When I was pregnant, I had visions of preparing homemade baby food from fresh, locally-grown produce. I purchased Annabel Karmel’s bestselling baby cookbook- First Meals, and I read all the yummy-sounding recipes. (Read Candace’s full review of First Meals here.)
But my first attempts at preparing homemade purees were time-consuming and frustrating. It’s hard to justify spending almost an hour preparing food and washing pots and blenders when you can buy organic Gerber purees for less than a dollar or gourmet frozen organic food for about $2.50 a serving.
Since my own attempts to make baby food had been so time-consuming, I jumped at the chance to test the Beaba Babycook. This baby food maker is extremely popular in Europe and the new BPA-free version is now available for sale in the US. The Babycook steams and then purees veggies, fruits and meats. The Babycook is idiot-proof since the steamer automatically turns off when the food is done. You can control the consistency of the food and make either a smooth puree or something with more texture. Clean-up is super fast since there are no pots or dishes to wash. Just put the Babycook in the dishwasher’s top rack.
It is obvious that the Babycook was designed in Europe since the directions look like they were translated from another language. But the device is easy enough to use. Just look at the chart to determine if your food needs to be cooked on level 1, 2 or 3. Then pour the proper amount of water into the steamer and wait for the light to indicate when your food is done. The lid is tight-fitting, so I had a few problems trying to put it on the first few times I used the machine. But once I got the hang of it, I was able to open and close the lid without problems.
A recipe booklet was included, but I didn’t find those recipes that appealing. Instead, I used First Meals, Blender Baby Food: Over 125 Recipes for Healthy Homemade Meals and my own imagination.
The Beaba Babycook is available for $150 at Giggle. While that might sound expensive, think about how much money you currently spend on baby food. I mostly serve Gerber food, so I was spending about $10 a week on baby food. (If you serve a premium organic babyfood, you might be spending up to $20 a week.)
If you are already cooking your own dinner using fresh fruit, veggies or meats and just steam/blend the same foods separately for baby, you will probably save money in the long run with a Beaba Babycook particularly if you prepare and freeze extra food when you spot a good sale at the grocery store.