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Mealtime Must Haves

Mealtime with a toddler is a special time to bond. It’s also a messy time, as your little one becomes proficient at finger feeding, food flinging and pushing as much as they can onto the floor. That’s why it’s a good idea to have these mess-avoiding mealtime accessories on hand.

Drooler bibs

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Sometimes, it’ll seem like your newborn will spit up more breast milk or formula than they keep down. You can’t keep them from doing that, but you can keep the contents from going everywhere. Soft and ultra-absorbent bibs are great for catching all of it; and they’re washer/dryer safe. Most importantly, they’re very easy to put on and take off with one hand, which you’ll come to see as a particularly convenient feature, if you haven’t yet already.

Cover-style bibs

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Designed for older babies and toddlers, these cover-style bibs are longer to protect your child’s entire body from flying food and liquids. Their neck fit is wider, which makes them easy to wear. Most have gutter pockets at the bottom that collect liquids and food to protect your floors from sticky spills, but you should act quickly when mealtime’s done. You don’t want your child to be the one emptying that pocket onto the floor from their high chair. Silicon bibs are a good choice because you can wipe them down and rinse them off in the kitchen sink immediately following mealtime.

Baby food containers

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When your baby’s breast or bottle-feed, it’s pretty easy to know where and what the food is. But as you start introducing new tastes, containers with labels will come in handy – especially in homes with multiples who all have different preferences. Some parents colour code what’s in their fridge by food group. Others do it by child. Really, the systems you can employ are endless.

Training cups

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Also called ‘sippy cups’, these must-haves for parents with toddlers let liquid flow through the opening only when your child takes a sip. Their innovative lids prevent mess while helping your child build independence as they transition from bottle to cup. Training cups are designed to be spill-proof and comfortable to hold. They come in a variety of colors and themes to add some fun to the experience. Sippy cups are great for travelling as well, since nothing spills liquid like a moving car. Try a few out to find the right one for your toddler.

Feeding bowls

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In a perfect world, everything your child eats from would be fastened to the table. With their suction-cup bases, feeding bowls come close – and most are safe for microwaves and dishwashers. Feeding bowls prevent your child from all manner of table games: flipping the bowl (and its contents) upside down; throwing the bowl (and its contents) on the floor; wearing the bowl (and its contents) as a hat. Of course, feeding bowls can’t prevent the fun game of emptying the contents piece by piece with their fingers, but we can’t think of a product that can.

Soft-bite spoons

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We often take for granted the finesse required to use a spoon. Soft-bite spoons have long handles that allow better control, and are cushioned so your baby can bite down without any discomfort. And, because they’re not metal, you won’t hear that loud and painful “clink” of spoon against a new tooth. Some spoons even gauge the temperature of the food and change color if it’s too hot. Whatever spoon you choose, it’s going to hit the floor an awful lot during toddler mealtime so the longer and fatter the handle, the easier it’ll be for you to pick up. http://www.toysrus.ca/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3955189

Splash-mats

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There are a lot of things you and your baby will want to do after mealtime. Mopping the floor certainly isn’t one of them, but it’s often what moms and dads are forced to do because mealtime messes can spread beyond the eating area quickly. Place these splash-mats under your baby’s high chair or booster seat to prevent spills from going too far. They’re convenient and easy to clean after the whirlwind that is an average Wednesday night dinner. Suggested article:

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