6 tools to make feeding a toddler easier

Pizza cutter

If you’re still cutting food into manageable bites for your toddler, a pizza cutter is a great tool to have on hand. It zips through sticky toast with peanut butter when a knife just makes a huge mess. Thanks to the rolling action, a pizza cutter is awesome for cutting up all kinds of things right on the plate. In fact, I’ve thought about taking one when I go out, but I’m already worried about diaper bag overload issues.

Shape cutters

You can use bigger shape cutters for sandwiches, cheese and pancakes. There are smaller ones you could use to cut cooked carrots so they look

Bus-shaped dish

Feeding a toddler gets easier with fun dish shapes

like flowers, and so on.

Dishes in cool shapes

Kid’s love things that relate to their toys or interests. This stainless steel plate even makes me want to eat from it!

Placemats

A rubber placemat keeps bowls and plates from slipping off the table easily, when little kids try to scoop up food by themselves. If your toddler has already grasped the basics of keeping things on the table while he or she eats, then colorful educational placemats can help hold attention through a meal.

Small forks and spoons

We had some demitasse spoons and cocktail appetizer forks from Crate & Barrel, from our pre-baby life. They’ve come in pretty handy for feeding our son, since they are naturally kid-sized. Once he was no longer likely to poke himself in the eye, we let him use them himself.

Many of the toddler forks have such rounded tines that he couldn’t stab his food to pick it up. These little forks let him eat simple things like pancakes easily.

Your Imagination

Round okra slices can be wheels to a little boy. Peas are basketballs. To a little girl, cauliflower could be, well, a flower.  Carrot sticks, magic wands. On particularly trying days, we let our son bring a toy car to the table and we feed him—and the car! Try to relate the interests of your little girl or boy to the food you are serving.

Gimmicks aside

Yes, many of the tactics we use to get more food into our toddlers are simply gimmicks with short-term effects. While you often feel desperate to get enough vegetables into your growing toddler, it’s also important for these wee ones to grow up valuing healthy food choices.

So, when we can, let’s nourish our kids with good food and talk to them about how it helps them grow up strong and feel good throughout the day. You can even talk about it while pretending to feed dolls and toy farm animals, too.

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