Up-market baby food in focus

All baby foods are not created equal.
 
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  • Updated:23 Feb 2007
 

01 .Up-market baby food

Baby eating

We’ve put up-market, gourmet, and organic baby food for the under 1s under the microscope to see how they stack up.

There are differences in how they’re processed, how convenient they are in different situations – and how much vegies, meat and fruit they contain.

All the baby foods we assessed meet the requirements of the Foods Standards Code – but we think mothers want foods for their babies to go even further than simply what’s required. Some brands give you all the information about the amounts of the ingredients they contain, some stick to what they have to disclose. We’d like to see all manufacturers go the extra mile when it comes to their baby food labels.

Please note: this information was current as of February 2007 but is still a useful guide to today's market.


Results summary

  • Ingredients: Only some brands tell you everything about the amount of each ingredient they contain – some just give the percentage of main ingredients or just those they are required to reveal. The brands that tell it all like it is are: Baby boost; Organix; Little tummy tucker; and Motherly.
  • Thickeners and water: You might expect these more expensive brands to ditch thickeners and only use water when starchy vegetables or rice and pasta otherwise would make the product too thick. But some brands use maize starch or flour – the manufacturers of these brands say they use it for aesthetic and texture reasons. Many of the other brands include ground rice or rice flour as an ingredient, which will thicken the product as well. The no thickener, and no rice flour/ground rice (unless rice/cereal is included in the name) brands are: Baby boost; Babynat; Little tummy tucker; Motherly; and Organix. Some other brands only include rice flour or ground rice in puddings or desserts.
  • Labelling: Don’t take the product name as an exact description of what you’ll find inside when you check the fine print. Many brands include ingredients you’d never guess just from checking out the name, for example, one variety of pureed peaches contains 15% apple, and a product called Pumpkin fine contains rice as well as pumpkin.
  • Additives: Baby foods are restricted in the additives they can contain — vitamin C is often added, to make up for losses in processing and it acts as an antioxidant. You won’t find additives such as preservatives, colours and flavours in any foods for babies under 12 months.
  • Sugars and salt: Sugars can be added to baby foods, but in practice you generally won’t find added sugars except in some desserts, such as custards and yoghurt desserts. If more than 4% sugars are added, the label must say it’s ‘sweetened’. The amount of salt baby foods can contain is limited — no more than 100 mg of sodium per 100 grams in meat, vegie and fruit baby food. We found most brands and varieties were much lower — generally less than 20 mg per 100 g.
  • Safety on the go: Because baby market is dominated by the jar or can — we’ve come to think of it as pretty indestructible. You can toss it in your bag and open it later in the day with no ill effects. But chilled or frozen foods need to be treated with more care — you need to keep them cold if you’re taking them with you on the run. All baby foods must be kept in the fridge once they’re opened.
  • Processing: Not all baby foods have the same degree of processing — the lighter the processing (heat treatment) the more heat-sensitive vitamins are retained. Jars, cans and shelf-stable containers have the highest level of heat treatment. Chilled products with long shelf lives in the fridge come next, for example Baby boost. Chilled products with only short shelf lives, for example Little tummy tucker, and products which must be kept frozen, for example Motherly cubes are the least heat treated.
  • Variety: Introducing your baby to a wide variety of foods over time is important. Some brands are limited in the variety on offer, so a mix and match approach - combined with your own home-made - is best. Experts have described commercial baby foods as "convenience foods for babies" - so choosing wisely and using it when it's convenient, but basing your baby's diet on your own healthy home foods is a good approach.
  • Texture: It’s important that babies are gradually given foods with coarser textures. When you introduce more roughly mashed, rather than pureed food depends on your baby’s individual development, but keeping them on finely pureed, or soft uniformly textured foods for too long causes problems later. Speech pathologists are the health professionals which can help with swallowing difficulties and fussy eating brought on by not introducing lumpier textures soon enough. Speech Pathology Australia says that for normal babies, you should be moving onto lumpier foods no later than 10 months of age. If you are concerned about your baby's ability to deal with eating more textured food, you can find a paediatric speech pathologist through your doctor or baby health centre.
 
 

