There’s a lot to consider when you’re ready to introduce solids to your baby—for instance, some parents might decide that making their own baby food is a good choice for their family. Not only does it let you get involved in your baby’s nutrition, but you also have the chance to save money by making your own baby food.
So, how exactly do you go about making your own baby food? Well, of course, there’s a gadget (or two for that. Thanks to the boon in the popularity of making your own baby food, along with some troublesome findings about the potentially dangerous ingredients in some baby foods, there are some excellent baby food makers on the market. As always, Truly Mama is here to give you the ins and outs of some of the best. Read on to find out which baby food maker is right for you.
What is a Baby Food Maker?
Mechanically, a baby food maker functions much like a food processor. Often, they are smaller, providing a platform for one-two cup portions and food blend varieties. Many baby food makers will steam and then puree, making them a one-step, universal kitchen appliance perfect for making baby food.
When shopping for a baby food maker, you will want to compare these four categories: capacity, settings, price, and ease of cleaning. Capacity is key as it will reveal whether you can make single portions, enough the food for a few days, or make larger quantities suitable for freezing some. Next, check the settings: will it steam and puree all in one appliance or will you need to prep veggies separately? Of course, price is a consideration seeing that baby’s eat purees for a relatively short season. And finally, it’s essential to know what you are getting into when it comes to cleaning—look for simple parts with no crevices that are dishwasher safe or easily rinsed and cleaned in soapy water. You don’t want to invest time and energy into making food and then find yourself spending an equal amount of time and energy cleaning up from your endeavors.
If you are looking to save money on baby food and enjoy creative time in the kitchen, a baby food maker is definitely up your alley. Plus, it’s really nice to know exactly what your little one is gobbling up at meals. But, remember, as with so many elements of motherhood, you don’t have to go in 100%. It is absolutely acceptable to dabble in baby food making: buy some food, make some food, and enjoy the process of learning a new skill along the way.
Is My Baby Ready for Baby Food?
Introducing food is one of baby’s first big milestones, and an exciting one at that. What food will they try first? Will they like it? How much of a mess will occur?
Despite it being a super fun milestone in your baby’s life, don’t rush the baby food experience. Once little ones begin eating solid food, the weaning process has officially begun, and thus, that first bite is also a true sign of growing up. Make sure your baby is ready for baby food by checking off all five of these essentials before introducing purees and other beginner food options:
- Baby is about 6 months old
- Baby can sit unsupported
- Baby has grown out of the infant tongue thrust reflex and thus doesn’t push food out of their mouth when offered a bite
- Baby can pincher grasp; exhibited by picking up things between their thumb and finger(s)
- Baby shows interest in food
And speaking from personal experience, don’t worry if your baby is older than that much discussed six-month window for introducing foods. There is definitely a range of normal for introducing solids. Sometimes it is a little younger, sometimes a little older. One of my babies wasn’t interested in food at all until he was almost nine months old. Just keep in touch with your care provider as you embark on the milestone of food and flavor; they will be able to guide you based on your individual baby’s needs and address any concerns you may have.
Now, let’s talk baby food makers, shall we? If you’re interested in taking the plunge into making your own baby food, try your hand at one of these baby food makers.
The Best Baby Food Makers
When it comes to prepping your baby’s meals, it’s essential to think through the process and time you will be committing to this endeavor. With the BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Cooker ,you are given an efficient timeline without sacrificing quality or space. The BEABA Babycook’s bowl base holds 4.7 cups, which is a proper amount for a single serve flavor or blend of baby food. You can also steam cook veggies and proteins in the same cup and leftovers can be stored in the fridge or freezer and then defrosted and reheated in the BEABA Babycook as well. From start to finish, nutrient-dense meals are possible in less than 15 minutes thanks to the BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Cooker.
It’s also reassuring to know that BEABA has been in the baby food genre of products for over two decades now. In addition to the Babycook, they offer a full line of food preparation, storage, and feeding accessories. They are definitely an expert when it comes to baby food, so it’s no wonder they have a compact, yet effective, and beautiful appliance available to families embarking on their baby food making journey.
Get to know the Babycook:
- Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 9.5 inches
- Appliance weight: 4 pounds
- Capacity: 4.7 cups
- All-in-one cook and steam
- Eight colors
- 15 minutes from prep to serving
“Simply amazing and easy way to prepare fresh food for your baby. At the phase when she was discovering food, we would give her pouches from the supermarket. But now she has her own tastes and an important part of it is that she wants quality food – as fresh as possible. With this babycook we can also give her from our own dinner and it takes less than 5 minutes.” –yordanova, Amazon review
As far as cons go, be aware that with this baby food maker (and all others), it is crucial to clean it well after each use to prevent mold growth. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and you will be set!
Pureed carrots anyone? Sure, you can pop a jar of carrot baby food from the grocery store or you could pop fresh carrots in the Baby Brezza Baby Glass Baby Food Maker and have homemade puree in just minutes! With one button action, the Baby Brezza will steam and blend said carrots and all you have to do is spatula it out, serve, and tidy up. Best of all, the Baby Brezza Glass Baby Food Maker is easy to clean. Both the glass bowl and the blade are dishwasher safe and the water reservoir can be completely removed for cleaning and disinfecting.
Baby Brezza Features:
- Dimensions: 9.75 x 7.5 x 9 inches
- Appliance weight: 8.25 pounds
- Capacity: 4 cups
- Steam and blend in one step
- Glass food prep bowl
- 10 minutes from prep to serve
“I have three children and I’ve made their own food each time. When seeing this product I honestly assumed it was “gimmicky” and not worth the hassle. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much time this saved me. I used to either bake, steam or boil the veggies and then blend….now I can remove an entire step with this machine. And with three children—that is immensely helpful. Not gimmicky at all. Entirely useful. –Mrs. Heter, Amazon review
Some reviews stated that the cooking times are a bit off when it comes to how long you should steam certain veggies. But, just like all recipes, there is a little trial and error. Give yourself patience and grace and you learn the art of baby food making.
