Best Choices in Baby Food Makers

There is a sea of baby food makers on the market, from hand grinders to what appear to be state of the art machines. A good friend just uses her mini food processor. She’s on her 5th child and is completely confident in what she’s doing andfeeding her 7 month old what everyone else is eating. Being a first time mom. I’m not that confident. Plus, I didn’t have a mini food processor anyway.

Here is a sampling of styles, along with the best on the market:

Mini Food Processors

Just to get this out of the way, if you want a mini food processor this is about the best you can get for quick grinding of whatever you are eating. It’s very basic and only holds  1 1/2 cups, so it’s definitely of “per serving” use. If you want a more versatile food processor, there are dozens to choose from. If you are planning on making batches of food, you’re definitely going to want a larger one.

Pros:

  • You still have a food processor after baby has outgrown purees
  • It’s small and easy to store
  • It’s cheap (under $20)

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a lot of versatility during or after baby purees outside of mincing or maybe making a cup of peanut butter
  • Doesn’t cook or heat food
  • Only makes small batches, so really only practical if baby is eating what you’re eating

Nuby Steamer and Masher

If you’re a microwave user, this is a great way to get your feet wet in the world of baby food making.

Pros:

  • Really, really cheap (Usually under $15)
  • All dishwasher safe
  • Individual parts can be used for other tasks
  • Takes up no counter space
  • Great for mashing avocado and bananas for other recipes

If Nuby isn’t your brand or you want just the masher, you can find others by Nuk, Munchkin, and several off-brands

Cons:

  • You do have to monitor the cooking of the food (unlike electric models)
  • Smaller batches than most other options
  • May be more limited in variety of food to cook
  • You have to have a little expertise or be able to research steaming in the microwave

Immersion Blender

Sage Spoonfuls makes a system tailored to baby food making including some great books. You can also buy just the blender.

Pros:

  • Complete system for grinding and storing cooked food
  • Excellent documentation and recipes
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to store
  • Clever design allows mashing in the storage container
  • Has a future use as a regular immersion blender
  • The portion maker and storage containers are cleverly designed with the ability to dial the date for identification
  • Expandable with add on kits and storage pieces with Sage Spoonfuls storage jars

Cons:

  • No steamer, so you have to cook the food another way
  • The system can be a little pricey for not having a steamer

 

Baby Bullet

This system is definitely the cutest of all of the baby food makers, but the steamer and processor are sold separately.

Pros:

  • You can purchase what you need – steamer, processor, or both
  • There is an egg attachment for the steamer
  • The steamer has 5 settings and sterilizes (including binkie sterilizing)
  • Super cute
  • The processor comes with a great booklet, storage containers, and portion maker
  • The portion maker and storage containers are cleverly designed with the ability to dial the date for identification
  • Two sizes of blending bowls on the processor
  • Easy to find replacement parts or add on pieces
  • Well known, established name
  • Processor functions similar to the Magic Bullet, so can be used for smoothies later (for kids and adults)
  • Affordable
  • Easy to find – usually available in most stores right off the shelves

Cons:

  • Steamer and processor are not one unit
  • Steamer and processor have to be purchased separately
  • Steaming and blending are not done in one container, so more clean up
  • Not-so-great resale value
  • Takes up more counter space than an “all in one” unit would

 

Mliter All in One

The MLiter All in One was a really close second when I was choosing my baby food maker.


Pros:

  • Does function as both a food processor and steamer separately, so it will take you through toddler years
  • Can be useful for side dish prep for adult meals
  • Keeps food separated in 3 chambers if desired, so it could be used to make a variety of tastes
  • Takes up less counter space
  • Steams, reheats, blends, cooks, and sterilizes
  • Can pause while cooking
  • Lots of control over cook time
  • Two speed choices for blending
  • Middle of the road pricing
  • Less expensive than machines with similar functionality
  • Two distinct models based on preference – one with a grinder as part of the steamer and one with it separate

Cons:

  • Not so versatile that it would feed a large family like a full sized food steamer does
  • Not really an established name
  • Replacement parts may be difficult to find
  • If you don’t plan on using it frequently or long term, it isn’t likely to pay off

 

Beaba BabyCook

The queen of baby food makers, the Beaba company has been around for decades and introduced it’s first baby food machine in 1989. They have a wide range of products now, from cutlery to baby baths to drying racks.

This is my top pick for our family. You can choose the single canister model or a double canister.

 


Pros:

  • Does function as both a food processor and steamer separately, so it will take you through toddler years
  • Can be useful for side dish prep for adult meals (I use it to steam broccoli, etc)
  • Is able to steam grains (with insert which is sold separately)
  • Takes up less counter space
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors, including orange, blue, tan, grey, white, purple, black, and more
  • Can make more than one flavor at once (if using the double model)
  • One handed operation
  • Reheats and defrosts food
  • Large capacity of 4 1/2 cups per side (so up to 9 cups if using the double model)
  • Usually easy to resell and recover part of your investment (save the manuals)
  • Replacement parts are easy to obtain
  • Long time, reputable company

Cons:

  • Not so versatile that it would feed a large family like a full sized food steamer does
  • Various foods have to be cooked together (limited to one or two flavors)
  • No real control on cooking time – only 3 settings controlled by the machine based on the amount of water you put in
  • Cannot pause cooking
  • One speed blending (consistency is controlled by pulse and length of time blending)
  • One of the most expensive machines on the market
  • If you don’t plan on using it frequently or long term, it isn’t likely to pay off

Cover photo by

Tirachard Kumtanom

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