When it’s time to bring your baby around to solid food it can be troublesome having to pick up so many jars and dishes. There’s always the question lurking around the mind of new parents of whether or not these shelved foods are genuinely healthy as well, so you have hassle and worry added on top of all the stresses of being a parent. This is where making sure you have the best baby food maker around can come in handy.
If you’re in a hurry, we invite you to take a close look at the BEABA Babycook, which we feel is one of the best on the market despite the seemingly high price. It’ll let you do all of your cooking of vegetables and fruits without having to switch appliances as well.
On the other hand, there are a ton of these handy little devices out there and if you’re looking for something which will be a genuinely great fit for your home then you’re going to want to read through our top picks to make sure that you get the perfect match for your home and lifestyle. Let’s dive right in, and then we’ll guide you in making sure that you have the best option for your home.
The BEABA Babycook is probably the best baby food maker on the market right now. It combines all of the right qualities into a compact, durable package. Just be aware it’s a pretty pricey appliance.
Top 5 Baby Food Makers
|BEABA Babycook||All-in-One||4.7 cups||Check Price|
|Magic Bullet Baby Bullet||Bullet System||Up to 4 cups||Check Price|
|NUK Smoothie||Food Mill||3 cups||Check Price|
|OXO Tot Mash||Manual Food Mill||2 cups||Check Price|
|Cuisinart BFM-1000||All-in-One w/ Bottle Warmer||4 cups||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Baby Food Maker
Of all of the various baby food makers that we tried out, the BEABA Babycook stands out for a lot of reasons. It’s a durable, high-quality, all-in-one baby food maker which simplifies the whole process quite a bit.
Within this single appliance you’ll be able to handle the whole baby food making process, no matter what you’re planning on serving your child. This even includes meat and fish, which gives a definite edge over the competition.
For an all-in-one it even has a relatively small footprint, so you’ll be able to leave it on the counter without having it vie for a whole lot of space with all of the accoutrements that make up a modern kitchen.
On top of that, it’s pretty much the ideal food mill for children. It can produce a wide range of different textures, easing the transition to real food, it’s simple to use, easy to clean, and it’s the only one that we found which our reviewers actually trusted to cook meat.
Pros and Cons
- All-in-one design
- Can cook meat and fish safely
- Able to reheat frozen or refrigerated baby foods
- Can produce a variety of textures easily
- Rather expensive
- Some reviewers found it a bit complicated
2. Best Bullet Baby Food Maker
Magic Bullet Baby Bullet Baby Care System
Bullet-styled baby makers are an excellent way to prepare single servings at a time. Some of our reviewers, especially those who thought fresh food was an extremely high priority, loved this one. Just be aware you can only produce a few servings at a time, so it can be a time consuming process.
This is really a whole system, which makes it rather useful. In addition to the blender, you’ll also get a bunch of time-dialed storage cups and everything you need in order to work with the baby food once it’s done.
Pretty much the only thing left is that you have to steam or simmer tougher vegetables and fruits in order to make them suitable for breaking down.
The Magic Bullet Baby Bullet scores big points with us just for being a complete system, but you’ll quickly find out the core of the system is every bit as robust as you need it to be. The Magic Bullet has delivered with this one.
Pros and Cons
- Creates a smooth, consistent puree
- Comes with everything you need to handle the food
- Time-dialed containers so you know when the food is bad
- Impressive capacity for a bullet maker
- Doesn’t cook foods
- Doesn’t do well on thicker purees
3. Best Budget Baby Food Maker
NUK Smoothie and Baby Food Maker
If you’re skeptical of the NUK… we agree, we were too. Looking at the price it’s hard to imagine that this could be a useful system at all, especially since it comes with a bunch of little containers and other nice oddities.
We quickly found out two things: it’s a little bit underpowered compared to the majority of electric models on the market and it performs at a much higher level than we were expecting. Remember to steam or boil the foods you’re going to put in extensively and the undersized 250W motor will do just fine.
You also have the option of attaching a sippy cup directly to the blender blade. Then all you need to do is pull it free and replace the top in order to make a good smoothie.
This one isn’t without issues, but it performs as well as baby food makers that are double the cost as long as you take some precautions when you’re preparing the food.
The NUK Smoothie and Baby Food Maker is an impressive piece of work for the cost. It’ll take some more care to make last than the others but at this price it’s hard to beat.
Pros and Cons
- Makes a good puree
- Sippy cup attachment
- Comes with storage containers
- Great Price
- Relatively underpowered blender motor
- Requires some extra food preparation
4. Best Manual Baby Food Maker
OXO Tot Mash Maker Baby Food Milll
It just wouldn’t be us if we didn’t bring you a wide array of options, and while most people prefer an electric option we found the OXO Tot Mash to be an excellent alternative. This is a small food mill which requires no electricity and it’s a great way to save money.
