Baby Food Maker: Why You Should Consider Getting One
Babies are very expensive. Between clothes, diapers, creams, and food, it can be hard to budget well to get everything you want and need for your child. Baby food just in itself can be a big expense, especially if you are trying to give your baby only organic foods. Luckily, there is a way that you can still give your baby the best foods possible, while saving a bit of your hard earned money. Make your own wholesome baby food. It sounds a lot more difficult than it is. And there are many types of products that can make it even easier! Getting yourself a baby food maker can turn a fairly time consuming task into a quick and easy one. There are many different types you can get, that range in price and features. Here is how to choose the best one.
What Is a Baby Food Maker?
A baby food maker is pretty self explanatory. It is a device that is able to make baby food for you. Basically you put whatever food you want into the device, then it mashes and blends your food together into a puree that is ready to serve to your little one. Now of course, the same can be done with a food processor, however there are some extra steps when using one. A baby food maker is able to do all of the required and necessary steps in one fell swoop, making your job a whole lot easier.
Essentially what these look like are mini food processors. They have a container where you put whatever food you want inside, then either a switch or button system that allows you to select the type of food you want to make. In all reality, these are blenders or food processors that are marketed for a specific purpose.
Now, there is not just one type of baby food maker. Depending on the type of food you want to make, there are different products made to handle specific things. The different types of a baby food maker include baby food masher, food mill, food steamer, food blender, and food squeeze station. Each are designed to do a specific task, but you can also get an all-in-one baby food maker, which is able to handle whatever you throw at it.
- Baby Food Masher- This is a simplistic design, that utilizes the same concept of mashing potatoes by hand. There is usually a bowl and a masher, and you just have to crush away until the food reaches the desired consistency. The price of these can range between $5 and $15 typically.
- Baby Food Mill- These are a manual baby food maker. They work like a crank handled pepper grinder. Baby food mills churn food into a mush the baby can actually eat. The price for these guys can range between $10 to $25.
- Baby Food Steamer- These are a combo of a steamer and a blender. the reason steaming is great is because the food will retain all of its nutritional value. Many of these devices also feature handy push-button controls and timers. The average price for these ranges between $35 and $150.
- Baby Food Blender- If you are looking for the typical baby food maker, these are it. They work like a baby food processor, turning anything you put inside into a good puree. They are much simpler than the steamers but it may require you to cook some of the food before making it into a puree. The average price can be between $40 and $80.
- Baby Food Squeeze Station- These kind of devices are actually meant to be used along with another baby food maker. They allow you to pour pureed baby food into a tube and squeeze it into a handy-dandy pouch for on the go feeding. It comes with a cap for the pouch as well. You can usually find these between $15 and $40.
How to Choose the Best One
There are certain things that you should consider when shopping for the best baby food maker. If you want this to be a once and done thing, you need to make sure you are getting the perfect one for you. Otherwise it is going to turn into a bigger hassle then it should be. So to help you out a bit, here are some things that you should consider when shopping.
First thing is that you want to figure out if you want a manual baby food maker or an electric one. Generally, the electric models are much more fast and even more efficient. Of course they are also far easier to use. However they can be rather expensive. The manual ones, while they do require you to put in more work, also offer more control over the final result and are much less expensive. That being said, electric is typically the way to go, as it offers you to spend much less time making and preparing the food than the manual baby food maker will.
Next is to make sure that your baby food maker is dish washer safe and easy to clean. The clean up is probably the most annoying part, not to mention absolutely gross. Some of the variations of the baby food maker will have a bunch of extra parts that need to be cleaned. So being able to throw all of those parts in a dish washer can save you a lot of time and energy.
Another thing to consider is whether the baby food maker is BPA free. BPA is a highly controversial topic that many manufacturers have let out of many of their plastic products. The impacts of BPA on your health can range from minor irritations to serious illnesses. So it is best to just avoid that at all costs.
If your baby food maker is easily breakable, that is going to be an issue. Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to your kid. It would be horrible for a piece to break off in your baby's food. So be sure that the device is made of 100% unbreakable materials.
We already mentioned the different types but that is still very important. Selecting which type of baby food maker is right for you is a big choice and if you choose the wrong one, you could be out a decent amount of money.
Lastly, and probably one of the most important things for you is the price. Some of these products can be very expensive. However, that doesn't mean that it is the best one out there. Sometimes you are just paying for a certain brand name and the product is not that great. So be sure that the price lines up with everything else you are looking for, other wise you're being jipped.
Pros and Cons of a Baby Food Maker
Like everything, there are advantages of using a baby food maker, and some disadvantages as well. Nothing in this world is perfect. So to be sure that a baby food maker is right for you, here are some pros and cons to help you make your decision.
- Saves Money- Organic baby food, even regular baby food can be expensive. But the ingredients to make baby food aren't. One time payment for a baby food maker means years of savings.
- Know what is in the food- Sometimes, it can be hard to tell exactly what is in your child's food. Any preservatives or toxic ingredients? By making your own, you don't have to worry about that.
- More Variety- You can combine anything you want together instead of being limited to whatever is in stock.
- Better nutritional value- By cooking and preparing your own baby food, the food can retain more of its nutritional value than pre-made food does.
- Fresh- You buy the ingredients, you make the food, you don't have to worry about the food not being fresh.
- Takes More Time- While using a baby food maker is still much quicker than doing it by hand, it still requires some time. And while your time is already very precious as a new parent, it may not be something you are able to do.
- Not as Convenient- While pre-packaged baby food does not need to be refrigerated and can be taken anywhere, the same can not be said for homemade baby food. Unless you have a travel cooler, you will not be able to bring that food with you.
- Needs to Be Refrigerated- The biggest issue with homemade food of any kind is that it spoils quickly. Preserving it in your fridge or freezer is going to take up a decent amount of space.
Overall, the pros outweigh the cons in my opinion. There is also a lot of information to take into account when thinking about getting a baby food maker. But in the end, it is probably the right choice, both for you and your baby. For more information, check out the rest of Green and Growing.
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