12 October 2006

Reducing the SpaghettiO mess factor

Here's how Andrea, homeschooling mom of 4 and prolific blogger, simplifies post-SpaghettiO cleanup:

With small picky toddlers, sometimes one of the few things they will eat is those canned noodles in tomato sauce, often in special character shapes. But they are horrifically messy, often resulting in bath time and a hosing down of the room afterwards. It took me all the way to child #4 to figure out I could drain off a good portion of the sauce before serving it to them. You could even rinse off most or all of the sauce for older babies who are practicing feeding themselves. Without the sauce, the chunky noodles are easier for them to hang on to before stuffing them in their mouth. And there's less tomato sauce in their hair, too.

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I drain out most of the sauce, throw in some pureed carrot or squash, and a handful of peas or corn. Mmm, better.

Even just unusually shaped pasta can be a hit -- plain rotini, wheels or bowties. Ziti are also fun, especially when served alongside green beans, which fit nicely inside the ziti.

Following up on the post suggesting Asian grocery stores for a supply of fun little plastic bowls, you can also buy bibs with sleeves in Asian five-and-dimes. I've seen both short and long sleeve versions. The one we have is a thin fabric lined with vinyl (or some other plastic), so it dries very quickly. The sleeves not only keep the clothes underneath far cleaner, but mean that baby can't get the bib off on his own.

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