By Sarah McColl
With their conveniently measured and delivered local produce and outside-the-grocery-rut recipes, you may already be a fan of meal kits services. Now your little one can get in on the action, too. Removing the hassle of making it all from scratch or having to run to the store for yet another jar, these heat-and-eat baby food delivery services provide easy ways to turn your baby into a tiny gourmet. (Each company delivers in a different part of the country and is expanding nationally.)
Each of Thistle’s kit comes with vacuum-sealed bags of pre-portioned, organic flash-frozen fruits and vegetables. You steam and puree them, and decide how much of the included spices and seasonings to add. The result is good-enough-for-grownups purees like Chiogga beets, watermelon radish with chia seeds and butternut squash with rainbow carrots, gala apples and curry. Right now, the service is only available in California and Nevada; submit your zip code and they’ll let you know when you can get it in your area.
For parents in the Midwest who prefer to heat-and-feed, Nurture Life delivers fresh, fully prepared purees, no blender necessary. The chef and pediatric dietitian-designed recipes grow along with your family; meals start at Stage 1 with single-ingredient purees for 6-month-olds, then progress through the first year of solid foods into toddler and kid meals for growing bodies up to 8 years old.
Made fresh in Brooklyn, Smushed’s Organic Baby Food is delivered to your door in the New York and New Jersey metro area every Sunday. Choose from “smooth” for your 6-month-old or “textured” for babies 8 months and older in familiar flavors like apple and sweet potato. Or, if your tot is ready to broaden his or her horizons, opt for the new purees available each week in the “Explorers Pack,” like acorn squash, apples, quinoa and cinnamon or mango with pears, kale, brown rice and ginger.
Leave it to a Los Angeles-based company to bring designer flair to organic baby food. CEO Angela Sutherland founded Yumi, formerly known as Caer, after discovering the importance of good nutrition in a baby’s first 1,000 days—and the amount of sugar and preservatives in traditional baby foods. Vegan, nutrient-dense, and with no-added sugar, meals like kiwi-chia pudding, beet soup, and kale, quinoa and white beans will be colorful and carefully packed in glass jars and Insta-ready. They’ll also be a treat for mom: Yumi’s Galactic cookies are loaded with lactation-boosting ingredients like oats and fenugreek, and drizzled with the good stuff—vegan chocolate. (Yumi is about to launch on the West Coast and be national soon.)
And not to be left out, slightly older kids will love kifoodie. This subscription delivery service is designed specifically with your little chef in mind. “Monthly Experience Boxes” contain a mix of fun kitchen gadgets, nutritious snacks, and a themed cooking activity to excite kids about cooking healthy food. The activity guide makes healthy eating a family affair, encouraging hands-on culinary fun in the kitchen. The kits are perfect for kid foodies, for children that want to learn how to cook, or for parents looking to teach healthier eating habits in an engaging, enjoyable way.
Bio: Sarah McColl was founding editor in chief of Yahoo Food. Her food writing has been featured in print and online for Bon Appétit, House Beautiful, Modern Farmer, Extra Crispy and others.
Also published on Medium.