Until babies become about 6 months old, they survive solely on breast-milk and formula. However, once they start consuming solid foods, parents have a lot more to plan and think about. While it’s important to prepare balanced, nutritious meals for the kids, it can sometimes be hard to do everything from scratch.
They’re not supposed to be substitutes for meals every day, but they’re great for when you’re tired, or when you’re going out with your baby. With various options like Cerelac, Slurrp Farm, Mimmo Organics, etc., it can be quite difficult to select one. So, in this article, we will explain how you can choose the best baby food for your specific needs, and also give you a list of the top 10 best ones on the market.
How to Choose Baby Food in India – Buying Guide
Using baby food is often looked down upon by people because it is considered to be unhealthy, even though that’s not always the case. If you’re careful, you can easily choose healthy baby food options.
Choose Whether it’ll be a Meal or a Snack
Just as with adults, you need to decide whether you’re looking for a baby food option to help you prepare proper meals, or whether you just want something small as a snack for your baby.
If it’s a Meal, then it Must be Nutritious and Filling
If you want baby food that’ll work well as a meal, then you must make sure that it is both nutritious and filling. Of course, you shouldn’t be using these regularly to replace meals for your baby, but if there are days that you’re really tired, or the baby is being a fussy eater, then you can use these to feed your little one.
These products should be easy to cook, and also good for the baby’s health, so, in order to check that, you should go through the list of ingredients to make sure there aren’t any unnecessary things in the mix, such as added sugars and preservatives, that you wouldn’t want to feed your child.
Snacks should be Light, Easy to Eat, but also Healthy
Once your little one starts teething, you’ll know that it’s time to start preparing snacks, since your baby will start wanting something small to eat between meals as well. You cannot just give the same snacks you’ve been eating though, because babies’ teeth and stomachs are not prepared to handle such snacks.
There are various types of snacks for babies; based on their age, the texture and ingredients are different. Just as with the meal-type baby foods, you must check that the ingredients are good for its health. In addition, it’s better to choose snacks like wafers or fruit purees – things that are not too filling – as they would ensure that the baby is able to have a proper meal later.
Select Between Ready-to-Eat and Need to be Cooked Types
Another factor that you should keep in mind is that whether the product is ready for immediate consumption, or whether it needs to be cooked before it can be consumed. Depending on that, the use of the products would also differ.
Travel-Friendly Ready-to-Eat Types are Perfect for the Outdoors
If you’re going out with your baby, one of the biggest worries you would have would be what all can you feed them. It’s important to take healthy baby food with you, in case breast-milk is not enough to keep your baby full. For such cases, you also need to make sure that the baby food product is a ready-to-eat type of a product, and it is easy to travel as well.
When you’re Indoors, Go for the More Nutritious Need-to-be-Cooked Types
If you’re indoors though, you have more facilities at hand, so you can go for the types of baby foods that need to be cooked. These are great for times when you want to supplement your baby’s feedings with something made from solid foods, but you do not have the time to make mashed or pureed versions from scratch.
While ready-to-eat types can also be used while you’re at home, we recommend going for the need-to-be-cooked types, as the latter tend to be much more nutritious and filling. Ready-to-eat types are usually better suited as snacks due to their lack of balanced nutritional value and smaller portions, while the ones that need to be cooked meet both these needs and work well as meals.
Check what Age the Baby Food is Made for
One of the other most important things that you must check for is the age group the product is aimed at. Different baby foods are aimed at different age groups, so make sure that the one you’re interested in is right for your baby. While usually, this information is easy to find, you might have to struggle a bit other times and go through all the information on the back to know this.
Top 10 Best Baby Foods to Buy Online in India
Now that you know all the points you need to keep in mind while buying baby food, let us now reveal our top 10 picks for the top 10 best baby foods in India. Our list will include various types of products, so we are sure you’ll be able to find something that you’d like to try for your baby.
