One of my favorite milestones during the baby and toddler years is introducing new foods. I loved seeing my kids reactions and finding new favorite foods that would alleviate a little bit of the mealtime battle we occasionally deal with. While the adventure into solid foods is exciting, unfortunately the mess is not! Below are a few of my tips to make mealtime less mess and stress.
1. Invest in Silicone Plastic Bibs
These bibs are a lifesaver and I wish that I had known about them with my firstborn. They easily capture all the crumbs and dribbles and save so much hassle when it comes to eating. They’re super easy to wash and it cuts down on laundry tremendously.
2. Gerber Grabber Pouches
We love these pouches for so many reasons. As anyone will a toddler knows, they love feeding themselves. Gerber Grabber Smart Flow pouches allow children to independently eat (with supervision, of course) without a crazy mess. The Gerber Grabber pouches have a Smart Flow spout, a customized sized spout, that provides more sip control which means less mess!
With the smaller Smart Flow spout, more nutritional goodness is getting into your kiddos tummy and less onto their clothing, highchair, floor, you name it! The Gerber Grabbers with Smart Flow are my favorite for throwing in the diaper bag for on the go meals, plus they have so many varieties available (organic too) that there is something for every family.
Click here for printable and paperless coupons to save on Gerber Smart Flow Pouches. We found these fabulous pouches at our local Kroger!
3. Buy an Easy to Clean High Chair
Forget all the frills! Get something streamlined that easy to clean. I personally prefer ones that don’t have padding for ease of cleaning, but if you do get one with padding, be sure that it’s easy to wipe off or to take on and off to throw in the laundry.
4. Finger Food For The Win
When I am not up to a mess or we are on the go, I always opt for finger foods. They aren’t gooey or messy and toddlers love being able to simply grasp and shove little morsels in the mouth.
5. Lead by Example
Pretend to really love what they are eating too. Even better yet, eat what they are eating. We are big fans of feeding our kids the same food that we eat most the time (aside from anything too spicy or not age appropriate) and both of our kids are pretty adventurous eaters as a result.
6. Get a Dog
I’m kidding…kind of. LOL. Our dog is a an amazing helper when it comes to cleaning up whatever scraps and crumbs end up on the floor. Obviously, don’t get a dog for this reason alone as they are a big commitment and need (and deserve) love and attention, but if you already have a dog, let him in and clean up those messes for you. 🙂
Finally, some messes are inevitable and I’ve found it’s easier to expect them and not stress about it too much. Watching and helping your children learn to eat independently and experiencing new foods, is part of the journey in becoming a parent. Embrace this short period of mess and chaos and savor those messy faces and sticky hands.
Don’t forget to head over to Gerber and snag lots of printable and paperless coupons on Gerber products (those amazing Grabbers are included).
Do you have any mealtime hacks for less mess?
Silicone bibs and pouches were my best friend!!!
Yes to getting a dog! It saves my sanity.
I loved this!! Yes to the addiction of a puppy at feeding time. Goodness it makes life interesting. We love the silicone bibs as well.
Yes to all of that! The get a dog one made me laugh. That’s one of the things I miss about not having a dog anymore. Our bunnies just don’t do the trick!
This is really helpful! Thank you for sharing! – Gugu Guru
Awesome ideas! I have a 2 and 3 year old. Mealtime is a MESS but we loved the pouches when the girls were littler! SO helpful!
I’m trying to do baby-led weaning, so I’m with you on eating the same things as baby! Makes me try to eat more fruits/veggies and add less (or no) salt when I’m cooking.
So many great tips! We love those pouches!
I definitely agree with you on getting a simple, easy to clean high chair. We got ours from a yard sale, originally from IKEA, and it’s so easy to clean! Plus, we can take it apart and bring it with us to places that don’t have high chairs.
I love this post. I’m totally at that stage with my little one. We love the pouches, especially on the go. I like how you say to lead by example. That is always true when trying new foods. I think you have some great tips! Thanks for sharing!
I love this post! I’m totally at that stage with my little one. We love the pouches, especially on the go. It’s so true how you say to lead by example. I think you have some great tips! Thanks for sharing!
Yes to the bibs!! They are so much easier than the cloth bibs 🙂
LOVE silicone bibs… not sure how we’d’ survive in clothes if not!! 🙂
Such great tips! These pouches are wonderful!
Yes, to dogs and silicone bibs!!
We love these