Chewsday Review- Heinz baby food jar lamb, pumpkin and sweet potato

As you walk down the baby aisle at the supermarket, you probably have more questions than you do direction. ‘Is it okay for my baby to eat this food?’, ‘Should I get baby food jars or pouches?’ Today’s Chewsday Review features a famous baby food brand – Heinz (in a jar) – lamb, pumpkin and sweet potato. Let’s take a closer look…

🔸 Ingredients

🔹 Pumpkin Puree (20%), Tomatoes (20%), Couscous (from Wheat) (15%), Sweet Potato (15%), Brown Rice (11%), Lamb (10%), Onion (5%), Spinach (1.5%), Ricotta Cheese (1.5%) (Contains Milk), Spice

🔹 Common allergens include: gluten, milk

🔸 The positives:

🔹 Fat, sugar and sodium are within healthy guidelines. This is quite normal for baby foods.

🔹 This jar can be considered as a complete meal for 6 months+ babies, as it consists of vegetables (pumpkin, tomatoes, sweet potato, onion, spinach), grains (couscous and brown rice) and a protein source (lamb).

🔹 It contains iron-rich foods, including lamb, brown rice, and spinach. Remember that iron is an important nutrient for your babies starting food at about 6 months and not all baby foods contain iron-rich foods.

🔹There’s no added water in this baby food, which I see as a benefit because many pouches have lots added. Water makes it smoother, but means you’re paying for nothing.

🔹No added fruit- it’s hard to find pre-packaged baby food that isn’t 50% fruit. There’s nothing wrong with fruit, but learning about savoury foods is a part of your baby’s development.

🔹 At $0.88/100g, it is slightly cheaper than other commercial baby foods.

🔹I like that you have to use a spoon to serve this food and your baby can’t suck it directly out of the pouch. This is so important for their learning and their biting and chewing skills.

🔸 The negatives:

🔹 All the ingredients are mixed together, which means that babies will possibly miss an opportunity to learn about different the different ingredients and enjoy the unique flavour and texture of each individual food. This isn’t always a ‘bad’ thing, but I do like to change up the flavours for babies in those early months.

🔹 Despite lamb being the first ingredient mentioned in the product name, there’s only 10% lamb (3tsp, ~15g) in it. In fact, most commercial baby foods containing meat have a low meat content.

🔹It’s impossible to recreate the silky texture of pre-packaged baby food, no matter how hard you try. I’d always recommend mixing up how often you offer these and homemade food to help your baby learn about different textures.

🔸 Marketing:

🔹 ‘Steam cooked’, A great cooking method to preserve nutrients like vitamins B and C. But remember that this baby food jar has been heat-treated to have a decent shelf-life, which means that some nutrients will still be destroyed during processing as they can’t withstand heat.

🔹 ‘No preservatives’, Great (but remember most baby food is the same)!

🔹 ‘Just the good stuff’ Agree

🔸 Alternatives:

🔹 This baby food is nutritionally similar to other 6 months+ baby foods in pouches like Marco Organic (Lamb with Vegetables) and Only Organic (Wild Rice Risotto Spring Lamb). There isn’t a lot of good information out there about the different processing methods (heat vs pressure) but it’s something I’d like to know more about.

🔹 Homemade baby food is likely to provide more nutrients, tastes and textures than commercial baby foods. However, if you’re busy or need a convenient option to keep in your baby bag, I’d say this baby food is a reasonable option.


About Toddler Mealtimes

Toddler Mealtimes is an online subscription for parents who want to feel confident about teaching their toddler to enjoy a variety of foods. It's particularly helpful for those who are noticing their toddler becoming increasingly fussy, but they're not quite sure to handle it. The 12 month subscription guides you through managing toddler fussiness with confidence with regular tips and tricks via videos and photos. Sign up here

About Baby Mealtimes

Baby Mealtimes is an online subscription for parents with babies aged 4-12 months. It’s your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about introducing solid food to your baby. The monthly subscription (or 8 month package) guides you through what to offer and when, with meal ideas and a photo gallery of over 120 finger foods organised by age. Sign up here

About Mealtime Building Blocks

Dr Kyla Smith and Liz Beaton are paediatric dietitians specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla, Liz and Lauren here

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