10. Happy Tummys Apple Cranberry Nutritious Bar
Chewy, Travel-Friendly Snack Bars for Kids Over 2 Years
If you’ve got a kid who’s over 2 years old, and are looking for a small, fruity snack for them, then this is the one for you. It contains no preservatives, and the texture is really chewy, so if your toddler is still teething then this would be great. One box contains 5 individually packaged bars, which makes them really easy to travel with as well.
These snack bars do contain honey, rice bran oil, and barley malt syrup, so they’re not as healthy compared to some other snacks. Additionally, the amount of fruit present in these is quite low, which brings down the nutritional value even more. They’re also pretty expensive considering you only get 5 snack bars, and the size of each bar is quite small.
9. Slurrp Farm Millet Pancake Mix
Easy to Digest, Healthy Pancakes for Babies Over 12 Months
Those with babies over 12 months, who want a healthy dessert option that doesn’t take too long to prepare, should get this product. Unlike traditional pancakes, it’s made without maida, and instead uses healthier grains like oats, millet, jowar, and amaranth, so it’s great for little kids. It is also really easy to digest as well, so you don’t need to worry about that either.
One pack of these only makes about 7-8 pancakes though, so it might seem like an expensive purchase. You’re also going to have to make the pancakes slightly thinner than you usually would because otherwise, it would take too long to cook. Furthermore, it contains sugar, jaggery, and chocolate chips, so while it’s good as an occasional treat, it’s not the best option for regular use.
8. Mimmo Organics Tender Yums Blueberry Fig
Soft, Fruity Wafers as Snacks for Babies over 12 Months with Teething Pains
These wafers are perfect for babies over 12 months, who’ve been teething for a while and need a snack that will soothe their gums. All the ingredients are organic, so you do not need to worry about any harmful chemicals entering your baby’s body. There are six packs in one box, and each pack contains 3 wafers, which makes it really easy to travel with them as well.
If you’re looking for snacks with less sugar and more fruit though, then these wouldn’t be right for you, as sugar is the third ingredient on the list, and the fruity bits constitute less than 5% of the snack. The size of each of the wafers is quite small too, so although they’re easy to hold for the kids, you’ll probably run out of them pretty soon.
7. Nestle Cerelac Multigrain with Fruits
Sweet and Milky, Travel-Friendly Meal for Babies Over 12 Months
Cerelac is one of the most loved baby foods in India, and while earlier there weren’t as many varieties, now there are several flavours of it. This particular one is recommended as it contains barley, rice, and corn, as well as apples and cherries to make it a wholesome meal. All you need to do is add hot water to it, which is why it is one of the few meal-types that is also travel-friendly.
It is really tasty, but also very sugary, so we wouldn’t recommend it for regular consumption as there are other healthier options on the market. Since it contains a lot of grains, it is aimed at babies over 12 months as they would already have quite a few teeth. Additionally, it is high in milk content as well, so you must be careful not to use more milk with it, as it could lead to constipation.
6. Happa Organic Apple + Banana Puree Baby Food
Travel-Friendly Fruit Puree with No Added Sugars and Preservatives
This fruit puree is one of the purest and travel-friendly fruit-based baby foods you’ll find on the market. It contains no added sugars, nor does it use any preservatives, and since it is in puree form, it is perfect for babies over 6 months who’ve just started consuming solid foods. It comes with a spoon, so you don’t need to worry about packing one, and makes for a great snack while you’re out with your baby.
Although, you must make sure that you pack it properly, as the containers aren’t very sturdy, and might break under pressure. Additionally, the list of ingredients can be quite confusing; there are no preservatives or sugars in the product, but while the title says “Apple + Banana,” the list of ingredients states mango and banana. So, even though it’s still healthy, it does change the type of fruits you’re giving to your baby.
5. Early Foods Organic Porridge Mix
Healthy Porridge with Warm Ingredients for Babies Over 7 Months for Wintertime
Those looking for a healthy porridge option with healthy grains, nuts, and fruits, for a baby over 7 months, should get this product. It contains no added sugar, salt, or preservatives, which makes it both a safer, as well as a healthier option. Since all of the ingredients are quite warm, we recommend feeding this to your baby during the winter, to avoid the risk of a runny stomach.
