Baby Food Maker Buying Guide
What is a Baby Food Maker?
More and more parents are making fresh baby food at home, and it’s no surprise as to why. Store bought baby food is in no way an ideal solution for your child’s nutrition, as there can be a lot of added preservatives and sugars that you don’t want your baby to be eating. When you make your baby food at home, you know exactly what is going into each meal, and that gives you a lot of peace of mind as a parent. The easiest way to prepare baby food at home is to purchase a baby food maker. This one appliance will make baby food preparation as easy as pie.
There are a number of different baby food makers on the market these days, and that could make choosing which one to purchase to be a little difficult. Lets take a look at some things that could help you to make the process easier. We’ve already discussed the best rated baby food makers, but before you make your decision you’ll want to understand the benefits, key features, and things to avoid with a baby food maker.
Benefits of Baby Food Makers
There are numerous benefits to owning a baby food maker, as well as benefits to taking the time to research these appliances to understand their features and functions. There’s nothing greater than knowing exactly what is going into your child’s food, but there are some other benefits that you might not have yet considered.
- Saves Money: Did you realize that store bought baby food can be expensive? Well, it most certainly can. The average American baby will consume 600 jars of baby food, and when you do the math, you can understand how much money that comes to. Preparing your own baby food will save you money in the long run.
- Know What’s in Your Food: As we have already said, store bought baby food can have ingredients that you don’t want, but when you make your own baby food at home, you know precisely what is in your food. Not only that, but you also have control of quality. There’s no telling what quality of fruits and vegetables are being used in store bought food, but you now have the freedom to go completely organic if you choose.
- More Variety in Food: When you are purchasing jarred baby food at the store you are limiting the variety of fruits and vegetables that your child is consuming. But when you make your own food, the sky is really the limit. It’s important for children to have a well-balanced diet, and with a baby food maker you can add new things like fresh herbs, exotic fruits, and combinations that you’ll never find in the grocery store.
- Higher Nutritional Value: There are many baby food makers that will steam your food, and this is a great way to keep all the nutrients intact. Those first years of your baby’s life are incredibly important when it comes to growth and development, so having a well balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and nutrients is essential. Using a baby food maker will ensure that you’re giving your child the most nutritious food possible.
Some Things to Consider Before You Buy
Manual or Electric?
You will find baby food makers in either manual or electric versions, and the first thing you should ask yourself is which of these you prefer. Electric models are considered to be much faster and more efficient than their counterpart. They’re also easier to use. Manual baby food makers are going to be less expensive, but they require a great deal of effort to use. You may want to do it manually, but it’s suggested you go with electric.
Purchasing a dishwasher safe baby food maker is ideal, and adds a great deal of convenience to the cleanup process. You’ll find that some models have a lot of parts that need to be washed, so being able to throw it all in the dishwasher is going to save you a lot of scrubbing. You also want to find a version that is easy to wipe down in a pinch, and won’t show any smudges. Chrome and stainless steel appliances are notorious for looking very streaky.
BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a toxic compound that is used in plastic parts of many storage containers. There is a lot of controversy about BPA, and many parents believe that it’s harmful for their children. There is really no scientific proof that BPA is bad, but you might want to go with a BPA free baby food maker just to be safe and allow yourself some peace of mind.
Safety is of the utmost importance, and that’s why it’s strongly suggested that you purchase a model that has 100% unbreakable materials. It’s incredibly dangerous if the baby food maker breaks and ends up in the food.
Types of Baby Food Maker
There are many different types of baby food maker out there, and they cover a variety of functions. Some will do the most basic preparations, such as blending and grinding the food that has been cooked. There are also some that will do practically everything, from steaming, through pureeing, and even reheating. These all-in-one models will add a great deal of convenience to your live, and you can accomplish so much without taking up too much counter space.
You want to ask yourself how much money you’re willing to spend on the baby food maker. Being a parent is expensive, and the best baby food makers aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones. Also, when considering the price, keep in mind that you’re going to only be using this appliance for 6 months or so.