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  • Check the ingredient list – does it tell you all the percentage ingredients – or at least enough of them for you to see how much of the product is the food Feedingingredients you think you’re paying for?
  • Are thickeners being used? Check the ingredient list and work out how much of the product is the food ingredients you want and how much water and thickener. If it’s a rice product – rice pudding or vegies and rice – you might be happy for it to contain rice flour or ground rice, but otherwise, it may be unnecessary.
  • Baby foods are restricted in the additives they can contain — vitamin C is often added, to make up for losses in processing and it acts as an antioxidant. You won’t find additives such as preservatives, colours and flavours in any foods for babies under 12 months.
  • Do you want an organic product? Look for certified organic ingredients, and look carefully at whether all, or only some, ingredients are covered.
  • Don’t just be guided by the product’s name – compare the name to the list of ingredients. All the manufacturers make at least some products that are 100% fruit/veg/meat pureed, but it’s sometimes hard to know just by looking at the name. For example, compare Holle Organic apple (only 45% apple - the other 55% is water, pear juice concentrate, rice flour and lemon juice), with Heinz organic apple, banana & berries (99% fruit puree, 1% cranberry juice). They both sound like fruit purees, but in this example the Heinz variety contains far more actual fruit.
  • Concerned about added sugars or salt? Check the ingredients list for added sugars and the nutrition information panel for the sodium content per 100 g. Sodium should always be less than 100 mg per 100 g, but some brands and varieties do much better. Baby
    How do you want to use the product? If you want to put it under the stroller for a busy day out, a jar may be more convenient. But as a quick replacement for your own home-made dinner when your day is falling to pieces, a frozen or chilled product may be just what you’re looking for – the frozen and short-shelf life chilled products are as close as you’ll get to doing it yourself.
  • Dietitians have told us that babies don’t need desserts – fruit purees, yes, but desserts (like custards), no. So choose carefully and avoid desserts that are light on fruit and heavy on thickened water/juice/skim milk. A 100% fruit puree which you can use as it is or mix with yoghurt is a better option than most baby custards or yoghurt desserts.
  • Food safety is important for the whole family, but babies and young children are of particular concern. Properly processed baby food in jars, cans or shelf-stable packs is practically free from bacteria until you open it. But when it comes to preparing your own home foods or to chilled or frozen baby foods particular care to treat them correctly is needed. Carefully follow the instructions for serving and storing on the pack.

Dietitians have told us that commercial baby foods are convenience foods for babies – the aim with introducing solids is to get your baby from a diet of breastmilk or formula at about six months to eating appropriate family foods at 12 months.

There are easy options if you don’t want to use commercial baby foods even as convenience foods: Fruit

  • Mashed banana, pawpaw or avocado are all pretty instant foods, when time matters.
  • Freezing your own creations in ice-cube trays or baby-size containers for when you don’t have the time is a lifesaver. 
  • Pureeing or mashing what the rest of the family is eating is the simplest of all, as long as your whole family has a decent diet — and you keep in mind that just as commercial baby foods are only allowed to contain certain levels of salt and virtually no additives, so should your home-made baby food. You don’t need to add sugar to your baby’s food (pureed or mashed fruit is a healthier choice) and salt can be particularly easy to overdo: don’t add it to your baby’s cooking, and take out their portion before you add it to the rest of the family’s (if you do); go easy on salty ingredients like cheese; and choose low-salt versions of things like creamed corn, baked beans or tuna.
  • Always follow safe food handling principles stringently – babies and young children are a particularly vulnerable group when it comes to food poisoning. Factsheets on preparing food safely can be found on the Food Safety Information Council website — in particular the factsheet Protecting tiny tummies is a good place to start.

This article doesn’t cover all (or even most) aspects of introducing solids to your baby — your baby health clinic is a good place to start.

A chilled baby food with no thickening agents and most varieties have comprehensive labelling. It has had some heat-treatment for longer shelf-life in the fridge. Made in Australia. Baby boost product

Labelling: The label tells you the amounts of all the ingredients for all varieties, with two exceptions (Italian lasagna and Tuna casserole). The ingredients are sometimes not listed correctly in descending order by percentage.

Thickeners/fillers: No. Baby boost doesn’t use any thickening agents. Cooking water, stock or juice is added to adjust the consistency, for example, when starchy vegetables (potato, sweet potato, corn) or pasta is included.

Product name accuracy: Sometimes vegetables not mentioned in the name of the product are included, for example, Pumpkin & potato includes more sweet potato than potato (and there is no picture of sweet potato on the label, but the manufacturer has told us it will be adding it).

Meat content: From 10 months varieties with meat/fish include from 14% to 21%.

Organic: No

Type: Plastic pouch, refrigerated.

Made in: Australia.

Storage and serving: Must be kept refrigerated – cannot travel at room temperature. Warm before serving. Unheated portion can be stored in fridge for 48 hours.

Processing: The ingredients are prepared, cooked and mashed. The filled pouches are sealed, given a light pasteurisation treatment and chilled. This proprietary process gives a shelf life of 90 days.

Available in: Major supermarkets, yoghurt/chiller cabinet.

Price we paid:

  • 6 months+ savoury varieties, $1.59 per 120g pouch.
  • 6 months+ sweet varieties, $4.39 per 4 pack of 125g pots.
  • 10 months+ savoury varieties, $1.99 per 170g pouch.