Since it does contain almonds, you must make sure that the baby is not allergic to it, as nut allergies are some of the most common food allergies. Furthermore, if your baby is a picky eater, you might need to add some honey or jaggery to this as the lack of added sugar makes this porridge quite tasteless otherwise.
4. Ormeal Organic Baby Food Puree
Less Expensive, Easy to Travel With, Fruit Puree Pouches for Babies Over 6 Months
These fruit puree pouches are wonderful as travel-friendly snack options for babies over 6 months. They’re organic, contain no added sugars or preservatives, and are easy to take with you while you’re out with your baby. They also come in two different flavours, so the baby has variety, and compared to other such products, it isn’t that expensive either.
The one area that might leave you wanting more is the quantity of puree in one pouch, as these are quite small and will run out very quickly. While this shouldn’t be a problem as it is not meant to be a proper meal-type product, even as a snack it might feel a bit small, and if your baby has a bigger appetite, it might get hungry again pretty soon.
3. Slurrp Farm Millet Dosa Mix Supergrains + Spinach
Easy to Cook and Nutritious Lazy Day Meal for Babies Over 16 Months
Dosa is great as baby food option; it is soft, easy to chew, and even easier to swallow, but it is not nutritious enough. Therefore, in this mix, in place of the usual ingredients, there are super grains like millet, chana dal, moong dal, along with spinach and curry leaves, all of which make this mix a much healthier version of the normal dosa. With one pack, you get about 7-8 dosas, which isn’t bad for a little kid.
It is also quite affordably priced and easy to cook, which makes it the perfect lazy day meal. It is recommended for kids over 16 months as they can not only chew the grains better, but their digestive systems are also better suited for such ingredients. Make sure that you cook these dosas for slightly longer than you normally would, as millet takes a bit longer to cook properly.
2. Tiny Spoons Organic Baby Food Puree
Organic, Travel-Friendly Fruit Puree Pouches for Babies Over 6 Months
These are the best fruit puree pouches on the market and are recommended for babies over 6 months. They contain no added sugar, salt, or preservatives, and come in two delicious fruity flavours, which is great if your baby likes to have variety, or you want your baby to try different fruits. It is made of organically grown fruits, so it is really healthy and pure, with no unnecessary chemicals.
Both the flavours are equally loved by babies, so you need not worry about that. You can also add these purees to yoghurt to add some flavour to the yoghurt, or you can use them to make smoothies as well. Since these come in a pouch form, they’re really easy to travel with and are perfect as snacks for when you’re out with your baby.
1. The Great Banyan First Solids Sprouted Ragi Porridge
Healthy and Affordable Baby Food Porridge to Customise to your Baby’s Taste
This is the best baby food you can find online for babies over 8 months. It contains no added sugar, salt, or preservatives, so it’s one of the healthiest porridge options available. It’s a meal type product as you need to cook it a bit before it is ready, and since it only has sprouted ragi flour and cardamom, you can make it either sweet or salty, depending on your baby’s preferred taste.
If your baby is allergic to milk, and you’re looking for healthy baby food alternative that is affordable, but not milk-based, then this is the one for you. Many users add mashed vegetables or fruit puree to make this even more delicious and healthy for their babies. There are also those who suggest adding a spoonful of ghee to the porridge if you’re making it salty as it makes the flavours stand out even more.
Choosing the right type of baby food can be one of the hardest things to do, which is why many people just go along with the popular options, instead of actually trying to look up which products are the best. Therefore, we did all the hard work for new parents, so they’ll have at least one less thing to worry about.
We hope this articles helped you understand how you can choose the best baby food for your baby, and we also hope that our list of top 10 best baby foods made it easier for you to narrow down your choices. While we cannot say whether your baby will love all of these foods, we are sure that the probability of them disliking our picks is quite low.