Product Reviews Feeding Baby
Making your own baby food may seem appealing, especially after you open one of those Gerber jars! You can choose organic foods, peal them or not (many nutrients can be found in the peal), add your own spices and avoid fillers or salt. But what’s the best method to make baby food? Do you use your home food processor or buy a special “baby food processor”? How about an affordable food mill? We’re here to help you figure it all out. Click the tabs below for recommendations, buying advice and brand reviews.
Our Picks: The Best Baby Food Processors
Should you get a separate baby food processor? We say no. Most readers tell us they already own food processor of some sort. The most popular and highest rated processors, made by Cuisinart, chop, puree and mix up a storm. So if you already have one and want to make your own baby food, no need to purchase a special baby food processor.
If you don’t have a food processor and want one for your kitchen, we recommend a Cuisinart (models DLC-2011CHB or DFP-14BCN). They have the highest ratings for quality and customer satisfaction. They are expensive (for example, pictured at right is a $179 model with 11 cup capacity), but they have the power and capacity to produce just about any recipe including baby food. And it will last forever.
If you want to spend less than $150, consider Cuisinart's more affordable models like the four-cup capacity Chopper/Grinder (model CH-4DC) or KitchenAid's three-cup capacity Chef's Chopper. These are about $50 to $60.
What about those steamer/processors? These products allow you to steam and then process baby food in one appliance—no extra pots and pans to clean. Our top pick in this category is the Beaba BabyCook (pictured left). Although it only has a 2 1/2-cup capacity, parents love the way this steamer/processor works and cleans up. At $114, the Beaba is pricey for the short time your baby will eat baby food—but parents love how easy it is to use and clean.
Finally, for parents who only need a basic, hand crank food mill, we think OXO Good Grips Food Mill is a best buy. It ain't cheap at $50, but it really works.
Making your own baby food is a great idea. You can introduce your child to the foods you eat, encourage healthy eating habits and save money over jarred baby food.
So what to look for in a food processor? First, you'll need to determine how much baby food you want to make. If you're planning to freeze a month's worth of carrots for your little one, consider a regular food processor. You'll be able to puree up to 12 or even 20 cups of baby food in a full size processor. If you're only interested in a few day's worth of food, the two to four -cup capacity processors will work just fine. And if a single meal is all you need, consider an affordable manual food mill.
Next consider whether you have room for another appliance on your counter. If you already have a food processor, don't add to the clutter and expense with a specialty baby food processor. If you have limited counter space and don't already have a processor, we like the idea of a steamer/processor. The capacity is small, but a dual use appliance makes it a plus. If storage is absolutely at a premium, get a hand crank mill.
Finally, consider price. If you have the money, you'll find that the larger processor (see our review of Cuisinart) is useful for other cooking needs. We make pie crust, puree sauces, mix bread dough and more in our Cuisinart. And it will last for years. But if price is a consideration, hand-crank food mills are under $20 and will do the job for the small amount of time you'll be making baby food puree.
Remember your baby will eat baby food for only a short period of time—six months or so. After that, your baby (now a toddler) can eat regular adult table food (cut into smaller bites, of course). Hence the utility of a baby food processor is limited; while a regular food processor will give you more bang for the buck.
- Annabel Karmel (Freshfoods)
- Kidalog Baby Food Mill Grinder
- KidCo Babysteps Food Mill
- Munchkin Puree Food Grinder
- OXO Tot Mash Maker Baby Food Mill
- Baby Bullet
- DEX Make, Store & Serve Baby Food Processor
- Especially for Baby Food Processor
- KidCo BabySteps Electric Food Mill
- KitchenAid Chef's Chopper
A EXCELLENT-our top pick!
B GOOD-above average quality, prices, and creativity.
C FAIR-could stand some improvement.
D POOR-yuck! Could stand some major improvement.