If you are hesitant to add another counter appliance to your repertoire, the OXO Tot Food Masher is the perfect baby food maker for you. It compactly nests itself—masher inside of bowl, plus a lid—and is ideal for travel, small kitchens, and/or minimalists. Do keep in mind that the foods your mash will need to be soft. For instance, bananas, avocados, beans, and previously steamed vegetables are all great choices. Once you have your chosen food, place a small amount in the OXO Tot Food Masher and with the bowl’s ridges and masher’s teeth grind to an appropriate texture. Add a bit of water or breast milk to create a smoother puree for younger babies, or leave as is for those who are starting to get the hang of a thicker, more textured consistency. To clean, simply disassemble the masher, and pop all items in the dishwasher.
OXO Tot Details:
- Dimensions: 5.2 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
- Appliance weight: 6.72 ounces
- Capacity: about ½ cup
- Mashes already soft foods
- BPA free
- Perfect for on the go
“It’s a must have when introducing solids to your baby, especially when they can eat chunkier consistency! We use it every day and it can mush everything that is soft naturally (bananas, avocados, berries) or is cooked to be fairly soft (as it should be for a baby anyway!). Obviously, it will not make some of the food perfectly smooth as a regular high speed blender but it definitely does its job for when baby is okay with a bit of texture!” –Agnieszka, Amazon review
Remember, this baby food maker option is not electronic. It will not automatically steam or puree foods. Instead, it just helps you mash soft foods by hand. So the OXO Tot Food Masher can be the perfect tool for trying out baby food making before investing in a larger appliance or if you’re only looking for a simple appliance. OXO also offers a Baby Food Mill which is one step up from the masher and one step below a plug-in baby food maker.
With an LCD screen, the Babymoov Duo 6 in 1 Meal Station XL allows at-home chefs to wow their little ones by prepping up to 32 portions in each cycle. This means you can meal plan for your baby once a week, prep all their food, portion out and save for easy, quick meals. The first step is to utilize each of the three steaming trays. Next, you put to use the liquid retrieved during steaming (there are nutrients there!) into the blender along with the steamed food. Then, blend! Whether it be fruit, veggies, meat, or fish, you have the capability to prepare single flavor meals and delicious blends. The Babymoov baby food maker comes in two sizes: classic (2 steamer baskets and 9 cup capacity) vs. the XL (3 steamer baskets and 12 cup capacity). If your goal is to fill your fridge and freezer with a stash of homemade baby food, go with the XL, it gives you that much more flexibility in meal prepping multiple servings.
- Dimensions: 10 x 15.55 x 14.05 inches
- Appliance weight: 9.06 pounds
- Capacity: 12 cups
- 6-in-one design
- Available in both a Classic and XL model
“I purchased this food processor 2 months ago with the intention of making baby food. Store bought food is so expensive and I wanted to know what I was putting in my baby’s food. Little did I know that I would be using it EVERY DAY. I use it to blend fruits and veggies for my 7 month old, but also steam veggies/hard boil eggs for my husband and I. This little machine can do it all (and can do it quickly)! Most fruits and veggies steam in under 20 min. The best part is that it is super easy to clean – just stick everything in in the top rack of the dishwasher. And boom you’re done! I’m contemplating making this my go to “registry” buy for new moms!” –Amy, Amazon review
One con to be aware of is that, currently, it seems that replacement parts are not available for the Babymoov, so be careful while handling.
The Nutribullet Baby Food Prep System comes with everything you need to start making purees for your baby. It’s a sweet and simple system that takes you from prep to storage. The storage containers even have dated rings to help you track what was pureed when. Wholesome, fresh baby food comin’ right up! The Nutribullet Baby can also be used to make and serve homemade smoothies; a great next step when baby’s transition to more toddler foods. Now, if your hope is to first steam foods you will need one extra appliance: the Baby Bullet Turbo Food Steamer. But, if I were you, I’d start with the Nutribullet Baby Food Prep System. See if that suffices your needs before adding another appliance to your kitchen.
Need-to-know notes on the Nutribullet:
- Dimensions: 11 x 5.4 x 5.2 inches
- Appliance weight: 2.3 pounds
- Capacity: 10 and 32 ounces
- Perfect for quick mini meals
- Prep to freezer capabilities
“This product is amazing…After hearing that my daughter was underweight every single checkup, I was in despair trying to figure out how to get her to eat more… She is a wonderful eater in that she will try lots of different foods, however she only eats a small amount of that particular food…The Nutri bullet enables me to mix many different proteins, vegetables and Fruits together to make sure she is able to eat a balanced meal. I love the cute little jars that help you to determine how much food to give your baby each meal…” –Happy Mommy Happy Baby, Target review
For a true all-in-one system, the Nutribullet Baby Food Prep System is the way to go. You not only get the appliance, but all the storage containers you need. And, if you need more, you can purchase additional storage containers, including reusable pouches, to pair with the Nutribullet Baby Food Prep System.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which baby food maker is best?
We love that the Baby Brezza Glass Baby Food Maker offers a glass base to reduce plastic use and has convenient features for your baby food making days.
Do you need a baby food maker?
If you are embarking on making your own baby food, a baby food maker can make the experience easier. And of course, don’t forget the baby silverware and tableware too!
Is homemade baby food better than jarred?
Homemade and jarred baby food both offer sufficient nutrition for babies who are weaning from their mother’s milk or formula and both come with pros (like fresh food, controlling your ingredients) and cons (time-consuming and may be more costly). It’s up to you to decide what works best for your family.
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