Have you ever made your baby’s food from scratch? It is certainly a labor of love and a great option for some families (but not so realistic for others). When you make homemade baby food, you plan, shop, wash, peel (and maybe steam some of the ingredients), chop, blend, transfer to storage containers and clean up. When baby is ready to eat you serve the food from the fridge or thaw portions from the freezer. See above “labor of love” ;)
For families who don’t have the time or desire to prepare their own, (or can’t make every meal for baby), the most popular option is to buy shelf-stable baby food offered in the grocery store’s baby aisle. Have you ever compared these options to freshly made baby food? They look, smell, and taste completely different… BUT WHY?
Take a look at the freshly blended mango next to the Once Upon a Farm mango. You can see they are the same color and texture. They also have the same nutrition, fiber and taste because our food is cold-pressed using High Pressure Pascalization (HPP). HPP is a cold-pressure technology. After we blend our fresh ingredients, we fill and seal our pouches, then load some of the pouches into the chamber of an HPP machine. The chamber fills with cold-water and the machine presses down on the pouches with pressure equal to 5x the pressure at the deepest part of the bottom of the ocean. This pressure eliminates any potential pathogens and keeps the food fresh with refrigeration for 60 days.
The shelf-stable mango options are duller in color and much thinner in texture. The nutrition is also different. With the shelf-stable choices you are getting pre-processed purees mixed with water. These purees are cooked, blended and stored in barrels then mixed together to make different flavors. Some also have preservatives like ascorbic acid, citric acid and lemon juice concentrate added (which can be harsh on baby’s system). No matter how they are prepared or if they are organic or not, these purees are lacking fiber and nutrition. This is because they have been heated to extreme temperatures 2 or 3 times (which condenses the sugars down to a thin, sugary, unnatural tasting food). This type of baby food is not fresh and has been prepared for long-term storage without refrigeration. They can be made up to two YEARS before your baby eats them.
Food is supposed to go bad. You can’t put a fresh banana or sweet potato on a shelf for 2 years and expect it to be edible. HPP (cold-pressure) allows us to offer fresh food and extend the refrigerated shelf life to two months all while maintining essential vitamins and minerals. Our pouches can also be stored for 6 months in your freezer! For about a dollar more than the shelf-stable options, you are getting real, nutrient dense food for your baby. This is truly the closest to homemade that you can get and a new, fresher option for parents. They are also easy to take on-the-go. They can be left out at room temperature for up to 4 hours, carried in a cooler bag or taken frozen and thawed while you are out.
So here’s to convenience without compromise with ingredients fresh from farm to highchair!