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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.


    Shopping Guide for Best Baby Food Makers

    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 having trouble coming to a decision, you're in the right place — we at BestReviews do all the hard work, so you don't have to!

    To find the best baby food makers out there, we've done mountains of product research, gathered feedback from existing customers, and consulted our child care expert, Kelle.

    When you cook your own baby food, you know exactly what's going in it — this is beneficial for children with allergies, since there can be cross-contamination in many factories.

    Read on for our full guide to baby food makers, which will teach you all you need to know about these products and help you make an informed purchase.

    Then, when you're ready to buy, check out our five favorite baby food makers featured in the product matrix above.

    Kelle
    EXPERT CONSULTANT

    Kelle is a certified teacher, a leader of multiple children’s organizations, and a mother of two small children. Her professional network of colleagues and extensive knowledge of baby/child-related products makes her a valuable resource here at BestReviews. When she’s not caring for children or studying products, you may find Kelle engaging in watersports and other exercise.


    Kelle  |  Teacher and Child Care Professional

    Why Buy a Baby Food Maker?

    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.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some baby food makers double as bottle warmers, perfect for formula-fed babies, or those who take some expressed milk from a bottle.

    Types of Baby Food Makers

    Types

    Food Mill Baby Food Makers

    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.

    Product in Depth

    Product in Depth

    BEABA Babycook

    Choose Your Consistency

    According to BEABA, the Babycook can steam cook any food in 15 minutes or less, even raw foods like meat and nuts. After steaming, the BEABA will then blend/puree the food to a consistency suitable for a baby of any age. (Simply add a liquid, like water or cooking reserve, if the consistency is not to your liking.) Unlike some other popular baby food makers on the market today, we encountered no complaints about chunks of food in the puree. Owners tell us this appliance works much better than a regular stick blender.

    Types

    Bullet Baby Food Makers

    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.

    EXPERT TIP

    To avoid ingredient cross-contamination, invest in a few cutting boards. Reserve one for meat and another for vegetables and fruit.


    Kelle  | Teacher and Child Care Professional
    Types

    Cook and Blend Baby Food Makers

    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.

    Bullet and food mill baby food makers can also be used for basic blending and food processing tasks, and blend and cook models can make small batches of soup, so you can still make use of them once your baby has moved on from purees.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Considerations for Selecting a Baby Food Maker

    Considerations

    Ease of Cleaning

    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.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    You can find baby food makers that come with refillable squeezable pouches, which are perfect for use on the go, or for babies who prefer to eat straight from pouches instead of with a spoon.

    Considerations

    Capacity

    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.

    EXPERT TIP

    Even if the baby food maker you want is ‘dishwasher safe,’ you'll increase its durability by washing it by hand with a mild detergent.


    Kelle  | Teacher and Child Care Professional
    Considerations

    Materials

    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.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some baby food makers have digital or touchpad controls, whereas others use dials. Neither option is inherently better than the other, so just choose whichever you prefer or find more intuitive.

    Considerations

    Consistency

    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 his baby food to get him used to different textures.

    As such, a baby food maker should be capable of producing foods for varying consistencies, from silky smooth to chunky.

    Blend and cook baby food makers tend to have more of a learning curve when figuring out how to use them, compared to more basic models. If you opt for a cook and blend baby food maker, check the cooking time, as some are much speedier than others.

    Staff
    BestReviews
    Considerations

    Durability

    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.

    Product in Depth

    Product in Depth

    Nuk Smoothie and Baby Food Maker

    Space Saver

    The Nuk set comes with a variety of stackable storage cup sizes which make it easy for parents to prepare and immediately stash (or serve) food. It's small, takes up little space on the counter, and includes a sippy cup for added convenience.

    Tips

    • 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.

    Most babies should begin trying slightly lumpier foods around a month after first starting smooth purees, so a baby food maker that can only make completely smooth foods won't have a very long shelf life.

    FAQ

    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 her first solids, you'll probably want to stick to pureeing just one or two fruits or vegetables at a time.

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