If you are planning to start your baby on solid food, you have two main options to consider. You can either opt to buy pre-mashed baby food from the store or you can make your own baby food. While buying pre-mashed baby food will save you time, it’s almost impossible to tell exactly what is in that food.
For instance, store-bought baby food may contain too many added preservatives, sugars and other ingredients, which your baby should not be consuming. On the other hand, when you make your own baby food, you will have full control over the entire process. You will determine the ingredients to use, the foods to mash, as well as the quantities to add.
And you just need a baby food maker, to prepare delicious, healthy and tasty food for your little one. But with so many different types, models and makes, how do you ensure that you ensure that you buy the best baby food blender? Well, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you and created this baby food maker buying guide 2020, to make your work easier. We’ve also gone a step further and reviewed the best baby food makers on the market. Let’s get to it.
Why Buy a Baby Food Maker?
If you will be making your own baby food, then you will definitely have to buy the best baby food maker that you can afford. While you can still prepare everything by hand, the entire process is tedious, and highly time-consuming.
On the other hand, if you have your own baby food maker, you will enjoy convenience and time savings. So, if you are planning to be feeding your little one home-made puree, then you will definitely need a food maker.
Pros of Making Your Own Baby Food
As noted above, making your own baby food comes with numerous benefits. For instance, you will get to decide what goes into your baby food. Here are some additional reasons why you should consider buying the best food blender for babies.
Raising your baby on store-bought food is quite expensive. And as much as buying a baby food maker may appear like a costly investment upfront, it will eventually pay for itself in the future. Studies show that making your own baby food at home will cost you approximately a third of what it will cost to buy a high-quality baby food processor.
Great Long-term Investment
When you buy a top-quality baby food maker, it will remain useful for many years to come. Also, baby food makers are highly versatile, which means you can also use them to prepare dinner for the entire family.
More Nutritional Value
Most of the jarred baby foods that you will find on the market are usually heated to extremely high temperatures, thus reducing their overall nutritional value.
Also, homemade baby food doesn’t have the preservatives found in store-bought baby food. Furthermore, some top baby food makers can steam foods, which can help to preserve all the valuable nutrients present in the ingredients.
Fresh Food for Your Baby
We all love fresh food, don’t we? Well, your little one will also enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables. And with a baby food maker at home, your little one will enjoy all the freshness of fruits and vegetables – straight from the farm.
Greater Food Varieties
Jarred baby food comes with certain limitations in terms of flavors and varieties. But with the best baby food maker, you can choose the fruits, vegetables, herbs and other ingredients that you can add, resulting in delicious, healthy and fresh food for your little one. In short, the food combinations that you can achieve are almost endless.
Baby Food Makers are Easy to Use
Baby food processors are not hard or complicated to use. And you can master how to use them, within an hour or so. Furthermore, most of the best baby food makers come with intuitive interfaces, where you can effortlessly choose what you want to prepare, and the machine will do the rest.
For example, if you want to steam vegetables, you just need to load the ingredients onto the food processor, press the steaming button, then sit back and relax. After that, your Cuisinart baby food maker, baby food maker Brezza or baby food maker Beaba will do the rest.
Cons of Making Your Own Baby Food
Just like everything else, making your own baby food at home also comes with some downsides. Here are some of the disadvantages of preparing your own baby food at home.
Without a doubt, preparing your own baby food is a time-consuming process. First, you will need to determine what to prepare, where to source the ingredients, as well as how to prepare the food. Also, some foods will take longer to prepare than others.
For instance, if you intend to include some carrots in your baby food, you will have to peel them first, steam them and then puree them using the best baby food maker. And when you have a little one around the house, time is at a premium.
Difficult When Moving Around
When you are out with your baby, they will definitely need to eat at some point. As much as you can still carry your home-made baby food, it will be much easier to buy pre-packed baby food. Unlike home-made baby food, pre-packed or jarred baby food doesn’t require any refrigeration, and you can take it anywhere with you.
Home-made foods tend to spoil quite fast. So, without a freezer or refrigerator, you will end up throwing away most of the foods that you prepare.
Also, refrigerators and freezers consume quite a lot of space. So, if you don’t have spare space in your kitchen for a refrigerator, then you may not have any other option but to use jarred baby foods.
Types of Baby Food Makers
Baby food makers are available in different types, makes and models. The best baby food maker that you buy will depend on your needs, the type of baby food that you want to make, personal preferences as well as your budget. Having said that, here are some of the most popular types of the best baby food makers.
Baby food blenders are almost similar in operation to baby food processors. They usually use sharp blades to chop and cut food solid food materials, thus reducing them to a smooth puree. You can use a baby food blender on raw vegetables, fruits and pre-cooked foods. These baby food makers are easier to clean compared to the others since they come with fewer features.
