Baby Nutrition / Fertility / Recall

The Best Baby Food Makers: Are They Worth The Money?

Updated on 14 minute read

Overview 

As parents, we know just how expensive baby products can be. The costs just keep adding up and commercial baby food is no different. If you opt for pre-made organic baby foods or pasture-raised ingredients, the cost could be higher.

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Making homemade baby food can help your budget and ensure you provide your little one with healthy foods and dense nutrition.

Whether you’re planning on spoon-feeding or following the baby-led weaning approach, a baby food maker can be a useful tool to add to your kitchen, mama.

Considering that many popular baby care companies, such as Gerber and Beech-Nut, were called out by US Congress for having high heavy metal content in their baby food, many parents also feel worried. (1)

By making homemade baby food, you can be sure that you’re using only fresh ingredients. And you can rest assured that you’re feeding your baby without exposing them to additives, extenders, preservatives, or added sugar and salt. 

Even though you can certainly use kitchen gadgets you already have, a baby food processor might be a nice addition. But is it worth your money? Which baby food maker is the best? Is it truly cheaper to make your own baby food? Find answers below. 

 

Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Baby Food?

Yes, making your little one’s first solid foods can be cheaper, but for some parents, the convenience of buying commercially available products outweighs the cost.

For example, a big carrot or a sweet potato can make around two to three servings of baby food. 

Consider how much each one costs versus two to three jars of store-bought food. The difference can be significant for some families. 

But, if you count the time you need to prepare the foods and clean up your kitchen afterward, you might realize that a commercial product might be more ideal for you.

Still, if you’re up for it and have extra time, you can prepare your baby’s food with a baby food blender designed especially for this purpose.

If your baby has food allergies or intolerances, you wouldn’t constantly be worrying about what’s in their food because you choose the ingredients firsthand. 

 

Is It Worth Buying A Baby Food Maker?

It depends on what you need, what you already have, and what you value, mama. 

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind the extra time spent using multiple tools, then forego the baby food maker. 

If you’re tight on time but have a more flexible budget and would rather streamline your cooking process, then one of the recommended models might be right for your family. 

A baby food maker can be worth buying if you regularly prepare your little one’s food. Many have special features that aren’t available with your other kitchen tools. 

For example, some have automatic features that pour baby food directly into reusable food pouches. Others have both a steamer basket and a blender, so you won’t need two appliances to prepare the food.

If you’d rather skip buying the baby food maker, but you’re set on homemade baby food using what you already have in the kitchen that’s also fine. A drawback to buying a baby food maker is that they’re often more expensive than regular kitchen appliances.

If you have one or several of these in your kitchen, you may be good to go

  • Large pot
  • Steam cooker
  • Steam basket
  • Food processor
  • Immersion blender

What’s The Difference Between A Baby Food Maker And A Regular Food Processor?

Top-of-the-line baby food makers such as BÉABA and Baby Brezza offer both a steamer and a blender or food processor in one product. In contrast, a regular food processor can make purée from food that you need to steam separately.

So, a baby food maker can make your job easier. You might not need to transfer the food you’re preparing from a steamer to a blender when creating purées.

However, this is only applicable for the deluxe, more expensive models. 

Budget-friendly options such as OXO Tot Mash Maker or a baby bullet can only make purées like a food processor. You still have to cook the food separately.

So, why choose these less expensive baby food makers if they’re similar to regular food processors? Well, that can be a matter of preference. 

Perhaps you might like to ensure that your baby’s food won’t be mixed with other ingredients you use to prepare other foods. Or you don’t have a food processor but prefer to buy the smaller baby bullet rather than get a full-sized blender.

Little things like that could make a big difference. At the end of the day, the decision to get a baby food maker is still up to you. Only you know what truly works for your family and what doesn’t. Trust your gut. 

 

Can I Use A Food Processor For Baby Food?

Yes. Although many baby food makers offer more convenience, especially the high-end ones, a regular food processor can still make great-tasting purées for your little one.

For example, Cuisinart discontinued its baby food maker and bottle warmer ($129.95). 

The brand now offers the Complete Chef Cooking Processor ($699.95). You can use it for steaming, slow cooking, chopping, kneading, and puréeing. However, it’s not marketed specifically as a baby food maker.

 

Which Baby Food Maker Is The Best?

The following are our top recommendations. We’ve categorized them so you can better determine what your family needs. Keep reading further for detailed information on each product recommended. 

 

Multi-Function Food Makers

Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker (Glass)

  • $199.99
  • This 3-in-1 food maker (steam and blend, steam only, or blend only) can automatically steam and blend homemade baby food in one step. You can also use this to prepare soups, hard-boiled eggs, and pasta.
  • The glass bowl is a safer option than plastic.

