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Make your own baby food at home

What are baby food makers and storage how do they work?

Baby food makers are essentially miniature versions of blenders and food processors. At the heart is the ability to steam cook raw fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. Then, a blade is used to puree them into a smooth texture that is ideal for baby to eat.

Some baby food makers don't actually steam cook food but have multiple blades, like an extractor blade for mashing, pureeing, chopping, and mixing food that has already been cooked and a milling blade for grinding rice, grains, and oats.

Once the baby food is made, it can be served to baby right away or conveniently kept in storage containers, organized by food type so you can grab and feed as needed. Many baby food makers can also be used to reheat previously made baby food (or other items), defrost food, and some can even be used to sterilize and/or warm baby bottles.

What kind of baby food makers and storage containers are available?

There are a variety of types of baby food makers. All-in-one baby food processors can both steam and blend food in the same small appliance. Some have multiple tiers for steaming different food separately and some have dual compartments for doing two types of purees at once. Some full food prep systems come with storage jars with lids as well for freezing or refrigerating baby food once you've made it.

If a set of storage jars doesn't come with the baby food maker, you can buy baby food containers separately as well. A variety of packs are available, including small 5-ounce containers with different-coloured, spill-proof lids so you can colour-code by type of food, like savoury and sweet. There are also stainless-steel food jars for taking food with you for feeding on-the-go.

What should you consider when buying a baby food maker and storage containers?

An all-in-one unit makes the most sense so you can steam and blend at once, unless you already have a steamer. But using the same unit makes it easy to do small batches as needed and minimize clean-up. If you want to make a large amount of baby food ahead of time, find a baby maker with a large capacity bowl and blending area. And look for a set of containers that can be put in the freezer, microwave for reheating, and are dishwasher safe.

A baby food maker with a pulse function is handy so you can adjust the texture to make silky smooth purees for a baby just starting out, then chunkier food for an older baby. It's convenient for feeding a baby through their entire first year of getting familiar with solids.

Find a baby food maker that offers easy clean-up and automatic turn-off, and is free of BPA, lead, and phthalates. If you plan to exclusively make baby food, a baby food maker is a great idea, along with a set of stackable, spill-proof storage containers.