Website: www.babyboost.com.au 

Baby boost range:
Name
Ingredients
6 months+
Carrot & swede
Carrot 35%, swede 35%, sweet potato 18%, cooking water 12%.
Pumpkin & potato
Pumpkin 45%, sweet potato 25%, potato 20%, cooking water 10%.
Pumpkin & sweetcorn
Pumpkin 75%, sweetcorn 19%, cooking water 6%.
Red lentils & vegetables
Pumpkin 35%, sweet potato 25%, cooking water 12%, carrots 10%, lentils 5%, green beans 5%, leeks 5%, spinach 3%.
Sweet potato & broccoli
Sweet potato 60%, broccoli 21%, potato 10%,  cooking water 9%.
Fruit boost 2 x apples & 2 x pears
Apples: Apple 99.9%, vitamin C
Pears:
Pear 99.9%, vitamin C
Fruit boost 2 x fruit salad & 2 x Apples & peaches
Fruit salad: Pear 49%, apple 26%, peach 7%, apricot 7%, banana 7%, pineapple juice 3.5%, vitamin C.
Apples & peaches:
Apple 43.9%, peach 29%, pear 27%, vitamin C.
10 months+
Chicken & vegetable hotpot
Vegetables 52% (sweet potatoes, turnips, potatoes, green beans, carrots, leeks, celery), cooking water, chicken 14%.
Italian lasagne
Vegetable stock (water, vegetable extracts), diced tomatoes 21%, pasta 18% (durum wheat, semolina), beef mince 17%, silver beet, carrots, tomato paste, herbs.
Tuna casserole dinner
Pasta 24%, vegetable stock (water, vegetable extracts), tuna 21%, sweetcorn, carrots, green beans.
Mixed vegetables
Vegetables 70% (potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, celery), cooking water.
 

An organic baby food in jars with reasonably clear labelling and most varieties containing no thickening agents or added water. Like other food in jars, it uses heat treatment to make it shelf stable. Imported from France.

Labelling: Amounts of major ingredients are given, but it’s not always clear how much of some ingredients are used. Babynat products

Thickeners/fillers: Generally no. One rice dessert and a fruit and cereal variety use some rice flour as an ingredient. Most have no added water, the 'from 8 months' varieties include water condensed from cooking steam.

Product name accuracy: Some varieties include fruits or vegetables not mentioned in the name, for example, Organic peaches contains 15% apple.

Meat content: The chicken variety contains 9.5% chicken, the fish variety 8% cod.

Organic: Yes, certified organic.

Type: Jar.

Made in: France

Storage and serving: Can be stored at room temperature until opened. Serve warm or at room temperature. Opened, but unheated portion can be stored in fridge for 48 hours.

Processing: Heat treated in jar to preserve.

Available in: Some health food stores and online.

Price we paid:

  • From 4 months, $2.95 per 130g jar.
  • From 8 months, $4.30 per 200g jar.

Website: www.organicom.net.au

Babynat range:
Name
Ingredients
From 4 months
Organic carrots
Carrots 85%, sweetcorn 15%
Organic carrots & pumpkin
Carrots 74%, pumpkin 25%, parsley
Organic garden vegetables
Sweetcorn, peas, carrots, potatoes, parsley
Organic leek & potatoes
Potatoes 43%, leek 36%, carrots 20%, parsley 1%
Organic provençale vegetables
Vegetables 99% (carrots, potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, parsley), extra virgin olive oil
Organic apples
Apples 99.7%, vanilla 0.03%
Organic apple & banana
Apples 85%, banana 15%
Organic apple & blueberry
Apples 80%, blueberries 20%
Organic apple & prune
Apple 75%, prune 25%.
Organic apple & quince
Apples 73%, quinces 27%
Organic fruit cocktail
Apples, pears, peaches, blueberries
Organic fruit & cereal
Apples 60%, apricots 37%, rice flour 3%
Organic peaches
Peaches 85%, apples
Organic pears
Pears 100%
Organic rice dessert vanilla
Water, rice syrup, rice 6.5%, first cold pressed vegetable oils (rapeseed, sunflower), vanilla extract 1.5%, rice flour 1%
From 8 months
Organic vegetables chicken
Vegetables 71% (carrots, potatoes, sweetcorn, onions), cooking water, chicken 9.5%, parsley
Organic vegetables cod
Vegetables 67% (peas, potatoes, carrots, onions) cooking water, wild cod 8%, parsley
Organic vegetables pasta
Vegetables 66% (carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, sweetcorn, onions), cooking water, hard durum wheat pasta 4%, parsley
Organic vegetables quinoa
Vegetables 62.8% (carrots, peas, tomatoes, onions), cooking water, quinoa flakes 7%, parsley
 

An organic and biodynamic baby food in jars with reasonably clear labelling, but some varieties contain rice (as flour) not mentioned in the name and added water. Like other food in jars, it uses heat treatment to make it shelf stable. Imported from Germany.

Labelling: Most varieties give the percentages of most ingredients, but there are some gaps. Bio bambini products

Thickeners/fillers: Thickening agents are not used, but rice flour is an ingredient in a number of varieties, some where you may not guess it from the name of the product, for example, Apple-banana contains 50% apples, 23% bananas and 27% water and rice flour combined. All the varieties we looked at had added water, although most contained cereal or starchy vegetables which would need to be thinned. However, Apple & mango delight, which you wouldn’t expect would need water to thin it, contains 60% apple, 30% mango and 10% water. Pumpkin fine, is only 53% pumpkin, the remainder of the jar is water, rice flour and oil. The manufacturer says the rice flour and water is added for aesthetic and texture reasons.

Product name accuracy: OK, but some varieties include ingredients not suggested in the name, such as rice flour (and water) in Pumpkin fine.

Meat content: None of the varieties we found contained meat ingredients.

Organic: Yes, certified organic and biodynamic (Demeter).

Type: Jar.

Made in: Germany

Storage and serving: Can be stored at room temperature until opened. Serve warm or at room temperature. Opened, but unheated portion can be stored in fridge for 48 hours.

