Embarking on the process of
making your own baby food is a commendable one, but it can be time-consuming and without the right machine, you might end up throwing in the towel before you even get to fill your first jar. That's where the best food processors for baby food come in. These compact machines will make the process much more efficient by steaming and pureeing small batches of food in one unit. That said, for a more budget-friendly option, a basic mini food processor will still be able to puree but you'll have to do some prep work before loading it up. Dedicated Baby Food Maker Vs. Mini Food Processor
The first thing to consider when you start shopping is the level of convenience you need. To get the most premium features, you'll need to invest more, but it may be worth it when you consider what you're getting back: time. The all-in-one machines make it extra simple for you from the start — even the buttons are uncomplicated. Just add water, throw your ingredients in, press the proper setting, and you will have freshly steamed and pureed food ready to go. Even better? Some models can also defrost food and/or warm and sterilize bottles.
Of course, a
mini food processor can still offer plenty of benefits. Without the need for a water reservoir, these models, which are like small choppers, have a much smaller footprint and therefore easier to store and bring out as needed. With a pulse function, you can still control the consistency of your ingredients, however, depending on what stage your baby is in, you may need to pre-cook foods and blades may not be as sharp enough to handle meats or other tough fruits. How Much Food Will It Make?
The other spec to pay attention to is capacity. The average machine in this category can handle around 3 to 4 cups, which will be able to provide the
recommended daily amount of solids for infants (and offer some for leftovers), however, if part of the appeal of homemade baby food is so you can stock up your freezer, a more generously sized model will be more your speed. Just note that storing baby food comes with its own set of guidelines, and it will be helpful to have your containers ready to go.
Below, you'll find a list of the
best baby food makers to get you started. I've also included a manual food mill because you may also want a fast option to take on-the-go.
This Glass Option That Both Steams And Blends In One Step
One of the main highlights of this
Baby Brezza baby food maker is its sturdy glass bowl, which is a feature that a handful of reviewers pointed out is not all that common among the other models in the category. "It just feels so much cleaner and sanitary," one user boasted of the bowl (which along with the blade is dishwasher safe). Added another, "Unlike plastic food makers this one doesn't stain and looks nice and new." The minimal buttons on the display make it as simple as possible for you to choose the right setting: steam, blend, or steam + blend, which automatically blends food after steaming (without any transferring needed) giving you the chance the multitask — plus there's an alarm function to remind you when a cycle is done. This machine backed by a one-year limited warranty and comes with a spatula and a recipe book that provides you with guidance on how long to steam various foods. Helpful review: “FAST: Takes no time at all to make great baby food! Just chop up the fruit or vegetable and put it in the glass container and hit ONE button that steams and then blends to perfect baby food. Maybe 10 minutes total from chop to blended? I let it cool a bit too, but it's not been super hot yet so maybe 5-10min cooling I'm serving it to baby. Perfect consistency! My daughter is 6months so just starting. This purees to perfection--I've made banana, plum, avocado, and carrot so far.”
A Top-Of-The-Line Option That Steams, Blends, Sterilizes, Defrosts, & More
Want to meal-prep a week's worth of baby food in one go? Then this
Babymoov food maker may be worth the investment. Although it's the priciest option on the list, it can both steam and puree up to 9 cups at once and has two separate steam trays to keep foods apart, as well as three different blending settings to achieve your desired level of smoothness or chunkiness. Using its handy LCD screen, you can program the machine to steam, blend, reheat, and defrost food, as well as warm or sterilize bottles. One detail to keep in mind, however, is that once your food is heated and softened, you'll need to transfer it over to the larger blender jug in order to puree it. But to help you keep track of where you are in the process, they included an audible chime that will go off with the timer. All of the removable components are made from BPA-free Tritan plastic and can be put into the dishwasher for quick, no-hassle cleaning.
Note: If you have multiples or just want to be able to make even more food at one time (or warm-up more bottles simultaneously), consider upgrading to
Babymoov's 12-cup XL version. Helpful review: “The convenience of being able to steam more than one thing at a time and make my purees all at the same time is wonderful. I like having the 3 different settings on the blender as well so I can get the perfect consistency. It is also easier to clean than any blender or streamer I've owned before and breaks down to pack away easily (the cabinet I store mine in is small but because the blender detaches it fits perfectly).”
