Our rigorous testing of baby and toddler food and feeding products took place in family kitchens and dining rooms all across the country, along with those all-important on-the-go snack tests, of course. Our home testers put dozens of mealtime products through their paces, from high chairs and cutlery sets to purees and toddler meals.
We also called on expert judge and registered dietician Clare Thornton-Wood to share her valuable insight into the true value of those ingredients lists. She also taste-tested the food products that entered each category.
On the non-edible front, we also thoroughly tested the products parents can buy to help make the weaning and feeding process easier. As well as high chairs and booster seats we examined a wide range of kit, including blenders, tableware, cookery books and even weaning apps. If you’re heading towards weaning age, or just looking for a better way to get your toddler to eat their vegetables, these are the products for you.
Key features we tested/judged – Effectiveness, ease of use, tray size/shape, comfort for baby, quality of product, extra features or convertibility and worth the money
Joint Gold – Tutti Bambini Nova Evolutionary Highchair, £229
Why it’s a winner: With no less than 11 different modes, including newborn rocker, booster seat, toddler chair, play table and kids’ chair, this truly is a high chair that will last the distance – it’s designed to be used from birth to age 12 (yes, really)! It folds away fast, and it features stain-resistant seat fabric. Not only is it incredibly functional, it’s also stylish to boot, designed with neutral fabrics and wood accents. “Beautiful design”, “high quality”, “easy assembly and “worth it in every way possible” were just a few of the typically positive comments our testers made.
In the words of our tester Jaya, mum to a 7-month-old: “This highchair is brilliant. All the modes I tried were sturdy and safe, and the design is very modern and attractive. I’m not brilliant at DIY, but I assembled it in minutes. It packs down so quickly into a carry case. I also liked the storage shelf underneath. Although it’s a big investment, I believe every feature will make it worthwhile.”
Joint Gold – Red Kite Feed Me Combi, £87
Why it’s a winner: This highchair offers style with substance. It combines sleek Scandi looks with an easy-to-use functional design, all at a very decent price point. Our testers loved how this was made of wood and didn’t scream “kids’ furniture”. The chic, flexible tray is dishwasher safe and anti-slip cups on the frame stop the chair sliding about. It’s also another chair that’s convertible and lasts until children are older (age 12) thanks to the stool option. Factors singled out for praise included the padded seating, the generously-sized tray (which easily clips on and off) and the fact you can use the seat as a booster attached to a regular dining chair, taking it beyond the highchair phase.
In the words of tester Kate, mum to a 13-month-old: “This chair is excellent value for money. The straps adjust more easily than on my last highchair. The padded insert gives comfort but is still wipe-clean. I also like how the tray pieces are dishwasher friendly. It only took 5 minutes to attach the chair to a dining room chair. Overall, I’m impressed.”
Silver – Joie Snacker 2in1, £60
Why it’s a winner: With a one-handed fold, this great-value aluminium highchair is ultralight and easy to move around as needed. However, our testers reported that it was also surprisingly sturdy. Unlike some cheaper options, they liked the fact it was flexible, with 3 different seat recline positions and 5 different heights. It also boasts a large tray and a storage shelf underneath. This is a brilliant option if space is tight, if you often need to move furniture around, or you don’t want your highchair constantly on display.
In the words of tester Fay, mum to a 9-month-old: “I love how this lightweight and doesn’t take up too much room, both when up and folded. I’d recommend this to anyone who is short of space in their kitchen. Assembling was easy. It wouldn’t look out of place next to pricier highchairs.”
Bronze – Stokke Tripp Trapp, £178
Why it’s a winner: The Norwegian-designed Trip Trapp is a modern classic for a reason – super-sturdy, built from quality materials (it’s made from solid beech) and with no upper age limit on how long you can use it for (adults can use it as a chair, too). Key to its appeal is the ergonomic aspect – it’s designed to promote good posture, with a height- and depth- adjustable seat and footplate. You get what you pay for, and while, yes, it’s pricier than many chairs, this is an investment piece with unbeatable longevity. Our testers adored it, with Rachel, mum of 5, saying: “My child loves being able to sit at the table and eat with us as a family. This product has been a game changer for us.
In the words of tester Laura, mum of a 9-month-old: “My baby is so well supported in the baby attachment, there was a noticeable difference from using my old chair. His posture is excellent, he doesn’t complain and he hasn’t tried to climb out (yet). His feet rest beautifully on the footrest, and as it’s adjustable, we can move this as he grows to ensure he always sits comfortably.”