Processing: Heat treated in jar to preserve.

Available in: Some health and organic food stores, see website for details.

Price we paid:

  • $2.60 per 125g jar.
  • $3.45 per 190g jar.

Website: www.olivegreenorganics.com.au

Bio bambini range:
Name
Ingredients
From 4 months
Parsnip & potato
Parsnips 35%, potatoes 35%, water
Pumpkin fine
Pumpkin 53%, water, natural rice flour 6%, sunflower oil
Pumpkin with potatoes and fennel
Pumpkin 34%, water, potatoes 20%, fennel 10%, natural rice flour, rapeseed oil
Tender carrot & potato
Carrots 25%, potatoes 25%, water
Apple-banana
Apples 50%, bananas 23%, water, natural rice flour
Apple & mango
Apple 60%, mango 30%, water
Apple, peach & biscuit
Apples 57%, water, peach 9%, ground biscuit 9%
Baby fruit cocktail
Fruit 89% (apple, pear, banana, mango), water, rice, pear juice concentrate
From 6 months
Apple & blueberry pudding
Apple 49%, water, blueberry 17%, agave juice concentrate, oats, barley, wheat
Baby muesli
Apple 31%, banana 31%, water, yoghurt 7%, oats, spelt
Pear pudding
Pear 52%, water, rice, pear juice concentrate
Pear & apple muesli
Pear 31%, apple 31%, water, wholemeal grain 6% (oats, barley, wheat, rye), pear juice concentrate
Ratatouille
Carrots 50%, water, potatoes 10%, paprika, zucchini, tomatoes, sunflower oil, herbs
 

An organic baby food in jars. Its labelling is reasonably clear and most varieties contain some thickener and water. Like other food in jars, it uses heat treatment to make it shelf stable. Made in Australia. Heinz organic products

Labelling: Percentages of main ingredients, such as vegetables, fruits and meat, are given on the label. Quantities for some ingredients are not given, for example water and ground rice in several varieties.

Thickeners/fillers: All varieties except four contain some thickening agent, for example, maize starch/cornflour, ground rice. Water is added to most varieties "for cooking and to ensure appropriate texture". It is clear from the labelling that most varieties contain a high total percentage of fruits or vegetables and meat (where it’s a meat variety). However, some varieties appear lower, for example Organic chicken and sweet potato (54% vegetables and chicken, the remainder water, thickener and parsley).

Product name accuracy: Fruits or vegetables other than those named are sometimes included, for example Organic chicken and sweet potato contains 29% sweet potato and 15% other vegetables. Organic pineapple passion contains more apple (80%) than either pineapple or passionfruit (both of which are only present as juices). Heinz says the products are named for the characterising ingredients which give the distinctive flavour.

Meat content: Varieties containing meat contain 10% chicken/lamb/beef.

Organic: Yes, major ingredients certified organic. Minor ingredients often not organic: the organic standard allows non organic ingredients to be used as long as the organic variety is not readily available and it's less than 5% of the product. In one case, a named ingredient – the cheese in Organic cheesy pasta bake – is not listed as organic. Heinz says this is because organic parmesan is not available and it's only 1% of the product; it will use certified organic cheese when it can source it reliably. The beef in Organic tender beef with vegetable mash is not listed as organic but Heinz says this is a labelling error, the beef used is organic.

Type: Jar.

Made in: Australia

Storage and serving: Can be stored at room temperature until opened. Serve warm or at room temperature. Opened, but unheated portion can be stored in fridge for 48 hours.

Processing: Prepared foods are heat treated in jar to preserve.

Available in: Major supermarkets.

Price we paid:

  • $1.29 per 110g jar.
  • $1.89 per 170g jar.