An Affordable Mini Chopper That Will Serve You Past The Baby Years
If you want a no-frills option, this low-cost 3-cup
Hamilton Beach mini food processor is easy to use and does a good job at its one purpose: pureeing and chopping foods (you will have to steam them separately). Made of BPA-free plastic with stainless steel blades, the bowl, lid, and blades are all dishwasher-safe. Several Amazon shoppers pointed out how impressed they were with the sharpness of the blades, and a few mentioned being able to use it for meat: "I honestly didn't expect it to because of it's size but it did a great job processing chicken breasts for a recipe I was making!" one wrote. Plus, the neutral all-purpose design of this mini food processor means that you can continue to use it in your kitchen for other non-baby related tasks long after your kids have grown up. Helpful review: “I was going to buy a baby blender once my baby started solids, fortunately, a family friend recommended this instead as it was cheaper. Sooo glad she did! This processor is small, compact, super easy to assemble, and purees so well!”
This Compact Blender That Comes With Cute Storage Containers
NutriBullet baby device offers a lot of value for the cost. While there aren't any additional features or settings beyond simply pureeing, it does come with a load of worthwhile — and adorable— accessories. In addition to the compact machine (and its 32-ounce batch bowl), you will also receive a set of six small 2-ounce storage jars, a silicone freezer tray, and a large 12-ounce cup with handles that can double as a sippy cup (all of which are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe). Amazon reviewers have given it an average of 4.7 stars after 1,500+ ratings, because of how well it produces "nice smooth mashed goodness" for their babies, but keep in mind that a few commented that harder fruits (like apples) won't be as easy to work with, so you'll want to ensure you boil or heat them before blending. Helpful review: “I love this to make my baby’s food! It’s super cute and it works! I love the little containers that comes with it to make for easy storage! Buy it!”
A Manual Baby Food Mill That Will Fit In Your Diaper Bag
For a manual baby food maker that's portable enough to take with you on the go, this 1-cup
Green Sprouts baby food mill is a great option. It's designed with a hand-crank that purees food while separating out the seeds and skin in the process. The mill is made of BPA-free plastic with a stainless steel strainer and is dishwasher-safe, as well. According to one Amazon reviewer, it works best with soft foods, but you can still break down thicker ones (like cooked chicken) so long as you are aware you'll need to put some arm strength into the process. Helpful review: “This is my number one go to gift for the new moms. I like that you can take it with you and use it at restaurants or at holiday meals at other homes. It is so easy to start your babies on foods. It makes about the right portion to feed a child too.”
You May Also Like: These Glass Baby Food Storage Containers
Since most baby food processors don’t come with storage containers, consider adding these
WeeSprout glass jars to your food-making setup. Not only are they microwave-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe, but they make it convenient to store baby food into pre-portioned 4-ounce servings. (They also have measurement marks on the side of the glass for smaller portions.) While the jars themselves are made of food-safe tempered glass, the lids are made from BPA-free plastic to ensure an airtight, leakproof seal. Helpful review: “I was looking for non-toxic, non-plastic container options to store baby food and to take to daycare. This has been an awesome solution! I love that I can store in freezer, write on lid, and thaw food in warmer without worrying about heating up plastic. The glass is sturdy, they look great, and I can reuse for more than just baby food.”
Or: A Tool That Makes It Easy To Fill Your Own Pouches
Infantino squeeze station makes it much easier and less messy to transfer homemade baby food into pouches that are ideal for taking with you on the go (and great for little ones learning to self-feed). Here's how it works: You attach one of the 10 included BPA-free and freezer-safe plastic pouches to a filling tube and use the press at the top of the tube to gently push the food into the 4-ounce bag. After that, the pouch is ready to be labeled and stored, and the entire squeeze station can be placed in the dishwasher for easy clean-up. Note: While the included pouches are single-use only, but they are freezer safe. Plus, Amazon reviewers mention that certain reusable pouches are also compatible with the squeeze station, including these Kiddzo ones. Helpful review: “This should be dubbed the invention of the decade. I'm a new mom and I have showed this to friends with older kids and they ALL wish they had something like this when their children were younger. I TOTALLY recommend this to anyone looking for a wonderful storage and serving solution to home made baby food. This is easy to clean, easy to use, and just wonderful.”