Easy to use. Reliably free of mold (unlike some other steamers on the market). Prepares a wide variety of foods quickly and easily. Steam cooks, blends, and reheats in 15 minutes or less.
Parents love this system's pour spout as well as its dial system that helps you track freshness. Includes a variety of accessories including storage cups with date ring lids and a silicone freezer tray. Batch bowl and cups are made of durable, non-toxic, BPA-free plastic.
Machine sometimes struggles to handle thicker vegetables or chop grains.
Easily mashes cooked foods and soft fruit into puree. Non-slip grip, base, and turning handle for ease of use. Creates even consistency and allows liquid to be added as desired. Sturdy stainless steel grinding plate and blade. Dishwasher-safe.
Works best on extremely soft foods. Meats and harder vegetables may not process well.
Options to steam, blend, or combine both functions. Creates a range of textures from smooth purees to more chunky meals. Automatic timer for setting steam and blend times. Compact and easy to clean with dishwasher-safe components.
Some wish the steamer had a larger capacity for bigger batches.
Easy one-handed operation with quality steam heating system and stainless steel water reservoir. Two large-capacity bowls for steaming two batches simultaneously. All-in-one system that steams, blends, and defrosts.
The quality and great features of this model are reflected in its higher price point.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Starting your baby on solid food can be a big enough task without the added stress of worrying about what's in the commercial baby food you buy. Many parents opt to cook their own baby food, and a dedicated baby food maker takes some of the hassle out of this chore.
Once you've decided to purchase a baby food maker, the next step is figuring out which model is right for you. With a wide range of products on the market, each with its own features, pros, and cons, trying to sort the good from the not-so-good can be a little overwhelming.
If you're still on the fence, let's examine some of the reasons you might like to buy a baby food maker.
Baby food makers aid you in cooking healthy meals for your baby, with no added flavorings or preservatives.
Cook and blend baby food makers will save you time over making your baby food by hand.
A baby food maker will save you money in the long run, compared to purchasing jars of baby food.
If you're concerned about the environment, a baby food maker will lessen the amount of waste you produce, because there's no packaging with homemade baby food.
You can give your baby a more varied diet when you make your own baby food, since you have a limited amount of choices with commercial recipes.
Food mill baby food makers are like miniature food processors or blenders. They may be electric or manually operated.
Pros: Simple to use, generally have quite a small footprint, so they don't take up too much counter or cupboard space, and they’re relatively affordable.
Cons: Too large to make single portions of food effectively, and you have to cook the ingredients separately before use.
Price: $20 to $50.
Bullet baby food makers are like personal blenders for babies, and come with a number of small blending jugs that double up as storage containers.
Pros: Great for making and storing single or small portions. They come with a range of blending containers in various sizes, and are easy to use.
Cons: Ingredients must be cooked separately; not great for making large batches.
Price: $50 to $70.
Cook and blend — or "all-in-one" — baby food makers can deal with the whole baby food making process, start to finish. Just add the raw ingredients and start it up.
Pros: Makes cooking baby food practically effortless, saves time, and it’s good for large batches.
Cons: All-in-one models tend to be fairly large, taking up more counter space. They won't cook small batches effectively.
Price: $80 to $200.
Parents are busy enough as it is, without spend time tediously cleaning a baby food maker with lots of awkward nooks and crannies in which food residue gets stuck.Not to mention, hard to clean models could become unhygienic, breeding bacteria in those tucked away corners.
Check that your chosen baby food maker is easy to clean, with parts that can easily be removed from the base to wash.
The capacity of your chosen baby food maker is important, as it dictates the portion sizes you can make. If you know that you only want to make single portions in one go, or a day's worth of food, opt for a unit with a smaller capacity.
On the other hand, if you want to batch cook recipes and freeze them for future use, you'll want a baby food maker with a large capacity.
Bear in mind, however, that babies only eat a small amount at each meal, so even a large-capacity baby food maker will be smaller than a regular adult-sized blender or food processor.
Most baby food makers are made from plastic. This can be an issue for parents who are worried about Bisphenol A (BPA) leaching into their children's food.
While there's not yet any concrete proof that BPA is bad for your health, it is a controversial subject, and it definitely does leach out of plastics that contain it, into your food and drink. Therefore, you might want to select a model that's BPA-free, just in case.
When babies try their first solids, most parents opt for completely smooth purees to avoid the risk of choking on lumps.
However, your little one won't be eating purees forever, so you must gradually increase the lumpiness of their baby food to get them used to different textures.
As such, a baby food maker should be capable of producing foods for varying consistencies, from silky smooth to chunky.
A well-constructed baby food maker could last you many years to come, which is perfect if you're planning to have more children, or if you simply want to use it for non-baby-food purposes.
A flimsier model might be cheaper, but you get what you pay for, since it's likely to give up the ghost much more quickly.
There's also the risk with a not-so-durable model that a part could break off and end up in your baby's food, which is potentially dangerous.
To keep the most nutrients intact, steam any ingredients rather than simmering them, as some nutrients get lost in the cooking water.
Always thoroughly wash and peel any fruits and vegetables before cooking — babies are more susceptible to the bacteria in soil than healthy adults are.
Use an ice cube tray to freeze very small portions of baby food, then you just need to pop out one or two to defrost.
You may find that you can use the same ingredients you're cooking for your own dinner to make baby food, minus any salt and seasonings, assuming you're using fresh produce rather than processed foods.
Q. Are baby food makers easy to use?
A. Most baby food makers are very straightforward to use. Some may be slightly more complex, but you shouldn't have trouble getting to grips with them, as long as you read the instruction manual first.
Q. Do baby food makers come with any accessories?
A. Some baby food makers come with a range of storage pots or spatulas for scraping down the sides of the bowl. These kinds of accessories can be very useful if you don't already have them. You're likely to need a large number of storage pots, especially if you plan to make large batches of baby food, then freeze it in single portions.
Q. Where do I get recipes for making baby food?
A. Some baby food makers come with a recipe book or leaflet to give you some ideas. You can also find a huge variety of baby food recipes online. However, when your baby is trying their first solids, you'll probably want to stick to pureeing just one or two fruits or vegetables at a time.