Shortlisted: Babymoov SLICK Highchair & Newborn Recliner | My Babiie Katie Piper Blush Leopard Premium Highchair | Graco Swift Fold | Chicco Polly Magic Relax
Key features we tested/judged – Quality of product, ease of use, effectiveness, comfort for baby, extra features and worth the money
Gold – Venture Bubble Booster Seat, £19.99
Why it’s a winner: Affordable, great quality and simple to set up, the Venture Bubble is stylish, too – our parent testers loved the great colours, including a bold coral and sunny yellow. The removable tray was a big hit, while 2 detachable toys provided entertainment for bored babies between courses. “It’s extremely easy to put together, and also to move the tray into different positions to allow your baby in and out,” said Susan, mum of a 9-month-old. It secures with 2 straps that wrap around the base and back of a dining chair. While there’s no seat cushion, our testers’ tots all seemed extremely comfy. Testers liked how it can be also used as a floor seat – not its intended use, but a brilliant bonus. “I used it to let my baby watch TV while I got on with other duties,” said Susan.
In the words of tester, Rachael, mum of a 15-month-old: “We loved the flexibility of this seat, and the fact the tray comes off – the tray itself has plenty of room for food and drink. This seat is comfortable, sturdy, felt safe and looks stylish – considering its budget price, it’s well-made with a high-quality finish. My son loved using it – highly recommended.”
Silver – Chicco Pocket Snack, £29.99
Why it’s a winner: Perfect for meals out, the Chicco Pocket Snack is lightweight and folds flat – meaning it’s a doddle to pop in a car boot, bag or pushchair basket, or store at home. Despite its compact size, tester Scott, dad of 2, found this seat felt reassuringly sturdy and secure. “The rubber stoppers on the feet provide additional grip,” he reported. He also praised the height adjustability, which means this booster will grow with your child until they’re around 3-years-old. In these hygiene-conscious times, this booster also makes the grade – as well as being a portable alternative to café highchairs, its tray detaches for scrupulous cleaning.
In the words of our tester Meghan, mum of 2: “I’m in love with this product, it’s so easy to use and store. We have so much more room now we don’t have a highchair left out all the time – it’s now replaced our normal highchair. It’s very well-made, a perfect size, and lightweight – perfect for taking out to restaurants, which I feel is a lot more hygienic.”
Bronze – Bumbo Multi Seat, £60
Why it’s a winner: This seat offers the top-notch quality and stylish looks you’d expect from the Bumbo brand. Our parents testers particularly loved how intuitive this seat was to use. “There are really long straps, so it fits easily on lots of different-size chairs,” said tester Gail, mum of 2. Once attached, it felt nice and stable, too. Despite its compact size, this booster scored highly for comfort, thanks to its separate cushion. The table slides off and stores inside the chair, while the straps clip on the sides – both smart design touches hugely appreciated by tester, Kayleigh, mum of 2, including a 14-month-old boy. The seat works as a useful floor chair, adding another dimension, and making it well-worth those extra pennies.
In the words of tester, Gail, mum of 2: “Overall, this is a great booster: really easy to fit into chairs, stylish, well-made, and super-easy to clean: very important for a mum. I also loved how the padded cushion tidies inside the seat so it won’t get lost. My little one even preferred this to the classic Bumbo as it doesn’t squeeze round the thighs.”
Shortlisted: BabyDam SpongePod Booster Seat | Baby Polar Gear Booster Seat & Placemat | Bumbo Booster Seat
Weaning and feeding products
Key features we tested/judged – Effectiveness, ease of use, quality of product, worth the money and appeal to child
Gold – What Mummy Makes by Rebecca Wilson, £14.99
Why it’s a winner: There’s no shortage of recipe books aimed at parents, but this stands out for its winning concept – that you cook just once for you and your baby, avoiding unnecessary faffing and washing up. All the recipes are simple and achievable, even for nervous or inexperienced cooks. There are no hard-to-find ingredients either, with Rebecca making good use of shortcuts like using frozen veg and shop-bought pastry. It could be used for baby-led weaning but our testers found it was best for 8-months+. They loved the Instagram-style photos and beautiful presentation as well.
In the words of tester Claire, mum of a 6-month-old: “Well-laid-out, with sections for breakfast, lunch etc and snacks. Lots of recipes require the same ingredients so it’s not laborious or expensive buying what’s needed. Good for when you’re starting your baby’s weaning journey, which can feel overwhelming.”
