Organic Baby Food Comparison and Taste Test
When Kai was about 6 months old, I was so excited to feed her solid food and introduce her to all the different flavors and textures I enjoyed because mama LOVES food! I had dreams and aspirations of being that "Pinterest-home-made-recipe mom" and bought a puree maker, then pinned like crazy. Then, the realities of being a working mom set in. I loved making the purees but never seemed to find the time to clean the containers and tools.
To the grocery store we go! When I saw all the organic, nutritious varieties that was available, it was like I hit the jackpot! Guilt-free, fast, organic, baby food, voila! It was not until I turned the packaging over to study the ingredients, I started questioning some of the claims. Why is there SO MUCH sugar in baby food? Why is the first and second ingredients always water and apple? Seriously, why does everything have apples? Is it safe to feed my baby meat and dairy that's been sitting on a shelf for 6 months? Something seems off.
I met Jessica from Amara a few months later and began truly understanding the differences in baby food. Today, I am performing my own taste and texture comparison test between Amara and other similar pouches I found at my grocery store!
Before we begin, here is my take on why the textures and taste of the pouches I tried were so different.
Traditional pouches are made from heating the fruits and veggie purees at very high temperatures and pasteurizing to preserve shelf life, reducing their nutrients in the mean time. In my experience (aka stealing a slip of my daughter's pouch), the textures were all very similar. It goes fast, almost as if she was drinking it.
Amara is different because it's made from a process that uses cold and pressure, without repeated heat to preserve the nutrients of the fruits and vegetables. Water is taken out so there is no need to worry about additives for shelf life.
I'm not saying pouches are terrible and we are all bad parents for using them (believe me, I have many times thrown a pouch at Kai in the car to keep her happy). I'm just simply saying there is a time and place for both and wanted to offer an experiment to see the true difference.
First I compared the Gerber Organic Banana vs Amara Organic Banana. The Amara "came to life" after mixing in water for 30 seconds. The texture and smell is very similar to that of a mashed up banana. There is almost that slippery consistency you get from a real banana.
I was surprised the Gerber came out orange. Turns out, there is Lemon Juice Concentrate and Ascorbic Acid added in the ingredients list (this helps preserve the baby food). It did not really smell like banana and the texture was watery and smooth.
You can see in the photos here what I mean by the differences in textures and color.
Next up, I tried the Amara Organic Oats n' Berries vs Sprout Blueberry Banana Oatmeal. They both seem to contain very similar ingredients, I thought it would make a parallel comparison.
I first added 4 tablespoons of water to the Amara mixture and waited 30 seconds. I could tell right off the bat these two were even more noticably different than the banana comparison.
The Amara Oats n' Berries's texture is probably my favorite of all time. I noticed I was actually mildly chewing to savor the tiny pieces of oats. The color looks so cool, almost as if I blended berries and oats together in a mixer. I could distinguish the different ingredients by their taste and texture.
The Sprout (this one I fed Kai A LOT before discovering Amara), tasted very smooth, like the other banana baby food. I could tell there was berries but couldn't distinguish the oats. I personally like the flavor of this but swear the Sprout tasted sweeter. When I flipped the packaging, I found the Sprout countained 8 grams of sugar vs 5 grams of sugar in Amara.
I hope this post helps to shine some light on the differences in baby foods. In my research, I came across a couple other articles that were helpful. I will link them below!
Happy Eating Y'all!