Yumi Baby Food: Everything You Need to Know
Have you heard of Yumi?
Yumi is a food delivery service for babies, available at helloyumi.com. All of the food is nutritious and healthy. It is all vegan, nut-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. And it’s all organic and non-GMO. There’s an impressive variety of grains, vegetables, fruit, and plant-based protein. Typical ingredients include spinach, kale, quinoa, sweet potato, squash, and beans, as well as some more unexpected ones like spirulina, amaranth, buckwheat, and chia.
It’s great for babies eating pureed foods and for those eating chunkier blends, but not quite ready for table food yet. We wish we had discovered it sooner!
How Yumi Works
You choose the number of jars you want each week: 6, 12, or 24. (Technically, the options are 5, 10, or 24 jars, but you get a free jar with the 5-jar option, two free jars with the 10-jar option, and 4 free jars with the 20-jar option.) Each jar contains 4.5 ounces of food.
The menu changes each week, and each week it consists of twelve different items: six single-ingredient jars and six blends. You can choose the jars you want in your box, but you must choose in multiples of two.
Alternatively, you can choose the Starters Only package (all of the single-ingredient jars on the menu) or the Variety Pack (all of the blends on the menu). The Starters Only is aimed primarily at younger babies just starting out on solid foods.
There is also an option for a package specific to your child’s age (in months), which includes food that best serves his or her nutritional and development needs at that particular age.
While the menu changes every week, in our experience, at least some of the menu items cycle back through after a few weeks. We were relieved to see some familiar items come back through after a few weeks.
What We Loved About Yumi
This one is obvious. You get pre-packaged meals, ready to be served. What might not be so obvious is that the meals can be served hot OR cold! It really doesn’t get any more convenient! Yumi takes care of the entire meal planning and meal preparation process from beginning to end. Meals are planned to optimize nutrition and taste, and they are prepared using really high-quality ingredients.
2. Flexibility in Creating Menu:
We loved being able to customize the size of our delivery (how many jars of food) AND the menu items we received. (Although we didn’t take advantage of it, you even have the option of NOT choosing your menu items, opting instead for a pre-selected box.) Not very many services give you this much control.
We typically picked a combination of both blends and starters. The blends served as ready-to-go meals for us. But we also liked having single-ingredient jars that we could mix with other ingredients at home to give D’s menu even more variety.
We found that each week, there was some overlap in ingredients on the menu. This made it easy for us to introduce D to new foods and rule out allergies. Although it probably wasn’t necessary since Yumi doesn’t use any common allergens in its meals, we wanted to stick with the usual “three day rule” for introducing new foods. Here’s an example of how we approached this. In one delivery, we jars of kabocha squash and we jars of “kabocha buckwheat”, which had kabocha squash, cinnamon, flaxsweed, buckwheat meal, banana, dates, and wheat germ oil. We introduced the kabocha squash by itself three days in a row (feeding him half a jar for each of the first two days), and then on the fourth day, gave him the kabocha buckwheat blend.
3. Food is Delicious!
I tasted them myself 😉 The blends were so thoughtfully put together and they introduced D to a lot of new flavors, textures, and combinations. We really appreciated this, because we want to raise a good, health (and non-picky) eater. The meals were basically baby gourmet meals, and we felt good about serving them.
The geniuses at Yumi have a great handle on nutrition and infant development. It truly is, as their website says, super food for super babies! The meals are balanced as far as macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), and there is a rainbow of fruits and vegetables (which, based on my non-professional understanding, means that there is a variety of vitamins and nutrients represented). Yumi seems to have approached preparing meals in a very scientific way, down to the specific nutrients each ingredient offers and how those nutrients benefit a growing baby’s development. And it looks like they work with a nutrition experts (a registered dietician, an MD and a PhD). I am in awe at how much thought went into coming up with such highly nutritious meals.