Joint Silver – Annabel Karmel’s NEW Baby & Toddler Recipe App, £4.99
Why it’s a winner: Never dither over what to make for your toddler’s tea again – our parent testers gave glowing reports of this great-value app, which means you have all baby weaning guru Annabel Karmel’s considerable knowhow in your pocket. All the 300+ recipes are designed to be healthy, easy and nutritious, as well as age-appropriate. The multiple handy features include conversion calculators for weights, kitchen timers, allergy trackers and an interactive speaker function so you don’t need to smear screens with messy hands mid-recipe.
In the words of tester Gemma, mum of an 8-month-old: “As a first-time mum I was overwhelmed with what my child could and couldn’t eat at each stage of weaning. This app helped me understand how to feed them in a healthy, fun way. Excellent when you’re looking for meal ideas, with great pictures and details on how to make each recipe.”
Joint Silver – Babymoov Nutribaby+, £149.99
Why it’s a winner: This all-singing, all-dancing steamer/blender/steriliser/warmer/defroster is useful from birth but really comes into its own at the weaning stage. When it comes to making purees, it does everything except chop your veg. There are 3 blending speeds so you can vary the texture as preferred by your baby/toddler, and the steaming option keeps valuable nutrients intact. What’s clever is how you can cook different foods at the same time, taking the stress out of cooking for toddlers, older kids and adults all at once. Yes, it’s a little bulky but it also minimises the overall number of gadgets you need (you can even use it as a bottle steriliser). Our testers said that it genuinely helped their families to eat more vegetables.
In the words of tester Laura, mum to 2 children: “It’s so easy to put veg in and leave it to cook in this – no need to worry about pans boiling over. Before I used to boil veggies, but steaming means they retain their natural flavours and taste so much better.”
Joint Bronze – Mam Trainer 2in1, £7.50
Why it’s a winner: These handy bottles are designed to move your baby on from sucking to drinking from as young as 4 months. It comes with 2 different teats – one for younger babies, which is the fast-flow version of the teats used in all Mam bottles, followed by a spill-free spout for when they’re ready to begin transitioning to a cup and drink water. Simple but effective, they have sensibly sized handles for easy gripping and less crash-landing (something that we know can drive parents mad). If you’re dreading moving from bottle to cup, this offers a gentle first step.
In the words of tester Rachel, mum to an 8-month-old: “Cute design, sturdy and well-made – it survived being dropped several times, and the teat didn’t spill. Easy to clean as it can be broken down into separate parts.”
Joint Bronze – Babycup First Cups, £8.99 for 4
Why it’s a winner: Designed to promote natural sipping and drinking from a young age – rather than sucking from a spout – these simple mini open cups are bright, stackable and suit small hands. Plus the materials are biodegradable and recyclable. Our testers particularly appreciated how the small size meant there wasn’t too much spillage when the worst inevitably happened. These are also approved by the Oral Health Foundation and dishwasher safe.
In the words of tester Laura, mum of a 1-year-old: “Easy to clean, stack and store, these look great. As they’re translucent, I can see how much my baby has left. I also love that they’re made in Britain, and that the bold colours aren’t aimed at particular genders. In my opinion, much more hygienic than spouted beakers.”
Cutlery and tableware
Key features we tested/judged – Effectiveness, ease of use, quality of product, appeal to child, ease of care/washing and worth the money
Joint Gold – Suction Bowl and Spoon Set by Omnia Baby, £13.99
Why it’s a winner: Bored to tears with bowls of mush ending up on the floor? Our testers reported that this silicone suction bowl was a genuine life-changer. The base stays stuck firmly to the smooth surface of most highchairs so your child can’t tip it up. The cool design also features a large ‘lip’ for easier spooning action – again reducing the potential for mess and those familiar tears of frustration. Our testers also liked how it’s microwave, oven and dishwasher friendly, as well as complimenting the cute pop-pastel shades.
In the words of tester Rebecca, mum of a 9-month-old and 3-year-old: “Not only is this great for babies, it’s been a massive help for my toddler who struggles with scooping in a bowl. Usually it spills over the side so the unique raised lip has been extremely beneficial. I love how amazing the quality of the product – highly recommended.”
