277 of 279 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2011
Basicly, this device does an excellent job at making baby food and every new parent should seriously consider getting it. It does however, have a few minor flaws. If you skip to the end of this review, I'll detail a list of pros and cons. Otherwise, read on for a detailed description of how it works and where some minor issues lie.
My wife and I use this device all the time. To cook the food, you place what you want steamed in to a slotted cup, pour in a "guestimated" amount of water, put the vented dome on it and press start. This thing cooks by heating a little hot plate in the water resevoir and just continuing to boil away until there's no more water. There's a clever little catch pan to keep all of the water from just falling back in to the hot plate compartment. This catch pan can and does overflow, especially if you're cooking "wet" foods such as yellow summer squash. So the water resevoir really needs a wipe down after every use. Not a big deal, the plastic and the metal hot plate are both easily cleaned and debris doesn't really stick to them. So the steam function requires a little playing with to decide what water amounts work best for different foods, but it works quite well. The box and manual both claim that the steamer compartment can also function as a bottle warmer. They lie! Technicaly, this works. It just works very poorly. It tends to take far far too long and the water resevoir needs emptied when you're done. This requires unplugging the device and hauling it to the sink. Just skip this feature all together and you'll be much happier.
---The blender. This side is essentially just a Magic Bullet that's been repackaged. You have to be carefull about adding liquid to the stuff you've steamed. This little blender, much like a full sized blender, is going to struggle on thick substances like steamed sweet potatoes. Just add water or milk if it's struggling and try not to expect too much out of the little rubber clutch that spins the blades. A lot of reviews on this sight make a complaint about the gasket or the clutch not holding up. I'm not sure what these parents are blending, but I'd be willing to bet that they are simply overburdening the blender. Take it easy and this thing's going to last.
---As a side note: USE ICE CUBE TRAYS!!! So the wife and I tried some cheap, disposable 2oz plastic containers to store our food in the freezer. They'd shatter very easily. We started looking at various baby-specific food storage and were rather aghast at the prices. Well, my wife read a review which suggested dishing the food in to some ice cube trays and just emptying those in to labeled ziploc bags. This little tid-bit of information has saved us countless dollars and headaches. Now we just load a few cubes in to a bowl, maybe even mixing and matching, and zap that in the microwave. Yes, we check the temp and have found that about 1min 15sec is perfect for 5-7 cubes. Now for the review breakdown:
---Steams quickly with a "set it and forget it" feature that lets you walk away.
---Has a catch pan in the steamer that lets you add the nutrient-rich drips back in to the baby food. Yay!
---Beeper lets you know when steam resevoir is empty and automatically turns off heating element. You'll want to wait another minute or two, letting it cool.
---Entire device is rather stain resistant and foods wipe off with little to no scrubbing.
---Blender is fairly sturdy and, providing it has enough liquid, blends food to a smooth consistency quickly.
---Blender cleans easily and is dishwasher safe.
---The amount of water needed for each food is a bit of an art. There's plenty of room for error. Under-steamed? add water and go again. Over-steamed? lesson learned, baby will still eat it. You learn quickly, so this is a very minor complaint.
---There should be warnings about not making food too thick. If you try to run the blender with thick foods, you will break it!
---THIS IS NOT A BOTTLE WARMER!!! regardless what packaging and manual may say, this is a terrible feature and is only added to the labels to make the machine appear more impressive. I'm providing a 5-star review anyway, because I love this thing and pretend that this feature doesn't exist. If you do the same, you should be quite pleased with this product.
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2011
I was making my 6 month old food the old fashioned way, steaming it on the stove and then running it through the blender. Problem with this is you cannot get rid of the chunks on some food, you have to babysit the food while its steaming and washing out the blender was a pain. This is an amazing machine! I can steam my fruits and veggies, meats, pastas, blend them til they are smooth(no chunks), warm breastmilk for daddy to feed him and thaw and reheat the baby food I made...all in one machine! The clean up is a breeze-wash with soap and water! It takes up little space on the counter and it is a nice looking machine too. With the price of baby food these days and not knowing even how to pronounce some of the additives, this is a great investment. You know exactly what your baby is eating. No preservatives needed...just make and freeze(or make as needed-its fast). I have ziplocks full of cubes of food in the freezer. I am having so much fun making the food my husband asked where we are supposed to put our food since 2 full shelves in the freezer are full of food and bottles...lol! But we have a happy, healthy baby boy and you cant replace that feeling of making and feeding your baby wholemade food.
