Feeding babies and young toddlers can be a lesson in patience and can quickly turn into an all-out food fight.
Our Baby & Toddler mealtime essentials checklist will help you find products that develop the feeding skills of your kids and keep you safe from flying food!
We’ve teamed up with Tiny Steps Kids to help prepare an ultimate list of mealtimes ‘must haves’ for your family.
Don’t forget to take advantage of a 10% discount by joining the Tiny Steps Kids community (for free). Simply register today so you can grab those shopping discounts at checkout!
#1. Tableware Sets
Messy eating is part of every child’s development. Thankfully, you don’t have to watch in horror as your 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. 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 families. Finding an eco-friendly FDA approved tableware set for your child can be daunting, especially 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 food they prepare for their children, off the floor.
Eco Rascals are focused on producing a stylish range of baby & toddler mealtime essentials made from bamboo. Their tableware products are eco-friendly (obviously!), biodegradable, and most importantly non-toxic.
Tiny Steps Kids stock a beautiful collection of plastic-free bamboo tableware gift sets. The sets are fantastic at helping encourage kids to eat independently. Each tableware 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 made from bamboo and 100% silicone with no plastic, BPA, PVC, lead or phthalates. Each bamboo set is safe for your child, easy to keep clean and come in fun, bright designs that look absolutely beautiful.
You can choose from designs like a Car, or Elephant, 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 and make a good old mess they start learning about textures and sensory cause and effect.
Have you ever watched in horror as your child deliberately dropped (threw) food off the side of their high chair? 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 combine modern Scandinavian designs with features that are fun and playful.
All products produced by Done by Deer 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. They are great for drinkers and dribblers and come with a handy front pocket. These velcro bibs are amazing at catching food for all those messy little diners.
The bibs are also a great size for infants starting to self-feed They can easily be wiped clean and best of all you can shop them in blue or pink!
#3. Sleeved Bibs
Many parents like velcro bibs because they snap on and off easily. Children from 0-6 months benefit most from these standard drool bibs. This is because they’re usually not being weaned until they reach around six months of age.
But learning to eat on your own can be a very messy business.
Once your little person hits the 4–6 month age group, you will want to start looking for feeding bibs. 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. They are also encased with a velcro closing. This makes them super easy to clean, so you can make mealtimes less of a mess for your dining room and your precious little one.
Parents love the elasticated sleeves because they are comfortable, lightweight, safe and can easily be wiped clean. Each bib is oeko-tex food grade, waterproof and made from 100% polyester with PU coating.
The ‘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 feeding your baby solid foods (weaning) it can be stressful working out how much food to feed. Snack pots are perfect for when you first start to wean your baby 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. They come as a set of two and the lids are food-grade silicone and free of BPA, PVC, lead and phthalates.
Each snack pot is also FDA approved (win!), safe for your child and perfect for dry snacks like raisins, nuts, crackers, and fruit and vegetables.
You can choose from a range of bright designs that look absolutely beautiful.
#5. Straw Bottles
Did you know that drinking from a straw promotes oral motor and swallowing skills, which can help improve speech development?
It’s important for toddlers to transition away from drinking from a sippy cup to an open cup or straw for developmental reasons.
Drinking sugary drinks from a sippy cup over time can also lead to dental problems and tooth decay. No baby & toddler mealtime essentials checklist would be complete without straw bottles!
The Sea Friend’s range of straw bottles by Done by Deer are brilliant for mealtime activities and helping your child transition away from sippy cups.
These non-spill drinking bottles are an essential daily carry for parents that want to make it fun for their little one to stay hydrated.
Each bottle has a practical and smart hide-away straw to stop those dreaded spillages and 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. They will also help your child transition away from sippy cups.
There are two designs to choose from, Elephant Elphee (in blue), or Sea Friends (in powder).