Being a parent is busy and once your little one is ready to start weaning, it’s guaranteed to get busier – and messier.
Whether you’re choosing to adopt a baby-led weaning approach – where finger foods are used – or to feed your infant purées and mashed foods, time-saving gadgets such as steamers, blenders and mashers can save you precious minutes in the kitchen.
Here, we’ve tried, tested and rounded up the best in blenders, steamers and mashers to set you off on the exciting road to weaning. You can also find plenty of hints, tips and weaning recipes in our comprehensive weaning guide.
What is the best blender for making baby food?
When looking for the perfect weaning gadget, your search certainly won’t fall short – there are plenty of devices on the market to choose between.
From specialist baby food makers which can steam and blend, through to simple hand blenders, mashers and manual tools such as mills and grinders, they all have their merits.
For ambitious home cooks who want to make everything from scratch, top-of-the range blenders such as the Beaba (see below) will appeal.
If you’re searching for a gadget which will be of use beyond the weaning years, a traditional hand blender, stand blender or food processor can be a great option, while hand-held mills and mashers are brilliantly affordable, compact, and tend to be easily portable.
The best baby food blenders to buy
Read on to discover the best blenders and steamers for making baby food. For weaning recipes and more, visit our weaning guide to find tips on identifying when your baby is ready for weaning, flavour combinations for the first year and recommendations on the best high chairs to buy.
Oxo Tot Mash Maker
Best affordable baby food maker
- Not as thorough as an electric blender
- Fiddly to clean
This nifty and affordable hand-held device conveniently transforms steamed fruit, vegetables and ‘grown-up’ food into baby food in seconds.
Essentially a stacking system, featuring an ingredient loading base, mill, and a stainless steel blade, the Oxo masher whittles down ingredients with ease. Given its compact size, it’s a great option if you’re eating out, travelling or just want to create weaning-friendly foods with minimal fuss and mess.
To use, it’s a case of simply putting your chosen steamed, boiled or soft foods in the base, sliding the easy-grip hand-held mill over the top, and twisting a crank so the food pushes through to the cup at the top.
While we did find the resulting purée to be mushy, as opposed to completely smooth, adding a touch of milk or water loosened the overall consistency.
While admittedly it was tricky to extract every bit of purée from the device, especially around the blade, this is an extremely handy gadget, particularly considering its price and portability. It’s also dishwasher-friendly and has the advantage of being quiet to use.
Beaba Babycook Neo
Best investment baby food blender
- All-in-one device
- Slow to steam
Considering the Babycook Neo’s good looks (its navy blue and pink colourway makes it look like a stylish coffee machine), compact design and ease of use, this modern piece of kit is one you’ll undoubtedly want to leave out on your kitchen worktop – but it does come with a hefty price tag.
It’s straightforward to use and works well: the glass jar unscrews easily, the lid affixes without resistance, and the ‘steam’ and ‘purée’ buttons are large, obvious, and cushiony to touch.
An array of ingredients can be steamed, from potatoes and green beans to meat, fish and fruit. To steam, chop your chosen ingredients into 1x1cm cubes, pop them in the glass bowl, and fill the stainless steel tank with one of three water levels (110ml, 130ml or 150ml). You’ll need to plan ahead though – steaming sweet potato cubes took us over 15 minutes.
The machine beeps when the ingredients have finished steaming, although it would be handy if there was an in-built timer to denote how much time is left on the clock.
Once the veg is steamed, it’s incredibly straightforward to make purées – simply remove the metal steaming jug, pour the ingredients into the main jug, add milk, formula, or the juices your ingredients were steamed in, and press the mixer button for up to 12 seconds.
Conveniently, you can pulse continually, or in individual bursts. The resulting purée had an even consistency and was smooth and glossy. What’s more, the noise levels were moderate enough not to wake a napping infant.
Overall, the Beaba does have longevity, and it’s impressively multi-functional. On top of steaming, puréeing and mashing ingredients, it also has a defrost setting; handy if you already have purées stored in the freezer.