Joint Gold– Bamboo Bamboo Baby Suction Bowl and Spoon, £16.99
Why it’s a winner: With a decent-sized bowl and strong suction action, our testers reported that this was a real must-have. Plus the sturdy matching silicone-tipped spoon won all-round plaudits. Most of all, our parents were in love with the stylish and sustainable natural bamboo looks – as one tester said, “there’s something comforting about using wood products”. We couldn’t agree more. There’s also a good range of colours to choose from, so you can coordinate with other household items.
In the words of tester Sam, mum to a 15-month-old: “Well-priced for an eco-friendly product and easy to use – just press down on a flat surface like a high-chair tray. The strong suction grip prevents any kind of movement. The best baby bowl and spoon I own by far.”
Joint Silver – EasyTots Unicorn Weaning Set, £34
Why it’s a winner: It’s an investment, but our testers felt this top-quality set, which includes a weaning tray, bowl and spoons, was well-worth the extra pennies. The bamboo and silicone spoons were especially highly praised, hitting that sweet Goldilocks spot – not too big or too small. The depth and curvature of the bowl is also designed to reduce spills, while the 3-section mat has generous sections for meals and snacks, and fits the tray of most highchairs. The swirling unicorn colours are extremely pretty (with mum testers reporting their little girls were especially smitten), and this set is also ultra-easy to pop in the dishwasher – with testers reporting it still looked good as new after multiple cycles.
In the words of tester Alexandra, mum to a 6-month-old girl: “The spoons are an excellent size and weight for a child to hold, and hold a good amount of food, without being too long. My daughter found them easy to grip, and navigate to her mouth. I also liked the bag for storing everything in.”
Joint Silver – Bubbaboo Bamboo Butterfly Suction Plate, £17
Why it’s a winner: This sturdy bamboo plate in a fun and pretty butterfly design doesn’t just look good, it’s practical too. The design features 4 sections (wings) for arranging food – making it perfect for keeping picky eaters interested, especially during the weaning phase. This plate is also easy to wash and brilliant quality, reported our testers – a big thumbs up all round. The suction element is an added bonus, helping to minimise mess.
In the words of tester Amanda, mum of 3: “I wish I’d had this when my youngest son was smaller as he’s a super-fussy eater and doesn’t like his foods mixing together. It’s the perfect item for weaning, especially for baby-led weaning.”
Buy from: Bubbaboo
Bronze – Baby’s First Utensils by Boo Chew, £9.99
Why it’s a winner: This clever design is targeted at babies getting to grips with cutlery for the first time, moving on to independent feeding. One end is a basic fork (the giraffe’s ‘feet’), one a spoon (the ‘head’), and the onus is on self-feeding, rather than parents doing the hard graft. Our parent testers loved the concept and the stylish looks, and were grateful for the fact there are 2 in each pack. They also really loved the built-in teether: the whole utensil is made from non-toxic silicone, which is soft on gums and simple to grasp and should provide some comfort during difficult teething moments.
In the words of tester Anna, mum of 2: “We’ve had a challenging time with weaning due to reflux and allergies. The Boo Chew made the transition to independent eating so much smoother. My son started off just holding it, and by the second week was confidently using the fork end – it brought me so much happiness to see him feeding himself.”
Shortlisted: Beaba Glass Meal Set | Nana’s Manner Stage 2 Fork & Spoon Set
Key features we tested/judged – Effectiveness, ease of use, leakage, quality of product and worth the money
Gold – MAM Fun to Drink Cup & Glow Handles – 270ml, £8.99
Why it’s a winner: Our testers liked how this cup glows in the dark so you won’t (hopefully) have those night-time cries that they just can’t find their water cup. It is generously sized (some starter cups aren’t) with a solid spout that helps transition babies to free-flow sipping. The removable valve means it can be used as either as a non-spill sippy cup for babies or a free flow cup for toddlers too. In short, it ticks all the most important “great cup” boxes.
In the words of tester Gemma, mum of a 1-year-old: “I love how spill-free this is with the valve in place. My son really likes the shape of the spout, too. It’s easy to wash, without too many parts that need special brushes. It’s sturdy and holds plenty of water or milk, and the glow in the dark handles mean my son can spot it in his cot if he needs a drink overnight.”
Silver – Babycup First Cups, £8.99 for 4
Why it’s a winner: Designed to promote natural sipping and drinking from a young age – rather than sucking from a spout – these simple mini open cups are bright, stackable and suit small hands. Plus, the materials are biodegradable and recyclable. Our testers especially appreciated how the small size meant there wasn’t too much spillage when the worst inevitably happened. These are also approved by the Oral Health Foundation, and dishwasher safe.
