Yum! How to Choose the Best Baby Food Maker (2017 Guide & Reviews)
Mmmm, baby food.
It's your little one’s first introduction to all things yummy in this world.
As a new mom, I often pondered the need to make my own baby food versus buying it from the store.
I can honestly say I have done both in regard to baby food.
And, as someone who has sheepishly tried both, nothing tastes as good or as natural as home made.
Ready to try it?
Then you need to buy the best baby food maker.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about whipping up organic baby food.
Serving your baby homemade baby food is important because it boasts numerous nutritional benefits.
For one, your baby receives many more nutrients. These nutrients are essential for growth, hitting milestones, and fighting off illness.
In some respects, it can even keep your baby at a healthier weight, which carries on through toddlerhood.
When you serve your baby commercial baby food, often times, the baby food is cooked at a very high temperature (also known sterilization).
This process kills most vitamins and nutrients in addition to taste, color, and smell.
So, after a week or two of serving my son prepackaged food, I thought to myself, “What’s the point?”
It was easy and fast, but I just didn’t feel right about cheating my son out of the good stuff he needed.
No, absolutely not.
I can’t name a baby who didn’t grow and thrive off of a pouch or jar of food.
But, with so much evidence pointing toward how beneficial it is, I’d strongly suggest that a mom at least try to make their own once or twice before ruling it out!
After all, making your own baby food can boast a lot of benefits.
And, when you have the right machine to help you, it’s beyond a snap.
Homemade baby food has many benefits.
Better Taste & Less Picky Eating
In addition to housing many more nutrients, it tastes much better. So, your little one will be more excited about eating.
Babies who are given homemade baby food are also more likely to try new foods in general, and will learn to appreciate a wide variety of textures.
And, when your baby is exposed to various textures early on, they will have an easier time transitioning to table foods. If you want a less picky eater, then homemade baby food is the way to go.
Plus, you can feel good about feeding your baby at each meal because you are using better quality ingredients because you can select non-GMO items and avoid dangerous pesticides.
You also bypass lots of additives and fillers that end up in commercial baby food, and that your baby just doesn’t need. You’re the one who’s making the food, so you know exactly what is going on it.
You also use plastic containers to house your baby food, rather than toss each pouch or jar away.
This cuts down on waste and is better for Mother Earth.
The average American baby will consume around 600 jars of baby food in their early years, and the average cost of baby food is about $1.50 per pouch.
So, you do the math!
When it comes to downsides, making your own baby food is first and foremost time consuming (but not if you have the right device).
It can get expensive since you’re shopping for top-notch ingredients (but your baby is worth it, right?).
And, it can go to waste if it’s not eaten right away or frozen properly.
Homemade baby food does have a much shorter shelf life than anything sealed in a jar.
In addition, it’s not as convenient if you’re traveling.
While prepackaged baby food can be taken with you anywhere (and usually doesn’t need to be refrigerated), homemade baby food can be difficult to store, takes up a ton of space in your fridge (or mini-fridge in hotels), and may spoil in midst of transport.
Making your own baby food isn’t difficult at all—it just takes some getting used to.
You can follow a recipe or get creative and toss in different spices and herbs once your little one gets the hang of eating solids.
In general, here are some of the major steps you need to take in order to make your own.
First, prepare your produce. It needs to be washed, baked, boiled, or steamed, depending on what you’re preparing. Everything needs to be peeled, pitted, or even strained.
Next, puree the food in a your baby food maker. It’s a good idea to add some liquid at this stage (like breast milk, water, or even formula) depending on the age of your baby. You’ll need less liquid as they grow.
If you’re preparing grains, they need to be grinded down, and thinned out.
If you’re preparing meats, they should be trimmed, skinned, and blended in with other veggies, since meat can be an overwhelming taste and smell for a baby to take on, solo.
You can also consider using a fork to mash up solids, like bananas or avocado. These soft food items need little to no preparation, unless your baby is very small and just starting out. Then, follow the directions for produce above.
After your foods are prepped and prepared, it’s time to add the little extras that help develop your baby’s taste buds.
You could experiment with rosemary, basil, parsley, and salt, sparingly. Cinnamon is also a favorite among babies, so don’t be shy about tossing it into mashed sweet potatoes, carrots, and even applesauce and other fruit dishes.
The final step to making your own baby food is ultra-important—storage. Home made purees will only last several days in the fridge, and up to three months on the freezer. That’s it!
