Whether you’ve already done your research into baby-led weaning (BLW) and are firmly planted in that camp or you’re just started to take a peek and explore your options, there are some amazing services out there that can provide you with a ton of value as you navigate feeding your baby.
I want to preface this article by stating that I am in camp fed is best, and I truly believe that parents should do what they feel is best for their baby. There’s so much noise out there that I know that can be difficult. But let’s all do our best to put our blinders on, do our own research, and choose the path that best aligns with our family’s needs, ok?
Now that that’s out of the way, I am going to dive into BLW a little today, in particular, I’m going to be highlighting three of the best BLW baby meal delivery services out there right now that are great options for parents who choose to feed their babies based on this method.
I’ll be comparing Nurture Life, Tiny Organics, and Raised Real. I will also touch on some of the research that supports this method and give you a little insight into my personal experience of having fed my babies in different ways and what my thoughts are. Ready? Let’s dig in!
What is Baby Led Weaning?
Before we get into the comparison of these three brands, I would like to first address what BLW is in case ya’ll aren’t formally familiar with it yet.
Baby-led weaning is an approach to introducing your baby to solids by allowing them to feed themselves with finger foods. With this method, you eliminate the use of purees and spoon-feeding.
In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated their infant feeding guidelines to recommend that babies are exclusively breastfed until 6 months of age. The old guidelines called for exclusive breastfeeding until 4-6 months of age. Those who are on board with BLW and following this new recommendation of not introducing solids until 6 months of age are making the argument that because a 6-month-old is so much more developed than a 4-month-old, there is no need to start with purees.
Observational studies suggest that BLW can potentially encourage the development of improved eating patterns which can lead to healthier body weight. However, it’s not entirely clear yet is these associations are causal.
What are the benefits of BLW?
Here are the proposed benefits of BLW in cliff notes form:
|#||The 4 Main Benefits|
|#1||Helps to build fine motor skills and coordination.|
|#2||Promotes safety by increasing your child’s dexterity and skillfulness when consuming solids, lowering their risk of choking.|
|#3||Encourages better food choices.|
|#4||Supports the consumption of nutrient-dense foods, avoiding processed baby foods from the grocery store).|
Raised Real Vs. Nurture Life Vs. Tiny Organics: Comparing 3 Similar Brands
|🆚||Raised Real||Nurture Life||Tiny Organics|
|Starting Price||$4.99 per meal||$6.89 per meal||$5.49 per meal|
|Age-appropriate for||6 months+||10 months+||8 months+|
|Organic?||✔||Mostly, they focus on organic fruits and vegetables||✔|
|Delivery||Every 2, 3, or 4 weeks||Weekly||Every 1, 2, or 4 weeks|
|Shipping cost||Included||Free for orders over $59. Otherwise, $8 per order||Included|
|Fresh or frozen?||Frozen||Fresh||Frozen|
Breaking Down the Brands
Tiny Organics wants you to raise an adventurous eater with their selection of fresh-frozen baby and toddler foods. Perfect for babies and toddlers ages 6 months all the way up to 3 + years, these meals are made with the perfect consistency for little eaters, particularly for those who are embarking on a baby-led weaning adventure.
The premise of Tiny Organics is to help you introduce your baby to his or her first 100 flavors so that you can encourage them to be a healthy eater for life. According to research, liking a food is the consequence of familiarity. Based on this principle, Tiny Organics pursues to help your child with the introduction of many flavors, developing their taste buds, and “like” of certain foods very early.
All of the meals served are 100% organic, plant-based, and free of the Big 8 allergens. Meals arrive at your door frozen and packed on dry ice. You can store your meals in the freezer until your baby is ready to eat (up to 3 months), then just heat and eat!
Tiny Organic's Menu Options
Here are a few options from their current menu to give you an idea of what each meal looks like and includes. You can get more information about each option on the menu by clicking on the Learn More button under each menu selection.
Next up, let’s take a closer look at Nurture Life and its vast menu options. This brand is focused on creating meals that your kids will love at every age. Nurture Life is the most inclusive kids meal delivery service I’ve come across, catering to babies from age 10+ months to teens and adults. It’s not too often that you see a meal delivery service with the capacity to serve such a wide range of ages and stages, so this is definitely a perk for those looking to feed a family.
Meals range from finger foods for babies who are just starting to explore self-feeding (BLW), toddlers who are developing palates, kids who need larger portions to fuel their growing bodies, and teen and adult portions to satisfy the rest of us. Each meal is nutritionally balanced, comes included with a full serving of vegetables, includes real, clean ingredients, and dietician and chef made.
Each week, there is a new menu with 21 toddler, kid, and teen & adult meals, 11 baby finger foods, 5 portable meals, and 8 shareables to choose from. Nurture Life is constantly introducing new meals to the mix, keeping things fresh and allowing your child(ren) to experience new tastes. All meals are shipped fresh in a chilled package and will remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to 6-7 days. You can also freeze your meals for up to 90 days.
Nurture Life's Menu Options
Baby Food Meals
Toddler, Kids, Teens Food Meals
Toddler, Kids, Teens Food Meals
Last, but not least, let’s see what Raised Real is all about. If the name of the company didn’t already give it away, Raised Real provides children with baby food that isn’t baby food – it’s real food that’s optimized for little eaters. Raised Real’s mission is to help new eaters become long-term healthy food lovers by introducing them to real, nutritious foods right from the beginning.
Using the baby-led weaning approach to meals, Raised Real is focused on the sensory experience. All their meals have different textures that allow your child to get to know their food’s hands first. One of the coolest things about this baby food delivery is that you have control over how you prepare their meals. So even if you aren’t following BLW, you can puree or smash the meals to serve to your child that way.
Raised Real approaches their menu a bit differently than the other two options in that you aren’t in total control of your menu choices each week. However, you are in control of your ingredient preferences. When you begin the process of getting started with Raised Real, you will indicate which ingredients you’d like and which you do not wish to receive. Then, they will customize your menu each week based on your preferences. They do this to make sure that your little one is getting plenty of variety in their diet, but none of the things that you don’t specifically want.
Raised Real's Menu Options
Decision Time: Which Baby Led Weaning Meal Service is Right For Your Family?
After researching all three brands, it’s clear that each option provides a ton of value and some seriously delicious, nutritious foods. Honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these options, so your decision is going to come down to a few preferences and needs.
Here’s some food for thought: If you…
- Want to raise your child with a plant-based diet, choose Raised Real or Tiny Organics.
- Desire to have control over which meals you receive each week, choose Tiny Organics or Nurture Life.
- Need to feed a family with varying ages and stages, choose Nurture Life.
- Want to puree your child’s food/are feeding a young baby (6 months+), choose Raised Real.
Otherwise, I encourage you to consider the information I outlined above about each baby food delivery service and decide which option best suits the needs of your baby and/or family. All three services offer exceptional value and time-savings, so the only thing left to do is choose the one that you feel best matches the needs of your child.
Personally, I use Nurture Life and absolutely love it. The meals are so inclusive and fun for my kids and I love that the brand grows with them. We get meals for the whole family!
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