We actually found this to be a very quick option once the food is prepared. All you need to do is put the food in the bottom and then twist the top in order to make sure that you’ve got everything moving along just right. It feeds from the bottom, with the puree falling back down and forcing the remaining food upwards.
Surprisingly it does a really good job. The stainless steel blades, contoured base, and non-slip bottom just add to the usefulness of the entire device.
It may not be the first choice for most parents, but if you don’t mind putting a bit of elbow grease behind the making of baby food then you’re in luck with this excellent hand-powered model.
Pros and Cons
- No electricity required
- Very cheap
- Works very quickly for a manual model
- Quit tough
- Struggles with tougher foods
5. Best High End Baby Food Maker
Cuisinart BFM-1000 Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer
We’re well aware that not many people are going to be able to drop three figures on a baby food maker and feel justified in the purchase. On the other hand, the Cuisinart BFM-1000 is simply the best we were able to find.
Like all of Cuisinart’s appliances, the BFM-1000 is a high-end piece of work. It can adeptly handle the steaming and pureeing of pretty much anything you want to throw at it and it produces a fine gradation of textures suitable for training your chuild to eat solid foods.
On top of that, it functions as an excellent bottle warmer. This means it’s suitable to pick up when your child is very young. The overall cost seems much lower if you purchase this one instead of a seperate bottle warmer right from the outset.
It’s a bit complex and expensive, but when it comes down to it there’s nothing better out there.
The Cuisinart BFM-1000 is the Ferrari of baby food makers. Nothing else can really compare, but it’s priced at nearly twice the cost of our favorite. If you opt for it while you still need a bottle warmer you may have made a wise purchase however.
Pros and Cons
- Ultra-high quality
- All-in-one with bottle warmer
- Steams and purees at the same time
- Able to handle just about anything you opt to throw at it
- Rather complex to use and clean
- Very expensive
Why Use a Baby Food Maker?
With so many baby foods readily available on the market, many parents may wonder why it’s necessary to add a baby food maker to their already enormous list of items required when having a child.
There are a ton of different reasons that people use them instead of opting for just buying jars from the store, including the following:
- Most commercial baby foods have added flavorings, colors, and preservatives. These can extend the shelf-life and make for a more attractive product… but these ingredients may also be harmful in the long run.
- In addition to artificial ingredients, quite often baby foods have added salt or sugars which can “train” a child’s taste buds to prefer unhealthy food right from the get go.
- It actually ends up being more economical in the long run, since you can save quite a bit of money purchasing the differing foods and processing them yourself instead of getting commercially prepared baby foods.
- If you’re the forgetful type, it can be a lot more convenient to just make the foods at home rather than having to run to the store in order to make sure that you have more jars of baby food.
If you can afford the upfront cost, a baby food maker really is the way to go.
After all, it ends up being cheaper and healthier over the long run which makes them a win for most parents. The only real cost is going to be a bit of time.
What Should I Look For in a Baby Food Maker?
Of course, if you’ve never looked into one of these handy devices before, you may find yourself a bit confused about what you’re looking at. Like any kitchen appliance it can be quite a bit to take in if you’ve never looked into them before.
Types of Baby Food Maker
There are three primary types of these appliances on the market. All of those that we chose to include on our list fit into one of these categories, and this is probably the biggest factor for most people behind durability and cost.
Food mills process the cooked ingredients into a consistent paste. They’re quite easy to use for the most part and only take up a small amount of counter space. They’re not great at punching out single servings of foods, however, so you’ll likely have to commit to making a larger batch each time you use them.
Bullet baby food makers are the favorite of many parents, since making a single portion with them is a simple process. These are also quite small on the counter, and mostly made to produce smaller servings. If you don’t mind breaking out the maker at each meal these are often the way to go.
All-in-one baby food makers can handle the whole process from start to finish without any real difficulty, including the cooking of the ingredients to be included. They’re also quite large and expensive, as well as not being suitable for single portions. If you want one appliance to handle the whole process, however, then you’ll be in good hands by adding one of these to your home.
Essentially: All-in-one makers are the best option for saving time and money, despite the higher upfront cost. Bullet makers are perfect for single servings, while food mills are often the product of choice for those who want to save money upfront and don’t mind spending a little bit more time handling their food.
The texture of baby foods is extremely important, and you don’t just want something which makes a smooth puree every single time. Instead you want to be able to move the textures of the food over a gradient, in order to gradually introduce your child to more and more textured food before they move to “real” food.
This means you want as much control over the blending process as possible.