 

Babymoov Duo Meal Station Food Maker

  • $174.99
  • It’s a 6-in-1 baby and adult food processor. It can steam, purée, blend, warm, defrost, and sterilize.
  • It features two steamer baskets, a 3-speed blender, and a juice collector.

 

BÉABA Babycook Duo 4-in-1 Baby Food Maker

  • $209.95
  • It’s a 4-in-1 baby food processor designed for one-handed operation. It steam cooks, blends, defrosts, and reheats.
  • It has two steamers for simultaneous food preparation.

 

QOOC Mini Baby Food Maker Pro

  • $159.99
  • It’s a 4-in-1 food maker designed for one-handed operation with one-button controls. It steam cooks, blends, defrosts, and reheats.
  • It features two safety locks that ensure this product won’t work unless all the parts and accessories are properly installed.

 

Budget-Friendly Baby Food Processors

OXO Tot Mash Maker Baby Food Mill

  • $27.99
  • It’s a manual, portable food grinder with a non-skid base for mixing stability.

 

NutriBullet Baby

  • $69.99
  • It’s a food maker with a cute design, six food storage cups with date indicators, and an easy-pop freezer tray with a lid.

 

Baby Food Pouch Makers

  • Infantino Squeeze Station – $19.99
  • Squooshi Filling Station Baby Food Pouch Maker- $29.99

 

Baby Food Storage Containers & Accessories

You might also find these extra containers and accessories useful for your baby food preparation:

  • Kiddo Feedo Baby Food Storage Container & Freezer Tray, nine jars per tray – $14.98
  • Mumu & Bubi Solids Starter Kit, two trays – $34.99
  • Sage Spoonfuls Glass Snack Pack, four jars – $19.99
  • OXO Tot Baby Blocks Storage Containers, six jars per tray- $10.99
  • Baby Bliss Eco-Friendly Silicone Baby Food Freezer Storage Tray, nine jars per tray – $11.97
  • QOOC Baby Food Freezer Storage Container, 12 jars – $25.99

 

You can learn more about the best baby food makers below.

 

Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker (Glass)

Price

  • $199.99

 

What Makes It Special?

  • The glass bowl can be a safer option than those made from plastic.
  • This 3-in-1 food maker can automatically steam and blend homemade baby food in one step.
  • The brand claims that this product can make baby food as fast as 10 minutes.
  • You can also use this to prepare soups, hard-boiled eggs, and pasta.
  • It features a fully accessible steam tank, which can make refills easier.

Key Features 

  • Material: Glass bowl
  • Capabilities: Steam and blend, steam only, or blend only
  • Cup Capacity: Four cups
  • Portability: No
  • Timer: Yes
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes, bowl and blade

 

Safety Features:

  • Glass bowl
  • Free from PVC, lead, BPA, BPS (bisphenol-S), phthalate, and cadmium

 

Other Specifications & Special Features

  • Dimensions: ‎9.75 x 7.5 x 9 inches
  • Warranty: 18 months (BabyBrezza.com) or one year (retailers)

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It has a smaller capacity (four cups) than other food makers (up to nine cups).
  • Some customers complained about needing two blend cycles before achieving a smooth consistency for their baby puree.

 

What Customers Say 

Positive Reviews 

Very useful, you can steam and blend in the same container.” – Reviewer on Baby Brezza’s website.

Negative Reviews 

My steam feature stopped working suddenly. I haven’t used it more than 20 times and it’s already broken. Such a waste!” – Reviewer on Baby Brezza’s website.

 

Babymoov Duo Meal Station Food Maker

Price

  • $174.99

 

What Makes It Special?

  • It’s a 6-in-1 baby and adult food processor.
  • It features two steamer baskets, a 3-speed blender, and a juice collector.
  • The steaming and blending baskets can be used simultaneously.
  • You can also use this to sterilize baby bottles.
  • Options are available for smooth or chunky purée.
  • The food chopper lets you prepare diced food for baby-led weaning.

 

Key Features 

  • Material: BPA-free Tritan plastic (harder than ordinary plastic)
  • Capabilities: Steam, purée, blend, warm, defrost, and sterilize
  • Cup Capacity: Up to nine cups
  • Portability: Not portable
  • Timer: Yes, with LCD screen and different buttons assigned for each function
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes, all non-electronic parts

 

Safety Features:

  • Free from BPA, lead, and phthalate

 

Other Specifications & Special Features

  • Dimensions: 8 x 10 x 14 inches
  • Warranty: Lifetime

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It’s made of Tritan plastic. Although it’s BPA-free plastic, studies show that these BPA alternatives can still leak toxic chemicals, which might also affect your baby’s reproductive system or cause cancer. (6)
  • The steamer might run out of water when cooking hard food such as sweet potatoes.

