So, your little precious baby is getting ready for solid foods? Are you concerned about the quality of baby food? Do you worry whether or not they have safe ingredients? There have been some disturbing news stories about some products causing problems. You want only the best nutrition for your baby. Also, all those baby food containers cause a lot of waste! Why not make your own baby food? With baby food makers, you can! These makers drastically cut down on the time it takes to prepare baby food, giving you more time to spend with the baby. Not to forget that you are wholly in charge of the quality of food that you put into your baby’s mouth!
Buying Guide For Baby Food Makers
What is a baby food maker?
Your baby can eat what you eat; just grind, blend, strain, and steam the food in the machine. It does all the work for you! A baby food maker can help you strain, steam and blend baby food. These are separate steps without the machine. Many cook very fast, in 15 minutes or less. You can store baby food in reusable 2- or 3-ounce containers or pouches. Parts that touch food can also be machine-washed. Steamers can be used to steam-clean bottles and pacifiers as well.
Reasons to Create Your Own Baby Food
The biggest reason is grocery store sticker shock. All those little bottles of baby food are expensive, and cause a lot of waste. The second reason is safety. Some baby food manufacturers have gotten in trouble for products laced with lead and other contaminants. You control what goes into your baby’s food. The baby can eat what you eat, for the most part, after cooking and blending/straining. This is far more economical than buying prepackaged foods. You also don’t want to rely on manufacturers to know your baby’s tastes. You can also buy fruit and vegetables that are in season, the fresh, best, and cheapest for your baby. You also won’t find specific foods like melon on the list of baby foods available from manufacturers. You can get the freshest fruit, vegetables, and meats for your baby, ensuring the baby’s health and growth. Steaming also holds in nutrients. Jar-cooked food is cooked at very high temperatures to kill bacteria for long storage. Who wants to cook away nutrients your baby needs for health? Making your own baby food makes you think about what you are feeding your baby. You become more mindful of what your baby eats…and what you eat, too.
Doesn’t this take a lot of time?
Not if you do it in batches, and not if you use the right machine. You can get one that slices and purees, then steams the food, all in the same machine. Moms set the machine to cook, then go do something else. Some machines will put the machine in a storage container or pouch for you. Then, do another food, and another, and soon you have enough food for several days or even a week. If you use a steamer that has different containers for foods that cook at different times, then you can cook the food partway, and cook the last food several minutes before the cycle ends. Then, you can cook several foods in one cycle. Just have containers ready or buy a machine that puts the food in containers for you.
Why You Should Steam and process Your Baby Food in One Machine
If you cook, slice, and puree the baby food separately, this add steps. This also creates extra things that must now be cleaned. Moms are already exhausted without dirtying and cleaning multiple machines, and filling up the dishwasher over and over. There is also usually limited counter space for so many appliances. Some machines also automatically put the food in containers. This saves a major step! You can then refrigerate or freeze the baby food. Be sure to label and date baby food with tape or stickers that are made for this purpose. You can even buy containers with date counters on them, which saves yet another step! Some containers interlock, to stack easily in the refrigerator or freezer. There are also pouches and “toddler-pop” trays available that can freeze juices and fruits that toddlers love to eat in winter.
Features to Look For
Check if the Baby Food Maker Can Also Steam
Some baby food makers cook with steam to lock in flavor and hold in nutrients. The ones that steam cook can also be used to sterilize bottles, nipples, and pacifiers, quite useful when the baby starts throwing everything on the floor and laughing at this fun game. Some come with trays to allow simultaneous cooking of food that takes differing amount of time to steam cook. Just add the ones that take less time at the very end of the cooking process. These baby food makers cut down on the things you have to wash–just dishwasher-clean the trays and relax.
Ease of Cleaning, Safety and Reliability
You want to be able to wash the parts in the dishwasher. Hand washing is a pain with a baby to chase after. You need them to be BHA and phthalate free, which are believed to leach into foods. Baby food must be free of contaminants! The motor and blades must be strong enough to chop and puree food, from meat to fish to fruits to vegetables. It must also be easy to take apart and put back together. It is also a good idea to have one that takes less counter space and are easy to store when unneeded.
Baby Food Storage
Most baby food makers come with their own 2- or 3-ounce storage containers or pouches. Be sure they are reuseable! Some even come with freezer trays to freeze fruit juices and purees for toddlers to consume in summer or in warm climates. You can buy your own if they don’t come with the baby food maker. You can make all the food in 1-3 15-minute sessions for an entire week, or even buy one with double capacity! This makes making baby food much easier and faster. You can take baby food with you wherever you go this way as well.
Why do you want to make baby food?
You are in control of what your baby eats. Some baby food has fillers, sugars, and other not-so-good ingredients. Some have contaminants, like lead or BPA or phthalate. There is also a tremendous amount of waste with all those baby food containers. Baby food is also very expensive. Why not feed your baby fresh, healthy food–the same food you eat? You can also make several days’ worth or all the food up to a week, and refrigerate or freeze the food in small 2-3 ounce containers. You control the ingredients, variety, and taste to choose the best for your baby
Is this baby food maker versatile?
You may want all the bells and whistles. Can the same machine chop, shred, puree, and steam food? Can it sterilize bottles, nipples, and pacifiers as well? Can it warm and reheat food and bottles too? Does it have an easy-to-read LED display? Can you use it with one hand? Does it make a lot of food so you don’t have to use it every single day? Does it come with food storage containers or bags? Remember, being a mom is exhausting. It is a good idea to keep the actual work a mom has to do to a minimum.
Is it easy to use?
You can get separate products to chop and strain and puree baby food and those that cook food. But, that doubles the work and doubles the mess. The ones that are most easy to use do the chopping, straining, pureeing, cooking, and reheating, all in one unit. Be sure that the controls are easy to use with one hand and the LCD screen is bright and easy to see. Be sure that all the parts that touch food will break down and go into the dishwasher quickly and easily. You want to spend as little time on cleanup as possible.
Baby food makers are becoming more and more sophisticated. Just cut up the food into chunks, put it in the machine, and baby food comes into the container! Many chop, shred, and puree as well. They can also steam-cook baby food. Mom can now control what the baby eats, ensuring health and nutrition for the baby. These machines also save parents a lot of money, as store-bought baby food is very expensive! Buy a machine that does the most things for the least amount of money, and that is easy to clean. Then, both mom and baby will be happy!