Features and Functionality
Consider what special features you’d like your baby food maker to have. If you’re planning on making large batches of baby food at a time you’ll want to purchase a maker that features an extra large capacity. But do keep in mind that these will take up more counter space. Purchasing a baby food maker that has a steamer function is something that any parent will find useful. When you steam food you are keeping all the vital nutrients intact, and it is encouraged that you purchase a baby food maker that has this capability. Not only does steaming keep the nutrients intact but it also keeps the flavor intact.
What You’ll Need to Make Baby Food
Once you decide to make baby food at home with a baby food maker, you’re going to be amazed by how easy it is, and how delicious the results are. This is a hands-on way to provide you’re child with the most nutritious, simple, and flavorful food possible. There are very few things you’ll need to make baby food if you have a comprehensive baby food maker that takes care of it all, from chopping to steaming and finally pureeing.
There is even a popular French baby food maker that combines steaming, blending, warming and defrosting. And of course, the famous Cuisinart version even has a baby bottle warmer integrated into the design. If you have a more simple baby food maker, then make sure you have a steamer at home, as well as good knives for chopping, and storage containers to freeze your leftovers when you make a large batch.
Once you’re ready to use your baby food maker, be sure to pick up one of many popular baby food recipe books that share hundreds of recipes for pureed baby food. Some of the most popular books include Blended Baby Food, Top 100 Baby Purees, and the Petit Appetite Cookbook. These books will help you to explore and try new ideas, or even come up with fun recipes of your own. These books will also share with you which nutrients you should always try to include in your recipes to support your baby’s development.
6 Easy Steps to Make Baby Food at Home
- Begin by washing and rinsing your hands and equipment.
- Thoroughly scrub and peel all fruits and vegetables.
- You can either bake, steam, roast, or microwave the produce until tender. When you steam or microwave you’ll preserve the most nutrients.
- Use your baby food maker to puree the food with a bit of liquid. Start with a small amount of water and increase until you get the consistency you desire.
- Store your food in the refrigerator or freezer, in airtight containers.
- Reheat the food when it’s time to eat, but make sure that you allow it to cool before feeding it to your child.
Baby Food Maker Tips
- There are special storage containers that are intended for refrigerating and freezing small amounts of baby food. This allows you to create perfect portions.
- Using an ice cube tray is a great way to freeze small portions.
- Not only can you puree fruits and vegetables, you can also puree cooked meats, beans and eggs. Be sure that all these foods are thoroughly cooked, and take care to remove the fat and skin from meat.
Keep it Simple
Once you begin making your own baby food and start trying no recipes, be sure to always keep it simple. There’s nothing more nutritious and delicious than colorful, flavorful, natural foods in their simplest form. It’s even possible to take the ingredients from your own dinner and make a baby version for your child. If you have mashed potatoes for dinner, you can simply throw a potato in the baby maker for the perfect potato puree. Say you’re having some chicken and green beans. These ingredients can also be simply prepared and pureed for your child. Once you get the hang of it, you’re going to find that making baby food is not only beneficial, but it’s also fun. Don’t be surprised if you even find yourself sneaking a bite or two for yourself.
Purchasing a baby food maker is one of the smartest things you can do for your baby, and for yourself. It gives you peace of mind when you know exactly what is going into your child’s food, and it’s so much easier than you think. Most parents don’t realize how much money they’ll also save when they make baby food for themselves.
Who knows what goes into those jars of baby food that sit in the supermarket for months, and sometimes years. You crave fresh food for yourself, and your baby can’t say it, but they crave it too. Purchasing a baby food maker will make it unbelievably easy and convenient to get your child the most flavorful and nutrient-rich meals imaginable.
There are many kinds of baby food maker out there, and above we explored the most popular and best rated ones on the market. When you’re ready to purchase one for yourself it’s important that you arm yourself with knowledge, and know what’s out there. It’s always suggested that you go with a baby food maker that does everything for you, from steaming to pureeing, even reheating. This is going to make the process so much easier. That being said, if you don’t want to spend that much money, you can go with a simpler device that will still get the job done.
- Cuisinart: https://www.cuisinart.com/ipad/products/baby_line/bfm-1000
- Beaba: http://beabausa.com/products-categories/babycooks/babycook-pro-3/
- NUK: http://www.nuk-usa.com/baby_food_prep/smoothie-baby-food-maker/