 

What Customers Say 

Positive Reviews 

Love it!!quick and easy to use and purée food great!” – Reviewer on Babymoov’s website.

Negative Reviews 

After using this for less than 6 months, using it weekly, sometimes twice a week now, and starting out using it once every two weeks, it has had a malfunction where the numbers flickered and would not register to work.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

BÉABA Babycook Duo 4-in-1 Baby Food Maker

Price

  • $209.95

 

What Makes It Special?

  • It’s a 4-in-1 baby food processor designed for one-handed operation.
  • The brand claims to steam cook raw chicken, fish, veggies, and fruits to any stage (baby purée or toddler food) in under 20 minutes.
  • Options are available for smooth or chunky purée.

Key Features 

  • Material: BPA-free plastic with a stainless-steel water reservoir
  • Capabilities: Steam cooks, blends, defrosts, and reheats
  • Cup Capacity: Up to 9.1 cups of food
  • Portability: No
  • Timer: Auto shut-off cooking timer
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes, steam basket and cooking container

 

Safety Features:

  • Free from BPA, lead, and phthalate

 

Other Specifications & Special Features

  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 9.5 x 7 inches
  • Warranty: One year

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It’s made of plastic. Studies show that even BPA-free alternatives can still leak toxic chemicals which might affect your baby’s reproductive system or cause cancer. (6)
  • Some customers complain about leaking containers.

 

What Customers Say 

Positive Reviews 

This makes homemade baby food do easy to make for my daughter!” – Reviewer on Walmart.

Negative Reviews 

I use this everyday, mostly I love it but about a third of the time it LEAKS EVERYWHERE…I’ve done everything that their website instructs you to do if the machine starts to leak and nothing has fixed it.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

QOOC Mini Baby Food Maker Pro

Price

  • $159.99

 

What Makes It Special?

  • It features two safety locks that ensure this product won’t work unless all the parts and accessories are properly installed.
  • It’s a 4-in-1 food maker designed for one-handed operation with one-button controls.
  • The brand claims that this product can prepare baby foods in less than 25 minutes.
  • It features a fully accessible water reservoir.

Key Features 

  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Capabilities: Steam cooks, blends, defrosts, and reheats
  • Cup Capacity: One cup
  • Portability: No
  • Timer: Yes, auto shut-off
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes, all non-electronic parts

 

Safety Features:

  • Free from BPA, lead, and phthalate

 

Other Specifications & Special Features

  • Dimensions: 11.02 x 10.31 x 8.9 inches
  • Warranty: One year

 

Product Recall

  •  None

 

Cons

  • It has a smaller capacity (only one cup) than other food makers (up to nine cups).
  • Some customers complained about discoloration and dirt from the steamer.

 

What Customers Say 

Positive Reviews 

This is easy to assemble and use, and works quite well. Solid construction.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Negative Reviews 

The water reservoirs paint/plastic stains water .. I tried cleaning it with vinegar and water but it does not help . I am very disappointed and concerned about safety of this product.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

OXO Tot Mash Maker Baby Food Mill

Price

  • $27.99

 

What Makes It Special?

  • This budget-friendly food maker has a wide mouth that lets you add food and easily adjust the liquid to achieve your desired consistency without disassembling the setup.
  • You just turn the lever to grind your baby’s food.
  • It features a non-skid base for stability while mixing.
  • It can catch excess liquids to minimize messes.

Key Features 

  • Material: Silicone, plastic, and stainless steel
  • Capabilities: Manually grinds baby food
  • Cup Capacity: Around one cup
  • Portability: Yes
  • Timer: None
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

 

Safety Features:

  • Free from BPA, phthalate, and PVC

 

Other Specifications & Special Features

  • Dimensions: 3.9 x 6.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Warranty: Not indicated for this product

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • It’s a small food mill you operate by hand.
  • Many customers complained about nooks and crevices inside the device that can be difficult to clean.
  • This product might be prone to discoloration.
  • It has plastic parts. Although it’s made of BPA-free plastic, studies show that BPA alternatives can still leak toxic chemicals and also affect your baby’s reproductive system or cause cancer. (6)

 

What Customers Say 

Positive Reviews 

Every morning I mill up Yukon golds, sweet potato, eggs, and avocado. It’s really easy to use just mix bits of your meals and mill them up for the baby.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Negative Reviews 

If you try to mash anything more solid than a banana you will pop the plastic casing apart. Also, there are grooves within one of the components that are impossible to clean, and get gunk trapped within.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

NutriBullet Baby

Price

  • $69.99

 

What Makes It Special?