106 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2011
The first time I used this machine, I was making a banana and formula puree, it busted. The rubber seal wrapped around the blades.
The product sounds very promising. I would love to have a working one. However, I called Kidsline and they told me they would need to talk about it and get back to me. What?! They never called back. So, I called Amazon who had me send the machine right back for a new one or a refund. Thank you Amazon! I will take my refund!
The product may not be a zero or a 1, but Kidsline is definitely a zero in my book. I will never purchase another Kidsline product for fear I will have to deal with costumer service!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2011
We've had it for several days now and I have to say I was skeptical. No more. It works, and it works well. Compact, simple to use and clear instructions included. Tested it out right off the bat with a batch of carrots, about ten minutes later popped them in the blender portion and bingo! Good blend, great consistency. I've used it to warm up bottles as well and it works well at that.
Easy to use
Good low/no water safety feature in the steamer portion
Great idea for the small ring as a handle on the steamer section, saves you from the hot plastic when removing the cover
*maybe a better way to drain any excess water from the steamer portion
A way to add liquid without disassembling the entire blender container, minor minor issue
Doesn't make my youngest like carrots. BAH!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2011
First off, for those that had the rubber band problem... it's a really easy fix. Just inspect your product before using it. If the band is not fully snapped in, run your finger over it and it snaps back into place.
Now for the product review: pretty good stuff. I like that it's one system for multiple uses. Previously, I was steaming veggies on the stove in a steamer basket, then processing the food in the big food processor. It seemed like a lot more work with all that stuff. With the Baby Food Maker, I can do all the same things without the hassle of wrestling with the big processor and big stock pot. Still the same amount to parts to clean up but the mess (because let's face it, making baby food gets messy!) is much smaller.
The only complaint I have is that I'd like to make a large batch of food all at once and freeze the excess and with the Baby Chef Ultimate Baby Food Maker, you can only make about 3 servings at once. But that's really a minor detail.
Overall, I'm really happy with it and happy to use it regularly.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2011
I had my doubts about the value of a baby food maker, but after struggling with boiling and using a Magic Bullet which wasn't getting the consistency, I needed to try something different and quicker. The Baby Chef is very easy to use and very quick to steam and puree. I've found myself using this every day, sometimes several times, and not just for baby food. I can make a batch of baby food from start to finish in less time than it takes me to cook dinner with hardly any extra effort. The instructions suggest only small amounts can be made, but it can handle enough for several baby meals. The motor seems more powerful than the Magic Bullet and you can make very smooth purees, or use the pulse to get a more textured food. The parts are easy to remove and clean and can be thrown in the dishwasher. The recipe book which comes with the Baby Food Maker is also excellent and has given me several ideas to vary and keep my baby entertained.
Cons - the steamer beeps all the time while in use and this is not mentioned in the instructions.
The water reservoir for steaming is actually in the main body of the Baby Chef, so to empty it you have to unplug the whole thing, remove any loose parts and tip it upside down. It doesn't take long but it's a bit of a drag. Also the steam run-off basket doesn't capture all the steam, so if you are steaming fruit or anything with a high sugar content you have to make sure the reservoir is very clean afterwards otherwise it gets sticky. A timer for steaming would be a bonus for the next model.
Overall, I'm really glad I have this and it's so simple even my husband can manage it unsupervised.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2012
Basically, as other reviewers have said, this can be a versatile little piece of equipment, if you don't demand too much of it. Here is a summary of the different features:
1) The warmer: it is not super fast, but it NEVER overheats the bottle and it always gets the bottle right around body temperature. And it keeps the bottle warm after it's reached its target temperature. Perfect if you are reheating breast milk, which you don't want to overheat or heat to quickly. So, if you don't wait until you have a screaming hungry baby to use the warmer, you will be satisfied with this feature. We have learned to start heating our baby's bottle 10-15 mins before we anticipate her wanting to eat. If she eats later than expected, that's fine, because the bottle is kept warm. We've left it on there for almost 30 minutes and it stayed warm.
