By Linda NguyenNov 06, 2017
Best forParents looking for high-quality organic purees, particularly those whose kids have nut or wheat allergies
Top BenefitsFree of citric acid (a preservative), nut-free and made in a nut-free facility, BPA-free packaging
ConsiderationsPurees keep only 24 hours after opening, pouches aren't recyclable
Bottom lineLove Child Organics offers a variety of flavours and foods in their four lines of baby purees, including vegan blends with protein and Kosher options
When it's time to start solids, parents worry a lot about what's going in their little one's belly, so it's no wonder that the baby food aisle is jam-packed with organic purees. Most organic purees have a clean ingredients list, but a handful of brands stood out from the pack for their overall tastiness and lack of citric acid (a preservative), including Love Child Organics baby food purees. The Canadian company makes several purees across four lines. Simple Firsts features an apple puree and a pear puree for an easy introduction to solids. Super Blends is a line of fruit and veg purees with quinoa and acerola fruit (which is loaded with vitamin C). Power Yo’rridge combines yogurt, gluten-free grains and fruit in three flavour combos. And Savoury Baby Meals features vegan, vegetarian and meat and poultry flavours, all with protein-rich foods in them.
We worked with registered dietician Cara Rosenbloom to assess the ingredients in the purees we tested. All Love Child Organics purees are made without added salt, sugar or fat (big no-nos in baby foods), and they're free of ascorbic acid and citric acid. Ascorbic acid is vitamin C, so Rosenbloom isn't concerned with it being in baby foods. But she flagged citric acid as an unnecessary preservative, so it's a plus that Love Child Organics doesn't make any of their foods with this additive. Our parent testers were similarly impressed with the quality of these foods: all said that they felt good about giving Love Child Organics baby food purees to their kids based on the ingredients.
If your baby has known allergies, Love Child Organics has a lot of offerings. All of their purees are free gluten, soy, eggs, sesame and nuts (they're made in a nut-free facility). The Simple Firsts and Super Blends are also vegan, though the facility they're made in is not dairy-free. For full details on allergens, take a look at Love Child Organics' allergen chart.
Baby foods are infamous for tasting and smelling rather unpleasant, but most of the Love Child Organics baby food purees range from pretty good to downright yummy. (Yes, our editors tasted samples from every line of baby food we tested.)
The First Apples puree in the Simple Firsts line was a hit with the little eaters—in fact, one of our parent testers told us their baby started feeding themselves because of how much they liked this food. It’s slightly runnier than your average apple sauce, but pretty typical of the consistency you'd expect for a first puree.
The Super Blends line kicks it up a notch by combining fruit, veggies and quinoa, and most of the babies who tried foods from this line really liked them. The one flavour our editors found a bit unpleasant in our lab testing was the Pears, Kale and Peas puree. It has a somewhat gritty texture from the pears and peas, and a bitter aftertaste (likely from the kale) that could be a real turn-off for babies. On the flip side, the Butternut Squash, Corn and Apples puree had a somewhat unpleasant squash aroma, but it tasted mostly of apples, so it went down easily.
The Savoury Baby Meals line is more adventurous in flavour combinations, and while these purees are thicker, they have a smooth rather than lumpy texture. We found the Thanksgiving Dinner puree tasted a lot like a somewhat bland version of turkey and stuffing, with mild but distinctively savoury spices and very fine turkey bits that tasted pretty good (they weren't at all slimy like some meat purees can be). Meanwhile, the vegan Ratatouille puree tasted like exactly what it is: an herb-infused tomato base with vegetables, lentils and white beans. It's worth noting that savoury combinations from other brands are usually made for babies eight months and up, but this line is suitable for babies six months and up, so you can start flavourful combos earlier. (Just keep in mind that if your child does have an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients, it will be tough to pinpoint the culprit.)
Made for babies eight months and up, the Power Yo’rridge line adds whole-milk yogurt into the mix. By this age, babies are typically able to handle chunkier textures (and it's important that you offer them so kids learn to eat a variety of textures), so our editors and parent testers were surprised to find these purees were thinner even than some of the purees made for babies six months and up. That said, these purees smell good and taste yummy, and our parent testers felt that these could be a healthy choice for a convenient on-the-go lunch or complement to a main meal.
All Love Child Organics baby food purees come in 128-mL pouches with a resealable twist-off cap and a spout for easy feeding on the go. Consistency varies from puree to puree, but in general, the majority of our parent testers said that Love Child Organics foods stayed on the spoon well and they didn't have any issues with dispensing the purees directly onto a spoon to feed their baby. Parents also said it was easy to keep the pouches tidy—no messy dribbles. The purees can be warmed up by placing the sealed pouch in hot water for a couple of minutes. (Unfortunately, you can't microwave puree pouches.)
As with all baby purees we tested, Love Child Organics recommends giving the pouch a good shake before feeding baby to blend any ingredients that have separated. In our lab tests, we found that the first bit of food that comes out of puree pouches is often a bit thicker and darker in colour than the rest of the puree. There's nothing wrong with it—it's just natural oxidization at work.
Overall, purees that come in pouches are lighter and more portable than baby foods that come in glass jars, but a big drawback of easy-to-tote pouches is they aren't recyclable (though the cap is). On the plus side, if you're worried BPA exposure, you'll be happy to know that Love Child Organics puree pouches are BPA-free.
Once you've opened Love Child Organics baby food purees, they should be refrigerated and used up within 24 hours—which is a narrow timeframe for use, but standard for purees sold in pouches (and a lot better than the brands that direct you to throw away any puree that's not used immediately after opening). Some of our parent testers told us they weren’t able to use up the entire pouch before it had to be tossed. But on the plus side, several parents said Love Child Organics baby food purees tasted so good that they finished the leftovers themselves.
You can't beat the convenience of baby purees in resealable pouches, and when you pair that with a quality puree that squeezes onto a spoon easily, you've got a winner. Our editors were impressed with the clean ingredients lists on each of the Love Child Oragnics baby food purees, and with a few exceptions, we found the foods tasty. Our parent testers gave these purees high ratings, too: 90 percent said the ease of use of these pouch purees is either good or very good, and 95 percent rated the quality good or very good. It's no surprise, then, that all but one tester felt Love Child Organics baby food purees are worthy of the Today's Parent Approved seal.