Americans are obsessed with food.
We spend hours each day thinking about, buying, preparing, consuming, and storing food. Believe it or not, this food fixation extends to baby food. New parents are often confused by the numerous choices on the market and they drive themselves crazy considering the pros and cons of each baby food brand.
Should they choose an “organic” or “natural” or generic label? Or should they skip the store bought options and try making baby food instead?
There are several benefits to making your own baby food. Here are a few:
In order for baby food to stay fresh on the grocery store shelves, preservatives are added – even in organic brands. The food is also heated to super high temperatures so that it will have a longer shelf life and this treatment can diminish valuable nutrients or change the way the food tastes. When this happens, more preservatives or fats are added to improve the flavor.
When you make baby’s food from scratch, you know it’s free from unnecessary additives or preservatives. You also know just how the food has been handled, so there’s no worrying about overheating or contamination.
Of course, homemade baby food does present a few challenges.
For example, it takes time to plan and prepare meals and many parents are already pressed for time. It may be easier for some folks to swing by a grocery store for prepackaged food than to measure out fresh servings every day.
And there’s the question of storage and freshness, especially since fresh food will spoil faster than packaged food. How do you keep the food from going stale? What do you do with leftovers? Can you make meals ahead of time and store them?
A large number of parents feel that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to making homemade meals for baby. And we’ve noticed that those who use a baby food processor have a much easier and more enjoyable time planning, creating and serving their food.
This is a special type of food processor that has blending blades to whip fruits and veggies into just the right textures for your little one, or milling blades to crush nutritious grains to fine powders. Even if you’ve never used a food processor, most baby food makers come with recipe booklets or offer online resources to teach parents the ins and outs of the appliance.
There are numerous models on the market today, so how do you pick the best baby food maker?
Before you make a purchase, we recommend you take the time to comparison shop and to read baby food maker reviews like the ones below. But first, here are a few things to consider:
Before we share the full story on the best baby food makers on the market, let's take a quick look at some of the most important characteristics.
Baby food maker
Features we love
Buy it now
Magic Bullet Baby
- Makes a week's worth
Cuisinart BFM-1000 Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer
Purees, steams, warms
- Even food distribution cooks food quicker
BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Steam Cooker
Steams, blends, reheats, defrosts
Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step
Mixes and dispenses formula
- Hassle-free formula preparation
BEABA Babycook Pro 2X
Steams, blends, reheats, defrosts
- Patented steam
Philips AVENT Combined Baby Food Steamer and Blender
Now, if you want the full story on this food processors, keep reading!
Perhaps because of the success of the “grown up” Original Magic Bullet, the Baby Bullet Baby Care System is incredibly popular (a top item on baby registries!).
How does the Baby Bullet differ from the Magic Bullet for grown ups?
Well, instead of mixing up pesto and salsas and margaritas, this baby food blender comes with a 3-bowl set and 2 different blades to blend both large and small quantities of baby food to perfection. There’s also a blade that will churn grains into fine, nutritious powders.
Storing baby’s food is a breeze with the 6 date-dial storage cups, a spill proof storage tray and re-sealable traveling cups. Use the Baby Bullet spatula to pour purees into a batch tray with a lid that can be stored in the freezer for later.
Not sure of what to mix and blend? Look to the Baby Bullet cookbook to help plan your meals and to teach you some ways to get the most out of this baby food processor.
For the health food enthusiasts, the milling blade is a bonus! We are in the habit of adding chia seeds to our own meals, and now we can grind them up for baby’s food too!
The Baby Bullet is perfect for the parent who is excited to experiment and have some fun with baby’s food. The extensive storage system allows for planning ahead (just pop mixtures into the freezer for later!) and the multiple blades inspire different combinations of ingredients.
The Cuisinart BFM-1000 is a multi-tasking baby food maker. Not only does it steam, chop and puree food, it also heats bottles to the perfect temperature. The clever technology allows for consistent distribution of heat so food cooks quickly and evenly.
The 4-cup bowl has a tight fitting lid to prevent any steam from escaping. What’s more, the size of the bowl means you can prepare more than one meal at a time. Whatever is leftover can be frozen or put in the fridge for later.
And for the parents who might be struggling to create exciting combinations of food, there’s a handy recipe booklet to get you started!
For more on the ins and outs, check out this detailed video:
We loved that we could warm baby’s bottle while we were preparing food. Not only did this save time, it also streamlined mealtime preparations. It was like having a helper in the kitchen!
We can’t help but think that folks with limited counter space or a smaller kitchen would appreciate this type of all-in-one appliance. There’s no need to pull out several pots and pans in order to make baby’s meals because you can steam and puree baby’s food while you warm a bottle to perfection – all in one place. Certainly, it’s a bonus to have just one appliance to wash and put away.
A meal in just 15 minutes? With a Babycook Pro you can cook fruits, vegetables, meat or fish in no time at all. (This is an especially popular way of cooking since steaming preserves the food’s nutrients.)
The mixing blade allows you to create the perfect texture and there’s even an alert that tells you when the food is ready to eat. You can make almost 5 cups of food at one time so you’ll have plenty to spare for additional meals. If you freeze the leftovers, just pop them back into the Babycook—it will defrost in no more than 15 minutes.