  • It’s a food maker with a cute design, six food storage cups with date indicators, and an easy-pop freezer tray with a lid.

Key Features 

  • Material: Silicone and plastic
  • Capabilities: Blends
  • Cup Capacity: Up to four cups for the batch bowl or 1.5 cups for the short cup
  • Portability: You can’t use it with batteries, but it’s small enough to fit a regular-sized bag.
  • Timer: None
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes, all non-electronic parts

 

Safety Features:

  • BPA-free cups

 

Other Specifications & Special Features

  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 5.2 x 11 inches
  • Warranty: One year (with an extension of three months if you register your product on their website)

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Many customers complained about this product easily breaking down.
  • It’s made of BPA-free plastic. Studies show that even these BPA-free alternatives can still leak toxic chemicals which might cause cancer or affect your baby’s reproductive system. (6)

 

What Customers Say 

Positive Reviews 

The best investment in my child development that I could have ever made!!” – Reviewer on Nutribullet’s website.

Negative Reviews 

It literally doesn’t even blend the food.” – Reviewer on Nutribullet’s website.

 

Summary & Recommendations

The following are our food maker recommendations:

 

If you’re looking for a food maker with a glass bowl:

  • Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker (Glass) ($199.99)

 

If you want a food maker with more options:

  • Babymoov Duo Meal Station Food Maker ($174.99) – it’s a 6-in-1 baby food processor with two steamer baskets and a 3-speed blender

 

If you want a one-handed 4-in-1 baby food processor with two steamers:

  • BÉABA Babycook Duo 4-in-1 Baby Food Maker ($209.95)

 

If you’re looking for a small 4-in-1 food maker with safety locks:

  • QOOC Mini Baby Food Maker Pro ($159.99)

 

If you’re OK with a manual food grinder:

  • OXO Tot Mash Maker Baby Food Mill ($27.99)

 

If you want a cute, budget-friendly food maker:

  • NutriBullet Baby ($69.99)

 

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Baby Food Makers

Product Recalls

BÉABA recalled the Babycook Neo baby food steam cooker and blender combo in 2019 for potential injury or laceration hazard. (2)

The company received around 300 consumer reports about the product’s detachable glass bowl shattering. 

This recall is no longer in effect. The affected items were sold from July 2018 to February 2019.

The company has replaced 5,000 units of the affected product. They assure customers that they have improved their glass bowls.

There hasn’t been any new recall of BÉABA Babycook Neo products and these baby food processors are still on the market.

 

Functionality & Capabilities

Here are the different options, depending on which brand and model you buy.

 

All-In-One Baby Food Processor

Many models, such as those from BÉABA and Baby Brezza, offer multi-function all-in-one steamers and processors. Some can also let you prepare soups.

They might cost more, but these products offer more capabilities and prepare your baby’s food in a matter of minutes, without you transferring it to different kitchen tools.

First, make sure to fill the water tank up to the maximum level so you don’t have to worry about the steamer drying up. 

With just a push of a button, you can steam the fruits and veggies you put in the steamer basket. 

Then, another push of the button, and you’ll get freshly puréed baby food after just a few minutes. 

Some of the newest models even get everything done from steaming to mashing and puréeing by just clicking one button. An example is the Baby Brezza Food Maker Deluxe. It can certainly offer more convenience, especially to a time-strapped mama.

 

Simple, Budget-Friendly Models

A modern baby bullet, mash maker, or baby food grinder is also a handy tool for busy mamas on a budget. Examples are the OXO Tot Mash Maker and Nutribullet’s Baby Bullet.

Steaming wouldn’t be such a big deal because most kitchens already have steamers, pots, and stoves capable of handling this task. 

Put your veggies or fruits in the steamer basket and cook until they’re tender. 

You might need to cool them a few minutes before transferring and puréeing in your classic blender, food processor, or baby food maker.

 

Material & Safety

We recommend choosing stainless steel baby food makers or heavy-duty glass bowls instead of plastic parts.

While plastics can look cute and colorful, some might contain hidden dangers. Many plastics contain BPA (bisphenol-A) and phthalates, toxic chemicals that can cause reproductive problems, behavioral issues, cancers, asthma, diabetes, and other health concerns. (3)

It’s also important to check for lead content because this toxic heavy metal can cause your baby’s delayed growth and development, brain injuries, and hearing or speech problems. (4)

Be sure that if you choose a plastic food maker, it shouldn’t have PVC (polyvinyl chloride). PVC might contain phthalates and heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. (5)

 

Capacity

Baby food processors have different capacities: some have small jars (1 cup) like the baby bullets or bigger ones that can process over 30 oz (up to 4 cups).