In the words of tester Laura, mum of an 18-month-old: “Easy to clean, stack and store, these look great. As they’re translucent, I can see how much my baby has left. I also love that they’re made in Britain, and that the bold colours aren’t aimed at particular genders. In my opinion, much more hygienic than spouted beakers.”
Bronze – Bamboo Bamboo baby cup, £9.99
Why it’s a winner: If you put the planet first when purchasing parenting products, this eco-chic, honeypot-shaped bamboo wood cup is for you. Super-stylish, it comes in a range of chic colours, including blue, green and purple. Our testers loved how it makes a fantastic eco-friendly alternative to plastic, with the open design particularly good for older babies. True, it can’t be put in the dishwasher – but it only takes a moment to wash up by hand.
In the words of tester Ashleigh, mum of a 7-month-old: “I love that the bamboo is biodegradable and good for the planet, as well as naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. The design is lovely, simple yet stylish. It’s also great quality and withstood being thrown on the floor!”
Shortlisted: NUK Learner Bottle with Glow in the Dark Effect
Key features we tested/judged – Effectiveness, ease of use, ease of cleaning, quality of product, design and worth the money
Gold – Baby Boosa Charcoal Leopard Print Bib, £13.50
Why it’s a winner: Our testers had nothing bad to say about these high-quality bibs with Instagram-friendly cool looks. Soft and made from baby-safe materials, our mum testers loved how beautifully they were packaged as well as the fashionable leopard print finish. In particular, the wide “food catcher” turn-up succeeds where so many lesser bibs fail – meaning less mess and less stress for parents. They’re stylish, well-made and guaranteed to cheer up the dreariest of mealtimes.
In the words of tester Zartasha, mum of 3: “This is a fabulous investment. Easily adjustable to grow with your baby, it catches food with ease, and is effortless to put on and take off. Easily washable – much better than using fabric bibs. And I love the trendy design!”
Buy from: Baby Boosa
Silver – Babybibs Bandana Bibs, £4.50
Why it’s a winner: If your baby is in full drooling mode, these are exactly what you need to keep them dry. Our testers raved about the bright prints and thick fleecy backing, which absorbs dribble in record time. The popper fastening means these bibs come on and off easily, and they’re super-soft against delicate skin. Plus, they’re made from organic cotton. As one tester said: “the best-quality bibs I’ve ever seen”. High praise indeed – and all with change from a fiver.
In the words of tester Louise, mum of 2: “They kept my baby’s chest dry and saved endless outfit changes. I had loads of compliments and questions from friends. Great value for money, I’m surprised they don’t cost more – these will last years.”
Buy from: Baby Bibs
Bronze – Bumkin Bibs, from £5.50
Why it’s a winner: Bumkins make gorgeous waterproof bibs that are a genuine pleasure to use and look at – think cute llamas, Hello Kitty, dinosaurs, lovebirds and much more. Their signature fabrics are tough enough to withstand the messiest of mealtimes, with a focus on strength and safety. They’re also great when your toddlers get interested in painting and crafts. Our testers loved how waterproof this bib was and felt it was great value for money.
In the words of tester Laura: “I really loved the bib and the designs. It’s very easy to put, waterproof and felt great value for money. I think I’ll find it improves with age too as my son become better coordinated.
Baby breakfast food
Key features we tested/judged – Quality of ingredients, taste, nutritional benefits, ease of use, appeal to children and worth the money
Gold – Kendamil Baby Porridge, from £1.49
Why it’s a winner: “They taste just like the flavours on the packet”, “really tasty”, “the perfect texture”, “great recyclable packaging”: just some of the glowing praise from our testers for our gold award-winning breakfast. This British-made baby porridge uses the very best, locally-grown ingredients meaning you get to give your baby a healthy and delicious start to the day, while supporting your local farmers. With no added sugar or artificial ingredients, these cereals impressed our testers and expert, as well as getting the all-important seal of approval from our baby taste testers.
In the words of tester Pamela, mum of 3: “My daughter loved these and all the different tastes. The re-sealable lid was fantastic as it helped keep the product fresh. I have already recommended these to my family and would definitely buy again!”
