Your tiny bundle of joy is now growing and developing at a staggering rate. They have now reached the stage where they are ready to start trying new tastes and textures. Premade baby food offers the convenience and choice that they need for each different stage of their development.
But which brand do you choose? Like any baby product, the best advice I can give you is to do your homework first, check out the reviews, and speak to other parents in your circle of friends.
I am going to take a look at two of the big brands in baby food, Beech-Nut vs Gerber, and try to see which brand is best in 2023.
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In this article
- Main Differences Between Beech-Nut vs Gerber
- Beech-Nut Baby Food
- Gerber Baby Food
- FAQ Beech-Nut vs Gerber
- Beech-Nut vs Gerber – Which is Best in 2023
- My Final Thoughts
Main Differences Between Beech-Nut vs Gerber
The main differences between Beech-Nut vs Gerber baby food are:
- Beech-Nut ingredients are 100% organic and have no preservatives or additives, whereas Gerber baby food does.
- Beech-Nut jars are single-use. This is due to the lids that they come with. On the other hand, Gerber baby food comes in jars that you can reuse because of the style of the lid.
- Beech-Nut is not so readily available in the grocery stores as Gerber. Although both can be found easily online.
- Beech-Nut food has a slightly thicker consistency, this may mean that your little one will have trouble digesting it especially at the beginning of their weaning journey.
Beech-Nut Baby Food
Beech-Nut has been making baby food since 1931, and they’re located in upstate New York. They pride themselves on finding the best organic ingredients and also being as environmentally friendly as possible. This means that their food is made from organic fruit and vegetables.
They have rigorous testing for heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins. They have also tried to reduce their carbon footprint and try to make their supply chain as sustainable as possible. These are some great areas for them to be striving forward in as many parents now look for ethical and environmentally-friendly baby items from clothes to baby food.
Their Stage 1 food is recommended for starting your baby’s weaning journey at around 4+ months. Their apple baby food contains only one ingredient: 100% fresh apples. Their baby food has no fat, sodium, or added sugars, making it one of the purest forms of baby food. It’s almost as good as you would make at home yourself.
Their Stage 2 food, which is recommended for 6+ months, is made up of a greater variety of textures including cereals, jars, and pouches. They come in a huge variety of flavors which is great for introducing new flavors to your little one’s palette. The ingredients in their Apple & Kale pouch consist of apple, kale, and lemon juice concentrate.
Again they contain zero fat, sodium, or added sugars.
When your baby is around 8+ months old, they can move on to the next stage of food. These again provide a great variety of tastes and textures, introducing new food to your baby. They also have snacks available in this age group.
Called Fruit & Veggie Melties, these are free from all known allergens. The apple and pumpkin flavor contains only three ingredients: apples, pumpkin, and fruit pectin. As you probably already guessed they also have zero fat, sodium, or added sugars.
By the time your baby reaches 12+ months, Beech-Nut offers pouches and snacks, designed to satisfy a busy toddler while you are on the go. Their snacks are made to a size that helps them to develop their fine motor skills.
The snacks range from Fruit and Veggie Melties to Fruity Oat Bars and Veggie Crisps. For example, the Sweet Potato baked Veggie crisps are proudly made with only 6 ingredients, yellow pea flour, potato starch, rice flour, dried sweet potato, sunflower oil, and 0.5% salt.
Though they don’t zero fat or added sugars, the sodium is up to 1% which is still exceptionally low.
As a brand, Beech-Nut has some great and well-thought-out features. They are made not only to accommodate a developing food palette, but their snacks can also help children practice their fine motor skills. As a parent, these are all positive features.
- They have a huge diversity of flavors and varieties. They come in the standard jars and food pouches, as well as yogurt melts, cereal puffs, granola bars, and cereals. Their flavors include apple and kale, mango, apple, and avocado, macaroni, beef, and vegetable jar.
- Their age range spans from 4+ months which is the recommended age to start weaning all the way to 12+ months.
- Their baby food comes in either glass jars or pouches
- They are available online and are reasonably priced.
What The Parents Say
To be honest one of the best resources available to you will be real parents as they are more likely to tell you the brutal and honest truth about products. They will tell you all the good and bad points.
Below are a few reviews from the Beech-Nut website from parents who have tried and tested their products with their own children.
“Sweet Carrots. My baby girl loves them and I told people about the product and I will be buying” Rodney 76
“Apple Pie in a Jar. This is so delicious, I can’t help but eat some when giving it to my boy! He loves it and it settles really good with the stomach!” Samanthagaud
- Does not use cornstarch
- Natural ingredients
- No added artificial ingredients
- They use glass jars so you can be sure that they are BPA-free containers
- Suitable products for every stage and age of development
- An expensive option when there are similar cheaper brands available
- Issues with food separating when heating
- Unpleasant smell
- Consistency makes it difficult to swallow even for an adult
- Glass jars can pose an issue if dropped
Gerber Baby Food
Gerber started out as a producer of canned fruit and vegetables back in 1927. At the suggestion of a pediatrician, Gerber’s wife began making hand strained foods for their seven-month-old daughter.
By 1928, he had developed a few products in the baby food market and this quickly snowballed into a profitable business. They now produce everything including baby formula, supplements, snacks, and meals.
