29 April 2007

Mealtime hacks for new eaters

Amberlynn shares her tips for mealtimes with babies who are just starting to eat solid food:

My little boy still loves nursing, so eating is still an entertaining novelty to him. However, so far (six months of solid foods, and they're still just a game to him) he's been a fantastic eater. Here are some of our mealtime hacks (some of which are obvious):

*We pull his highchair up to the table during every meal, so he's eating WITH us, even if he's not eating.
*We give him a spoon (sometimes two) of his own which keeps his hands out of the way while we spoon feed him.
*(This one's my favorite) You know the fantastic
all-purpose linking toys? I have some linked to the tray of his high chair, and use an elastic to attach his spoon to it, and sometimes his sippy cup (the kind with handles) gets attached to a chain. That way, when he throws them overboard, they don't hit the floor, and I don't have to go get a new spoon.
*Extra bibs live right on the back of the high chair, so there's always a clean one handy.
*I've never actually purchased canned/jarred baby food. We just make sure something in the meal is ok to share with him.

We've been using the hack someone sent last year about getting a ton of spoons for him to play with when we go out to eat, and it's always worked wonders. Another favorite "out-to-eat" toy is a straw. We'll feed him sips of water with it by sticking it in the glass, covering the end with our finger, lifting it to his mouth, and then releasing the finger cover. He LOVES it.


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I love these ideas, thanks!

"...I don't have to go get a new spoon"

That made me laugh. If I got a new spoon every time it landed on the floor, we'd need to run the dishwasher during meals to have enough by the end. Use the 5 second rule for spoons, they won't pick up any more germs than by crawling around on the floor and putting their hands in their mouths.

I do like the idea though since it saves you from having to bend down to pick it up.

The high chair toy links (combined with "holder") do provide a great way to keep the sippy cup from hitting the ground - see http://www.fay-family.com/2007/02/11/doggy-proofing/

We had to resort to such measures because our dog kept getting smacked with flying cups. Only negative is that the heavier the object, the quicker the "holder" might break. Both of our "holders" are now broken from wear and tear.

I second the pulling the highchair up the table and the not purchasing baby food tips.

We have a Svan highchair (which converts to a toddle and later and adult chair) that allows our son to sit right next to us, as part of the family table.

I also never purchased baby food. No one in my family really ever did so I just followed family practice and fed our son whatever we were eating (within reason)

Those are all really great suggestions.
One thing that we do with our daughter (seven month old) is give her a net feeder filled with whatever we're eating if it's not soft enough for her to eat on her own. That way, she can feed herself and still be safe.

My daughter is 8 months old and she LOVES the sipping from a straw as well :)

When my husband and I were out to eat awhile back with our 13 month old, I realized I forgot my son's sippy cup. He'd never used a straw before and couldn't quite get the hang of it. I used a butter knife to cut a straw in half and presto - he was sipping water like a champ. He loves using a regular sized straw now and I think the short version helped him figure out more easily without the frustration.

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