Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Baby Stuff I Love: Mealtime

When it comes to items for mealtime, I can't think of anything I particularly love. Here are my thoughts on things:

  • Highchair: I do love my highchair, but I don't think they even make that exact model anymore. For more on my thoughts on highchair, see this post: Highchair Features: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/highchair-features.html. Also, most people I hear from love their highchair, so there must be a lot of good ones out there.
  • Bibs: A bib is basically a bib, but I do have one I love. Unfortunately, it is homemade. It is just a dishtowel with a hole cut in the middle of it and ribbing sewn in. It has been great for Kaitlyn because I think she can be messy. My mom informs me she is still cleaner than the average baby, but I can be OCD. Brayden didn't even need a bib for most of his life because he is also OCD.
  • Spoons: I haven't ever purchased a spoon that I absolutely love and stands out above the rest. This is true for baby spoons as well as toddler spoons. My friend uses spoons that have a curved handle, and for her son that helped him get the spoon into his mouth.
  • Forks: Forks can be a frustration for kids for a long time. I like the plastic ones for the younger ages because they can't harm themselves. We also have some forks we got from Babies R Us that are fat and chunky in the handle (made of plastic), then has metal for the fork part. That is good for the older toddler who can actually use a fork because the plastic are usually too thick on the ends for an uncoordinated toddler to stab.
  • Plates: One thing is that those plates with suction do not work. They might work for the baby under one, but they soon get old enough and determined enough to pull the plate up. Brayden never messed with his plate, so I just removed the suction off of it. It would come unsuctioned on its own after a few minutes anyway. Kaitlyn did want to mess with the suction plate, so at first I suctioned and just kept pushing it down while instructing her to leave her plate alone. Eventually I realized if I took the suction off, she didn't want to mess with the plate anymore.
  • Bowls: Again, I haven't ever found a bowl that stands above the crowd.
  • Placemats: Once the child is eating at the table rather than a high chair, I do love a plastic placemat under their bowel/plate.
  • Cups: There are a lot of sippy cups out there, and the best one will depend on your child. My kids like the Playtex sippy cups. I got them because they are BPA free. While the US FDA says BPA is nothing to worry about, I saw Dr. Nancy Snyderman on the Today Show one day and she said when it comes to this better safe than sorry. I thought that was a good point and bought BPA free. For normal cups, Brayden uses small glass cups.
  • Booster Seat: We moved Brayden to a booster seat on a chair around 17-18 months, and will do the same with Kaitlyn soon. Our booster seat doesn't have any special features other than it straps to the chair which is nice for the child to be able to climb up alone.
Now, share your favorite mealtime items--or mealtime items you have found to be a waste of money. Thanks!
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Reader Advice/Comments/Questions:
  • Dana said... Here are a few things we love: I love the Kiddopotamus plastic table mats. They suction to the table and are really nice for the 9-15 mo in restaurants where you don't have a plate for them. TinyDiner® Portable Placemat in Yellow Hippo design I also like the kiddopotamus plastic bib. It is formed and catches those items that slip from little hands, preventing them from landing in the lap. (My daughter likes to take big handfuls of food. :) Kiddopotamus Bibbity Rinse And Roll Bib Green 2-Pack. We love our son's Cooshee booster seat, and will get one for our daughter as well. It sticks to the chair so we don't have to worry about it slipping around when he climbs in. BabySmart Cooshee Booster Seat. We also love the Chicco travel hook-on highchair for when we're out and about (especially camping). Chicco Travel Seat - Adventure. For cups we love the tupperware style cups with the lid (no suction). They then become a regular cup when you no longer need the lid. (We get our generic ones at Walmart for much less than tupperware sells them.)September 9, 2008 11:05 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Dana. My mom has the tupperware cups and my kids like them.

    September 12, 2008 1:31 PM
  • Jennifer said...
    I'm curious if anyone has any experience with baby food mills or grinders? I'm interested in the idea, but don't want to waste my money if they don't actually work.
    September 9, 2008 11:05 AM
    Melissa said...
    well, I'm not quite there yet (as son is just about 4 months old), so I look forward to your thoughts, too! :)
    September 9, 2008 11:42 AM
  • TheOzz said...
    Our little 13 month old Josiah (JJ) loves to drink through a straw. We use those Playtex spill proof straw cups.