Assess your needs and determine how often you’ll prepare your baby’s food. 

Here are some things to consider: 

  • Do you want to prepare fresh food for each meal? You can choose something small.
  • Would you prefer making baby food in big batches and freeze for later use? Then a big one might be ideal.

Ease of Use

We understand that you’re busy. That’s why we recommend choosing baby food makers that can get things done with as few steps as possible. 

Some baby food processors can get the job done with just one click of a button. You can find our recommendations below.

 

Reliability

No one wants to buy expensive baby gear, only for it to break down after a few uses, right?  

While you can still get a defective item replaced, it’s a hassle, especially if you’re regularly preparing your baby’s food. Replacement units might not arrive quickly.

However, there’s no guarantee that high-end or more expensive units can be better. Sometimes, some cheaper ones might even last longer, even with regular use.

Check for a product’s reviews by real customers before you buy anything. 

Be on the lookout for reports involving melting plastic parts (another reason for avoiding plastic products), breaking clips, blades that dull quickly, smoking or malfunctioning motors, and other possible defects.

 

Efficiency

If you’re investing over $100 on a baby food processor, you’ll want to make sure that it’ll be an efficient addition to your kitchen.

Choose products with a powerful motor, sharp blades, fast steamer, and capable of processing several servings of baby food with fewer inputs from you. 

 

Storage Options 

If you want options for feeding on the go, some baby food makers can process them into containers or pouches (such as Infantino Squeeze Station). 

Others (such as Nutribullet’s Baby Bullet) come with storage cups and containers that you can directly put in the fridge or freezer if you’re cooking by batch for future use. That makes reheating easier when your baby is ready to eat.

However, it’s a good idea to use freezer-safe containers or reusable food pouches that you can stack on the freezer tray for later use. Try not to use extra baby bottles or other containers not designed for freezing and food storage.

If you prefer to give your baby purée in a pouch, you can also opt to get a squeeze station. This kitchen tool can pack the baby purée inside reusable food pouches or containers.

Your options can include:

  • Infantino Squeeze Station
  • Squooshi Filling Station Baby Food Pouch Maker

 

Why choose baby food pouches? Again, it can be a matter of preference, mama.

Some parents prefer giving a squeezable pouch to their baby so they won’t need a spoon to eat, especially when they’re out of the house. 

But if you’d rather spoon-feed your baby or let them self-feed with purée, you can always opt for other containers instead.

 

Portability 

If you’re heading out for a trip or regularly need to prepare baby food while you’re away from home, a portable food maker can be quite handy.

A baby food mill (such as OXO Tot Mash Maker) can be an inexpensive and portable kitchen tool that you can bring on the go. Some options are battery-operated (example: iOCSmart wireless baby food processor), while others don’t even need batteries at all (example: Green Sprouts Baby Food Maker).

 

Cost

A food maker’s price tag doesn’t always indicate its reliability and performance. However, the more expensive options can usually be more efficient and have better capabilities. 

For example, high-end, all-in-one units can cost more but might be easier to use because they require less input from you.

A budget-friendly option doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the expensive brands, but they can be ideal if:

  • You’ll only be using it to prepare a small amount of food
  • You might only use it for a few months because you’ll be switching to finger foods as your baby grows older
  • You’re considering switching to baby-led weaning (a self-feeding approach with finger foods)
  • You have other appliances that can do a similar job
  • You’re on a tight budget 

 

Care and Maintenance

Like other kitchen processes, baby food making doesn’t stop at cooking and storing the finished products. The clean-up process is up next. 

It can take a lot of time, especially if your food maker has a lot of parts that have to be washed each time you use them.

We recommend choosing dishwasher-safe baby food processors to help you cut down on the time you need to get everything cleaned up in your kitchen.

Remember, it’s best to get everything properly cleaned after each use so that you can avoid potential foodborne illnesses. 

Food makers with plenty of nooks and crannies can be frustrating to clean, especially if you’re short on time and energy. And aren’t we all? We feel you, mama. That’s why products with fewer parts to clean can be a good choice.

 

REFERENCES

(1) https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2021-02-04%20ECP%20Baby%20Food%20Staff%20Report.pdf

(2) https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/Beaba-Recalls-Baby-Food-Steam-Cooker-Blenders-Due-to-Laceration-Hazard

(3) https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/documents/Pubs/210-090E_BPAandPhthalates.pdf

(4) https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/leadpoisoning/index.html

(5) https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/opmrdd/health/pvc.html

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4063249/

 

 

 

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