Buy from: Kendamil
Silver – Lupilu Banana Yoghurt, 65p
Why it’s a winner: 100% organic, gluten-free and at an incredibly low price – what’s not to love? Made from a tasty blend of bananas, natural yoghurt, rice flour and a squeeze of lemon juice, one of our testers verified that this is a “quick and easy, mess-free breakfast” especially if you’re out and about, thanks to the tight, re-screwable lid. One thing that got the thumbs up across the board was the price and the excellent quality you get for less than a pound.
In the words of tester Lauren, mum of 2: “Overall, I think this product is amazing! My son loved the taste of this banana breakfast, so much so I had to go out and grab some more straight away! For a budget buy this is really good quality food – I’d say 100% the same as a more expensive brand.”
Buy from: Lidl
Bronze – Mamia Apple & Blueberry Breakfast Pouch, 69p
Why it’s a winner: If you’re looking for something to fill up a hungry tummy in the morning, this smooth blend of organic apple, banana and blueberry, with yoghurt, rice milk powder and rice flour will definitely do the trick. Our testers loved the thick texture, organic, natural ingredients and the fact you can pop the pouch in the fridge for up to 48 hours after opening. This means it can stretch over a couple of breakfast sittings – perfect for the start of your weaning journey. Overall, this tasty mix offers fantastic value for money.
In the words of tester Naomi, mum of 2: “A wonderful product which should be in all mums’ weaning kits! My son loved the taste of this pouch and it’s really made breakfast time easy – definitely something I’ll continue to use.”
Buy from: Aldi
Key features we tested/judged – Effectiveness, nutritional benefits, appeal to children, taste, quality of product, ease of use and worth the money
Gold – Little Freddie Greek Style Yoghurt, £1.25
Why it’s a winner: These thick and creamy organic yoghurts got rave reviews across the board from our testers. In fact, they looked so delicious even our mums couldn’t resist having a taste – and the verdict was they taste as good as they look. Made with organic calcium-rich, West Country whole milk, the Greek-style yoghurts come in a variety of exciting flavours, using only the best ingredients to impress even the fussiest of little eaters. Wild Canadian blueberries, succulent cherries from Germany and the sweetest Pink Lady apples (as well as hidden veggies like carrot and sweet potato) keep the flavours vibrant and natural – there are no added sugars, preservatives or anything artificial here.
In the words of tester Lilly, mum of 3: “All my children loved the smooth and luxurious texture and lovely flavours of the yoghurt – banana and blueberry was our favourite. I also really liked the convenient pouches and that they include an envelope to send any empties back for recycling.”
Silver – Mamia Strawberry Greek Yoghurt, 69p
Why it’s a winner: Our mums loved that these were nutritionally “on point”, being 100% organic and gluten-free. Including a mix of strawberry, banana and apple puree, our testers commented on how creamy it tasted and how much of a hit it was with both babies and toddlers. The fact that this yoghurt stays fresh up to 8 hours out of the fridge means it’s a handy choice for picnics and days out, another huge plus point for our mums.
In the words of tester Noleen, mum of 4: “My son devoured this yoghurt, so he was definitely happy with the taste! He’s only 10 months old and still quite a fussy eater when it comes to anything textured or lumpy, so the smooth consistency of this yoghurt was a hit.”
Buy from: Aldi
Bronze – Lupilu Mango Yoghurt, 65p
Why it’s a winner: A super-quick and easy way of introducing little ones to the taste of mango, without having to go through the faff of puree-ing it yourself, this organic yoghurt was praised for its strong fruity flavour. Our mums were impressed with the high fruit content, making it a firm favourite for a healthy lunch for weaning babies or a handy toddler snack. The 100g pouch offers a decent sized serving, and thanks to the twist cap it can be safely stored in the fridge for 24 hours after opening.
In the words of Tamsyn, mum of a 9-month-old: “This tasted amazing. Super mangoey, which was fantastic for giving my baby a taste of the actual fruit. She loved it – and I did too!”
Buy from: Lidl
Organic baby food
Key features we tested/judged – Quality and proportion of ingredients, nutritional benefits, taste, ease of use, appeal to children and worth the money
Joint Gold – Lupilu Apple & Strawberry Baby Fruit Pouch 6+ Months, 45p
Why it’s a winner: This 100% fruit and 100% organic puree impressed our testers with its delicious flavour and super-smooth texture, perfect for your baby’s first steps into weaning. At just 45p for a huge 120g pouch, this offers excellent value for money and being gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians, no one has to miss out on a taste. With no unexpected ingredients, our mums loved how this is exactly what you would make at home yourself, but with none of the hassle.