Website: www.heinzforbaby.com.au

Heinz Organic range:
Name
Ingredients
4 to 6 months
Organic golden vegetable mash
Pumpkin 65%, sweet potato 22%, water
Organic sweet baby vegetables
Vegetables 65% (sweet potato, carrots 15%, potatoes 15%, sweetcorn 14%), water
Organic apple, banana & berries
Apples 85%, bananas 12%, blueberries 2%, cranberry juice
Organic apple & cranberry gel
Fruit juice 98% (apple 89%, cranberry 9%), vegetable gums (carrageenan, carob bean), vitamin C
Organic banana & chocolate brulee
Full cream milk 40%, banana 35%, water, ground rice, maize starch, cocoa powder 0.5%
Organic creamy oats with fig & sultanas
Fruit 26% (figs 21%, sultanas 5%), yoghurt (cultured milk), oats 15%, water, full cream milk, apple juice, maize starch, natural vanilla flavour, food acid (citric acid)
Organic fruity pear & apricot swirl
Fruit 56% (pears 42%, apricots 14%), apple juice, water, ground rice
Organic orchard plum delight
Fruit 91% (plums 68%, bananas, apples 9%), ground brown rice, vitamin C
Organic pineapple passion
Fruit and fruit juice 95% (apples, pineapple juice 10%, passionfruit juice 5%), ground rice
7 to 9 months
Organic butternut pumpkin pilaf
Vegetables 61% (butternut pumpkin 38%, sweetcorn 18%, onion, zucchini, spinach), water, brown rice 7%, cheeses (ricotta, parmesan), cornflour, spices and spice extract
Organic chicken and sweet potato
Vegetables 44% (sweet potatoes 29%, potatoes, peas 5%, onions, pumpkin), water, chicken 10%, maize starch, parsley
Organic lamb shepherd's pie
Vegetables 75% (tomatoes 41%, potatoes 13%, carrots, peas 5%, sweetcorn, onion), lamb 10%, water, parsley, cornflour, spice extract, thyme
Organic Provencale chicken pasta
Vegetables 74% (tomatoes 54%, carrots, zucchini, onion), wheat pasta 12%, chicken 10%, cornflour, parmesan cheese, oregano, spice extract
Organic tender beef with vegetable mash
Vegetables 62% (tomatoes, sweet potato, zucchini 8%, potatoes, carrots 5%), apple juice, brown rice, beef 10%, ground rice
10 to 15 months
Organic cheesy pasta bake
Vegetables 45% (pumpkin 10%, sweetcorn, carrots, zucchini 8%, sweet potato, spinach) water, full cream milk, wheat pasta 7%, cornflour, cheeses 3% (parmesan 1%, ricotta, romano), spice extract, spice
Organic country chicken with peas
Vegetables 44% (sweetcorn, potatoes 8%, carrots 8%, peas 8%, onion, zucchini), water, chicken 10%, cornflour, parsley, spice extract, onion extract, spices
Organic spinach, pumpkin & ricotta
Vegetables 66% (pumpkin 33%, tomatoes, sweet potato, onion, zucchini, sweetcorn, spinach 0.5%), water, wheat macaroni 11%, maize starch, ricotta 2%, parmesan cheese, basil, spice extract, spice
Organic spring lamb with baby vegetables
Vegetables 81% (tomatoes, carrots 15%, potatoes, peas 5%, sweetcorn, onion), lamb 10%, water, ground rice, maize starch, basil
Organic apple & cinnamon porridge
Fruit 62% (apples 30%, pears, sultanas), oats 19%, water, cinnamon, vit C
 

An organic (and sometimes biodynamic) baby food in jars with reasonably clear labelling, but many varieties contain significant amounts of flour or starch and water. Like other food in jars, it uses heat treatment to make it shelf stable. Imported from Switzerland. Holle baby food

Labelling: Percentages of main ingredients, such as vegetables, meat and fruits, are given on the label. Quantities of some ingredients are not given, for example water, fruit juice, flours and starch.

Thickeners/fillers: Makes a 'no thickeners' claim on some varieties, but not all – sometimes it’s only claimed in French, but not English, several varieties include rice flour as an ingredient. Named ingredients and ingredients such as vegetables, fruit and meat, frequently only make up around 40% of the product, the rest is mainly water, and flours (sometimes wholegrain flour) or starch.

Product name accuracy: Rice (as rice flour) is sometimes included although not in the name. For example the Pear variety, from 4 months, is just 68% pear plus water, pear juice concentrate, rice starch, rice flour and lemon juice. The apple variety similarly only contains 45% apple.

Meat content: Only 2 meat varieties found – both contained 8% chicken or beef.

Organic: Certified organic, several varieties are also certified bio-dynamic.

Type: Jar.

Made in: Switzerland

Storage and serving: Can be stored at room temperature until opened. Serve warm or at room temperature. Opened, but unheated portion can be stored in fridge for 48 hours.

Processing: Heat treated in jar to preserve. The manufacturer claims this is done at a lower temperature and for a longer time than most food in jars to reduce the loss of nutrients.

Available in: Some health and organic food stores - see website for details.

Price we paid:

  • $3.95 to $4.15 per 190g jar.
  • $3.95 to $4.45 per 220g jar.

Website: www.holle.com.au

Holle range:
Name
Ingredients
From 4 months
Broccoli & whole grain rice
Broccoli 50%, water, rice flour 6%, rice starch
Parsnip
Parsnip 57%, water
Organic carrots
Carrots 80%, water
Organic carrots with apple
Carrots 70%, apple 20%, water
Organic cauliflower & potatoes and broccoli
Water, potatoes 30%, cauliflower 10%, broccoli 10%, rice flour
Organic mixed vegetables
Vegetables 85% (carrots, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, leek), water
Organic zucchini & pumpkin with potatoes
Water, potatoes 18%, zucchini 12%, pumpkin 12%, rice flour
Potatoes, corn & beef
Water, potatoes 24%, corn 16%, beef 8%, rice flour, rice starch
Pumpkin and chicken
Water, pumpkin 30%, rice flour, chicken 8%, rice starch
Banana & peach
Peach 40%, banana 30%, water, rice flour, apple juice concentrate, lemon juice
Organic apple
Apple 45%, water, pear juice concentrate, rice flour, lemon juice
Organic apple & banana with apricot
Water, apple 26%, banana 16%, pear juice concentrate, rice starch, apricot 4%, lemon juice
Organic apple & banana with whole wheat flakes
Water, apple 20%, banana 15%, pear juice concentrate, whole wheat flakes 3.5%, whole wheat flour, lemon juice
Organic apple & bilberry with whole wheat flakes
Water, apple 30%, pear juice concentrate, bilberries 5%, whole wheat flakes 4%, whole wheat flour, lemon juice
Pear
Pear 68%, water, pear juice concentrate, rice starch, rice flour, lemon juice
From 7 months
Mixed vegetable with millet
Water, vegetables 45% (carrots, tomatoes, spinach), millet flakes 4%, millet flour
Organic apple & pear with whole wheat flakes
Water, apple 22%, pears 13%, pear juice concentrate, whole wheat flour, whole wheat flakes 4%, lemon juice
 

09.Little tummy tucker

 
A chilled baby food with clear labelling and no thickeners, it’s claimed to be organic, but not certified organic (see below for more). It’s only lightly heat treated (cooked), and so has a short shelf life unless you freeze it. Made in Australia.

