The Best Baby Food Makers
We all want the best for our children—especially where nutrition is concerned. While store-bought baby food is not to be sniffed at, homemade meals offer a healthy, cost-effective alternative. But if you’re not a culinary whizz, don’t stress! A baby food maker can help. These nifty kitchen appliances vary in capability, but most models steam and blend ingredients to make fresh, tasty baby food.Not sure what features to look for? To help you make a smart choice, we’ve come up with a list of the best baby food maker options that make cooking for baby as easy as pie.
In this article:
Do you need a baby food maker
Benefits of a baby food maker
What to look for in a baby food maker
Decided to bypass jars and pouches in favor of homemade grub? In theory it may seem simple, but making food from scratch can be time-consuming (not to mention messy). Fortunately, the best baby food makers streamline the process. These multi-functional appliances have the ability to steam, chop, puree and warm food at the press of a button. On the other hand, if you’re a competent cook and already have a wide array of kitchen gadgets (think: a steamer, immersion blender and food processor), you may not need a baby food maker.
So when should you start introducing solids to baby’s diet? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for the first six months of baby’s life. Once baby has doubled their birth weight (at around 4 months old) they may be ready to try solid foods. Remember to start slow and introduce ingredients one at a time. A baby food maker can help ease this transition, as you can whip up small batches of fresh, tasty purees in a flash.
While a baby food maker certainly isn’t a necessity, these appliances do offer a lot of benefits to home chefs.
Cost effective. While baby food makers can be pricey, they can save you money in the long run. How? Store-bought baby food and delivery services are expensive, especially if you opt for organic products. By purchasing fresh, seasonal ingredients and cooking large batches of baby food at home (pop any you won’t use in the freezer) the cost per portion reduces dramatically.
You control the ingredients. By making baby food at home, you’ll have full control over the ingredients used. This is helpful if you are gradually introducing them to new flavors or if baby has an allergy.
Greater control over the quality and quantity. With a baby food maker you can serve up the perfect meal every time as you have full control over the settings. Plus, you can reduce waste by figuring out the perfect portion size for your little food connoisseur, and freezing any leftovers.
Not sure what to look for when choosing a baby food maker? Here are a few key features to keep in mind.
Easy to clean. Opt for a baby food maker with dishwasher-safe attachments as they’re easier to clean. Models with multiple parts may be harder to clean as food can get stuck in the nooks and crannies.
Settings. Choose a baby food maker that’s equipped for your family’s needs. Some high-end models can steam cook ingredients to preserve the nutrients, before blending, chopping or mashing them to your desired consistency. If you’re after a simple, budget-friendly device, manual food mashers and grinders work well.
Efficiency. Short on time? Some baby food makers work faster than others, but many options can prepare food in twenty minutes or less.
Cost. Baby food makers range in price from around $20 for a basic manual model to $180 for an appliance with all the bells and whistles. Before making a purchase, think about how often you’ll use it.
Size. Some baby food makers take up a lot of precious countertop space. Our advice? Check the dimensions and weight guidelines before you buy.
Ready, steady, cook! Here find eight of the best baby food makers for every need, from manual models to take on the go to multi-functional countertop devices.
Overall best baby food maker
If you’re looking for a top of the line gadget, the Beaba baby food maker pretty much sets the standard. It steam cooks vegetables, fruit, meat and fish using a process that preserves nutrients, before blitzing the blend to your desired consistency. All in as little as 20 minutes! And thanks to the dishwasher-safe glass mixing bowl, there’s limited cleanup involved. What’s more, it can be operated with one hand for those days when baby won’t let go. Is it any wonder this pick is a Best of Baby award winner? Pro tip: Keep your eyes peeled for the new Beaba Babycook express, which prepares meals in 15 minutes or less.