5. Diversity of Flavors:
Yumi goes far beyond your typical baby (or for that matter, adult) food. It’s so much more than say, carrots, spinach, and apples – not that those aren’t great, but there is a wiiiide world of deliciousness out there, and Yumi does a fantastic job exposing babies to that world! We subscribed to Yumi for about three months, and in that time, D was introduced to: Millet, Amaranth, Chia, Coconut Milk, Beets (his favorite!), Spirulina, Dragon Fruit, Dates, Japanese Sweet Potato Wheat Germ Oil, Flaxseed, Chickpeas, and even some spices (ginger, nutmeg).
6. Great website content:
There’s even a blog with recipes to try, including a series of baby and me recipes, which are great for babies and adults. The website nicely complements the service Yumi provides by promoting a lifestyle of health. Not only have the amazing food deliveries inspired me to incorporate more “out of the box” foods in our meals at home, but the recipes on the blog make it easy to make a delicious, healthy meal for everyone.
7. Smart and Environmentally Friendly Packaging:
The jars are all labelled with a (easy-to-remove) sticker that identifies the meal and its ingredients. On each label is a small, color-coded circle. Each week’s delivery uses a different color, so you know right away if you’ve had a jar sitting in the fridge for too long. Each of the jars has a lid and an inner seal. You can just pop the jars straight into the freezer, and they freeze well; we had zero issues with freezer burn. The jars are very good quality and totally reusable. You can also re-use the ice packs that keep your food fresh during delivery (we used them on our road trip to Disneyland!). The boxes and jars are recyclable.
8. Cute, thoughtful touches:
Our first package came with a board book (which D loves) and a cute canvas zipper pouch. Our last delivery came with a mini poster which read “I’m 14 months”, and on the reverse side, it explained some of the nutritional benefits of some of the foods we were receiving.
What We Didn’t Love
Ultimately, we decided the relatively high price was worth it for us, but we were initially a bit wary. The cost is between $3.75 and $5.83 per jar (4.5 ounces each). So they are more expensive than Gerber, Beech-Nut, Sprout, or anything you’d find at the grocery store. And significantly more expensive than preparing meals at home.
We felt we definitely got what we were paying for, though. We weren’t just paying for convenience; we were paying for quality, nutrition and taste. The ingredients are fresh and come in combinations you can’t find at a store.
I compared the price of Yumi to the cost of buying ingredients, plus the cost (in terms of other things I could be doing with my time) of the hours I’d spend peeling vegetables, chopping, steaming, and pureeing food. Yumi won. And if we factored in the superiority of Yumi food (in terms of both taste and nutrition), it was a landslide victory for Yumi.
I also compared the price of Yumi to in-store options. When buying premade food, we were careful to pick items that consisted only of real food. No added sugar, coloring, or unnatural preservatives. We found that with store-bought food, there wasn’t much of a variety, either in ingredients or texture (most was pureed to an almost juice-like consistency). We felt that the higher price was more than justified, given how much more we were getting with Yumi.
2. Delivery Issues:
During the three months we used the service, we had at least three delivery mishaps. Once, we did not get the jars we ordered (half single-ingredient jars and half blends), and instead we got single-item jars only. Yumi refunded us half the price, which was totally fair, but I was sad we missed out on the mixes since they are always so good! And on two occasions, we did not get our delivery on time, and they came two days late, which was a bummer because I was counting on the deliveries and didn’t have meals ready. The late delivery may have resulted in another problem: we didn’t get the menu items we had selected. Customer service was very responsive and they fixed the issue. But, three delivery problems in a three-month period seems like a pretty high rate of error.
3. Limited Geographic Availability:
When you head to the website and try to put together an order, the first thing you’re asked for is your zip code, so that you can confirm that Yumi delivers to your location. As of November 2017, Yumi delivered to all of California, as well as parts of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Washington.
4. No Toddler Food:
This is the biggest bummer for us! We are so sad we didn’t discover Yumi sooner. By the time we found Yumi, D was just about to grow out of eating pureed meals. And as he neared the one-year mark, we were finding that the 4.5-ounce jars just weren’t big enough a meal for him. I’m hoping Yumi expands their offerings to food for toddlers and kids!
All in all, our family really loved Yumi. Although D is well into table food now, we plan to still order a box every so often to mix things up. We highly recommend this wonderful service!