In the words of Nikita-Jade, mum of an 8-month-old: “It’s so much easier than doing it yourself and worrying you’ve got all the strawberry seeds out. I’d absolutely recommend – definitely 5 stars from me!”
Buy from: Lidl
Joint Gold – Mamia Stage 1 Pouch Organic Prunes, 39p
Why it’s a winner: Prunes are an absolute essential when you start your baby’s weaning journey, and this great value pouch from Aldi’s Mamia range is the perfect puree to keep on standby if you need to “get things moving”. Our testers liked the thick consistency and the fact that there was absolutely nothing else added. Registered dietician Clare Thornton-Wood was particularly impressed with the taste and thought it would make a great addition to your baby’s yoghurt, cereal or even a casserole. The screw top pouch can keep up to 48 hours in the fridge once opened, so it can be used over a number of meals, making it even better value for money.
In the words of Gemma, mum of a 7-month-old: “I couldn’t fault this product – it has a nice flavour my baby liked, fun branding, feels good quality and a great budget buy. I was especially happy to see the Soil Association organic certificate on the pouch.”
Buy from: Aldi
Silver – Kendamil Organic Fruit Cereals, £2.49
Why it’s a winner: British made, using the best ingredients from family farms across Cumbria, Somerset and Yorkshire, our testers loved knowing they were giving their babies an excellent start to the day with these tasty, organic cereals. Our registered dietician and tester Clare Thornton-Wood praised the “unusual grains, delicate flavours and interesting textures” for their added nutritional value. Easy to mix with your baby’s usual formula or breast milk, our mums liked the resealable foil inner bag, so you can serve up as much as you need to each morning.
In the words of Sadia, mum of a 7-month-old: “If I saw this cereal in the shops I would definitely buy it for my daughter. The ingredients are locally sourced, it’s organic and nutritious and she loves the taste.”
Buy from: Kendamil
Joint Bronze – Lupilu Apples, Carrot & Parsnip Fruit & Veg Baby Pouch 6+ Months, 45p
Why it’s a winner: Our mums loved the convenience this pouch offered, providing a mix of organic apples, carrots and parsnip without having to dig the blender out. It’s an easy and affordable way for your baby to try new flavours and get all those wonderful vitamins from a mixture of fruit and vegetables. The smooth texture got the thumbs up from our testers, as did the easy to store and use screw-top pouch, which made eating on the go an absolute breeze.
In the words of Joanne, mum of 3: “My son has a milk allergy, so this was perfect for him. He enjoyed the taste so much and ate all of it while making a lot of ‘yummy’ noises. And yes, I tried it too and thought it was very nice!”
Buy from: Lidl
Joint Bronze – Little Tummy Spinach, Sweet Potato & Chickpea, £2.40
Why it’s a winner: “Just like I made it myself at home, using quality ingredients,” was the consensus from our testers on this luxury offering from organic meal subscription brand Little Tummy. Developed by Paediatricians, what really makes this stand out from other baby food is that it is cold-pressed rather than treated with extreme heat, to help preserve more vitamins and minerals. The result is the freshest meal, bursting with flavour and goodness, and a texture that our testers thought was just perfect for spoon feeding. The packaging is reusable and recyclable, which our mums felt was another big bonus.
In the words of Valentina, mum of 2: “This is a top-quality baby food product, with a great flavour combination and exceptionally high nutritional value, which really impressed me.”
Buy from: Little Tummy
Shortlisted: Lupilu Banana & Peach Puree | Lupilu Banana & Apple Puree | Lupilu Apple, Carrot, Butternut Squash & Prune Puree | Lupilu Apple, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin & Blueberries Puree | Lupilu Blueberry and Banana Yoghurt
Toddler and child food
Key features we tested/judged – Quality and proportion of ingredients, nutritional benefits, taste, ease of use, appeal to children and worth the money
Gold – Annabel Karmel’s New Frozen Meals for Toddlers & Kids, £1.75
Why it’s a winner: Our testers couldn’t fault the new freezer range from Annabel Karmel. All of them agreed that these nutritious, child-sized meals, packing in 1 of their 5-a-day, were a life-saver to keep in the freezer for hectic days when you’re short of time but still want to give your child a healthy, filling, warm meal. With tasty choices including Chicken Tikka with fluffy rice, Spaghetti and Meatballs in a tomato sauce and Cottage Pie with hidden veggies (praised for its lovely texture), our parents felt there was something to suit every appetite. There were clean plates all round from our little taste testers.
