with all of them in this head to head review.
Finding the perfect baby food for your little one and your wallet can be daunting. With so many brands, both in stores and online, merely thinking about all the research sounds exhausting. We have all seen the horrifying photos of moldy pouches and baby food jars, which may be what led you down this path of comparing organic baby food for your little one in the first place. Well, buckle up. I’ve taken a deep dive into three of the top brands — Little Spoon, Yumi and, Once Upon a Farm — to provide an unbiased comparison of price, eco-friendly, sustainability, and nutritional value — and hopefully make your research a little easier.
While we all would love to be the parent that prepares fresh organic baby food for our little one each week, it’s just one more thing on our list to forget about. We’ve all had those great intentions, researched the recipes, only to have something come up (like a bad nap day or diaper blow out) – and end up running to the store for pre-made food. This is when I turned to find a baby food brand that has high-quality nutrition standards without fillers and preservatives that somehow keep them “shelf-stable” for months. (We’ve also reviewed ugly produce subscriptions like Hungry Harvest, Imperfect Foods, and Misfits Market, in case you are looking for other healthy food delivery options).
Is organic baby and toddler food necessary?
Baby food has been transformed over the past few years, with brands like Yumi, Little Spoon, and Once Upon a Farm paying special attention to organic ingredients with significantly fewer pesticide residues than conventional produce. Some people might buy organic baby food to limit their babies’ exposure to these residues — since infants might be more susceptible to harm potentially caused by pesticides than are adults. Some studies suggest that increased organic intake is associated with reduced incidence of conditions like high BMI, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, metabolic syndrome and more.
If you look into the process of how these companies make their baby food, you will find that some of the aggressive processing required to create a shelf-stable food can diminish the nutritional value (source: University of Glasgow researchers). To counteract this you could provide additional nutritional supplements, however, at that rate you may as well buy organic refrigerated baby food.
Ultimately, I tell parents that they should do what is best for their family when it comes to their health, even if it is different from others. With that being said, I do want to recognize that buying organic baby food isn’t something that everyone can financially do and that buying the traditional Gerber food is just fine if that is what makes sense for them financially and fits for a busy life.
What to feed my 8 month-old
While our doctor told us that we could start solids at 4 months, upon further research we decided to hold off until 6 months, as recommended by the feeding experts we follow at Feeding Littles. Parents have three options when approaching baby food:
- Purée only
- Baby-led weaning
We have gone the traditional route which means that we feed our little guy, Dax, purée and whole regular food that is portioned and provided in a safe way for him so he doesn’t choke.
For each meal, I give Dax both purée and solid food – and since Little Spoon gave us their purée and toddler meals to try, Dax got both! More on what he thought below.
What did little Dax think of Little Spoon – a review by an 8 month-old!
(Dax trying Chicken Pot Stickers with Veggie and Quinoa Stir Fry)
(He demolished all the butternut squash as well.)
Dax is obsessed with food and loved every bite Little Spoon sent over! We used some pre-spoons recommended by many feeding experts to separate the purée into a different container. It’s helpful because we were only using half the jar, and once you eat out of a jar, the bacteria from your baby’s saliva will grow bacteria in the food (yuck).
Dax fully immersed himself in his food, as the pictures clearly demonstrate 😂 I use these smocks to help protect his clothes from getting dirty and allow him to get messy with his food since it is recommended by pediatric occupational feeding experts. Dax also loved trying all of the different Little Spoon toddler meals as well. I loved that each meal was balanced and had disguised veggies in every place that they could hide them. So, I would say that this was a super positive review of Little Spoon by both a kid and a mom! I put together this short unboxing video to show you what it all looks like.
Unboxing Little Spoon baby and toddler food
While Dax loved everything about Little spoon, there are two other organic baby food brands that I want to take a look at: Yumi and Once Upon a Farm. Let’s see how the three compare.
Little Spoon vs Yumi vs Once Upon a Farm
Best Organic Baby (and Toddler) Food
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When looking for baby food or toddler food there are many things to keep in mind: nutritional value, cost, accessibility, and eco-friendly environmental impact. Making sure that every swallow your baby takes nourishes their body and mind is the primary goal of every parent.
Each of the brands that we are reviewing today — Little Spoon, Yumi, and Once Upon a Farm — offer organic ingredients AND a high-quality process for preserving vitamins and nutrients. While they are all more or less comparable in many aspects, Yumi is slightly more expensive, although they offer discounts for buying in bulk.
