The first artificial baby food was a milk substitute created around 2,000 years ago, initially administered from an oblong clay style bottle. The original milk substitutes came about due to mothers unable to produce enough milk or motherless babies. Organic baby food subscription boxes have come a long way since those humble beginnings and now offer families quality and variety.
More baby food substitutes came about following those early beginnings. They were often a mix of bread or flour combined with water called pap. Occasionally pap was fortified with other ingredients such as sugar, wine, meat, beer, and occasionally opium to help the fussy babies.
Baby food recipes started appearing in cookbooks in the 1850s, by Sarah Josepha Hale, author of Mary Had a Little Lamb. She included recipes for things like gruel, beef tea, stale bread, and cow's milk with sugar in her cookbook.
In the 1860s a German chemist Justus von Liebig came up with the first commercial soluble baby food made up of “cow’s milk, potassium bicarbonate, and wheat and malt flours, dried and sold as a powder.”
Following Liebig's release of baby food powder, Henri Nestlé released another baby food mix that contained wheat rusk crumbs and sweetened condensed milk, promoted as being better than milk.
Unfortunately, 1/3 of the babies that depended on these milk substitutes died, making them less favorable. However, over time milk substitutes improved and became safer. In the 1920s, Gerber came out with the first two baby food purees, peas and prunes.
The following years saw an upsurge in the consumption of commercial baby foods, and by 2002 99% of babies in America depended on commercial food, resulting in a multibillion-dollar industry.
Recently, there has been a change in the way parents looked at commercial baby food. Parents demanded healthier baby food options free of preservatives, additives, high salt contents, pesticides, and contaminants. So, a new baby food industry emerged, offering a more wholesome option to parents.
To make life even easier, there are now baby food subscription services that offer organic and nutritious options delivered directly to your door. You could also look for a blender that allows you to make baby food yourself, although doing so does involve more work.
Baby Food Subscription Boxes
- Little Spoon
- Once Upon a Farm
- Raised Real
- Lil' Gourmets
Yumi, founded by Angela and Evelyn, is a baby food subscription box company. Yumi offers baby food for babies as young as 4 months old and up to 10+ months old.
They have 5 different food stage options:
- Stage 1: Single-ingredient smooth purees
- Stage 2: Smooth multi-ingredient options like soups and pies
- Stage 3: Textured multi-ingredient purees that include seeds or grains
- Stage 4: Chunky mix of multiple ingredient options
- Stage 5: Finger foods such as puffs and nutrient-dense bites
All of Yumi's baby food is organic, GMO-free, gluten and dairy-free, and free from most big 8 allergens such as eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. Additionally, they source all of their ingredients from local farmers that are certified organic.
Parents do not need to worry about the sugar content since the only sugar found in Yumi baby food is natural from the ingredients found in the food. They never add sugar to any of their recipes.
The food is freezer friendly and is safe to store in the freezer for up to 2 months, making Yumi even easier to include in your baby's diet.
When you are ready to get started you can choose your plan. You can choose between 1, 2, or 3 meals per day, and between their Starter Pack, Variety Pack, and Baby Led Weaning Pack.
Then set up your billing. With more than 50 varieties of baby food available, your baby will never get bored.
Shipments are delivered weekly on Wednesdays, and these can be paused at any time.
Cerebelly, founded by Teresa Purzne, former neurosurgeon, and her brother Nick, is a baby food company that strives to provide optimal nutrition to nourish your baby's “growing mind.”
Cerebelly's food is organic and is specially formulated to provide various nutrients appropriate for your child's different growth stages. The food is free from all big-8 allergens.
Cerebelly randomly samples their food both in house and by a third party to test for mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium, ensuring the overall safety of their food.
Plus, Cerebelly does not add any sugar, preservatives, or ascorbic acid to any of their formulas.
Cerebelly offers a variety of recipes for different life stages. They offer bars and purees, plus if your child is in-between stages or you have multiple children, there are bundles including various options.
And Cerebelly puree comes in a variety of unique flavors, ideal for growing your baby's pallet. Some of these include Sweet Potato Mango, Pea Basil, Carrot Chickpea, Broccoli Pear, and White Bean Pumpkin Apple. Their bars come in Carrot Raisin, Blueberry Banana Sweet Potato, Apple Kale, and Strawberry Beet flavors.
When you sign up for the Cerebelly baby food box, you will first take a quiz, which takes about 2 minutes to determine the best option for your baby. Feel like skipping the quiz? You can build your own box, combining a variety of flavors, purees, and bars.