Baby Food Masher
A masher is a simplistic baby food maker, designed for mashing solid foods into smaller sizes, to ensure easier consumption. Smashers usually feature a bowl and a smasher.
Baby Food Steamer
Steaming is one of the most effective methods of preserving the nutritional value of food. And baby food steamers are specifically designed for this purpose. You can use them to steam and soften hard vegetables like broccoli, and then mash or puree them for your baby. The best baby food steamers are equipped with intuitive push-button, designed to make your work easier. To use the device, you will simply press the button that corresponds to the food that you want to steam, set the timer and the steamer will do the rest.
Baby Food Mill
Most food mills are manually-operated. You just need to load the food that you want to prepare and then apply some energy to smash it. Baby food mills are quite laborious and time-consuming. Also, they are best suited for advanced eaters.
Four-in-1 Baby Food Makers
As their name suggests, these baby food makers are designed for handling multiple food making functions. For instance, you can use them for blending, steaming, reheating, as well as defrosting. As much as they may be costlier than the other types of the best baby food makers, they will save you time, reduce kitchen clutter and save space.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Baby Food Maker
As noted earlier, different baby food makers come with different features. But regardless of the type, make, model or brand that you decide to purchase, the best baby food maker should come with the following key features:
Safety is, without a doubt, the most important feature to look out for when you are buying a baby food processor. As much as you may want to save a few dollars, you should never compromise on safety, at any cost. Ensure the device that you purchase is FDA-approved and it has passed the necessary safety tests. Also, you should go for one with additional safety features like child locks as well as automatic cut-offs.
Age of the Child
Your child’s age should also come into play when you are buying baby food makers. As you may probably know, your baby can only handle solid foods when they attain a certain age. So, their age will determine whether you should buy a blender, steamer, cooker, masher, food mill or a multi-purpose baby food maker.
Baby food processors and makers are available in different sizes and types. Also, they are designed for varying functions. For instance, the 4-in-1 baby food maker is multipurpose, which means it can defrost steam, blend and reheat baby food.
On the other hand, a baby food masher is only designed for a single function. So, the unit you will choose will depend on how you intend to be using it. As much as the multipurpose baby food makers may appear like the best choice, you may not need some of the additional features.
And this means you will end up incurring unnecessary costs. So, assess your needs and then choose a unit that comes with only the functions and features that you need.
Easy of Use
The bestt baby food makers are primarily designed to help you prepare nutritious, fresh and healthy foods for your baby – while adding convenience to your life.
So, when you are buying a food maker, you should always ensure you can use it effortlessly. Furthermore, you may end up spending more money buying a baby food processor with too many features, which you may never need or use. Your baby food maker should also be easy to disassemble, clean and assemble.
Portability and Storage
If you will only be using your baby food maker in the kitchen, then storage and portability may not be a problem. However, if you intend to be taking it outside for barbecues and other outdoor events, then you should choose something portable and lightweight. The best baby food makers for travel fall in this category. You can carry them with you and use them wherever you go.
The best baby food makers for baby food are available at different price points. While you may buy a cheaper one in an attempt to save money, it’s not advisable to do so.
A poor-quality food maker will not last long, which means you will be back to the market to buy a replacement. Eventually, you will end up spending more money than someone who simply bought a high-quality, top baby food maker.
Check the materials used and ensure the blades made of stainless steel. Also, check for non-rusting labels. Phthalate-free and BPA-free food makers are ideal.
Type of Food
When buying a baby food maker, you also have to consider the type of baby food that you intend to prepare for your little one. For instance, if you will only be preparing fruit and vegetable purees for your toddler, then you don’t need a unit that can process nuts, meats and other hard foods.
Your baby needs your attention round the clock. So, if a baby food maker that takes forever to clean, it will steal some attention from your little one. Furthermore, if a baby food maker is hard to clean, it can provide a breeding ground for bacteria, thus leading to illnesses.
A good baby food maker shouldn’t have too many ridges, crannies and hidden spots where debris, dirt and food materials can collect or get stuck. If possible, you should go for one with an automatic cleaning mode, to save time.
Whether you should buy a baby food will depend on your situation. If you and your spouse are both working or engaged throughout the day, then finding time to prepare home-made food for your baby will not be easy. And this means you will have to rely on jarred baby food.
On the other hand, if you are a stay-at-home parent, then a baby maker will come in handy. Apart from saving you money, it will also enable you to prepare fresh, delicious and nutrients-packed foods for your baby. You also have the option of doing a combination, which is supplementing your home-prepared foods with store-bought foods.
Whichever option you choose, make sure your little one is getting a balanced diet. Do you make your own baby food at home or you rely on commercial baby food?