So, don’t over do it when you’re cooking, plan accordingly so you don’t have more food than you know what to do with.
Some methods for storing foods are small lidded containers or ice cube trays. These allow for perfect portions and are easy to thaw out or heat up.
If you’re totally a novice, it does pay off to visit different websites to download recipes and get used to the step-by-step process until you get in the swing of things.
You may even wish to keep an eating guide on hand, so you know when to expose your baby to certain foods, and how.
There are a number of baby food makers on the market to assist you in your quest to make the most perfect baby food.
And, some are much better than others.
The main choice you need to make when selecting a baby food maker is whether you are going to splurge on an all-in-one machine that does absolutely everything for you, or a manual machine that requires you to steam it before pureeing it.
In my opinion, the all-in-one machines are a much better value because they save you so much time!
A good baby food maker should have the following features:
- Easy to clean. You do want a machine that is easy to break down and put in your dishwasher. This makes cleaning super convenient, especially if a lot of different parts needs to get sanitized. Something that is also smudge-free is a must, since you’ll be wiping it down quite a bit.
- Sturdy. If you’re going to invest your money into a machine, you want to get a lot of bang for your buck. So, shop for something that’s made of unbreakable materials. The last thing you need is pieces of your device getting cracked and shredded up into your baby food.
- All-in-one feature. As stated above, for most moms, it’s a no brainer. Choose a machine that does pretty much everything for you so that you don’t have to.
- Steamer function. This helps preserve nutrients, locks in flavor, and makes the food taste better.
- Sold as a set. Many baby food makers are sold with storage containers that are compatible with the unit. Also, some are sold with travel packs and additional replacement parts. So, it pays to shop around and see what you can get with each baby food maker.
Cuisinart is one of those rare products whose market presence has practically made its brand name a category unto itself.
However, their Baby Food Maker (click here to check the price on Amazon) doesn’t rest on name recognition alone. Part baby food maker, part bottle warmer, this machine is built for efficiency and durability.
- Solid versatility. The Cuisinart Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer lets you know what it’s capable of just from its name alone. The device is also capable of steaming and pureeing in the same bowl, which adds greater efficiency.
- Efficient design. This machine comes equipped with a lot of state-of-the-art components designed to bump up efficiency. Elements like a steam blade and a bowl seal get high marks for moving the cooking process along at a nice clip.
- Big bowl. The Cuisinart Baby Food Maker has the capacity to make 4 cups of food at once, a nice perk that helps making a massive amount of food more efficient.
- It’s a touch cold and impersonal. Don’t expect this baby food maker’s design to make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. This is a machine that’s built for efficiency, which you may find a tad disappointing if you’re looking for a device with character.
- Not easy to clean. Some parents have noted that the baby food maker is lacking efficiency in the cleaning department. They cite certain areas of the machine as being difficult to get to, such as the steam compartment.
The Baby Bullet Care System (click here to check the price on Amazon) is an offshoot of the Magic Bullet food processing unit, with the thought that you wouldn’t have to use an “adult” machine to make your baby’s food.
The product’s use of the word “system” isn’t lip service, either: you get a 20-piece set to make the process move efficiently.
- You get more than a blender. Obviously, the blender is the main component here, but the Baby Bullet also comes with other pieces to make the baby food making process smoother. This ranges from special utensils like spatulas and storage cups to a cookbook and a nutritional guide.
- Special equipment designed for baby food prep. Some of the equipment are built to make certain tasks like ingredient management and making homemade oatmeal easier. This could be a great feature for those that are a bit nervous about “cutting” grown-up recipe ratios.
- Cute design. Some consumers really appreciate the Baby Bullet’s smiley-face design. The childlike aesthetic does add a nice touch of mirth that may make using it enjoyable.
- Durability. Some users have mentioned that the Baby Bullet isn’t as sturdy compared to other models. This could be a red flag if you plan on making a massive amount of food for your baby.
- Limited speed. There are not a whole lot of whistles and bells to the Baby Bullet. This includes the blender’s speed, which only has one speed setting. This does tend to slow down the food making process a bit.
- No steaming component. The Baby Bullet doesn’t have a steamer. This could be a deal-breaker for those that are looking to steam baby’s food prior to the pureeing process.
This BEABA Babycook (click here to check the price on Amazon) is built with versatility in mind. The compact device functions as a steamer, a blender, a warmer, and a defroster.