Labelling: The amount of each ingredient is clearly given in the ingredients list.

Thickeners/fillers: None are used. Water or stock is added to adjust the consistency, usually when starchy vegetables (potato, sweet potato) or rice is included.

Product name accuracy: Generally accurate, though there are some anomalies, such as Bubba’s beef & potato casserole that contains sweet potato, not potato; Little lamb & carrot tucker has more tomato than carrot. One vegetarian-sounding variety contained chicken stock (Vegetable & chickpea curry in a hurry); the manufacturer is changing this to vegetable stock.

Meat content: From 9% (beef/chicken) to 22% (lamb).

Organic: The manufacturer says the vegetable ingredients are organic, though not necessarily certified organic. However, it says in extreme circumstances when availability issues arise it may substitute non-organic. Meats are certified organic.

Type: Chilled.

Made in: Australia

Storage and serving: They are vacuum sealed and will last up to 10 days in your fridge un-opened, 24 hours opened or can be frozen between 6 weeks to 6 months depending on the contents. May be eaten cold, but warming is recommended.

Processing: Cooked weekly according to orders and vacuum sealed. Preserved by refrigeration.

Available by: Home delivery once each week in Queensland and NSW – other states are possible by special arrangement. The website has a postcode checker to check your delivery area.

Price we paid: $3.99 for 150g pouch, plus delivery (see website for details).

Website: www.littletummytucker.com.au
Little tummy tucker range:
Name
Ingredients
6 - 9 months plus
Bubba's beef & potato casserole
Sweet potato 38%, chicken stock 35%, leek 9%, onion 9%, beef 9%
Cauliflower & sweetcorn surprise
Milk 35%, cauliflower 28%, corn 18%, cheese 13%, capsicum 6%
Cheeky chicken & vegetable casserole
Sweet potato 38%, chicken stock 38%, carrot 11%, chicken 9%, onion 4%
Creamy chicken & broccoli mix
Milk 44%, chicken 22%, broccoli 19%, cheese 14%, cornflour 1%
Kiddies' kedgeree
Vegetable stock 54%, tuna 14%, onion 11%, rice 7%, egg yolk 7%, mixed vegetables 5%, olive oil 2%
Little lamb & carrot tucker
Chicken stock 35%, lamb 22%, tomato 18%, carrot 17%, leek 7%, olive oil 1%
Little people's steak & mash
Potato 39%, beef 24%, chicken stock 12%, mushroom 9%, tomato 9%, shallot 4%, olive oil 1%
Mashed vegetable medley
Water as an ingredient 43%, potato 16%, carrot 16%, pumpkin 14%, parsnip 11%
Minestrone for minors
Chicken stock 19%, leek 20%, potato 12%, green bean 12%, onion 8%, carrot 8%, tomato 6%, pasta 6%, pea 4%, celery 4%, olive oil 1%, parsley 1%
Vegetable & chickpea curry in a hurry
Chicken stock 21%, zucchini 21%, chickpeas 17%, cauliflower 17%, yogurt 16%, onion 7%, curry powder 0.55%, tomato paste 0.45%
9 - 12 months plus
Bubba's beef & potato casserole
Sweet potato 38%, chicken stock 35%, leek 9%, onion 9%, beef 9%
Cauliflower & sweetcorn surprise
Milk 35%, cauliflower 28%, corn 18%, cheese 13%, capsicum 6%
Cheeky chicken & vegetable casserole
Sweet potato 38%, chicken stock 38%, carrot 11%, chicken 9%, onion 4%
Creamy chicken & broccoli mix
Milk 44%, chicken 22%, broccoli 19%, cheese 14%, cornflour 1%
Kiddies' kedgeree
Vegetable stock 54%, tuna 14%, onion 11%, rice 7%, egg yolk 7%, mixed vegetables 5%, olive oil 2%
Little lamb & carrot tucker
Chicken stock 35%, lamb 22%, tomato 18%, carrot 17%, leek 7%, olive oil 1%
Little people's steak & mash
Potato 39%, beef 24%, chicken stock 12%, mushroom 9%, tomato 9%, shallot 4%, olive oil 1%
Mashed vegetable medley
Water as an ingredient 43%, potato 16%, carrot 16%, pumpkin 14%, parsnip 11%
Minestrone for minors
Chicken stock 19%, leek 20%, potato 12%, green bean 12%, onion 8%, carrot 8%, tomato 6%, pasta 6%, pea 4%, celery 4%, olive oil 1%, parsley 1%
Vegetable & chickpea curry in a hurry
Chicken stock 21%, zucchini 21%, chickpeas 17%, cauliflower 17%, yogurt 16%, onion 7%, curry powder 0.55%, tomato paste 0.45%
 

A frozen baby food with clear labelling and containing no thickeners. It’s only lightly heat treated (cooked), but it is frozen to give a long shelf-life. Made in Australia.