Their Stage 1 food jars, recommended for babies from the age of 4+ months, are a good start for weaning a baby. Their Apple baby food contains 2 ingredients, apples and vitamin C or ascorbic acid. It has zero fat or added sugars but does contain around 5 mg of sodium.
Please be aware that these jars are designed to hold 2 servings.
Their Stage 2 or 2nd foods are recommended for babies from age 6+ months, and they are designed to expand your baby’s taste and exposure to new foods. Their Organic Apple, Kale, and Fig pouch is made with several ingredients, organic apples, water, organic kale, organic fig paste, and vitamin c or ascorbic acid.
This pouch contains zero fat or added sugars but the sodium content is 20mg. This pouch is designed to be only one serving.
Their next stage called Lil’ Mixers is designed for babies who are crawling so 8+ months. These products have added new textures and flavors to your little one’s foods. Their apple, strawberry, banana with puffed grain comes with too many ingredients to list.
However, this particular one does include wheat which you would need to be aware of if your little one has any allergies at all. They contain zero fat but do have 10 mg of sodium and 11g of sugar but it does not state how much of that is added sugar.
The 12+ month toddler variety is designed to give moms the convenience of feeding 1 full serving of vegetables to their toddler with the added benefits of whole grains. Their Spanish Style Sofrito contains quite a few ingredients but the first three listed are whole grain brown rice, yellow bell peppers, and red bell peppers.
It does contain wheat, egg, and milk these are things to be aware of for any babies with allergies. This particular flavor contains 3.5 g of fat, 140 mg of sodium, and 4 g of total sugars.
Gerber has some great features that can benefit children and provide convenient options for parents to get the best variety of food.
- They have a wide diversity of flavors and varieties from standard fruit and vegetable jars and pouches to organic jarred food, small plastic containers, cereals, and cereal bars. The different flavors are far too many to list but here are some of their range, apple, carrot, sweet potato and pea, green bean, and butternut squash.
- The Gerber age range is referenced in a slightly different way than most baby foods. It is not so much dictated to by the age of your child but by their stage of physical development such as sitter, babies who are crawling to toddlers.
- Gerbers baby food comes in glass jars, pouches, and a plastic container with peel back films and plastic lids.
- They are widely available online and from most supermarkets they are very affordable for the average family.
What The Parents Say
The following reviews have been received by Gerber themselves from real parents who have tried and tested their products with their own children.
“My infant daughter Sophia is an extremely picky baby! It honestly seems as though she would rather starve than eat the baby food offered to her based just on her facial expressions alone! Like I am feeding her straight lemons or something. The Gerber Apple Zucchini Peach baby food is something she clearly likes!” Hilsc
“I was really excited to try the Gerber meal time harvest bowl on my little one. She is 15 months old and loves to eat. I heated it for 70 secs and it was perfect. She dug right in and loved it. I love how everything is the right bite-size for her. It had a bunch of veggies in it. She absolutely loved it and I have bought more in this line for her. ” Mommyof2under3
- These offer an affordable option for many families
- Available for different ages and stages of development
- Lots of variety available in the range
- Great flavors
- Lots of quantity
- Reusable lids on the containers, you can save the remaining food for later
- Issues with very thin consistency of food
- Staining problems have been reported by some reviewers
- Not as flavorful as other brands
- Not much variety in the selection box
- Long shelf life does raise questions of what added preservatives are being used
FAQ Beech-Nut vs Gerber
How many grams of sugar is there in the Gerber Banana Carrot Mango?
Gerbers 2nd foods Banana Carrot Mango has 14 g of sugar per serving. These are all from the fruits and veggies. It contains zero grams of added sugar.
Do Beech-Nut foods contain GMOs?
Beech-Nut works with NON-GMO projects to verify all their products. They believe that the NON-GMO project’s seal is a good fit for their products. Currently 100 of their products are NON-GMO projects verified.
Which Beech-Nut foods are Kosher?
At the moment some of the Classic products are certified as Kosher such as Naturals apple, cinnamon and granola jar, Organics apple, pumpkin and granola jar, oatmeal cereal canister and Beech-Nut macaroni and beef and vegetable jar.
What kind of gelatin is used in the Gerber Strawberry and mixed berry melts?
The gelatin used in the Strawberry and mixed berry melts is derived from beef.
Beech-Nut vs Gerber – Which is Best in 2023
Comparing baby foods is very difficult and there is not always a clear cut winner.
Both the Beech-Nut and Gerber have some great features but they also have some disadvantages. However, these disadvantages may depend on you and your baby’s preferences.
Beech-Nut has fewer ingredients in its baby food, uses organic ingredients, and is trying to make its supply chain as sustainable as possible. However, they are quite expensive in comparison to other baby food brands. It also has a thicker consistency which may cause problems for some weaning babies.
Although, Gerber now has its own organic range and is lowering the number of ingredients in their baby food. They are more affordable but do contain higher sugar and sodium content.
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My Final Thoughts
At the end of the day as long as your baby is eating and enjoying their new foods, and they are healthy and happy then you can’t be doing much wrong.
In this case, I don’t believe that there is a clear winner and think that both have some pros and cons that would need to be weighed up by each parent. Both brands offer a natural and organic range so that makes the choice even more difficult for parents but you are at least halfway there to finding the right baby food for your child.