Sainsbury’s Little Ones has launched a brand new food offering for babies from first tastes through to 12month + hearty kids meals. It seems a natural fit for a supermarket that has long been a producer of ingredients and ready meals to get in on the act when it comes to baby food, surely they must the the ones with the gusto to make a great job of it! Three years in the making and the range definitely looks good – it includes vegetable purees, cereals, savoury meals, and for the big kids, chilled ready meals.
The new range has been developed with the support of nutritionist Fiona Wilcox, a well-respected food advisor and writer. It’s recommended that Little Ones range have been designed to ‘complement home cooking’, quite a nice statement as I think it can be overkill to suggest we wean babies wholly on shop-bought pouches and products. Likewise, I know parents need a break so I am not advocating only organic, natural, vegan homemade options either, I just think it’s nice to have a balance and options without feeling bad or guilty for your option of choice.
Sainsbury’s have clearly been busy working on a lot of new products and there are even more in development with some exciting new additions scheduled for later over the summer.
Starting off with the babies, and the range has a selection of root vegetable purees, ideal for introducing single tastes and new foods into their diet before you get too experimental with blending flavours. Increasing with age, at the six month mark the range gets a bit more varied with Fish Pie and Leek Casserole blend before getting more mixed and, dare I say, borderline exotic with a Lamb Tagine and Lentil and Chickpea Dahl.
The theme of Indian and Asian inspiration is quite apparent in the range as it introduces more spices and zingy combination with a few different curries, including my favourite that I sampled, a pretty tasty Katsu Chicken Curry.
It can be hard to review baby food when their taste buds are ten times more sensitive than ours, and they are too young to give you any constructive feedback. The best method is simply watching them feeding away, which we did with our little taste panel who were quite happy to oblige and woofed down the pouches.
The consistency of the products is well matched to the suggested ageing. The food flavours and combinations are fairly typical of others you will find on the supermarket shelves, particularly the first stages of food, however there creeps in some interesting and nice twists of familiar ingredients as you get to the older foods such as the Cauliflower and Butternut Mac n Cheese and BBQ Pulled Pork with Sweetcorn Rice.
Chatting with some friends and discussing the colourful packaging, there’s a consensus that the pre-existing general awareness with Little Ones through their nappies and wipes via Sainsbury’s provides a familiarity and confidence in an established supermarket-own brand produce. My husband and I consider a Sainsbury’s £10 Meal for 2 a Friday night treat and perhaps these products are the same to our little ones, if the silence of the four babies aged six to nine months sucking away is anything to go by, then quite possibly!
Price point, they come in a little below the average. I don’t tend to find baby food great value for money if I am honest, definitely not compared to the DIY cost of a few vegetables; however, the mess and timing factor can make them more of a convenience that is often worth its weight in gold so it’s not always about the cost.
A great addition to the Little Ones range, long overdue by Sainsbury’s but better late than never, and you know that when you do your Sainsbury’s weekly shop that the shelves will always be well stocked. Looking forward to seeing what is added to the range over the coming months!