Labelling: The amount of each ingredient is clearly given in the ingredients list. Motherly baby food

Thickeners/fillers: No. Cooking water and stock is sometimes included to thin starchy vegetables.

Product name accuracy: Most varieties accurately named, in some instances non-named veggies are included (for example Green bean includes 22% potato).

Meat content: Meat cube varieties are 31 to 40% beef/chicken. 40% varieties are being phased out in favour of 25 to 31% varieties.

Organic: The beef and chicken is certified organic.

Type: Frozen cubes; frozen pots.

Made in: Australia

Storage and serving: Store in the freezer, heat required number of cubes or single pot from frozen. Leftovers should be thrown away.

Processing: Cooked, filled into cube trays, sealed. Preserved by freezing.

Available in: Woolworths, in frozen ready-meals section. The larger 540 gram cubes size is being phased out of major retailers in favour of the 180 gram cubes size. The larger size will still be availble at smaller retailers and through Motherly's factory shop. See the website for details or contact them on 1300 662 229 for more information.

Price we paid:

  • $7.98 for 540g pack (27 cubes).
  • $3.49 for 180g pack (9 cubes).
  • $2.99 for 150g pots.

Website: www.motherly.com.au

Motherly range:
Name
Ingredients
6 months+
Beef and vegetables (27 cubes per pack)
9 Beef cubes: Organic beef 40%, vegetables 32% (celery, carrot, onion), split peas 15%, cooking water 8%, chicken stock 5%
9 Green bean cubes: Green beans 63%, potato 22%, cooking water 15%
9 Pumpkin cubes: Pumpkin 100%
Chicken and Vegetables (27 cubes per pack)
9 Chicken cubes: Organic chicken 40%, vegetables 34% (carrot, celery), split peas 15%, onion 6%, chicken stock 5%
9 Carrot cubes: Carrot 100%
9 Pea cubes: Peas 76%, cooking water 24%
Vegetable medley (27 cubes per pack)

9 Spring trio cubes: Sweet potato 45%, vegetables 40% (pea, leek, onion), cooking water 15%
9 Potato & spinach cubes: Potato 48%, spinach 30%, onion 11%, cooking water 11%
9 Lentil hotpot cubes: Sweet potato 40%, vegetables 40% (carrot, onion, celery), lentils 20%

Fruit desserts (27 cubes per pack)
9 Apple cherry cubes: Apple 60%, cherry puree 19%, apricot 10%, apple juice 11%
9 Mango cubes: Mango 52%, apple 48%
9 Plum pear cubes: Pear puree 90%, plum puree 10%
Chicken & vegetables (9 cubes per pack)
Vegetables 38% (carrot, celery, potato, onion), organic chicken 31%, yellow split peas 17%, chicken stock 7%, cooking water 7%
Beef & vegetables (9 cubes per pack)
Vegetables 38% (celery, carrot, onion, potato), organic beef 31%, yellow split peas 17%, chicken stock 7%, cooking water 7%
Other varieties listed in multi-packs above are soon to be available as 9 cube packs, plus new varieties – Lamb & vegetable; Fish & vegetable; Pumpkin & pasta; Sweet potato; Apple; and Pear cubes. Stocking will depend on supermarkets, contact Motherly for more information.
10 months+
Little pots for tots  –  beef & vegetable casserole
Vegetables 32% (carrot, potato, pumpkin, green peas), organic beef 25%, red lentils 16.5%, cooking water 16.5%, tomato paste 10%.
Little pots for tots  – chicken & vegetable casserole
Vegetables 30% (green peas, carrot, zucchini), yellow split peas 28%, organic chicken 25%, cooking water 17%.
Other varieties available early 2007 – Fish & pumpkin medley and Creamy pasta & corn.
 

A shelf-stable organic baby food in jars or plastic pots with most varieties being clearly labelled and containing no thickeners. Like other food in jars (and shelf-stable pots), it uses heat treatment to make it shelf stable. Imported from New Zealand with some varieties from France. Only organic baby food

Labelling: The amounts of major ingredients are given in most varieties, with the exception of desserts/custards, where only characterising ingredients are given (for example the amount of banana in the banana custard, but not the amount of milk).

Thickeners/fillers: Only organic claims "No thickening agents", while some varieties include water where starchy vegetables are included (for example potatoes, peas), others, often the desserts, include ground rice and water. There are several dessert varieties, however, that contain only pureed fruits.

Product name accuracy: The names of the varieties are generally accurate, with a few exceptions, for example, Banana custard contains more apple than banana, Vanilla custard contains apple, Peach mango sunset contains more apple than peach or mango.

Meat content: Meat varieties contain 9% beef or lamb.

Organic: Certified organic

Type: Mostly jars, four products come in plastic pots.

Made in: Jars made in New Zealand; plastic pots made in France.

