Parents across the globe are jumping on the baby food making trend, opting to create their own meals as opposed to buying the store-bought stuff. It offers them the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what ingredients have gone into their baby’s first foods, as well as the ability to pack in all of the healthy food and herbs they want.
Store-bought baby food can contain a ton of preservatives and sugars that your little one shouldn’t be ingesting. Sure, there’s more work involved in the process, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to feed your child fresh, nutrient-rich meals.
Is this method the right one for you? Here’s everything you need to know about DIY baby food, as well as the best baby food maker models out there.
Baby food maker FAQs
You’ve got questions, and we have the answers. Here are some of most frequently asked questions parents have about food makers.
Is a Baby Food Maker Necessary?
Not at all, but there are plenty of benefits in making your child’s food. Nothing terrible is going to happen if you keep using the store-bought jars.
Are There Warranties or Money Back Guarantees?
Most of these processors have at least some type of warranty. Each company is different, so there are no guarantees. Always make sure to read whether or not there are any warranties or money back guarantees before buying one.
Are Baby Food Makers Easy to Clean?
This is a common dilemma among parents. Fortunately, most aren’t any harder to clean than a blender. Look for models that are dishwasher safe to make things easy on yourself. You have your hands full already!
Does Motor Speed Matter?
Not when buying processor specifically designed to make baby food puree. Some models come with multiple blending speeds, which can come in handy for meats. However, all of them can churn food into gooey goodness.
Does It Have to Be Called a Baby Food Maker or Can It Be a Different Name?
They come with all kinds of names from baby food maker to meal station. So long as it specifies that the device makes baby food, you’re good to go.
Will a Food Processor or Blender Work?
Absolutely! You could do everything by hand and still be able to make delicious meals for your baby. Food processors and blenders will work just fine, but baby food makers are designed to make the process as simple as possible.
How Should I Store Homemade Baby Food?
Once it’s made, stick it right in the freezer. Keep anything you plan on serving your baby that day in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Homemade Baby Food Last?
You can keep your baby food in the freezer for up to 3 months while still retaining its nutrient value. All you have to do is move the desired amount of food into the fridge the night before, and it’s ready to serve when you need it. Consider an ice cube tray to easily divy up baby food for the perfect portion every time.
Different Types of Baby Food Makers
As it turns out, there are hundreds of models on the market that have their own way of turning regular food into creamy baby food. Here are the methods a device might use.
Baby Food Masher
Simplistic by design, baby food mashers utilize the same concept as mashing potatoes by hand. There’s usually a bowl and a masher, and you just have to crush away until the food reaches the desired consistency. NUK makes an incredibly popular model.
Baby Food Mill
Kind of like a crank-handled pepper grinder, baby food mills churn food into something a baby can eat. Place the food in, turn the handle, and you’ll eventually have exactly what you’re looking for.
Baby Food Steamer
These are combo steamer and blender models. The benefit of steaming food is that it retains its nutritional value. Most of these devices also feature nifty push-button controls and timers.
Hamilton Beach offers a digital food steamer that you could use in combination with one of the mills or mashers above, but Babymoov’s Duo Meal Station takes the cake in high-end steamers.
Baby Food Blender
Blender models act like food processors, turning anything you put inside of them into a nice puree. They’re simpler to use than steamers, but usually, come with fewer features and might require you to cook a few things beforehand (like meats).
Baby Food Squeeze Station
Squeeze stations are meant to be used in combination with other food makers. They allow you to pour pureed food into a tube, squeeze it into a handy pouch, then screw the lid on the pouch and store it for later. Infantino makes a highly rated squeeze station, and it comes with everything you need to get started.
How to Make Baby Food
After picking out your ingredients, which can be any food you would like to feed your baby, start by washing and peeling any produce. Chop all of your ingredients into 1-inch sized pieces, then steam them in either a steamer or pan on the stove.
From there, you place the steamed food inside of a processor or blender and keep mixing until there are no chunks of food left. Ideally, you want the same consistency as store-bought cans.
For meats, make sure to fully cook the food first. It is also a good idea to strain the food through a fine-mesh strainer to make sure no solids are leftover.
That’s all there is to it! Make sure to store your baby food in a sealed container to keep it fresh.
Best Baby Food Makers
We’ve scoured the web for baby food maker reviews to pull out what we consider to be the top five on the market today. Here’s what we like the most.
