Feeding babies and young toddlers can be a lesson in patience and it can quickly turn into an all-out food fight.
Our Baby & Toddler Mealtime Essentials Checklist will help you choose products that can help develop the feeding skills of your kids, whilst keeping you safe from flying food! We’ve teamed up with our friends over at Tiny Steps Kids to help you best prepare an ultimate list of mealtimes ‘must haves’ for your family.
Don’t forget, you can take advantage of a 10% discount by joining the Tiny Steps Kids community (for free), so make sure to register today so you can make those shopping discounts!
Here’s your ultimate Baby & Toddler Mealtime Essentials checklist…
#1. Tableware Sets
Messy eating is part of every child’s development. But you don’t have to watch in horror as your beautifully decorated home is redecorated with egg, tuna and spaghetti by your little ‘Picasso’.
Although it can be frustrating, messy eating is actually very important for kids because it develops fine motor skills and helps them learn about food and the world around them. As parents, we all want to buy the safest products for our family when it comes to feeding but finding an eco-friendly FDA approved tableware set for your kids can be daunting with so many options available online.
Thankfully, we have brands like Eco Rascals to help us out. Eco Rascals was founded by two British Mums with a mutual desire to keep the majority of the food they lovingly prepare for their children off the floor. Focused on producing a stylish range of baby & toddler mealtime essentials made from bamboo, their tableware products are eco-friendly, biodegradable, and most importantly non-toxic.
Shop from a beautiful collection of plastic-free bamboo tableware gift sets, which are fantastic starter sets for encouraging kids to eat independently. Each set comes with a spoon, cup, bowl and a very cool car or elephant-shaped plate. The cup has a silicone straw feeder and arrives with two straws.
The sets are eco-friendly and made from bamboo and 100% silicone with no plastic, BPA, PVC, lead or phthalates. They are very safe for your child, easy to keep clean and come in fun, bright designs that look absolutely beautiful.
You can choose a set with either a Car or Elephant plate design and in whatever colour you fancy.
These tableware sets can be used from 6 months +
#2. Velcro Bibs
How do you feel about a messy house? Do you mind if your little one covers themselves with food at mealtimes? What about when they throw and drop food all over the floor?
Getting messy is an important developmental phase for babies and toddlers as they start to learn about food. When you allow your little person to play with their food, crush it in their hand and make a good old mess, they are learning about textures and sensory cause and effect.
Have you ever watched in horror (or more likely laughed your head off) as your child deliberately dropped (threw) food off the side of their high chair and watched it happen with a big grin on their face? If so, don’t worry you can always get a dog, but we suggest checking out some Velcro bibs first!
A Bib is great if your little person tends to leave a lot of food on their lap. Bibs also help to keep food off their clothes and are a Baby & Toddler Mealtime Essential.
These colourful velcro bibs from Done By Deer are very easy to keep clean. Done by Deer is a Danish company that combines modern Scandinavian design with features that are fun and playful for children. All Done By Deer products are designed in-house in Denmark and naturally tested thoroughly to comply with strict European safety standards.
Perfect for enthusiastic eaters, these velcro bibs are waterproof and quickly pop on & off your child – great for drinkers and dribblers! They come with a handy front pocket and are amazing at catching food for all those messy little diners.
These bibs are a great size for infants starting to self-feed, can easily be wiped clean and best of all you can shop them in blue or pink!
#3. Sleeved Bibs
Children from 0-6 months benefit most from standard drool bibs. This is because they’re usually not being weaned until they reach around six months of age. Once your little person hits the 4–6-month age group, you will need to start looking for feeding bibs.
Lots of parents like Velcro bibs because they snap on and off easily, especially with droolers, but learning to eat on your own can be a very messy business. To make sure you fully protect your little eater (and home) you can invest in a long-sleeved bib.
The dreamy dots collection of long-sleeved bibs from Done By Deer come with practical elasticated sleeves and are encased with a velcro closing. They are super easy to clean so you can make mealtimes less of a mess for your dining room and your precious little one.
We love the elasticated sleeves because they are comfortable, lightweight can easily be wiped clean but most importantly safe for your child. Each bib is oeko-tex food grade, waterproof and made from 100% polyester with PU coating.
These ‘Dreamy Dots’ long-sleeved bibs come in three wonderful designs, blue, grey and powder (pink).
#4. Snack Pots
The benefits of having a snack pot for babies and kids are huge.
When you first start thinking about feeding your baby solid foods (weaning) it can be stressful working out how much food to feed. Many families wean their babies around 6 months but if you are thinking of weaning your baby before 6 months, it’s very important not to decrease their milk intake. Snack pots are perfect for when you first start to wean your baby and need to think about three meals a day because they help you portion your baby’s food.
For older kids, snack pots allow them to take control of when they want to eat. They no longer have to ask for food because it is readily available for them at all times. Snack pots help take the guesswork out of snack time for your kids which is why they appear on our baby & toddler mealtime essentials list!
These handy bamboo snack pots from Eco Rascals have a base of bamboo and a non-leak silicone lid and arrive as a set of two. The lids are food-grade silicone and are free of BPA, PVC, lead and phthalates. Each snack pot is also FDA approved and safe for your child.
Shop these delightful eco-friendly snack pots, perfect for dry snacks like raisins, nuts, crackers, and fruit and vegetables.
Each pot comes as a two-pack and you can choose from a range of bright designs that look absolutely beautiful.
#5. Straw Bottles
It is very important for toddlers to transition away from drinking from a sippy cup to an open cup or straw for lots of developmental reasons.
Did you know that drinking from a straw promotes oral motor and swallowing skills, which can help improve speech development? You should also be aware that drinking sugary drinks, like milk and fruit juice, from a sippy cup over time can lead to dental problems and tooth decay.
No baby & toddler mealtime essentials checklist would be complete without straw bottles.
These sea friend’s straw bottles by Done by Deer are absolutely brilliant for mealtime activities and helping your child transition away from sippy cups. These non-spill drinking bottles are an essential daily carry for those parents that want to make it fun for their little one to stay hydrated indoors and outside.
The bottles have a practical and smart hide-away straw to stop those dreaded spillages. Each bottle has a carry handle and comes with a spare straw and mouthpiece. Made from 100% food grade PP and silicone, these non-spill drinking bottles are safe for your children and will help them to transition away from sippy cups.
These straw bottles come in Done By Deer’s beautiful elphee (blue) or sea friends (powder) designs.