There is one item that I have used pretty much nonstop since my son was around 6 months old: my Beaba BabyCook. I still use it regularly even now that my daughter (my youngest) is almost a year old. The Beaba has been around for a while, and now there are several lower-cost alternatives made by other brands such as Baby Brezza, the Baby Bullet, and The First Years BabyPro. Those could be just as good, I’ve just never tried them.
At first you might think these doo-hickeys are expensive. It’s true that they’re not cheap. And theoretically, yes, you could steam and puree baby food with just your regular pots and pans. That would be cheaper. But the beauty of one of these baby food systems is that you don’t have to use 5 different pots and pans! There is just one receptacle to clean for the steaming and the pureeing.
Since my sink is constantly full of baby bottles and sippy cups waiting to be washed, I don’t have room for a giant steamer, a strainer, and all the pieces of a food processor. With the Beaba, I only have one thing to wash. WORTH IT.
Do keep in mind that, in contrast to using a full-size steamer, a strainer, and a food processor, these enclosed systems often offer the ability to catch the steamed water and use it to add back into the food during the puree process, which ensures that you don’t lose the foods’ natural vitamins and minerals.
When it comes to pureeing, I have also noticed a difference between my Cuisinart food processor and the Beaba. For some reason, a regular food processor does not seem to puree as finely as the Beaba does. In fact, for some recipes that call for pureeing, I have actually used my Beaba instead of my regular food processor.
Once your baby grows out of the puree stage, the Beaba still remains useful. Both my kids got to the point at around 9-10 months old where they refused purees and would only eat finger foods. Also, they didn’t have any teeth to speak of. At that point, I just popped various fruits and veggies into the Beaba basket to steam and cut into bite-size chunks. Apples, pears, sweet potatoes, squash… anything that we had around the house went into the Beaba and was ready to serve in about 20 minutes.
Quick tip: if you’re steaming fruits or veggies last-minute for a hungry baby because you just realized there is no food for them in the house otherwise (not that I have ever done this…), you can take a small amount of tiny bit-size pieces right out of the steamer basket and pop them into the freezer for 5 minutes. Instantly cool enough to eat!
As the kids get older and pickier about foods, I am now using the Beaba to steam and puree veggies to hide inside other foods. Yes, I know I said I would never do that. But you can hide a ton of foods inside mac n’ cheese. And don’t forget my lentil carrot spice muffins (for which I also used the Beaba).
So, despite both my kids slowly approaching toddlerhood, I am still loving on my Beaba. I highly recommend it!
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NOTE: Links are affiliate links, but I was not paid or given any product for this review. Noooo, I paid for that Beaba myself even though it was NOT cheap. I think it was worth every penny!