Ultimately, its suitability will depend on how much you’re looking to use it. If you’re a hands-on cook looking to batch cook and defrost your own homemade purées and sauces with minimal fuss, this could be the gadget for you.
Best baby food blender for accessories
- Value for money
- Batch cooking-friendly
- Excess packaging
- No power switch
- Food gets stuck under blade
This was the only blender we tested which came with a complete weaning set; in addition to two blender cups, a batch jug, a base unit and two power blades, the NutriBullet Baby also comes with two easy-pop batch trays with lids, a spatula, and six date-dial storage cups.
You’ll also find a user manual and cookbook, which contains a wealth of recipes, plus a pocket nutritionist denoting suggested feeding schedules, and nutritional information.
Smaller than the standard NutriBullet, this is pleasantly compact and occupies less counter space than other baby food blenders we tested. As with the standard NutriBullet, this powerful blender turns on as soon as you slot in the cup – something to watch if you’ve not used one before.
The jug is great for batch-cooking purées and the accompanying mini spatula helps to scoop every last bit of purée out, although its bendiness does limit its effectiveness somewhat.
As well as being quick and efficient to operate, it handily comes with two blades; a ‘baby blend blade’ for puréeing and blending foods, and a ‘milling blade’ for milling grains to make cereals or baby rice.
Unlike some weaning gadgets, ingredients do need to be cooled before blending, which can add time to your feeding schedule. It’s also worth noting the blender and each of its parts come packaged in a fair amount of cardboard and plastic.
Overall, this is a blender designed with a lot of thought and research – it offers a fantastic introduction to the world of weaning, especially if you’re looking to batch cook.
Best multifunction baby food steamer and blender
- Steamer and blender
- Relatively compact
- A bit fiddly
- Not the most attractive
When it comes to baby bottles and sterilising products, Philips Avent is one of the leading names in the sector and this multifunctional 4-in-1 gadget can steam, blend, defrost and even reheat homemade food.
It’s incredibly easy-to-use: just one twisting dial is used to steam, blend, heat and defrost food. One of the most innovative parts of its design is that the same 1000ml jug can be used to both steam and blend ingredients – it’s simply a case of flipping the jar upside down according to the function you wish to use.
The clear jar also means you can see your vegetables steaming, so you won’t risk overcooking them or losing precious nutrients.
It takes approximately 15 minutes to steam vegetables, and as everything takes place within one cup you can conveniently use the steaming juices to blend your ingredients into a purée. We found it slightly fiddly to slot the jug into place, with the steaming end trickier to slot in than the blending end.
Design-wise, it looks pretty basic and as it’s white, it shows up the faintest of splashes, especially from purées. But looks aside, it certainly delivers on the task in hand and it’s wonderfully convenient. Handily, the jar and blade are dishwasher-friendly, too.
It creates an exceptionally smooth purée – one of the smoothest out of all of the blenders we tested. The accompanying spatula is firm and scoops the food out of the difficult-to-reach parts.
The blender also comes with a handy recipe booklet, which contains 16 straightforward recipes created in collaboration with nutritionist Dr Emma Williams.
Best mini chopper for making baby food
- All-purpose gadget
- Large for a mini chopper
If you’re in the market for a handy kitchen gadget with a lifespan beyond the weaning years, this makes light work of making everything from breadcrumbs to chopping nuts, fruit, meat and vegetables, and can also be used to make sauces.
It’s incredibly straightforward to use, requiring the push of one large button to operate. This large power button means it can easily operate one-handed, although the power unit is slightly on the chunky and heavy side. Nonetheless, it’s still smaller than a lot of blenders and processors on the market, and its 200W motor makes it adept at making purées.
It can be used for both purées and roughly chopping food, with the latter function ideal for mashing down adult meals into smoother textures. For roughly chopping food, you simply blitz your ingredients (which need to be pre-cut to half an inch before blending) with the power button, while for purées, you simply hold the button down for 20 seconds at a time.