The Babycook’s sleek and narrow design should fit on almost any countertop. The separate components are dishwasher safe so clean up is a breeze.
A word of caution: there is a step-by-step process that must be followed to achieve the perfect puree and, unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky. The food is first placed in a steam basket and then emptied into the blender to be mixed up. Pouring the food from the basket to the blender could be dangerous because the food will produce a cloud of hot steam. Proceed with caution! Of course, one option is to wait for the food to cool down.
We must admit, we love how this baby food blender and steamer look on our counter! Of all the models we’ve reviewed, this one looked the sleekest and most modern while taking up very little space. The color options (grey, mint, latte, white, red) are all equally attractive and would certainly fit in with any established design scheme.
This is perfect for parents who have a bit of extra time to prepare expertly blended food (fruits, veggies, or meats). The Beaba Babycook requires patience (for example, when transferring hot food to the blender base), so it’s not ideal for parents who rush through mealtime.
The Baby Brezza is proof that a little help can go a long way. Sometimes when parents are exhausted or pulled in multiple directions, the last thing they want to focus on is carefully measuring and mixing baby’s formula. That’s where the Baby Brezza comes in: expertly and effortlessly mixing formula powder and water and heating it to the perfect temperature.
Baby Brezza works with most types of bottles and brands of formula and fills 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 ounce bottles. You can store enough powdered formula in the airtight container to make 20 8-ounce bottles and the water chamber holds 50 ounces of water at a time.
The formula and water are dispensed through a funnel that controls the amount of air bubbles that are mixed in. There’s an adjustable tray that fits bottles of all sizes and catches any drips or spills.
The Baby Brezza requires consistent cleaning and cannot be put in the dishwasher. The water container is removable to help with the cleaning process.
Watch this video for detailed instructions:
NOTE: The Baby Brezza is not compatible with Similac Alimentum brand formula (the consistency is too thick for the machinery).
We love that as baby grows and needs more formula, we can upgrade to larger bottles. With just a few adjustments the Baby Brezza will be all set to fill up to an 8 oz. bottle in record time.
With the Baby Brezza, tired or busy parents will become expert multi-taskers. Picture this, while the formula is being prepared, there will be time to do other chores or even just enjoy time with baby!
Need to make more than one meal at a time? Want to make meals ahead and freeze for later? If so, this baby food maker review of the Babycook Pro 2X is probably for you.
Like other baby food makers, the Beaba Babycook Pro 2X can steam and blend fruits, vegetables, meat and fish (and defrost and reheat too!). But unlike others, it can steam on one side and simultaneously blend on the other. In this way, you can prepare 2 meals at once! The double bowl set- up (each bowl is 4.7 cups) is great for larger families or for those who rely on leftovers.
Additional benefits include a versatile mixing blade, an audible alert that sounds when meals are ready, an automatic shut off, a descaling alert (for when the machine is ready to be cleaned), and a detachable cord (to make storage easier).
The fact that we could make 2 meals at the same time (and often have enough for leftovers) and we could do this with just one hand (if we wanted to!) just amazed us. After using the Babycook Pro 2x we felt like we were prepared for the days ahead – with extra food stored in the fridge and freezer that we knew we could defrost or reheat in very little time. We finally felt relaxed around mealtime!
This may be the best baby food maker for growing families. We understand that not all kids like to eat the same thing at the same time, and this clever design allows for 2 separate meals to be made simultaneously. There’s no doubt about it, this is a major time and space saver!
The genius of the Philips AVENT Combined Baby Food Steamer and Blender is in its simplicity. Of all the baby food processors we reviewed, this one is the most hassle free.
The combined steamer/blender has very few parts: the steamer/blender base and jar, blade, and lid. Simply put fruits, veggies, meat or fish into the jar, allow them to steam (wait for the beep!), let cool for a few minutes before flipping the jar over and securing to the base and blending to the desired texture. There are no tricky intermediate steps or superfluous gadgets. Just simple machinery and top-notch results.
The Philips AVENT is ideal for babies who are graduating from smooth foods to chunkier textures. And if you need some inspiration or advice on transitioning to more “grown up” meals, check out the enclosed recipe booklet.
Our only complaint is that the combo steamer and blender relies on 220 volts (European requirements). This is an easy fix, but it does mean you need to purchase a power converter that changes 110v to the necessary 220 v.
We can’t get over the simplicity! In just a few steps, and with very few parts and pieces, you can have nutritious, delicious, age-appropriate food for your little one. If you don’t believe us, check out this video:
Honestly, we think this is perfect for any family looking for simple mealtime solutions. With intuitive steps and an easy clean up, every household with young children would benefit from a combination steamer/blender.
Certainly, the idea of acquiring another food appliance may seem like a not-so-hot idea, but our research shows that a baby food processor is actually a smart addition to your kitchen. If you’re the least bit interested in making nutritious meals for your little one, we urge you to check out the above options. Just think:
Whether you choose a baby food maker with a bottle warmer or one that makes more than one type of food at a time, this ingenious appliance will allow you to approach meal time in a relaxed and inspired mind set. And in this way, you’re showing your child that eating well doesn’t have to be a big production; instead, it can be a positive, fun and memorable time for all.
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