Storage and serving: Can be stored at room temperature until opened. Serve warm or at room temperature. Opened, but unheated portion can be stored in fridge for 48 hours.

Processing: Heat treated in jar/pot to preserve.

Available in: Major supermarkets and some health food stores - see website for details.

Price we paid:

  • $1.15 from supermarkets and $1.95 – 2.10 from health food stores per 128g jar.
  • $1.75 from supermarkets and $2.00 – 2.43 from health food stores per 200g jar.
  • $2.99 from supermarkets per 2 x 120g pots.

Website: www.onlyorganic.co.nz

Only organic range:
Name
Ingredients
4 months and up
Apple & apricot muesli
Apple 42%, water, apricot 6%, oats, barley).
Apple berry ripple
Apple 85%, blueberry 15%, vitamin C
Apple blueberry burst
Apple 80%, blueberry 15%, strawberry, antioxidant (ascorbic acid), concentrated lemon juice
Apple custard
Apple 76%, water, ground rice, whole milk powder
Apple & mango delight
Apple 82%, mango 18%, vitamin C
Apple & peach dessert
Apple 49%, peach 25%, water, ground rice
Banana blueberry custard
Banana 40%, blueberry 15%, water, ground rice, whole milk powder, citric acid
Banana custard
Apple, banana 33%, water, ground rice, whole milk powder, citric acid
Peach & apricot custard
Water, peach 25%, apple, apricot 20%, ground rice, whole milk powder
Pear & wild berries
Pear 80%, blueberry 8%, blackberry 8%, apple juice, vitamin C
Tropical treat
Nectarine 45%, mango 32%, banana 23%, antioxidant (ascorbic acid), concentrated lemon juice
Vanilla custard
Water, apple, ground rice, whole milk powder, natural vanilla flavour, citric acid
6 months and up
Italian vegetable risotto
Vegetables 49% (carrot, pumpkin, beans, potato, peas, tomato, onion), water, ground rice
Pasta Bolognese
Vegetables (tomato, carrot, onion, celery), beef 9%, pasta 4%, olive oil, basil
Pumpkin, potato & beef
Water, pumpkin 13%, potato 10%, carrot, beef 9%, beans, ground rice, tomato
Spring lamb & vegetables
Vegetables 54% (potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, peas, onion, parsley, mint), water, lamb 9%
Tender beef & vegetables
Vegetables 67% (potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, peas, beans, onion, parsley), water, beef 9%
Apple custard
Apple 76%, water, ground rice, whole milk powder
Fruit muesli
Fruit 52% (apple, pear), water, oats, barley, cinnamon
9 months and up
Mediterranean vegetables & lamb
Vegetables 90% (tomato, potato, zucchini, carrot, onion), lamb 9%, basil, cinnamon
Moroccan lentil casserole
Water, vegetables (potato, zucchini, carrot, onion), lentils 7%, apricot, sultanas, cumin, coriander, cinnamon
Peach mango sunset
Apple, peach 27%, mango 15%, water, ground rice, vitamin C
 

A shelf-stable organic baby food in plastic pots with clear labelling and most varieties containing no thickeners or added water. Like food in jars, it uses heat treatment to make it shelf stable. Imported from France.

Labelling: The amount of each ingredient is clearly given in the ingredients list. Organix baby food

Thickeners/fillers: Are not used, although the two rice pudding varieties include rice flour as an ingredient.

Product name accuracy: All but two varieties are accurately named: Organic rice pudding banana & strawberry contains more apple than banana and strawberry together; Organic fruit purees pear & raspberry have apple as the largest ingredient. The manufacturer says the products are named for their flavour profile, not the ingredients included.

Meat content: No meat or savoury varieties available.

Organic: Certified organic.

Type: Shelf-stable plastic pots (don’t require refrigeration).

Made in: France

Storage and serving: Can be stored at room temperature until opened. Opened, but unheated, portion can be stored in fridge for 48 hours.

Processing: Heat treated in pot to preserve.

Available in: Some health and organic food stores - see website for details.

Price we paid:

  • $5.00 to 6.35 for 4 x 100g four-pack.

Website: www.bestintentions.com.au

Organix range:
Name
Ingredients
From 4 months
Organic fruit purees apple & blueberry
Apple 92%, blueberry 8%, ascorbic acid trace
Organic apple & mango rice pudding
Apple 85%, mango 7%, rice flour 4%, skimmed milk powder 3%, organic lemon juice <1%, ascorbic acid trace
Organic fruit purees pear & raspberry
Apple 65%, pear 30%, raspberry 5%, ascorbic acid trace
From 4-6 months
2 x 2 organic fruit purees - apple, banana & plum
Apple 68%, banana 18%, plum 14%, ascorbic acid trace
2 x 2 organic fruit purees - apple & vanilla
Apple 99%, vanilla extract <1%, ascorbic acid trace
Organic rice pudding banana & strawberry
Apple 57%, banana 20%, strawberry 15%, rice flour 4%, skimmed milk powder 3%, lemon juice <1%, ascorbic acid trace
From around 7 months
Organic fruit purees apple and banana
Apple 82%, banana 17%, dried apple pieces 1%, ascorbic acid trace