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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting
skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen
years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity
ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!
Feeding a baby on solids can be fun – messy cute little face, spitting up, spilling,
and food everywhere on the floor – but watching your child cover everything in food
can sometimes drive a parent crazy. There’s no doubt about it, babies are messy eaters
and especially so the first time they’re introduced to solids. After all, solids
are aliens and scary to junior, and not to mention that funny, strange-looking implement
What You Can Do to Cope with Messy Eaters
1. Schedule feedings during family meals to make eating pleasurable. Or, if your
baby is easily distracted, pick a quiet time when you can focus on feeding your baby.
However, keep in mind that as your baby gets older, he may want to eat with the rest
of the family.
2. Avoid wearing something you want to keep clean, and make sure you are not on your
favorite carpet. Trust me, you never know where his food may end up! Protect the
floor area around your baby's high chair with a high chair splash mat, or improvise
with any wipe-clean material such as shower curtain or liner, or even old newspapers.
3. Use a plastic bib with an easy-to-clean surface and a bottom pocket to catch spills.
Plastic bibs are easy to clean and dry quickly – just wipe the bib or wash with mild
soap, and let dry.
Furthermore, if your baby spills liquids, he won’t get as wet as with a cloth bib.
If you don’t have a plastic bib, try covering your baby up from neck to toe with
a baby blanket or burp cloth. Here’s what you can do – tuck in the blanket as if
it were a giant dinner napkin, and then at the end of the meal, remove the dirty
blanket away to reveal a clean baby underneath.
And, if the weather permits, you can always feed your messy eater with no clothes
4. Invest in a good quality highchair. Highchair makes feeding easier with your baby
sitting at the caregiver’s height. In addition, it allows your baby to interact with
the rest of the family during mealtime.
Look for a sturdy highchair with a harness device to keep baby sitting safely and
securely. To train your baby get used to the idea of being in a highchair, put him
in a high chair at mealtimes (even if you are not feeding), give him a plastic spoon
and a bowl to play with.
5. Talking about feeding spoons, look for long contoured handle that provides you
with a comfortable secure hold. A slim design makes it easy to feed your baby and
also easier for your baby to mouth all the food from the spoon. Make sure the spoon
tip is soft to protect baby teeth and gums. You might also want to consider heat
sensitive baby spoons with a temp sensor.
If your baby keeps pushing the feeding bowl or tray off the high chair, buy feeding
bowls with suction-cup bottoms. Bowls are preferred because food in plates get pushed
6. This may look silly but it’s definitely worth the effort – feed yourself in front
of your baby but in an exaggerated way. Playfully open your mouth wide, put a spoonful
of baby's food into your mouth and with big wide eyes, overreact your expression
Let your baby watch how much you enjoyed his food, and mimic. Once your baby opens
his mouth, put the spoon in. As you place a spoonful in you baby’s mouth, gently
lift the spoon upwards to allow the upper lid to sweep off the food. If he grabs
the spoon in your hand, give him one to hold on his own, so you get to keep yours.
7. Relax and be comfortable; try not to show your anxiety or frustration when you’re
trying to feed your baby. Yes, food flings everywhere but always keep a smile on
your face (even if mashed bananas end up in your face or hair). If you’ve no luck
today, don’t push it, just try again tomorrow.
8. Like us, babies do get bored with foods. Try to rotate the menu. Add more variety
in what you serve and how you serve to interest your baby. If you find limited variety
in jarred baby food, I suggest you make your own baby food. You've more control over
the ingredients used and save tons of money.
With these helpful hints in mind, you can help messy eater enjoy his food and stay
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