Toddlers are messy, and feeding toddlers is an even messier business. I’m all about letting my toddler get messy when she eats, but I’m certainly no glutton for punishment! Being the Amazon mom that I am, hunting up products to save my kitchen floor was the first thing I did when my kids went from snuggly little milk monsters to independent “I do it myself!” toddlers.
With baby number three, we even completely ditched the gigantic high chair in favor of a SpaceSaver highchair from Fisher-Price. It is crazy affordable, straps right to a regular chair, and the entire cover comes off with literally no fuss. I toss it right into the washer on the regular. To protect my chairs, I also use this Booster Seat Cover from Munchkin under the seat.
You can actually see our high chair in action in my post about breast and bottle feeding.
Beyond my highchair toddler hacks, I use a few unique products to make feeding my toddler easier and way less messy!
Quick Tip: if you’re looking for information about baby-led weaning and whether it’s right for you, check out this post from Fab Working Mom Life.
Silicone Toddler Plate with Stay-Put Suction
This little toddler plate is one of my favorite things ever! It holds strong to the slick surface of a high chair or table (provided it’s clean), and I love that it’s in the shape of a fun animal. I’m not a huge fan of manipulating the look and shape of foods—I’m looking at you, dinosaur chicken nuggets—but I do love making mealtime fun. This totally fits the bill, and my kids still see what food actually looks like.
Toddler Fork and Spoon Set
Toddlers want to be just like adults, and they learn by copying what they see. At meal times, we sit down to eat together, and feeding my toddler means fixing a plate for her and giving her silverware of her own. We use this Fork and Spoon set from Munchkin, and they’re crazy durable and dishwasher safe. I also like that the plastic is somewhat soft and thick, so she gets a good grip and doesn’t hurt herself when she tries to eat.
Easy Clean Silicone Bib
These bibs are amazing! We quickly grew out of the basic cloth ones once the little toddler began feeding herself, but these do double duty around here. Not only do they keep my toddler’s clothes cleaner, but they reduce the amount of spilled food I have to clean out of her seat later. I love that I can take it over to the sink, wash it out really quickly, and it’s ready to be used again.
Toddler Trainer Cup with Handles
We most definitely had to step into these slowly, using first a sippy cup with a bottle nipple style top and later a traditional sippy cup for toddlers. Once she was actively trying to steal our regular glasses off the table, we introduced this trainer cup. It is amazing, and she’s even using regular cups more successfully now that she’s been practicing with her trainer cup for some time. Best of all? Virtually no drinking messes at dinner!
Suction Bowls for Toddlers that Stack and Store Away
I love products I can add to my kitchen that have more than one use. I never really know how much food my toddler will actually eat, so like most parents I err on the side of giving her way too much. That’s normal, right? These bowls are amazing because they suction into place on her high chair, and once they’re done you can pop the lid on and store away any leftovers for the next snack. Because you know it’ll only be half an hour before the little thing is starving again.
These products make feeding toddlers so much easier, but I make absolutely no promises about keeping their busy little hands out of everything else. For that, check out these 10 Educational STEM Toys for Toddlers. Wishing you strength and fortitude, momma!