This extra functionality makes it possible for you to exclusively work on creating food for your child while keeping the need to use grown-up materials to a minimum.
- Keeps baby food prep independent. Because the BEABA Babycook can do so many things by itself, it can be used as a stand-alone device a lot more often than other baby food makers. This could be relevant to those looking to keep cross-contamination between baby food and adult food as low as possible.
- Compact, counter-saving design. Despite the fact that the BEABA Babycook completes a lot of tasks in one setting, it isn’t a bulky machine at all. It won’t take up a whole lot of counter space, which is good if you don’t have much counter space to share.
- Comes with a recipe booklet. The booklet helps you use this device in more ways than one. This can be a handy guide if you get stuck on figuring out exactly what to make.
- Inefficient to clean. While the BEABA Babycook is dishwasher safe, some consumers point out that the device isn’t easy to clean. It’s recommended that you do a monthly deep cleaning on the device, which may be considered too much of a hassle for some.
- Water and food collection. Some people have noted that the device tends to collect water and food particles in its reservoir over time. It’s also noted that this reservoir is not the easiest to clean.
- Plastic build. The BEABA Babycook is designed from plastic, making it a little less sturdy than machines built from stronger materials.
Steaming is a popular way to cook baby food, primarily because doing so tends to allows the food being served to retain the most nutrients possible.
As such, a baby food maker like the Baby Brezza (click here to check the price on Amazon) may be an attractive option, because it allows you to steam the food to a set length of time before the puree process begins, making for a nice steamer and blender combination.
- All-in-one design. The Baby Brezza’s ability to steam and puree in one fell swoop does eliminate a step that would otherwise elongate the baby food making process. What’s more, the ability to adjust the steam time on the device makes the steaming process more consistent.
- A solid time saver. The Baby Brezza does tend to get high marks from consumers for its ability to help shave time off food prep. Considering how hectic life with a baby can get, this could be the one metric that stands out the most.
- Efficient, counter-saving build. Even though it steams and purees, it doesn’t need a whole lot of room to execute these multiple tasks. This could be an important things to keep in mind if you don’t have a whole lot of counter space in your home.
- Durability issues. Some parents have expressed concern about its overall sturdiness. The biggest shared concern is found in the device’s water reservoir, and its coating’s tendency to flake off and make its way into the food.
- No accompanying storage. Unlike some baby food makers, the Baby Brezza doesn’t come with additional storage food containers to help you store the food. This could be an issue of you plan on making larger batches of baby food.
- Created batches are small. The Baby Brezza’s bowl has the room to hold just 2 ½ cups of food. This may make it a bit difficult to work with if you’re planning on making a great deal of food in one setting.
The Lil' Jumbl Baby Food Maker (click here to check the price on Amazon) does some pretty advanced functions, including stuff that doesn’t have anything to with baby meal prep.
In addition to steaming, warming, blending, and reheating, the device is also designed to easily sterilize bottles.
- The capacity to multi-task. The Lil’Jumbl MealPro Baby Food Blender is built with two steamed baskets, which allows you to cook or reheat two foods at the same time. This can make the task of making baby food move a whole lot quicker, particularly if you’re making more complex recipes.
- Advanced settings. The machine’s built to handle two blending speeds and two steaming settings, has digital timer and function controls, and can defrost and sterilize standard and wide-neck bottles. This wide range of functionality may put it on par with grown-up blenders.
- Large food prep capacity. The Lil’Jumbl's dual basket design makes it possible to prep a larger amount of food than other blenders. This could be important if you’re looking to make large amounts of food at once.
- Potential overkill. You may not need the extra whistles and bells the Lil’Jumbl comes with. This is especially the case if you’re just looking to prep simple items.
- Non-intuitive design. Some parents have noted the design of the two steam baskets makes it difficult to work with, to the point that some eschew the use of the second basket altogether.
- Subpar instructions. Some parents have noted that the device doesn’t come with the greatest instructions in the world. As such, you may have figure a couple things out on your own.
Making your own baby food is a wise choice.
Not only is it better for your baby, it’s good for the environment since it cuts down on waste.
The right baby food maker has awesome features that makes your life a lot easier, and this healthy option for your child achievable.
Consider some of the features mentioned above when shopping for the perfect baby food maker, and feel happy and confident knowing that you are keeping the best interest of your baby in mind!