One of the biggest bonuses is that the jug can withstand heat, so you can add in food of up to 50C, unlike a lot of blenders and choppers on the market. The roomy jug can also make up to half a litre of food at a time – ideal for getting ahead with food prep.
The motor is conveniently on the quiet side, and it’s easy to scoop out ingredients once blended. While it doesn’t produce the smoothest purée on the market – this can be remedied with a little stir – this mini chopper has the advantage of being quick and easy to use and clean, especially when operating one-handed.
Russell Hobbs Desire matte black 3 in 1 hand blender
Best everyday blender for making baby food
- Somewhat noisy
Baby blenders may only be required for a matter of months, so an all-rounder gadget, such as a hand blender, can be a great option if you’re looking for a device that will whip up food beyond purées, and not take up too much valuable kitchen space either.
This nifty 500W 3-in-1 blender from Russell Hobbs is straightforward to use. Elements attach and click into place easily – which is exactly the time-saving gadget you need when you’re juggling childcare and a to-do list longer than your arm.
The wand attachment can blend, pulp and purée ingredients, while the whisk attachment can be used in place of a regular whisk. The chopper attachment can be used as a mini food processor.
For the purpose of purées, or mashing up an adult dinner for a little one, we’d recommend using the wand attachment.
As it’s hand-held – unlike other models we tested – you have the benefit of determining the consistency of your purée, plus you can handily control the consistency of your ingredients thanks to its two speed settings and pulse option. Contents are easy to scoop out of the 700ml capacity beaker.
While it’s powerful, and created a wonderfully smooth purée in our tests, it was louder than some of the models we tested. Overall, it’s a versatile, affordable and sleek blender and is certainly a great option for weaning – and beyond.
Best baby food maker for gadget lovers
- Sleek interface
- Efficient multi-tasker
- Might be too complex for some
This nifty machine does it all: on top of steaming and blending, it can also sterilise, defrost and warm up baby jars and baby bottles. Given all of its capabilities, we found it does take a little longer to get acquainted with the model, but overall it’s easy to set up, use and clean.
The Babymoov Nutribaby + comprises of a tiered steamer and blender which is separated by a LED control panel. The most detailed panel of all of the units we’ve tested, it handily denotes water levels, temperature of goods, and even whether the kit needs descaling.
This sleek interface comes with a number of pre-set functions – from steam to blend, reheat and sterilise – all of which are accessed with a simple push of a button. There’s also a countdown timer which flashes when the steamer is in use, so you know exactly how long is left – and can adjust the time accordingly.
It’s all very functional to use; the model comes with two steaming baskets, so you can steam meat and vegetables separately if you so wish.
A button beeps if the steamer runs out of water while steaming – which we encountered – and there’s also the option of cooking eggs and steaming rice and grains, in addition to fruit and vegetables.
The steamer is quiet and efficient and while the blender is relatively loud, it has three speed options, so you can create soups, smoothies and purées to your desired consistency. We found it created a thoroughly smooth purée and the blender blade was easy to remove and clean too.
Conveniently, you can use the steam function and blend function simultaneously, saving you additional time in the kitchen. The fact that the Babymoov Nutribaby + can also heat baby bottles – and sterilise them – is an added bonus.
In spite of all its functionalities and settings, this is nevertheless a compact, stylish and well-designed model. Overall, it’s a fantastic option for weaning and beyond, and in our opinion offers great value for money, particularly as it can create food for the whole family.
How we tested baby food blenders
We tested each baby food device against the following criteria
- Consistency of purée
- Noise levels
- Blade strength
- Speed of blitzing
- Ease of use
- Jug strength
- Design and aesthetic
- Ease of use
- Additional extras
- Assembly and packaging
We used our sweet potato puree weaning recipe to test each product.
This review was last updated in June 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you make your baby food? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments below…