2) The steamer: also not super fast, but it works. It takes some trial and error to figure out how to steam the food to the desired softness you want. If you use the recommended amount of water, vegetables are soft and eadible for an older baby, but not easily mashed or blended. Use more water, the steamer goes longer and you get softer food. The picture shows the steamer filled to the brim with carrots and such, and I imagine if you did this, it would take alot of extra water to get those veggies all cooked. As other reviewers have said, the catch is great for collecting water with nutrients in it which you can then use in the blender.
3) The blender: it doesn't blend ice cubes or uncooked, hard produce, that's apparent looking at the size of the motor and the blades. Go easy on it; it's not a full size blender. Again, like other reviewers have said, use lots of liquid, especially if you haven't cooked the food until it's soft enough to mash. We haven't tried meat in it yet, but I imagine that would require extra liquid, too. And again, the picture is misleading. I would not try to put that much uncooked fruit in it and expect the motor not to burn out. We use it to blend steamed veggies that are pretty soft and always add a little extra liquid; and we have been very satisfied with the results.
Overall: great prodcut that allows us to warm bottles or prep food for our baby as we cook our own meals made from the healthy, fresh food. Keep in mind the limitations of a small machine like this, don't expect it to do the work of a full size blender or a microwave, and you will be satisfied, too.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2012
i should preface this by saying that in order to make baby food, you don't actually "need" a baby food maker. i was from the school that believed that i could do it with what i already had and take up less counter space. i used a pot and steaming basket to steam (shock) and a cuisinart to process. it was fine.
i bought this product bc we are going away and i dont anticipate use of a stove. i should have bought it ages ago! it makes things so easy -- the same unit for both steam and puree, and it CLEANS SO EASY!!
overall i love it, i spent the weekend stocking up; i was that excited about it!
easy to use- so easy it motivates you to make more food!
easy to clean
evidently warms bottles. i didn't use this function, but if i had known, perhaps i would have ditched the bottle warmer in the early months.
PRICE! about HALF the price of other baby food makers, if you use one go for this one!
CONS: (but i weigh these a lot less than the PROS!!!)
a little large. all the baby food processors are, and this isn't any different.
the storage bin underneath could be a little larger to hold one of the extra caps...you'll know what i mean when you see it.
there could be a deeper well to catch the water from the outer steaming top
BUY THIS. i'm so glad i did!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2011
After reading such good reviews, I was quite excited to try the Baby Chef baby food maker. The first three times it worked great, although there was a weird smell during the first use. On the fourth use the little plastic part that sticks out to make the puree side work snapped off.
I contacted the company and their phone number was disconnected, so I sent an email. Surprisingly I got an response after a day...however the response was not very helpful. They just told me to get the retailer to replace the part. So, I did.
So...with the new part, I was excited to start using it again! However after 2 uses, the same part broke again. Clearly the design is flawed and this little plastic piece just isn't strong enough to do what it was designed to do.
Overall, I'm extremely disappointed. The five times I used it, it worked great, but ultimately it just isn't designed well or made well. What a pity...
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2011
I was skeptical about purchasing a steamer and processor for our 6 month old. Was I really going to use it regularly, especially after returning to work, or would it be too much of a pain to set up, clean etc? It turned out to be so much quicker and easier than I ever suspected. It is so small that it just sits on the counter all the time. The steamer is convenient, just add water and go for it. I am also impressed with how thoroughly the processor pureed whatever I put in there; cucumber, mango, apples, spinach, prunes, whatever you can think of. It is so much fun to use that I am making more healthy organic baby food than I ever imagined. I have enough to share with my Mommy friends and they are so impressed. Yay! Easy! I only wish I had purchased this unit sooner so that I could have taken full advantage of the bottle warmer feature.