If you have a baby or a toddler, or both at the same time, you know how messy and frustrating mealtime can often get. Figuring out baby’s first foods and letting them explore self-feeding; managing picky toddlers and their insistence on feeding themselves combined with their inability to actually get any of that food in their mouths — you’ve got a lot on your plate (pun intended!). I find it really helpful to have feeding tools that simplify mealtime and help facilitate the actual eating of the food and drinking of the drinks. I’ve been really vocal about my love of the feeding products from Munchkin here on Oh Lovely Day and in my instagram feed. Their products take both safety and convenience into account, which really makes things easier for both the little ones and the grown ups. So I thought I would share some of my absolute essential feeding and mealtime tools and why we love them so much. I’ve also linked to where you can get them all at the bottom of the post for your convenience.
White Hot Divided Plates, Bowls, and Spoons
Why we love it: If you have ever tried preparing a meal for a toddler or a preschooler you probably already know this: kids are picky! Even my middle child who used to eat everything I put in front of him as a baby, now eats like a bird. His most frequently spoken sentence when it comes to meals? “I don’t want food.” So making his meals a little more fun by giving him a variety of foods in little divided compartments on these white hot plates goes a long way. Sometimes I put different colored foods in each section. Sometimes I put food I don’t think he’ll eat in one, with two foods he loves in the other two. He tends to eat more when it is sectioned like this. Also, if food is too hot, the plates, bowls, and spoon tips turn white under the food (hence the name ‘white hot’ for this product line) so you are alerted to let food cool more before serving.
Stay Put Suction Bowls
Why we love it: when I want to give my baby or toddler some finger foods (cheerios, cut up fruit, small bits of chicken or veggies, etc.) sometimes I just put food directly on the tray. But often they insist on the bowl. And you don’t want to give them the bowl because you know it will end up being knocked in the floor (usually with the food still inside). But the stay put bowls have suction at the bottom, keeping them on the tray and letting your little one self feed from a bowl.
Miracle Stainless Steel 360 Cup
Why we love it: What’s not to love!? This cup drinks like a big kid cup, but doesn’t spill like one. My 6 year old still uses this cup for mealtime at home (he’s a bit clumsy so it is a lifesaver for me), and my older toddler loves it because he feels like a big boy like his big brother. And the bonus for the stainless steel version of the miracle 360 cup is that it is insulated and keeps drinks cool for up to 10 hours. I also love that this cup promotes dental health by supporting normal muscle development in your child’s mouth. It is easy to clean and doesn’t spill in your diaper bag. And one other thing I love about using this cup at dinnertime: when my older kids use a straw cup they tend to drink way more milk or water right before bed, which makes it hard for them to make it through the night without wetting the bed or soaking through a night diaper. Because they have to be more deliberate about their drinking with the Miracle cup, they don’t over drink too close to bed, which helps them to stay dry through the night.
Weighted Straw Sippy Cup
Why we love it: There are a lot of sippy cup options out there, but this one is the perfect trainer cup for introducing babies to the concept. The fact that the straw is weighted means baby can get liquid from any angle, which is key since they are just learning to hold a cup and drink from a straw. Charlie and Calvin both took to a cup quickly, but both had also been introduced to bottles prior to a cup. Quincy never had a bottle ever, and it took him much longer to take to a cup. But I found that he knew how to drink from the straw, he would just frustrated and abandon the cup quickly when nothing came out right away. This is the cup we had success with, thanks to that weighted straw. And now he does fine with all straw sippies, often trading back and forth with big brother Calvin (insert grimace emoji here).
Click Lock Straw Sippy Cup
Why we love it: This is my favorite sippy for toddlers who are familiar with drinking from a cup and straw. They come in a slightly bigger 9 oz size, are easy to clean (parts are removable and are a breeze to reassemble after running through the dishwasher), and are great for on-the-go. I love that the lid is easy to put on, and you know it is screwed on properly because it locks into place and you hear a click sound. There is a flipping straw and they don’t leak, which makes them perfect for throwing in the diaper bag for outings. They are simple and they work, which is all you want or need in a sippy.
Why we love it: I don’t go anywhere without two snack catchers full of snacks. They are the perfect tool to let your little one self-feed on the go, which usually buys you at least 30 minutes of peace and quiet in the car or happiness in the stroller. I just fill them with cheerios, crackers, freeze-dried fruit, or whatever snack is their favorite at the time. For older toddlers like Calvin, the regular snack catcher works fine because they understand the concept of the snack cup. But for older babies and younger toddlers, I love the click and lock snack catcher for two reasons: 1. baby can’t rip off the lid and spill the contents everywhere and 2. if they don’t eat the whole snack inside there is a cover so the contents stay fresh (because how many times have we dumped stale cheerios in the garbage?) I recommend having a few of these on hand!
Click Lock Food Pouch Spoons
Why we love it: I have to say, I don’t just love these — I’m obsessed! These make feeding baby on the go or when you are out at a restaurant such a breeze. Just throw one of these spoons and a couple of baby food pouches in your diaper bag and when you need them you screw the spoon onto the pouch where the lid was, you’ll hear it click into place, and squeeze and feed. Brilliant. I also recommend having a few of these. I keep at least one in each diaper bag as a back up in case I forget to pack one.
There are lots more fun feeding tools that exist and some we even use, but these nine products specifically are true sanity lifesavers for us when it comes to mealtime both at home and on-the-go. We use all of them almost every day with all three kids and they have all held up incredibly well over the years for us. Products that are functional and practical, and well designed for both kids and parents in mind are my absolute favorite, and each of these fit the bill. It’s the little things, right?
What are your favorite mealtime tools and feeding sanity savers? Did I miss one that you love?
You can shop for al of the products above here: White Hot Bowls, White Hot Spoons, Apple Plates, Stay Put Suction Bowls, Weighted Straw Cups, Click Lock Straw Cup, Stainless Steel Miracle Cup, Snack Catcher, Click Lock Snack Catcher, Click Lock Food Pouch Spoons
This post is brought to you by Munchkin but the opinions are my own.