1. Annabel Karmel’s Chilled Toddler Meals, £2.30
If there’s a name synonymous with nutritious children’s food, it’s Annabel Karmel and the latest collection of Chilled Toddler Meals from the veteran feeding expert does not disappoint.
Offering a tasty way to help your little one get up to 3 of their 5 a day, each meal is low in salt, free from artificial additives and preservatives and is ready in minutes.
The range is more expensive than competitors like Mamia, but the experience and expertise behind the Annabel Karmel brand is undeniable and the options are more extensive than most supermarket ranges, with 13 tasty meals to choose from, including Scrummy Fish Pie, Mild Chicken Tikka & Rice and Lovely Beef Lasagne.
2. Organix Goodies Soft Oaty Bars, £2.49
Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Toddler food product – Silver
Any parent who’s been stuck in a queue with a toddler knows pre-packed snacks are a lifesaver and that’s where the Organix Soft Oaty Bars come in.
They’re jammed full of juicy raisins, wholegrain oats and the flavour from real fruit. Great for little fingers, they’re individually wrapped, so can easily be thrown into your baby bag for later.
Strikingly similar to the Mamia Oaty Bars, the Organix range is more expensive but has 6 choices of flavours to Mamia’s 3 and a no-junk promise, so parents can be rest assured there’s no nasties added.
MFM tester Meghan says: “The flavours are lovely – me and my partner have even tried them and liked them.”
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3. Mamia Oaty Bars – Raspberry and Apple, £1.29 for 6
Aldi has gradually earned a reputation among parents as a brand who can pull great-value and even better-quality baby products out of the bag and its Mamia Oaty Bars are a fine example.
Made with 100% organic soft oat flakes and raisin paste, with apple and raspberry juice concentrate and no added salt or preservatives, they’re a great source of fibre.
Our testers found they had a noticeably sharper taste than the Organix version, but at over £1 cheaper it’s a significant amount that adds up on a weekly food bill.
MFM tester Lois says: “These were a hit in my household, my toddler liked them just as much as the branded ones we usually buy.”
Available from: Aldi
4. Ella’s Kitchen Love Veg Perfect Purees Range, 90p
Tiny taste buds are set for a life of veggie enjoyment with Ella’s Kitchen’s simple but smart Love Veg Purees Range.
Made for the first stages of weaning, the vegetable-only blends help get babies used to savoury flavours and parents are passionate about the 100% organic ingredients and handy screw-top lid – great for when you’re on the move.
Price-wise, Ella’s Kitchen are marginally cheaper than Annabel Karmel’s, but significantly more expensive than Mamia’s. The key difference is both those brands often mix in fruit to sweeten pouches up, while the 9 fusions in Ella’s Kitchen range are purely veggies.
MFM tester Kate says: “Ella’s Love Veg Perfect Purees range are a fantastic way to start the weaning process and I would definitely recommend them.”
5. Mamia Red Burst Fruit Pouch Multipack, £1.99
Aldi’s Mamia has done it again with its latest offering – the brand’s Red Burst Fruit Pouch Multipack proves it can compete with branded products.
A smooth blend of organic banana, strawberries, apple and raspberries make up Red Burst, which works out at a bargainous 40p per pouch – a notable difference from Ella’s Kitchen and Annabel Karmel’s offerings, which are over double the price.
MFM tester Janesia is won over: “I usually prefer to make my own, but these taste so nice. My son loves it so much that when he finishes it he’s looking for more.”
Available from: Aldi
6. Annabel Karmel’s Stage 1 Organic Baby Purees, £1.10
Time-poor parents don’t have to settle for less when it comes to their baby’s diet thanks to the nutritious, convenient and flavour-packed collection of Stage 1 Organic Baby Purees from Annabel Karmel.
With more than 26 years in the baby food game, weaning guru Annabel Karmel knows a thing or two about serving up healthy meals that little one’s enjoy (and always finish).
At a slightly higher price point than the Ella’s Kitchen range, there’s not much else that sets the 2 brands apart – the main deciding factor will be which flavours your little one enjoys most.
There are plenty to choose from in the Annabel Karmel collection, including organic mango, apple and coconut milk, organic butternut squash, broccoli, carrot and chickpea, all of which are dairy and gluten free.
Available from: Ocado
7. Mamia Tray Meals – Beef Casserole, 95p
There’s something about a hearty beef casserole that just screams home cooking but this delicious Mamia Beef Casserole Tray Meal proves that a quick and easy dinner that’s not made from scratch doesn’t have to compromise on nutrition, or taste.