- This device can be used to steam, blend, defrost and reheat baby food
- Large 4.5 cup capacity mixing bowl is dishwasher safe
- Pulse feature gives you greater control over food consistency
- High price point
- Some parents report that small pieces of food get stuck beneath the food processor blades
Best one-step baby food maker
Making healthy, home-cooked meals is a breeze with the Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker. At the press of a button the Baby Brezza steam cooks and automatically purees your chosen ingredients, freeing you up to multitask. It has the capabilities to blend to a fine puree, thick mash or soft chunks, depending on where you are in the weaning process. The four-cup bowl is perfect for making a single meal or several servings at once. For the perfect portion size, pick up a set of the reusable pouches that make it easy to store leftovers.
- One step function, automatically steams and blends ingredients
- Steam tank is fully accessible for easy cleaning
- Bowl and blades are dishwasher safe
- Blender blades are very sharp
Best baby food blender
For high-powered processing capability, nothing beats a NutriBullet. But did you know the iconic brand makes a baby food maker too? The Baby Bullet Blender makes quick work of the thickest, chunkiest fruits and veggies. (You’ll want to cook them first if baby isn’t ready for raw food yet.) This baby food blender comes with more than a dozen accessories, including a batch tray with lid, six date-dial storage cups and a recipe book. The best part? All components, bar the motor base, are dishwasher-safe for quick and easy cleanup.
- Powerful blending capabilities
- Storage containers included
- No steam function
Best manual baby food maker
Is your toddler ready for grown-up food, but can’t sink their teeth in just yet? Make home-cooked food easier to digest with the OXO Mash Maker Baby Food Mill. It may be simple, but this manual baby food maker offers a quick and easy way to prepare chunky purees and finger food. The portable set includes a mashing tool with teeth designed to fit between the ridges of the matching bowl, so that you can extract every last morsel.
- Affordable price point
- Masher collapses into two parts for portability
- Teeth on edge of masher help scoop food out of bowl
- Not suitable for hard veggies or raw meat and fish
Best immersion-style baby blender
If you’re short on counter space but still want one of the best baby food makers, consider this model by Sage Spoonfuls. The two-in-one immersion blender and food processor, is powerful enough to blitz fresh produce, meat, fish, nuts and grains—but small enough to tuck away in a kitchen cupboard. For fine purees or thick mash use the blender tool and for soft, chewable chunks try the food processor attachment. Either way, you can easily control just how chunky or smooth baby’s food is going to be.
- Affordable price point
- Compact design
- Blend single portions or use it to prep large batches of baby food
- No steam function
Best compact baby food maker
Next up on our list of the best baby food makers, is this smart gadget by BabyCozy. At half the size of a regular food processor, it takes up minimal space but still offers tons of great features. With two steamers (one layered on top of the other), you can safely cook raw meat and vegetables in separate containers at the same time. Better yet, you can use the steamer to gently warm milk or to make perfectly fluffy rice. Meanwhile, the four blade blender effortlessly cuts through food to create silky, smooth purees. And the self-clean function will save you from the tedious chore of washing the blender after every use. Bonus: You can even use it to make homemade nut butter!
- Auto-cleaning function
- Dual steamers allow you to cook two ingredients at once
- Smaller than most countertop food processors
- High price point
- Not great for batch cooking
Best baby food maker for batch cooking
The Babymoov Nutribaby is another all-in-one workhorse that steams, blends, defrosts and even has an option to warm and sterilize bottles. It has a double steamer basket on one side and a high-powered, three-speed blender on the other. The best part? Thanks to a large capacity bowl, it can make up to one week of fresh and nutritious food in a matter of minutes.
- Large 9 oz. capacity bowl
- Multi-functional model steams, blends and defrosts food
- Doubles as a bottle warmer and sterilizer
- High price point
- Large footprint
Best baby food mill
Last up on our list of the best baby food makers is this manual model by Green Sprouts. A hand-turned crank squeezes food through a sieve separating seeds and skins, to make a yummy puree. To serve, simply scoop it out or dish it up directly from the wide-mouth bowl without taking the mill apart. It’s a great portable option if you want to make fresh food on the go.
- Separates skin and seeds
- Made from food-grade material
- Not suitable for raw meat and fish or hard fruit and vegetables
- Only makes a single serving
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