In the words of registed dietician Clare Thornton-Wood: “With meals ready in 5 minutes or less, these are so useful to keep in the freezer. Just serve up with some vegetables or salad.”
Silver – Fru Crew Oat Bars, £2.20 for 5
Why it’s a winner: These fruity oat bars were wolfed down by our testers (both young and old!). Made using gluten-free wholegrain oats and real fruit pieces – our testers loved the Mega Mango and Bursting Berry flavours – we found these to be the perfect, healthy snack for at home, on the go or in lunchboxes. Allergen free and suitable for vegans, our mums liked the not-overly sweet, fruity flavours and flapjack texture, as well as the fun and colourful monster packaging.
In the words of Marlena, mum of 2: “I was totally impressed with these bars. They are perfect to give a little boost for my children between meals – I’d certainly repurchase.”
Bronze – For Aisha Chermoula Chicken Moroccan Stew with Dates Toddler Tray, £2.30
Why it’s a winner: With a chunkier texture perfect for toddlers and an exciting mix of spices and flavours, this Moroccan stew went down a storm with our little tasters, even winning over the fussiest eaters. Our parents were pleased to see this meal was completely gluten free, dairy free and halal certified, while registered dietician Clare Thornton-Wood praised the ingredient list for being full of products you would find in your own kitchen. The dish can be heated up in just 30 seconds in the microwave, which our testers thought was very handy, with one adding, “perfect for when you’re in a rush and have a hungry toddler on your hands!”
Tester Nikki, mum of a toddler, says: “The complex flavours allow parents to feed their child something they may not have been exposed to with home cooking before. No complaints from my son – he ate it all, and my other half said it was tasty too!”
Buy from: For Aisha
Shortlisted: LOVE CORN premium crunchy corn
Baby and toddler snack
Key features we tested/judged – Effectiveness, nutritional benefits, appeal to children, taste, quality of product, ease of use and worth for money
Gold – Mamia Strawberry & Apple Oaty Bars, £1.39 for 6
Why it’s a winner: Our mums loved how convenient these oaty bars are for satisfying hungry tummies when out and about. 100% organic and with no added sugar, these filling snack bars are made from soft oat flake and raisin paste, with apple and strawberry juice concentrate, so ticked our testers boxes for nutritional goodness with no nasties. And the taste certainly got the thumbs up from our toddler testers. One feature that really impressed our mum of twins was that there are 6 bars in a box, rather than the usual 5 – perfect for nipping any tantrums in the bud when both toddlers want the same snack! Chunky and easy to hold, they are a great store cupboard must-have for babies 12 months and over.
In the words of Blaise, mum of twins: “These oaty bars are such a good size for little hands and are fairly mess-free, so my twins could eat them in the pram when we were out – so handy. A quick, easy, healthy snack that tastes good and is very good value for money – I’ll definitely be buying them again.”
Buy from: Aldi
Silver – Little Freddie Super Seed Tubes, £2.50 for 4
Why it’s a winner: These little tubes of tasty goodness certainly pack a punch when it comes to top-quality, healthy finger foods. Made with linseed, haricot beans, fava beans and British quinoa, they are bursting with nutrients and organic ingredients, so you know your toddler is benefiting from lots of yummy goodness at snack time, rather than empty calories that just fill them up before lunch. Registered dietitian Clare Thornton-Wood loved the added nutritional benefits of the fibre, zinc and iron, which are brilliant for a healthy immune system.
In the words of Katie, mum of a 14-month-old: “These are a great guilt-free snack for toddlers that my child really enjoyed. We loved the texture, which is similar to a melty puff, but less melty. A perfect, easy snack – great for on the go as they don’t create much mess, which is a winner!”
Bronze – Mamia Carrot Puffs, 39p
Why it’s a winner: An organic, baked corn snack without the premium organic price tag. Coming in at under 40p a bag, these carrot flavoured puffs, with added vitamin B1 (perfect for boosting your baby’s growth and development) are just the right size for small hands to grab onto as they start their weaning journey. Our testers commented on how easy these were to eat, even for our littlest tester with just 6 teeth!
Tester Sarah Peet, mum of a 14-month-old, says: “These are such great value for money – they are a lot cheaper than other similar products and you get a lot in the bag. My son loved the taste and we’ll certainly be adding these to our shopping basket again”
Buy from: Aldi
Shortlisted: Mamia Tomato Wheels