Disclaimer: This article doesn’t constitute medical advice and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that parents speak with their pediatrician about the best baby food options.
Yumi is a subscription food service with a unique twist: it’s targeted to babies (well, mostly to their parents). The brand suggests that their products are healthier than regular baby food because they’re whole-foods based and free of harmful additives.
But is Yumi really healthier than regular baby food or are these just marketing claims? What ingredients do their meals contain? Do they use non-toxic containers? And how do real parents rate and describe Yumi?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Yumi Meals and Yumi Vitamins based on medical studies to give our take on whether they're healthy or not. We'll also explain if the containers they use are non-toxic, which is an important consideration because babies are at higher risk from chemicals leaching into food.
We'll feature real, unsponsored Yumi customer reviews and compare the ingredients in Yumi to commercial baby food brands.
Are Yumi Meals Healthy?
Yumi’s meal subscriptions come in a variety of different “Stages” based on the baby’s age. The simplest meals, called "Stage 1," are single-ingredient purees of nutritious foods like blueberry and adzuki bean. The pureed format can be easier for babies to eat than solid foods.
For toddlers and older children, Yumi offers meals with multiple ingredients. A meal from "Stage 6" is called Carrot Sweet Potato Combo, and contains the following ingredients: butternut squash, sweet potato, broccoli, carrot, nutritional yeast. This meal is high in nutrients, providing 60% of the Daily Value (DV) of potassium and 20% DV of calcium in only 70 calories.
We find it impressive that Yumi makes fun and tasty meals so nutritious. A meal from the final Stage is called Pizza Bite, which sounds like it would be full of processed ingredients.
But instead the ingredients are all organic whole foods, such as organic mushrooms and organic ground flax.
Every Yumi meal is entirely whole-foods based without any added sugars or harmful filler ingredients. This is especially important for children, as developing bodies are more sensitive to environmental contaminants.
We believe that Yumi meals not only provide significant nutritional value, but also contain an impressive range of different food products. It’s healthier for a developing child to eat a wide range of different foods than a few repetitive meals, because it can create a healthy gut environment and better overall nutrition.
A medical review published in the Journal of Nutrition found that increased dietary diversity in children led to improved nutritional status and increased height.
Are Yumi's Containers Unsafe?
Yumi's meals are packaged in plastic containers, which the brand claims are bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS)-free.
As we detailed in our extensive BPA review article, we don't believe that these designations are healthier because medical studies have shown that BPA alternative plastics are often just as toxic and hormone-disrupting as BPA.
The entire class of chemicals used to make plastic soft (calls plasticizers) is estrogenic and hormone-disrupting, and the risk of exposure to these chemicals is especially high for babies based on medical research, because their body has limited capacity to clear environmental toxins.
We do understand that there are reasons to make baby products plastic (like the safety risk of dropping a glass product), but we would like to see Yumi explain exactly what type of plastic they use for their bottles and the safety research backing that choice.
We’re not suggesting that Yumi food containers are necessarily unsafe, but we do recommend that parents try to limit plastic exposure as much as possible during the early years of their child’s development.
Feeding your child organic fruit and vegetable purees from a non-toxic container like ceramic or glass may be a healthier option than Yumi.
Real, Unsponsored Yumi User Reviews
A YouTube creator named Tiffany Durrah reviewed Yumi baby food including an unboxing, a close-up of some of the meals and a taste test with her baby:
A TikTok user named Olena Kryvoruchko shares a clever way to reuse leftovers from Yumi meals for a snack for your baby:
@lenadenisenko BABY FOOD LEFTOVERS? Try this👉🏻 #babyfood #babyfoodleftover #leftoverschallenge #leftoverhack #lifehacks #yumi #yumibabyfood #yumifood ♬ original sound - Olena Kryvoruchko
Yumi vs. Regular Baby Food
The ingredients in popular infant formula brand Similac are shown above.
As you can see, the ingredients list is vastly more complex than Yumi. While it is free of any questionable additives like preservatives, it's certainly more "processed" than Yumi. Does a baby really need high oleic safflower oil in their diet? Would this have been in a baby's diet before industrialization?
We consider Yumi to be healthier than Similac and similar commercial baby food products, but only a pediatrician can say for sure what's right for any individual child.
It's worth noting that baby food brands like Gerber sell similar products to Yumi: fruit and vegetable purees without any harmful additives packaged in plastic.
Yumi Vitamins Review
Yumi sells a line of gummy vitamins based on age.
The Toddler vitamins are whole foods based, which we believe is a safe and healthy choice for young children.
The vitamins contain nutritious ingredients like black currant and broccoli, and provide a significant amount of vitamins and minerals based on their Supplement Facts label.
Natural flavor is the only questionable additive ingredient. A 2004 medical review reported toxicity concerns regarding some natural flavoring agents and their metabolites.
As we discussed in our vitamins for teens article, we haven't come across much medical research suggesting that vitamin supplementation is necessary for children who are already eating a healthy diet. If a child has a nutritional deficiency based on bloodwork results, then vitamin supplementation to fix that deficiency is often recommended, but taking general multivitamins may be a waste of money.
Overall we consider Yumi Vitamins to be healthier than regular multivitamins that use synthetic vitamin blends, but we're not sure that most children need vitamin supplements.
Pros and Cons of Yumi
Here are the pros and cons of Yumi baby food in our opinion:
- Whole food ingredients
- Healthier than commercial alternatives
- Relatively affordable
- Good online reviews from parents
- Whole food based vitamins
- Packaged in plastic
- Vitamins contain natural flavoring agents