If you have little people in your home you probably know full well what a messy occasion meal times can be. Whether you are spoon-feeding baby, or they have graduated to feeding themselves – and end up throwing it everywhere, you know the deal, right!
And no matter how much you try to keep things clean, somewhere along the way you are going to end up with food in hair, on clothes, around the carpet, and even on the walls. So if this is you now, we have just five words for you.
Congratulations, you are perfectly normal.
That’s right mum or dad. Right now you are going through the very normal episode of your special little person learning this new adventure of how to eat and feed themselves. Every parent in the world goes through it. All of us stress about it, and think we are the only ones in the world going through this chaos. So how about we put away the doubt and stress and let’s talk about ways in which we can make the whole experience more enjoyable and maybe, just a little less stressful!
- recognise that for baby, eating and food in general is a brand new experience. They don’t have any understanding of what colour means, or textures, or sweet or sour. Every single mouthful needs to be tasted and using their fingers is a way of them working through this experience. And they need to work out what they like and what they don’t like along the way
- prepare before the meal. We found that having the high chair on a tiled floor worked best for us, or if on a carpeted area we would always spread a LARGE towel under the chair
- don’t be in a hurry to rush the feeding process. You might find that (if available) some breast milk mixed in with the food will ensure it has some familiar taste and will be accepted more easily
- use a bowl with a suction pad which will attach the bowl firmly to the high chair tray – it is one less thing to worry about during the meal
- think beforehand about what foods you are expecting the little one to pick up. If it is slimy and slippery like banana, there is a greater chance of it being squashed in ears and hair and sliding onto the floor. That doesn’t mean you should avoid those foods. Just be prepared and if possible combine it with foods which can be more manageable to pick up
- don’t put all the food in the bowl at the one time. Take it more slowly by adding a little at a time so they can eat what is in front of them first before more is added
- if baby does not appear to like a food, do not give up on it. Try again with a different combination of food and with other flavours
- once baby starts experimenting with using a spoon, try to start with thickened foods rather than runny foods which will more easily spill and make a mess
- keep in mind that YOU are likely to also wear some of the food some of the time, so take precautions. Sometimes you might like to wait until after feeding baby before showing and dressing. Other times it might just be a matter of wearing some protective towelling or an apron. Just be ready because it will come your way eventually
- and let baby sit with the family at mealtimes. It is a great learning experience to see what is expected of them and how to behave at mealtimes.
Hopefully some of the above tips will help make a big difference to you in feeding your baby. If it has, or if you have other great tips you use, drop us a comment below so others can benefit from your experience too.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.