View Full Version : Baby Food - Gerber, Heinz, Beechnut, etc.

07-19-2002, 07:37 PM
Hi all - Just wondering what your thought are on the different brands of baby food out there. Thanks.


07-20-2002, 07:10 AM
We never really used much of the big 3. Not because I have concerns about them nutritionally, but because I thought they smelled and tasted terrible. I refused to feed Sarah things that I would not eat myself. When I used jar food I used either Earth's Best or Healthy Times. These were available at my local Whole Foods Market, but in my in-law's area they are available in the regular grocery store. These happen to be organic foods, but that's not why I used them. In my area, these foods were not any more expensive than the big 3 baby foods.

I actually never used much in the way of jar foods. What I would do is use them for food introduction. For example, I would introduce a new food over the suggested 3 days using a jar. Then if she liked and did not react to the food, then I would puree the adult version of that food for her. For example sweet potatoes. I can't even describe what a mess jar sweet potatoes are. It is much less messy to microwave a regular sweet potato and then mush it (usually with a fork) and thin it with formula or breastmilk to the desired consistency. In general any "adult" food that "mushes" easily is a good candidate for baby food: potato, avocado, carrots, etc.

For some foods, like applesauce, I never used the baby versions, just the adult versions. She has always loved Mott's Natural Style Applesauce (no added sugars, etc.). I also used jar foods when traveling, since it was generally easier to do that than to try to find a store that carried the things I like to feed her. We stopped using any jars about 6 weeks or so ago, so you don't really use the jars for that long (we did from 6 months to about 9 months).

The other thing to be cautious about with jar food is that they all have a very smooth texture. Even the "stage 3" foods are not very lumpy or texture-y. I have a couple friends (who used a lot of jar food) whose babies now have real "texture" issues. They won't or have a hard time eating any food that has more texture than jar baby food. This doesn't happen of course with all babies, but it can happen.

Well this is a lot more info than you asked for :), but I hope this helps!

twins r fun
07-20-2002, 01:37 PM
We've used Beechnut and Gerber and I really don't see a difference. I just buy what's on sale that week. They pretty much have the same varieties, although Gerber seems to have more combinations of fruit and more "desserts" (which I avoid). Consistency seems the same, as does taste. Our wholesale warehouse sells Beechnut fruit cases and vegetable cases that have 24 jars each and are a good deal, so for that reason we've used lots of Beechnut. Both Gerber and Beechnut make meat "dinners" and "simple recipe" meat dishes. I buy the simple recipes because they have meat and a vege/fruit, but no fillers/seasonings. The "dinners" contain things like rice flour and onion powder. I have no problem using jarred food-it's very convenient and they don't taste bad. Now (at 8 1/2 months)we'e getting to the point of needing more texture so I'm beginning to use mashed sweet potato, mushed carrots, etc.


07-21-2002, 05:34 PM
Well, I live in Pittsburgh, which is a "Heinz" town (it's made here). Which means there is a TON of Heinz food in the stores, and not very much Gerber stuff. Of course Heinz doesn't send out coupons like Gerber does. I just bought whatever was on sale. A local store once had Heinz for $0.19/jar so I stocked up on the Stage 2's and didn't have to buy anything for a loooong time. We didn't use the Stage 3 ones much--Evan was happy with table food or the Gerber Graduates ones by then. Now it's pretty much just table food and I still have a few jars and Graduates meals in the pantry. Evan does still like all the Gerber Graduates crackers and snacks. The organic Gerber ones (can't remember the name right now) were nice too, but much more expensive, and they never carried the Stage 3 ones around here, so I have a bunch of coupons that went to waste. I only now found one of the other organic brands at a local grocery store (we just started shopping there more frequently), but I don't need them now.

07-22-2002, 08:47 AM
We only used Gerber Tender Harvest. I did try some Earth's Best, but they only carry that in one of our grocery stores...and there aren't that many varieties available there. Plus I had a TON of gerber coupons. In addition to the Tender Harvest, I did use the larger "tubs" of gerber fruits.

I liked the fact the that the Tender Harvest stuff is certified organic. It was worth it to me to pay the little bit extra. I work full time and didn't have the time to make all her food. That said, now dd has been on table food for the past month or so (she turned 1yr yesterday)...we just give her what we are eating cut up. She was totally NOT interested in Stage 3 foods and I don't see the point in using Gerber Graduate meals...they are just cut up table food, which I can do at home VERY easily.

I also like the Gerber Graduate snacks....they've been quite helpful as we transition to "big" people snacks!