Which baby food maker is best?
When your baby first makes the transition to solid foods, finding baby food that you feel comfortable feeding your child can be particularly challenging. Many parents and guardians decide that making homemade baby food is the best way to control the quality of the ingredients, but that can be time-consuming and complicated. With a baby food maker, however, you can simplify the process, so you can work more quickly and have tasty, nutritious food for your child whenever you need it.
Our top pick from BEABA is a user-friendly option that can prepare fruits, veggies and meat without any of the mold issues that other baby food makers often run into.
What to know before you buy a baby food maker
Baby food makers are available in a few main types that work in different ways.
Food-mill baby food makers
These are similar to food processors and blenders. Some run on electricity and others have a manual crank that you turn to process the ingredients. A food-mill baby food maker usually takes up less space on your countertop and is less expensive than other models, but you’ll have to cook all your ingredients separately and it’s not really designed for preparing single-serving meals.
Bullet baby food makers
Bullet baby food makers are like small countertop blenders designed specifically for making food for your child. They typically come with multiple blending containers that you can use to store leftover food for future meals. A bullet baby food maker is usually very easy to use and ideal for making single servings. As with a food mill baby food maker, though, you have to cook your ingredients separately — and a bullet model doesn’t work as well for large batches of food.
Cook-and-blend baby food makers
These are usually the easiest, least time-consuming option. They’re able to cook and blend the food all on their own, so you can add raw ingredients right to the appliance and save yourself a lot of time. A cook-and-blend baby food maker can make large batches of food in a hurry and requires minimal hands-on effort from you. But it’s usually the largest type of baby food maker, so you need plenty of countertop space for the appliance. An all-in-one baby food maker is also more expensive than other options.
What to look for in a quality baby food maker
When you’re shopping for a baby food maker, you have to decide how many portions of food you’d like to make at a time. If you like to make each serving fresh or just want to make enough food to feed your child for a day, a model with a smaller capacity is sufficient. But if you’re going to make large batches and freeze food for later use, you’ll need a larger capacity appliance.
Baby food makers are usually made with plastic, but many parents and guardians want to be careful that the plastic used doesn’t contain bisphenol A (BPA), which is a chemical found in some plastics. BPA can transfer to food and beverages from storage containers, and some studies suggest that it can cause health issues, particularly in children.
Fortunately, many baby food makers are made of BPA-free plastic, so you don’t have to worry about your baby accidentally ingesting any potentially hazardous chemicals.
Ease of cleanup
A baby food maker is supposed to make the process of preparing homemade food for your child fast and easy, but if cleaning the appliance takes a lot of time, it may not simplify the process as much as you’d like. If any food gets stuck in the machine, there’s the risk of mold and bacteria growing, as well.
Opt for a model with parts that can easily be removed, so you can get into every corner of the machine to wash away the leftover food.
If your child is just starting to make the transition to solid foods, you’ll want to make food that’s as smooth as possible to reduce any choking risk. As your baby ages, though, you’ll probably want to increase the food’s lumpiness to get them used to different food textures. Choose a baby food maker that lets you choose from several different consistencies, so you’re able to accommodate your baby as they grows.
How much you can expect to spend on a baby food maker
Baby food makers usually cost $20-$200. Food-mill baby food makers typically range from $20-$50, bullet baby food makers generally run $50-$70, and cook-and-blend models usually cost $80-$200.
Baby food maker FAQ
What’s the best way to cook food before putting it in a baby food maker?
A. Boiling fruits and veggies can actually cause them to lose their nutrients to the water. That’s why it’s best to steam your ingredients if you want them to maintain as many of their nutrients as possible.
Do baby food makers usually have a warranty?
A. Many models do include some type of warranty protection, though you’re usually only covered for one to two years — and only for damage that results from defects in materials or workmanship.
What’s the best baby food maker to buy?
Top baby food maker
What you need to know: A durable, high-performing all-in-one baby food maker, it has plenty of features that help it stand out as the best on the market.
What you’ll love: It is one of the easiest options to use, thanks to its one-handed operation and one-touch open-and-close feature. It allows for easy cleanup with a dishwasher-safe bowl and basket. It isn’t prone to growing mold like other baby food makers. It can make up to 18 servings at a time. It is BPA-free.
What you should consider: It is pricier than many other options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top baby food maker for the money
What you need to know: A compact baby food maker, it allows you to steam three different ingredients at the same time.
What you’ll love: This is an all-in-1 model, serving as a food baby maker but also as a sterilizer, bottle warmer and defroster.
What you should consider: The containers lids are not great; they lose their shape easily.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: An affordable baby food maker, it offers quality performance and an attractive design.
What you’ll love: It is easy to use. Its compact size fits in the smallest kitchens. It is very easy to clean. A baby food recipe book is included.
What you should consider: While the machine is not hard to use at all, the manual makes it seem very complicated.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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