Buying for baby is a little overwhelming, to say the least — and this counts for just about every category, feeding included. Whether or not you’re set on making your own baby food, you may be wondering if you should add a baby food maker to your registry.
It’s a wise idea, according to many parents: Baby food makers come in handy for more than just what they’re designed to do. Most provide steaming and pureeing capabilities, which can be useful even for new parents who are looking to make a quick steamed side dish or blend up a delicious fruit smoothie. And if you use a baby food maker to whip up homemade meals for your baby, you’ll find several advantages.
Benefits of using a baby food maker
While baby food makers aren’t a must-have for every family, many caregivers swear by them. Here are some of the benefits:
- You save money. Like most baby-related products, store-bought baby food doesn’t come cheap. This is especially true if you opt for organic and pasture-raised ingredients that often cost more to produce. Plus, manufacturers have to factor in many other costs, such as packaging, factory space and selling to grocery stores. But if you’re able to purchase the bare-bone ingredients separately, you can save big over time.
- You know exactly what your baby is eating. Unless you read the ingredients list on absolutely everything, you don’t know the full story when it comes to what you’re feeding baby.
- You can introduce new flavors. Making your own food is a great way to introduce baby to the foods that you traditionally eat as a family, which may be difficult to do with store-bought baby food.
- You control the quantity. Jars of baby food can end up providing too little or too much food for baby. And, as a result, you may end up opening more than you need. Making your own baby food at home allows you to figure out the right portion control for your little one in advance, and even freeze extras.
What to look for in a baby food maker
Not every baby food maker does the same thing. Here are a few factors to consider when making your choice.
- Steaming and food processing capabilities. Some baby food makers will steam, blend and puree your ingredients, but they tend to cost more. Others will simply grind or blend your food. Figuring out in advance which will work best for your family — and your budget — is important.
- Price point. Baby food makers can range in price from $30 for a basic model up to $175 or more for swankier options.
- Material. Consider whether you prefer a food maker made with glass or plastic. It can’t hurt to double check that the model you’re considering is BPA-free, either.
- Portability. Planning to travel with baby or want to make fresh food on the go? A portable baby food maker that doesn’t require electricity may be the best bet for you.
- Efficiency. Some baby food makers will need more time than others to get your ingredients ready to eat. Read the product description or instruction booklet in advance to figure out how quickly the maker you’re considering works, and then think about how it fits into your personal needs.
- Ease of cleaning. Some baby food makers are dishwasher safe, but not every appliance meets this criteria. The more parts a maker has, the more time you’ll need to spend on cleaning, too.
- Size. If you’re limited on counter and pantry space, a bulkier appliance probably isn’t for you. Consider your space availability before you buy.
How we chose the best baby food makers
To select the best baby food makers, we consulted the What to Expect community of millions of parents to research which food makers worked best for a majority of parents. We also consulted testing feedback from parents on our team who used the baby food makers at home themselves. Price point, ease of use and functionality also factored in. And, of course, we made sure every baby food maker on the list was made with BPA-free materials.
Now that you understand some of the perks of purchasing a baby food maker, here are some of the very best ones on the market — and what you should know about each before making a purchase.
For more information please see the list of Best baby food puree machine