For the first 12 months of a baby’s life they’ll usually consume breast milk or formula before making a switch to cow’s milk. The first solid food your baby should try (after about seven months or so) should be a tablespoon of infant rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula.

Before switching your child to baby food ask your pediatrician to make sure that it’s appropriate. Never purchase any baby food until after you have read the labels. Pay close attention to nutritional information and expiration dates. Never purchase baby food jars that have broken seals or are otherwise damaged.

Here are some tips to help you shop for baby food.

Things To Consider

Babies Are Especially Susceptible To Toxins

Organic baby food is free of toxins and pesticides that can cause health problems in children. Though more expensive, organic is usually the way to go.

Comparison Shopping For Best Deals

Always shop around to find the very best deals on organic baby food before you make a purchase.

USDA Organic Is The Only Label That Matters

This label is backed by the US Department of Agriculture and certifies that the baby food contained within is at least 95% organic.

Stay Away From Nitrates

Nitrates can cause significant health issues in children up to six months old. Make sure that you choose fruits and vegetables that are as close to nitrate free as possible.

Do Your Research Online

You should be researching every single baby food purchase you make on the Internet. See what other parents have to say about these food choices before you take the plunge.

Buy In Bulk Whenever Possible

The fastest way to get the unit price of organic baby food down is to purchase it in bulk quantities.

Don’t Introduce Cow’s Milk Rght Away

Breastmilk can be utilized for the first 18 months or so of a baby’s life so don’t rush the transition to cow’s milk.

Pesticides Must Be avoided

For obvious reasons, chemical pesticides shouldn’t ever make their way into your baby’s food. Avoid any baby food options that cannot guarantee they are pesticide free.

Picking The Right Type

Stage I Foods

Usually comprised of single ingredient puréed vegetables or fruits. The plainest of all the baby food options.

Stage III Foods

As babies learn to chew they will be able to move on to these foods. Larger and more “textured” foods are introduced at this stage.

Stage II Foods

Also rather smooth, these baby food options are designed for older children and combine multiple ingredients.

Stage IV Foods

Children will usually start to phase into this stage around 12 months of the age or older. Easy to chew meals, the foods are usually quite soft.

Additional Things To Look For

Yogurt And Probiotics

Both will help to promote healthy digestion and improve your baby’s immune system. Always with a pediatrician before adding them.

Keep Snacks Healthy

Supplementing mealtime with snacks is smart, but keep snacks healthy. Stay away from chemical additive rich foods and instead go with fruits and vegetables.

Fiber And Whey Protein

Additives that contribute to the health and growth of your baby. Also consult with a pediatrician before adding these to your child’s diet.

Microwaved Baby Food

Always heat baby food in the same container that it came in. Remove the metal lid and microwave based on instructions on the glass jar. Avoid plastic, as it may contain BPAs.

Saving Hacks

Prices Are Best Online

With rare exceptions (excluding sales) baby food prices are always going to be better on the Internet.

Become A Card Member

Retailers offer rewards programs and exclusive deals for card-carrying members. Sign up for those programs to save in the future.

Purchase In Bulk

You’ll get even better deals online when you buy bulk quantities of baby food.