    Mrs Ozz has also enjoyed making her own baby food. She used a small food processor to chop/puree and then freezes the food using special ice cube like trays. She then stores the same cubes in gallon size freezer bags. This process takes away any questions about ingredients which has been very important due to JJ's allergies to wheat, egg, and peanut. The homemade baby food is also yummy enough for an adult with fully developed taste buds to actually enjoy a bite every once in a while. :-)
    September 9, 2008 12:06 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks "theOzz". Good tips! Making baby food is something I want to try with my next child. I always assumed it would be too time consuming, but have heard it isn't that bad.
    September 12, 2008 1:36 PM
  • The Pinnt's said...
    I too make my own baby food. I don't use a food mill I do what the commenter does. I use a stick/immersion blender (Easy clean up!) and put the puree into ice cube trays with lids, you can get them at Bed, Bath and Beyond.It is so great to make your own baby food, it's easy and rewarding. You know what your child is eating and you can play with it a little more. My LO doesn't like many green veggies so what I can do is put one or two broccoli cubes in with some veggie cubes he does like and he still gets the green goodness. Plus I can work up the amount of broccoli he gets so that he might acquire a taste for it.Another food must I love is our space saver high chair. It just attaches to a chair and then when they are older it turns into a booster seat. I love your blog Val! Thanks!
    September 9, 2008 1:09 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Pintt's! Good ideas!
    September 12, 2008 1:42 PM
  • david, blair, and sadie beth said...
    I love my Fisher-Price Booster Seat. We use this as a high chair since we don't have a lot of extra space and it is also very portable. We take it with us to restaurants on the rare occasion we go out - I feel much better with Sadie Beth eating off the booster seat tray, and you also never know what has been spilled or what bodily functions left on the restaurant high chairs. I make all of my own baby food. Let me first pass along a WONDERFUL web site...www.wholesomebabyfood.com. I might have posted this before but the site is the most helpful resource I've come across for making baby food. It is very down to eart, well organized, and easy to follow. It also makes very clear what foods are okay at various ages. As far as food mills, etc. goes - I use an 11 cup Cuisinart food processor. Cuisinart 11-Cup Pro Custom 11 Food Processors. It was a little pricier than the food mills I've seen, but the benefits make it SO worth the extra expense. I think mine was on sale for $70-80. The baby food mills are all so small that you can only do smaller quantities but you can do substantial amounts of food in mine (eg. - a whole lb of peas, greenbeans, etc). I use my food processor for lots of other things as well, so it was definitely worth it. Another thought - you might see "baby food cube" trays at stores that are outrageously expensive - usually about $14 for 2 trays. You don't need to spend this money. I simply got a few very durable (rubbermaid) ice cube trays (2 for $5 at Meijer) and they have been great. Each cube spot is one ounce - so it is still easy to track how much your baby is eating. I also freeze large quantities of food at a time. Hope this isn't too much! I would love to be a "baby item" consultant.Blair
    September 9, 2008 1:15 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Blair--I am glad to hear about the Cuisinart. We have been deciding between that and a Boshe food processor (we own a Boshe, so we would just do an attachment). Do you remember where you got it from? I heard they rarely ever go on sale.
    September 12, 2008 1:49 PM
  • Rachel Stella said...
    I also make my own baby food.I either use my Kitchen Miracle Plus (which didn't cost me anything because I got it for my wedding years ago) or the good old fashioned blender. If you are short on cash I'd think you could either use a blender which you probably already have or just mash the food when your baby gets older. I also just use regular ice cube trays and then put tin foil over them while freezing them. Then I put the cubes in a ziplock bag. I use a TBSP measuring spoon to fill the ice cube trays so I have a good idea of how much I'm feeding my son since 1 cube= 1 or 1.5 TBSP. I have also found http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ to be the best website available for making baby food.
    September 9, 2008 3:41 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Rachel. I have heard great things about that website and have linked it here before because of it.
    September 12, 2008 1:51 PM
  • Salina said... I second the comment on the Kiddapotamus bib Kiddopotamus Bibbity Rinse And Roll Bib Green 2-Pack. IT'S THE ONLY BIB YOU NEED- NO MORE MACHINE WASHING AND DRYING. Just rince and hang back on the high chair for the next meal!I made my own baby food as well. Great resourses:the Super Baby Food book- you have to have this! Start your babes on "Super Porridge"Also, www.wholesomebabyfood.com- irreplaceable!
    September 10, 2008 8:41 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for your "seconds" Salina!
    September 12, 2008 1:55 PM

4 comments:

Amber said...

I totally agree that the worst mealtime purchase ever made was the suction plate. It's currently in three separate pieces in my cupboard and I don't know why I don't just throw half of it away! I really like the Kiddappottomas bib as well, although my son actually pulled so hard on it that he almost ripped off the rubber knob used to attach it. I really have like the cheap version from Walmart that snaps to make the catch-all trough, and then snaps behind the neck with two different size options. I also have used the baby food mill that you can then use as a bowl. It works best with foods that won't be lumpy once smashed like bananas, avocados, etc. I actually tried spagetti and it worked but was a beast to clean out. Give it a try, it was nice to use when I already made dinner and didn't want to be a short order cook but wanted my son to eat what we ate, only at the correct consistency.

Plowmanators said...

Amber, that is funny--I have all of the pieces to those plates in my cupboard too. I should get rid of the suction sections :)

I just bought a kiddappottomas bib yesterday; I am excited to try it. Kaitlyn is about done with bibs, but I will at least have it for the next one! Thanks for the info about the walmart version.

Thanks for the food mill tips also!

Rachael said...

I know a spoon seems like a basic thing, but there is a spoon called "The Boon Spoon". It actually holds the food inside a bulb that you squeeze and it squirts out onto the spoon. It is perfect for when you are out... no more messy food jars and lids! I have twins and now I can feed them at the same time without going back and forth to the bowl. LOVE IT! http://www.booninc.com/products/Squirt

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Rachael, it is always fun to see what other people have found out there!

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