Choosing the Best Baby Food Maker (2017 Guide & Reviews)
Prepping the right food for your baby is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.
Without the right tools, however, it can also be one of the most frustrating things—a time-consuming project that’s filled with unexpected challenges that seemingly exist to try your patience.
A good, sturdy baby food maker is specifically designed to remove the unwarranted stress from this crucial yet potentially aggravating procedure.
Of course, even though these products are designed to make your life easier, the sheer amount of product out there means there’s some work for you to do to find the right one.
So which are the best baby food makers out there?
Baby Food Maker Reviews
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.
What we like
- 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.
Things to be aware of
- 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 (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.
What we like
- 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.
Things to be aware of
- 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.
What we like
- 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.
Things to be aware of
- 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.
What we like
- 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.
Things to be aware of
- 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.
What we like
- 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.
Things to be aware of
- 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.
Baby Food Makers and Homemade Baby Food
A baby’s transition from breast milk or formula to solid foods is a huge transition. After all, this progression essentially means that baby is ready to handle more complex foods featuring more complex ingredients.
In the case of pre-made food options, this could mean some weird stuff that sounds like it came straight out of a laboratory instead of a garden.
The best way to combat this could be to skip the pre-made stuff and make your own baby food at home. Indeed, there are several benefits to creating homemade baby food, which is why purchasing a quality baby food maker can be an important purchase.
Advantages of Homemade Baby Food
The primary benefit that you get from making your own baby food is that you know precisely what you’re feeding your baby. On a bigger picture, this gives you complete control over your baby’s diet, which could ultimately give you peace of mind. From a parenting perspective, this sense of calm shouldn’t be overlooked.
This sense of control also extends to your own personal preferences and choices. For instance, you’ll not only know the type of fruits, veggies, and other foods are going into your baby’s mouth, but you’ll also get a firm grasp on the quality of those products. This eliminates the potential worry of your baby is getting inferior food.
The economic angle of homemade baby food can also be a key advantage for some. Pre-packaged baby foods can cost a pretty penny, and you may find the ingredients needed to make the food yourself to be much cheaper. With that being said, this may not necessarily be the case in some situations where high-quality, “artisan” foods are being bought.
Finally, making homemade food gets your baby used to eating the same food that your family is eating. The only difference, of course, is that the food they’re eating is in puree form. This concept may pave the way for your baby to not be as fussy of an eater down the road.
Disadvantages of Homemade Baby Food
While making food at home for your baby does have plenty of advantages to consider, it’s important to note that the process is not 100% foolproof. There are a few aspects to the procedure that may be construed as a disadvantage.
For instance, creating homemade baby food can be time consuming. Remember, making this type of food isn’t a simple matter of throwing a few ingredients in a blender and hitting the puree button. Essential steps like prepping the ingredients, measuring the results for proper serving sizes, and packing the leftovers take time to do correctly.
The fact that you’ll have leftovers leads to another potential disadvantage—storage. Homemade baby foods could spoil quickly without refrigeration, which means you’ll have to find room in your fridge or freezer. This may be a challenge, particularly if you have a large family in the first place.
A lack of convenience is another issue that may crop up. Taking care of a baby is rewarding, but it is hard work. Simply picking up the pre-packaged stuff may end up giving you a touch of ease that is oftentimes so elusive during this phase of your child’s life.
With this being said, you may find that these disadvantages are completely dwarfed by the health and control-fueled pluses that are at the heart of making your baby food at home. If anything, with the right baby food maker, some of these disadvantages may not seem all that difficult to deal with.
What Do I Do With a Baby Food Maker?
At the most basic level, a baby food maker takes ingredients and reduces them to a puree. However, the beauty of making homemade food with a baby food maker is that you have the power to make food that is anything but basic.
For instance, there is a wide host of homemade baby food recipes that you can use to ensure your baby is enjoying meals that are well beyond the one-note stuff that’s oftentimes found in pre-packaged fare. These recipes are great because they serve to showcase the endless possibilities your baby can enjoy with a baby food maker.
Because these recipes have flavors that are familiar and consistent with “grown-up” flavors, they can serve as the groundwork to growing your baby’s palate over time. The flavors present in these homemade foods are the real deal.
As any adult that’s ever sampled baby food can tell you, this is not always the case with pre-packaged stuff.
A Pathway to Good Health
It should also be noted that a baby food maker and its ability to help you produce homemade baby food provides a direct connection to providing your baby a healthier diet. This isn’t just because you have complete control of what goes into your baby’s body. It’s also because helps you protect your baby from the sneaky stuff that’s in pre-packaged food.
Store-bought baby foods tend to be loaded with salt and sugar, which at first glance is obviously a bad thing. But the stakes that are associated with the presence of these additives are much higher than you may think.
A baby’s palate and taste preferences are developed at an early age. If you’re feeding baby food that’s packed with salty and sugary tastes, his or her palate will get acclimated to those kinds of flavors, and a “taste” for them is developed.
This could set a slippery slope as baby grows up, one that could make it easier to develop poor eating habits.
Protection and Teachable Moments
When you think about it, getting a baby food maker to make homemade baby food isn’t just a cool tool. It can actually be an important conduit to helping your baby develop into a happy, healthy child. If you drill down even further, the machine could act as an electrical extension of some of the parental instincts you already have.
For instance, parents have inherent protective instincts when it comes to their kids—it’s just part of having children. By using a baby food maker to make baby food at home, you’re shielding your baby from developing the kind of bad dietary habits that is an utter plague in modern society. It may not look like protection, but it absolutely is in the long run.
Making food in-house also provides a conduit for you to teach your children about the breadth of food at a young age. By making them aware of different flavors, and helping them nurture an appreciation for them, you’re less likely to have a fussy eater on your hands down the line.
You may even develop a burgeoning little foodie in the process.
What to Look for in a Good Baby Food Maker
As we covered above, there are a lot of baby food makers on the market, and each of them have various whistles and bells that help them differentiate from each other. Before you go out and purchase one, though, you should be on the lookout for a few basic elements that will be part of any worthy machine.
First and foremost, a proper baby food maker should be easy to use. You’re not worried about making gourmet stuff with a baby food maker, so a good product will get the job done with just a few, logical steps.
Efficiency is also a big deal when it comes to a baby food maker. While you don’t need a machine that’s lightning-fast, you’ll want on that purees quickly and effectively, with enough size to make a sufficient amount of food. This latter component should not be overlooked, lest you get stuck with having to repeat the puree process multiple times.
Finally, you should use common sense tactics like you’d typically use when buying any appliance. Read reviews to see if the machine in question is reliable and effective, and talk to family and friends to see if they have personal experiences.
Doing so will eliminate a lot of unwanted surprises that may otherwise manifest.
We like the Cuisinart Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer because it’s chiefly concerned with getting the job done and getting it done well. Sure, it may be a bit cute to have an item in your kitchen that looks kid-friendly, but there’s probably enough of that motif going in your house elsewhere.
The combination of efficient design, bowl capacity, and versatility shows why Cuisinart is practically its own subset of appliances. It delivers a consistently solid, dependable baby food making experience.
Considering the rest of parenthood can be so unpredictable, this touch of consistency is a nice thing to have.