However, younger babies still need a puree since they can choke on solid chunks. That means you do need something which is thorough so we had to exclude anything which didn’t make a good puree from our list.
Easy to Clean
It’s important for appliances to be easy to clean for anyone. It’s doubly important for parents and their babies, since parents already have a pressing demand on their time in the form of a child.
We selected our tested products based on ease of cleaning. Thankfully most of those on the market are fairly easy to clean, although it can get a bit more difficult when you’re working with all-in-one styled baby makers.
Regardless, this can make a big difference between sitting on a shelf or being a centerpiece of feeding your baby.
The capacity is tied to the type of unit you decide on, but some have more or less compared to the average.
Some people prefer to prepare meals individually, others prefer to prepare a day or more’s worth of food at the same time. This makes it pretty much essential that you figure out which way you want to do things before you decide on the baby food maker which is going to be the best for you.
Give it some extra thought.
Almost all baby food makers are inevitably made of plastic. We recommend looking for a plastic which is free of BPA, while the potential for harm isn’t quite proven yet we feel it’s best to not expose children to any sort of chemical which they don’t need to be exposed to.
Glass is best, but a good BPA-free plastic will be fine for the average home and reduce the cost of a unit substantially.
Many people will only use their baby food makers while they have… well, a baby in the home. That means you probably aren’t going to want to spend a couple of hundred dollars on the highest of high-end units.
On the other hand, food mills and bullet blenders can be used to make smoothies and other foods in small portions and some people have found that the all-in-one models are a great way to make soups once your child is grown. If you have a future use planned for the baby food maker then you’re likely to be able to justify spending more money on one.
If you don’t have a future use planned, then you’ll probably want to spend $50 or less on the unit itself.
Using Your Baby Food Maker
If you’ve decided on an all-in-one model, then you’ll be able to just follow the directions when you’re getting set up. On the other hand, if you’re using a bullet or food mill styled baby food maker, you’re going to need to cook the food first.
Vegetables and Fruits
You can simmer or steam fruits and vegetables.
Simmering them is certainly a bit easier, but steaming them is ideal. This is because simmering or boiling vegetables will leach some of the nutrients into the water and you want your child to get the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals.
You’ll want to avoid frying or baking vegetables, as it will make them tougher to break up into a good puree and it denatures some of the nutrients contained within as well.
Meats are a little bit more complicated.
Baking is ideal, but if you really want to get a smooth puree then slow cooking in a crock pot is the way to go. Essentially, the softer the meat is the easier it’ll be to break it down.
You want to avoid frying the meat, for obvious reasons.’
Allow the meat to cool to at least room temperature before you puree it, as this will help to keep it firm enough to easily break down once it’s in the baby food maker.
How Do I Know What to Feed My Baby?
You’ll want to wait until your child can sit up in a high chair before you begin feeding them real food. Usually the age will be about four to six months, and they should be about double their birth weight as well.
By that point they should have developed the oral motor skills necessary to try something a little bit more advanced than milk.
Start With Veggies and Fruits
You’ll want to start with vegetables and fruits for your child’s introduction to the world of “real” food. Ideally, this should be immediately done after they’ve been fed milk which will be the primary source of their nutrition for their first year.
Introduce new foods slowly. This is both to test for allergies and to see if they enjoy the food in question, since it may take a few tries for them to begin to enjoy the food in question.
When you’re introducing them to a new fruit or vegetable avoid mixing them with other new ones. Instead, introduce one ingredient at a time in order to ensure that they have time to avoid any reactions.
When your child is between six and eight months of age, you may begin feeding them meat. We’d advise consulting with your pediatrician first, however, as they’ll definitely know best whether your child is ready or not.
If your child doesn’t like a pure meat puree, you may want to try adding their favorite vegetable or fruit to the mix in order to ensure that they eat it and get the nutrients that meat provides.
You may also want to try different kinds of meat, poultry, and fish in order to make sure that you find what your child enjoys the most. Fish are especially valuable since they contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are crucial for brain development.
How Long Before Solid Foods?
Most children should be on a diet of purees for some time, at least until a year of age. If you slowly allow the purees to become less of a slurry and chunkier as time goes on, and your baby does well with them, then you may begin to introduce soft, whole foods at ten to twelve months of age.
Just take the same precautions you did when initially introducing them to foods and do things gradually and you’ll be on the right track.
Since it turns out that using a baby food maker is both economically sound and a great way to ensure that your child has a healthy, natural diet right from the start it makes sense for new parents to invest in one.
Just make sure that the one you purchase is right for the kind of meal planning for your child that you’re going with and you’ll be in good hands. Pick one up today and you’ll be ready when it’s time to begin introducing your child to solid foods.