Babymoov Duo Meal Station
This is the fancy, high-end model of baby food makers. You can steam, defrost, heat, and blend your food with ten different programmable functions, as well as heat and sterilize bottles. Best of all, this thing can make a ton of food at once to save you time.
BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Steamer
The Babycook Prol features one-handed controls for simple use while combining multiple features into one. It creates a large portion (4.7 cups) of food to save time, tears through tough food items and has several safety features to ensure the perfect meal every time.
Cuisinart BFM-1000 Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer
Cuisinart is a highly trusted brand for all sorts of kitchen appliances, and their baby food maker is another excellent product in their lineup. This nifty device can handle every aspect of the baby food making process while warming a bottle of milk/formula at the same time. Plus, there are a number of handy tools included. All of these features come at an incredibly lower price compared to other brands, like the Beaba Babycook Pro.
Baby Brezza Glass 4-cup Food Maker
If you know Baby Brezza, you must be familiar with their popular Baby Brezza Formula Pro. Well, this Baby Brezza Food Maker is just as impressive. It’s 4 cups capacity is just enough to make the entire unit of decent-size, so it doesn’t take up too much space. Also, this machine is the only all-in-one blender and steamer that utilizes a heavy duty glass bowl, taking Baby Brezza ahead of other brands.
How Baby Food Makers Save Money vs. Buying Baby Food
While purchasing your personal best baby food maker might be an initial investment, it certainly saves money down the road. When looking at store-bought organic options, you can expect to pay around $1.40 for Gerber brand. Non-organic comes in a little cheaper at roughly $1.10.
If you were able to squeeze two servings out of each jar, organic would cost 70 cents a serving while non-organic would cost 55 cents. Not too bad regarding food costs but opting for a little DIY action can save you even more.
Purchasing a nice mix of fruits and vegetables might look like it costs more upfront, but just one small sweet potato can eight servings of food! On average, homemade organic costs around 40 cents per serving while homemade non-organic costs a mere 23 cents. Either way, making the food yourself is cheaper than buying non-organic food from the store.
If your baby eats four servings a day, that’s 1,460 servings a year. Would you rather pay $803 for store-bought non-organic or $584 a year to feed your little one fresh, organic produce?
How the Best Baby Food Maker Was Selected
When I made these baby food maker comparisons, I took a number of different things into consideration. I’m a mom with little ones myself, and their health and well-being come before anything else.
At the same time, I’m a MOM. My life is incredibly stressful, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. That being said, a food maker that can save me time while staying easy to clean is a blessing.
I pull from my own experiences as a mother, as well as from other parents’ experiences and the reviews I can read online. They say it takes a village, but I think it takes a mother’s intuition and every other mother on the internet to help make the best decisions.
When picking out a best baby food maker, I took all of these things into consideration to pull out what I felt were the best options out there for mothers.
Tips for Buying the Best Baby Food Maker
There are a few things you’ll want to consider before buying a baby food maker. Some of the top aspect to look at are:
Baby food maker buying tips
Other Relevant Products to Buy for Your Baby
You might want to pick up a few additional items for your baby food maker. Take these add-ons and helpers into consideration.
Pureeing food is a messy process, and you never know what might get stuck on the side of a mixing bowl or underneath a blending blade. To ensure that the entire food making process is safe and healthy for your baby, knowing how to sterilize baby products is always a good idea.
Not a necessity, but baby silverware is made to be safer for their little mouths than regular silverware. You don’t have to worry about them chewing on it, and they’re a lot easier to clean if dropped on the floor. These tend to make life just a little bit easier, aside from being absolutely adorable.
Have you ever watched a baby knock one of your dishes to the floor? No one wants to clean up that mess, which is why they make baby plates and bowls. Picking up some plates and dishes is an excellent way to ensure that nothing gets broken and no one gets hurt.
If you’re a fan of plastic containers with sealable lids for your own leftovers, then you’ll love these. It’s the same concept but made smaller to fit tiny servings of baby food puree. They’re safe for your fridge and freezer, giving you an easy way to store baby food after you’ve made it. If you’re up for portability, try purchasing some squeezable food pouches.
Hopefully this buyers guide helped you to decide what the best baby food maker was for you. If we missed any tips or other of the best baby food makers that you’ve used then please leave a comment below!