“I’m sending you the link now. I’m warning you now: It’s not cute, it’s not eligible for Prime shipping, and I think it ships from Canada, but I’m telling you—this is the one.”

Ugh, no Prime shipping? From CANADA? What was my mother thinking? Not even a cute color?? Why in the world would I buy a baby food grinder?

One simple reason: it works.

This is the very same food grinder that my mom used 30 years ago to introduce my brother and me to solid foods. Before she used it, this little workhorse fed at least five of our hearty cousins, and it was still in perfect condition by the time it made it to my mom’s hands. Nostalgia crept into her voice as she emailed me the link, and she said, “I had to give it back, otherwise I would have kept it to give to you.”

She made me promise that I wouldn’t be lured in by cheap imitations, and I kept my word. I even discovered that I could buy it cheaper if I purchased directly from the manufacturer, so I actually dealt with the hassle of international ordering and shipping to get this thing. I waited impatiently for 3 weeks for it to arrive in the mail (remember a time before Amazon when shipping regularly took that long? What a world we live in now!).

Was it worth it?

Hell yes.

For the cheap and lazy parent, it’s a godsend. A few twirls of the handle and I have homemade baby food! Chicken, corn, raspberries, cheese, stew: you name it, and this little thing will grind it. Some foods require a little more persistence than others (and some turn out better than others), but I have yet to encounter something that it couldn’t handle.

It does have a small capacity, so you won’t be able to prepare large amounts of baby food with this. For those rare occasions when I have enough foresight to do such a thing, I pull out my masher or immersion blender. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I stick baby in the high chair, pull out some fresh fruits, steamed veggies, or a small serving of whatever I’m eating (salmon and broccoli, anyone?) and voila! Twenty seconds later, it’s mealtime.

I even like that the grinder leaves some texture in the purees, because it helps my baby learn how to do some preliminary chewing and introduces him to new textures as well as new flavors.

It’s also super easy to clean, because there are only a few parts and no sharp blades (a big pro for someone with a pathological fear of chopping off all their fingers in a food processor).

It’s not flashy or cute or trendy, but it works. And at the end of the day, that all I really want from my baby products.

If only it came in a cuter color…

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