For a rundown of the pros and cons of glass jars and a description of the aforementioned brands of food read below. Homemade baby food will be covered in another blog post forthcoming.
Glass is by far the oldest and most trusted source of baby food containers. It is a great
alternative for serving baby food and this process was made popular by Gerber
Glass jars continue to be the #1 container of baby food. Glass is natural; it is made from
three simple ingredients. Ingredients that you can pronounce and that do not
scare you: sand, limestone and soda ash. Glass is not made of hazardous
materials and it doesn’t make you wonder what words such as polypropylene
means. “Glass jars are a natural barrier against bacteria and have earned the
reputation as the only packaging material that’s quality is never questioned (glassislife.com).” You don’t question if a glass jar has a #7 on the bottom or whether the foil lining has leaked small emissions of
BPA into your baby’s food. Because glass jars don’t have numbers on the bottom
and there is no foil, nylon or polyester surrounding your baby’s food like what
is found in food pouches.
It is important that glass is recyclable and can be reused over and over in efforts
to be green. Glass jars can store longer in your refrigerator once opened while
maintaining the food flavor. These jars can be used to store your own
homemade baby food and they can also be warmed up in the microwave. Typically,
baby food in glass jars is less expensive than food served in pouches.
One downfall to glass jars is that they cannot be stored in the freezer, limiting their
shelf life. They also are easy to break and hairline cracks can often go
unnoticed. Do not use a jar that has any crack or breakage.
Throughout the history of using glass jars for baby food there have been some serious
scares. In 1986 both Beech-Nut and Gerber had reports of glass shards in their
baby food. However, the largest pieces found in over 36,000 jars inspected had
harmless specks. “Many believe that publicly seekers and gold diggers were
conjuring up fabricated lawsuits (pillowrock.com,
In July, 2009 the Minister of Health Canada produced a study that surveyed the amount of
Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby food prepackaged in glass jars with metal lids. They
surveyed 122 types of baby food marketed under seven brands and by six
different companies. Beech-Nut, Gerber, Heinz, Earth’s Best, My Organic Baby
and Simply Kids all had various products found to contain trace levels of BPA. These
trace levels were found in the metal top, not the glass jar. For a complete
review of the Health Canada study review the link below.
Consider doing your own research about BPA, there are thousands of articles posted
online about BPA and its effects. “The problem is these
effects, which are based on animal and laboratory studies, have not been clinically
or observationally reproduced in human trials. Most connections between BPA and
human illness remain hypothetical (healthland.time.com, 2010).”
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2010/09/08/the-bpa-debate-bad-reputation...
When buying commercial baby food, compare labels carefully. “Look at ingredient
lists. Avoid products that contain added sugars, modified food starches, or
wheat, rice, and other flours. When buying single fruit, vegetable, or meat
products (i.e., foods that contain only one ingredient and water), select the
brand with the most calories--hence, the most food--per unit weight (cspinet.com, 1995).”
Gerber www.gerber.com: Since jarring its first strained peas in 1928, Gerber is far and away the industry
leader, with more than a 70% share of the market. As of the mid-90s Gerber
offered 182 varieties of food and drinks for infants and toddlers. Gerber’s 2nd
foods come in a 4-ounce glass jar. Product highlights of this food include that
it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, has no artificial sugar, starch, artificial
colors or flavors. These jars are microwaveable and are available in Kosher
varieties. Refrigerate after opening and use within three days of
refrigerating. As mentioned in a previous post, Gerber also offers a glass jar
alternative in their Smart Nourish food line, primarily for stage one foods.
The Smart Nourish food is served in a square plastic container and comes in
Beech-Nut www.beechnut.com: Beech-Nut shares about
14% of the baby food market and makes over 120 food options for babies and
toddlers. Beech-Nut states to be “trusted by moms since 1931” and is a family
owned company. They offer baby food in four stages, including a stage called 2
1/2. Beech-Nut baby food is made with natural ingredients, no artificial colors, flavors, or
preservatives. Beech-Nut offers a more complex explanation of what they call
the “Home-style Difference” on their website. Their food contains proteins,
carbohydrates and fats as well as vitamins and minerals needed for development.
Beech-Nut food also contains dietary fiber, and whey protein to build muscles.
Interestingly, the word “organic” is not found on the Beech-Nut website.
However, they do offer food in multiple varieties including: vegetarian,
gluten-free, Kosher and soy-free. Beech-Nut only offers baby food in glass jars
up until stage four, toddler food. At this stage they offer a plastic meal tub.
Earth’s Best earthsbest.com: Earth’s Best owns approximately 2.5%
of the baby food market and came on the scene in 1985. They market 47 varieties
or organic jarred food. Recently, Earth’s Best has also begun offering food for
infants in a puree pouch, available in 1st, 2nd and 3rd
foods. Earth’s Best food are completely organic and it is suggested that,
“choosing organic is choosing to live a healthier life.” Benefits listed on the
Earth’s Best website include: ingredients grown without harmful pesticides, no
genetically engineered ingredients, no added salt, modified starches or refined
sugars, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and most of their items
are made from whole grains. Earth’s Best and their Sesame Street products are
available in Kosher options.
Other jarred baby food brands include:
Wild Harvest (available at SuperValu owned grocery
stores), World Baby Foods, MyOrganic Baby, Simply Kids and Healthy
Times. These brands are not available in all regions of the U.S.
Estimated prices for 4-ounce jars: Earth’s Best, $1.39, My Organic Baby $1.19, Wild
Harvest $.99, Gerber $.64, Beech-Nut $.55.
At PRK we encourage you to research multiple baby food options before determining what is
best. There are many great food options available today but not every product
is right for you. Only you know what is best for your baby. If you choose to
buy glass baby food jars, the PRK Universal Baby Food Jar Storage &
Organizer stores up to 16 glass jars to help you be organized. Whether you
purchase glass jars and store them in your cupboard or make your own food and
store it in glass jars in the fridge; our product helps you be more organized.
Toxicworldbook.com, Gerber.com, Pillowrock.com, Thedailygreen.com,
Glassislife.com, cspinet.org, Earthsbest.com, Beechnut.com, Livestrong.com,