There are 2 delivery methods: basic shipping, which usually takes between 2-7 days, and expedited shipping, which takes 2-3 business days.
Little Spoon is all about making parents' lives easier with healthy organic kids' meals, delivered conveniently to your door. Little Spoon offers baby food, toddler meals, and big kids options, so the meals will grow with your child.
In addition to their meals, Little Spoon also offers natural remedies, vitamins, and probiotics such as Sniffle Shield, Poopie Power, Wiz Kid, and Gut Feeling.
They are all in powder form and are preportioned making it easy to add them to your child's food.
All of their foods and supplements are free from preservatives, high heat processing, GMOs, and additives.
Little Spoon does not offer their meals for individual sale; instead, it is strictly a baby food subscription company. So after filling out a short survey about your child, you can choose between 1, 2, or 3 meals per day.
After choosing your plan, you can then select your meals from of their ever-rotating menu. All of the plans are flexible, so you can change your meal plan, pause, or cancel anytime.
Once Upon a Farm
Once Upon a Farm is available for sale online and in retail stores such as Kroger, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, and Publix. However, if you order from their online store, you can sign up for their baby food subscription box.
Most of their foods are approved for babies 6+ months old, which is in adherence to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). However, their dairy-free yogurts are made for children 1+ years old and their stage 1 food is ideal for those 5+ months old.
All of the Once Upon a Farm's food comes in convenient easy to open resealable pouches. The recipes available come in a wide variety of flavors such as:
- Apple-y Avocado
- Tropical Greens
- Green Kale and Apple
- Apple Blueberry
- Gold-y Mango and Coconuts
- Cauliflower and Bell Pepper
Though the pouches are not microwavable, the food can be gently heated if that's more palatable for your child. Also, you can find fun recipes that include Once Upon a Farm's foods on their website.
When you subscribe to Once Upon a Farm, you can save up to 18% and enjoy free shipping. After signing up for your subscription plan, you will choose 24 food pouches in multiples of 3.
You can choose the frequency of the food plan, anywhere between 1 and 5 weeks. The subscription plan is flexible; and meals can be changed, and the membership can be canceled or paused anytime.
Raised Real is a baby food subscription plan that offers food for little ones 6+ months old. Though the food comes in whole food form, it can easily be pureed to your child's preferred texture.
Each of the Raised Real meal boxes includes 12 or 24 meals based upon which plan you choose. All of the plans include a variety of meals suited to your child's taste.
The cost is based on the number of meals that you order. The more you order, the deeper your discount will be. Ordering 12 meals comes out at $5.49 per meal, while ordering 24 meals averages $4.99 per meal instead.
When you sign up with Raised Real, you tell the company about which ingredients your child prefers and which ingredients should be omitted. Then based on preferences, your child's meals will be prepared and shipped directly to your home. The meals are all balanced and packed with vitamins, nutrients, healthy fats, and spices.
Though you can choose the ingredients to include you can't choose the meals.
Lil' Gourmets is sold online or at local retail stores in their refrigerator section. Lil' Gourmets is designed to help cultivate your little one's tastes through nutritious fruit and vegetable meals.
All 6 meal choices are all organic and are made up of at least 70% vegetables and beans. And though some of these meals are sweet, they never have any added sugar. Each of the meals is fresh and never have any added preservatives or salt.
Though the meals are salt and sugar-free, they are far from bland. With perfectly paired ingredients and spices, these meals are packed with nutrients and flavor.
The 6 available flavors are:
- Coconut Cauliflower Mash
- Moroccan Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potato Curry
- Spinach, Corn, Bean, and Gazpacho
- Cinnamon Beets and Apple
- Pumpkin Navy Bean Shawarma
If you are looking for a subscription, Lil' Gourmets offers the Organic Sampler Subscription, which is made up of 16 meals and includes all 6 flavors. Each 16 meal pack is delivered monthly.
Though we are most familiar with seeing Gerber on our local grocery store shelves, the company does offer some of their foods online and even has an organic subscription box.
Gerber offers a variety of age-appropriate organic baby food subscription boxes. For example, if your baby is 6 months old, you will receive a variety of baby food purees such as carrot, pear purple carrot, and raspberry, and carrot, banana, mango, millet, and quinoa, along with cereals like rice and oatmeal.
Each box includes 27 jars of food and 2 boxes of cereal. When you sign up as your baby grows, the boxes will change to adjust to your child's development. And if you prepay for your subscription, you will receive a discount of over $175 per 13 months.
Subscription boxes are appropriate for babies as young as 5 months and go up to 18 months.