One thing that I appreciated about Once Upon a Farm’s baby food is its availability in retail stores in addition to online. You might run out and have to scramble to find a healthy option on the fly. However, I do want to note that pouches are not a great habit for feeding your little one and they should only be used on occasion, as some experts believe that consistent use hinders them in feeding and oral development.
Source: Little Spoon
My review of Little Spoon baby food
At first glance, Little Spoon rubbed me the wrong way because their little teal spoons on every package made me cringe at the plastic waste and I personally think they are unnecessary and not a proper spoon for a little one to be learning with. However, Little Spoon’s pricing, food quality, and full toddler meal options, heavily outweigh my dislike of those tiny spoons that just get thrown away. (If you can’t tell, eco waste drives me mad; I will note that the spoons are made from recycled materials… But I will never love disposable utensils). A positive that makes up for their spoons is that they are working on a send back program for their reusable BPA free plates.
Overall Little Spoon offers high nutritional value and takes extensive care to curate healthy ingredients. I find them more reasonably priced than the other two organic options, and they offer toddler meals as well which is nice for brand consistency. While Yumi and others may have toddler options, they do not have proper toddler meal plans as like Little Spoon does.
My review of organic purée from Yumi
Yumi baby purée is at the higher end baby food in terms of pricing, but I gotta say, I am truly impressed with their offering. Yumi offers a wide variety of textures and food combinations that you would never think of for your little one to help grow their pallet and transition into finger foods. While they say that they offer toddler meal options, I wouldn’t say that they offer toddler meals because the portions are rather small. In addition to purée, Yumi also sells delicious, whole food gummy vitamins for toddlers (2+), kids (4+), and adults (18+).
Source: Once Upon a Farm
My review of Once Upon a Farm’s baby food
Once Upon a Farm is a great option for baby purée and smoothies that are available in stores and can be shipped to your home. Once Upon a Farm offers high-quality ingredients that are cold-pressed to preserve nutrients. In my opinion, the downside of Once Upon a Farm is the lack of different textures in their food and that they don’t move into finger foods. I view Once Upon a Farm pouches as great on the go snacks that are healthy and nutrient rich. A major plus for these pouches is that they can be easily bought in stores and they are comparable in price with Little Spoon. The big downside to Once Upon a Farm is the ability to see all of the food inside of the pouch to make sure that there aren’t any discrepancies.
What are parents saying about Yumi, Little Spoon and Once Upon a Farm?
Overall, it seems like parents are happy with the organic baby food from Yumi, Little Spoon, and Once Upon a Farm. With extensive insight into the parent space, I have never heard of any discrepancies in the quality of their food, as I have with other baby food that can be found in stores.
I was impressed with the large number of options that Little Spoon offers for their toddler meal plans which are extremely helpful when you have a busy day with the kids and don’t have the energy to cook. Parents who tried Yumi really appreciated their vast variety of food levels and textures that promote an adventurous diet.
Little Spoon vs Yumi
The Verdict: Which organic baby food is best — Little Spoon vs Yumi vs Once Upon a Farm?
Overall I appreciate so many things about each of these baby and toddler food brands, making it difficult to choose a clear winner. The accessibility of Once Upon a Farm is a huge draw even though I use a reusable pouch that works with any baby purée. Yumi is the most premium option, in my opinion, because they lean more towards the baby-led weaning route mixed with purée by providing finger foods. It’s probably the most ideal way to feed your young ones, but Yumi isn’t the cheapest. I wish I could afford it, but I’m afraid it’s slightly out of range for what I’m willing to pay.
Ultimately my top choice of baby food is Little Spoon because of their wide variety, including gourmet toddler meals. I love that I can use the toddler meals for Dax with baby-led weaning. Additionally, I enjoy cutting and preparing finger food for Dax — slightly more effort, but transforms Little Spoon’s food into baby finger food that’s comparable to Yumi’s.
My one piece of advice for every parent: make the most informed decision for YOUR family. We all have different opinions, needs, budgets, etc. and you have to do what’s right for you. Honestly no matter which organic baby food brand you choose — Yumi or Once Upon a Farm or Little Spoon — you’ll end up doing alright because all are fantastically healthy options! The industry has come a long way from Gerber…