With low salt, no added sugar or additives, it’s suitable for children aged 1 and above.
While there’s less a smaller choice of meals in the Mamia range compared to branded collections, like Annabel Karmel and Ella’s Kitchen, the price is unbeatable and the quality and nutritional value is not to be scoffed at either.
MFM tester Amanda says: “My daughter thoroughly enjoyed this meal. The portion sizes are good, good nutrition and a great way to get vegetables into any child’s diet.”
Available from: Aldi
8. Aptamil Stage 2 Multigrain Cereals, £3
This toddler food range comes in the form of Aptamil Stage 2 Multigrain Cereals, which impressed testers with its simple flavours tailored to the needs of babies 7 months and above and inclusion of high-quality wholegrains, Vitamin D and Iron.
The cereals have no added sugar, salt or preservatives and most importantly, babies love them.
Parents also sing the product’s praises as the cereal is really easy to make and comes in three varieties. Mum Kathryn says: “My son hadn’t taken well to other brands I had tried, so I was keen to see what he thought of these. He loved them!”
9. Kiddylicious Children’s Snack Range, from 60p
Keeping little ones topped up between meals can be demanding and the vast range of flavourful snacks by Kiddylicious are designed to help children maintain energy levels ready for their next adventure, and their next big meal.
With an enormous choice of snacks that eclipse smaller selections like those from Little Freddie and Heavenly, there’s a taste sensation to suit even the pickiest eaters and many snacks count as 1 of your child’s 5 a day.
Some products contain a small amount of added sugar, but many have only naturally occurring sugars. Many parents name Kiddylicious as their go-to for little ones with allergies and intolerances, with many snacks gluten free and milk free.
MFM tester Alice says: “We tested the Kiddylicious strawberry wafers and they were a big hit with all three children, aged 14 months, 3 and 5.”
10. Organix Baby Corn Puffs, 80p
Organix Baby Corn Puffs are a snack that parents and children just can’t get enough of.
Perfectly sized for little fingers, the crispy morsels that melt in the mouth delight little ones exploring new textures, as do the 5 interesting varieties available: Carrot Sticks, Sweetcorn Rings, Cheese Stars, Tomato Slices and the newest in the collection – Pea Puff.
A very close competitor to Ella’s Kitchen Melty Sticks, the main difference is the Ella’s Kitchen range are maize-based rather than corn, the Organix have more flavours, plus little ones love the range of shapes they come in, from sticks to stars.
11. Ella’s Kitchen Melty Sticks, 90p
Who says food isn’t for playing with? Ella’s Kitchen fun Melty Sticks are designed to help little ones play and learn as they try new flavours with their crispy texture, squeezable shape and enticing taste.
There are 4 flavour combinations to choose from and the brand pride itself on its health values. A strong competitor to the Organix Baby Corn Puffs, which come in 5 different varieties, they’re 10p apart in price and both are similar in nutritional value, depending on the products you’re comparing.
But the real test is in the taste and parents tell us their little ones are big fans.
MFM tester Catherine says: “The kids really like the flavour and size of these sticks and finished them all. Great taste and nicely packaged.”
12. Heavenly range of organic baby and toddler snacks, from 69p
Providing healthy food that won’t break the bank is the mission of the Heavenly range of organic baby and toddler snacks.
The company’s selection isn’t as extensive as some of its bigger rivals, including Kiddylicious, but what it does create is done so with authority – certified by the Soil Association and Sugarwise as having low sugar content, the attention to health is what sets the Heavenly brand apart.
That and its delicious flavours, with snacks that include Yummy Wafer Wisps, Coconut Squishies, and Halo Bites for babies and Authentic Mini Italian Bread Sticks and Veggie Waffles for older children.
MFM tester Katharina says: “Big thumbs up from us. All of my children loved the range and I loved knowing that what they are eating is organic and a healthy snacking option without added sugars.”
13. Little Freddie Finger Foods range, from 95p
The team at Little Freddie spotted the booming market for healthy finger foods and decided to push the trend even further, adding ingredients like chickpea and quinoa to the mix, much to the delight of parents everywhere.
The brand’s much-loved range is developed alongside a pediatric nutritionist to ensure children never fill up on empty calories.
While many products are similar to others in the market, they all have a unique selling point; for example, most puff snacks are maize-based, like Ella’s Kitchen Melty Sticks, but Little Freddie’s melt in the mouth Puffs and Smiles are multigrain-based, including wheatgerm and quinoa.
Little Freddie’s snacks pay the utmost attention to nutrition and with a competitive price and flavours that even adults can’t resist, we’re sold.