Ask a bunch of moms if you need a baby food maker and be prepared to get some strong opinions, both for and against. But have no fear, we’ll help you with the answer. Read on to find out if a baby food maker is right for your family and which brands we recommend.
photo: life is fantastic via Unsplash
Why Some People Love Their Baby Food Maker
1. Making your own baby food is cheaper than buying store-bought baby food, and more environmentally friendly since there are fewer jars and pouches to throw away.
2. You can control exactly what your child is eating, making sure you give them a variety of nutrients and limit sugar, salt and preservatives. You can cook up fruits, veggies, meat and fish in your baby food maker, with any herbs and spices you like.
3. By pureeing foods that the rest of the family eats, you introduce your child at an early age to flavors they’ll be eating as they grow up.
4. Baby food makers are built with busy parents in mind. Some operate one-handed, and they have timers so you can set them to steam or blend and walk away until the food is ready to eat.
5. They have more longevity than you might think. You can use your baby food maker even if your child doesn’t eat baby food purees. Use it to steam veggies or make mashed potatoes or applesauce for your baby or the whole family. You can also use it to reheat chilled foods.
Why Some People Skip It
1. Buying, washing, chopping, steaming, pureeing and storing baby food takes time, and not everybody has that. You also need to carve out time to clean the baby food maker and the reusable containers you store the food in, as well as planning out your menus and finding baby food recipes.
2. Baby food makers are usually compact, but they’ll still take up space in your cupboards or on your countertop.
3. If you spend a lot of time outside your home on errands or adventures, you need to find a way to pack and refrigerate the foods you bring with you and heat them up when it’s time to eat. Store-bought foods are often shelf-stable and you can buy more as you’re out living your life.
4. If you already have a steamer and a blender or immersion blender, you can perform the same functions of a baby food maker, just with a bit more clean-up since baby food makers let you steam and blend in the same container.
Three Baby Food Makers We Love
BÉABA Babycook Baby Food Maker and Blender, $149.95
This powerhouse prepares up to 4.7 cups of food in 15 minutes or less, so you can bulk-cook or prepare food like soup or applesauce for the whole family. In addition to steaming and blending, you can defrost and reheat foods to a comfortable temperature for baby. The unit can be used one-handed if you’re holding your baby, and it comes with a spatula, mixing lid/smoothie filter and a recipe booklet. The Babycook Neo ($249.95) comes with a glass bowl and stainless steel basket and holds 5.2 cups of food.
Baby Brezza Glass Baby Food Maker, $98.99
The Baby Brezza has a 4-cup capacity and three modes: steam, blend, or steam automatically followed by blending. For convenience, you can steam and blend in the same glass bowl without any transferring. It comes with a spatula and recipe book.
Tommy Tippee Quick Food Baby Food Maker, $65
This compact, budget-friendly option lets you steam and blend up to 7 ounces of food in the same container for convenience. There’s also an included basket you can steam in if you want to remove the steaming liquid and blend up a chunkier puree for your child.
—Eva Ingvarson Cerise