A Squared: My 10 Favorite Things for Toddler Mealtime

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My 10 Favorite Things for Toddler Mealtime

Feeding a toddler is certainly an adventure! For me, it's been fun. Hannah is a fantastic eater whose favorite foods include blueberries, peas, meatballs, roasted salmon (I know!), pasta, spinach tots (recipe coming soon), scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, yogurt, and pretty much anything flavored with cinnamon or covered in marinara sauce. She does have her preferences though and there are a few things I just can't get her to eat: broccoli, cubed avocado or sweet potato (she only likes them mashed), and pizza, much to our dismay. On balance though, she does a great job and I have had a ton of fun giving her new foods because she is willing to try almost anything-- and I know that other moms aren't always that lucky!


And while she is an adventurous eater, mealtime at our house is now an adventure in itself. With the exception of oatmeal, yogurt, or a few purees that still require our help, Hannah is pretty much feeding herself these days. And watching her become an independent eater has been a proud moment for me as much as it has also been funny, terrifying, and extremely messy! We have some portion control issues (i.e. you don't need to put ALL of the food in your mouth at once) and some communication roadblocks (like signaling that she is done eating by dropping her food on the floor and/or feeding it to the dog) and then there's the general messiness: marinara facials and mac and cheese hair treatments, to name a few instances. Now that we are deep into toddler mealtime and there's no looking back, we've got a whole new box of tools for handling Hannah's eating and drinking these days. Here's a roundup of the items that we're loving lately:



1. OXO Tot Transition Straw Cup with Handles - This cup is great and has helped us seamlessly transition from formula to cow's milk and away from bottles and nippled sippy cups too. We packed all of Hannah's bottles up this past weekend and she hasn't missed them. The flexible straw is easy for her to use and the cup is spill-proof too so even when she tips it all the way up or drops it on the floor, we don't end up with a puddle situation. The lid flips closed, making is easy to cart along when we're out and about and the handles are also removable so this can easily transition to a bigger kid's cup too.
2. Calphalon Nonstick Mini Muffin Tin - These muffin tins have been put to serious use now that Hannah is a toddler. Since they are small and nonstick it is an easy way to make appropriately portioned food for her. I make big batches of corn muffins, healthy banana muffins, and homemade veggie tots in these pans and then freeze them so that I always have them on hand when making her meals.
3. Munchkin Snack Catcher - These snack catchers are great for packing up cereal, puffs, and small crackers for Hannah to feed to herself-- without grabbing a handful of 10 at a time like she normally does. We have the regular plastic version, but then I just discovered these stainless steel snack catchers which would be great for housing her favorite peas, blueberries, cheese or other snacks that need to be kept cool!
4. OXO Tot Baby Blocks Storage Containers - I mentioned these in a previous roundup, but they are worth mentioning again because we seriously use them every day. I portion out Hannah's breakfast, lunch, and snacks into these containers for her nanny every night and I also frequently fill them up and pack them in her diaper bag when we are on the go. They seal nicely and are freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe.
5. Bumkins 3-Pack SuperBib - I finally upgraded Hannah's bibs after the velcro started to go on her old ones and have loved these so far. They cover much more of her, so messes are at a minimum and they're made of a durable washable fabric with a front pocket to catch all the food she's dropping everywhere. Oh, and they come in cute patterns too!
6. Burt's Bees Baby Organic Washcloths - I LOVE any of the Burt's Bees Baby cotton products, but these washcloths are especially handy now that my messy girl is feeding herself. I hate to be wasteful and use paper towels or disposable wipes to clean her up after every meal, so these soft machine washable cloths are a great environmentally friendly option.
7. Annie's Homegrown products - Annie's is my go to brand for snacks and pantry staples for Hannah. While I prefer to give her homemade food, I love Annie's healthier options for crackers, cookies, and boxed mac and cheese when I need something quick for Hannah that I can also feed good about her eating. Also, they're tasty for adults too. #guilty
8. Cheeky Baby Self Feeding Utensils - Hannah can't really feed herself with utensils yet, but she tries-- so I give her a spoon or fork with every meal that she usually just holds in one hand while using her fingers to pick up food. Or she uses the wrong end of the fork to try and pick up her pasta. It's precious. These adorable utensils are lightweight and easy to hold, durable, BPA-free, and for every Cheeky Baby or Kid product purchased they'll donate a meal to a child in need.
9. Baby Jogger Single Stroller Tray - If you've got a Baby Jogger stroller and a toddler, you may need this add-on tray! It snaps right on to your stroller seat and is the perfect little tray for snacks, along with a cup holder for a sippy cup. It opens on one side so that you can easily put your child in or take her out. Hannah loves having her water cup readily available and I love having a place to drop a few crackers or Cheerios for her to feed herself while we are out on adventures.
10. Foodie Babies Wear Bibs - This cute book by Michelle Sinclair Colman is all about the cool things that "foodie babies" like eating small plates and visiting farmers markets. It's a short and sweet board book, so it's a perfect way for this foodie mommy to share my other great love (food) with my little one!


Did you find this list helpful? Here are a few more you might like:

My 10 Favorite Items from Month One of Motherhood
Month Three of Motherhood: My 10 Favorite Items
At 7 Months: 10 Baby Things We're Loving Lately
10 Recipes for the Whole Family to Enjoy [Adapted for Babies!]

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