Does your baby throw out everything during the meal time? Here are some tips on how to cope with a messy eater and make mealtimes stress and mess-free.
Admit it or not, feeding toddlers is really a messy business. No matter how tasty the meal is, they love to play with it and soon master the art of throwing down everything they don’t like. If you also face the same situation very often, here are some survival tips which will help you cut down on the mess and make the mealtime less stressful for you.
Be Prepared: Prepare yourself well in advance for baby’s mealtime and it's a sure bet, you won’t be disappointed. Owing to the fact that the mealtime with a toddler is messy, you must keep all the cleaning supplies ready and nearby. In other words, the better prepared you are, the less frustrated and upset you’ll be.
Pick Your Spot: Feed your little one somewhere where the floor is easy to clean and wipe. This is because you never know when the mess may fall down on your favorite carpet or couch. Also, try to make your baby’s dining area as mess proof as possible to minimize the chances of clutter.
Cover Him up Properly: Make sure your baby is fully covered before you put him into his dining seat. Use a good-sized bib/apron to protect your baby’s clothes against spit-up, drool and food residue. As baby bibs are much easier to clean than a chair or floor, it’s always a great idea to use them during the meal time.
Get a Splat Mat: To further protect your floor from muck splatter, you may consider investing in a plastic floor mat that is designed to catch every bit of food and can be easily wiped clean afterwards. Alternatively, an old shower curtain or a baby play mat will also do the job nicely.
Serve Less: Letting your tot hold a big bowl of food is just like actuating him to make mess. If your little one often tends to spill or throw food on the floor, try serving a small amount of food to him at a time. If you do so, your toddler will get rid of his messing-with-food habits soon.
Keep the Meal Time Short: A shorter mealtime not only minimizes your baby’s chances of messing with food but also keeps him well seated throughout the mealtime period. So to avoid a longer mealtime, get all the food ready before your child takes his seat. Serve your toddler food only when he is hungry as this will prompt him to eat more and waste less.
Serve Finger Foods: Opt for foods that are less likely to slip out of the spoon. Instead of serving a sloppy meal, let your toddler taste finger foods which are not too messy and can be easily grasped with fingers. However, it would be better if you avoid serving certain slippery finger foods, like banana and peaches.
Set a Good Example: During mealtime, sit with your child and share food with him. Feed yourself in front of your little one and ask him to watch and learn from your actions. Make your toddler feel how tasty his food is and let him use a separate set of utensils to feed himself.
I'm Nishant Gupta, the founder and owner of Wobbly Walk. Visit WobblyWalk.com - an Indian online baby store offering a wide range of baby care products including nursing pillows, nursing covers, feeding bottle covers, etc.