Two of my favorite babies - my nephew and my good friend's daughter - are both around 6 months old and just starting eating solid foods. It's been so fun to get regular reports on what they like and don't like, and to hear their mothers' adventures in baby-food-making. My sister-in-law, for instance, has been preparing batches of food for baby Jamie with her food processor, while my friend Lynn makes little Petra's food with a KidCo Baby Food Grinder.
Taking a poll of my mommy-friends, it turns out the KidCo Grinder is pretty popular among moms who want to be able to just puree a bit of what they're serving the rest of the family for dinner. Others, like my sister-in-law, have just used the food processor, blender or whatever tools they have on hand to make purees. As for myself, when my eldest (now 5) was a baby, I used a steamer and a food mill, and when I made food for my now-2-year-old, I had a fancy Beaba Babycook that I'd received as a gift. The moral of the story is that we're lucky that there are so many specially designed baby food makers, but we're also lucky that our own kitchens might already have the tools we need to feed baby his or her first foods. Take a look at my feature on baby food makers to see some of the popular versions on the market, as well as some of the kitchen tools that you could use to make baby food. I've outlined the pros and cons and even offered tips on which are the most useful when baby's graduated to "real" food.