Top Products for Starting Solid Foods

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You and your little one are ready to start solids?  Congratulations!  Let’s set you and your baby up for success!  Below are my early-eater favorites!  Leave a comment with your top feeding products.

Books

Knowledge is power and I always like to go into something feeling prepared.  Below are my two favorite feeding-related books.  Both are co-authored by Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, a pediatric feeding expert.  I’ve had the pleasure of attending one of her workshops and she is fabulous!  You can also check out her website at My Munch Bug.

Food Prep

If you, like me, are interested in making some or all of your baby’s food yourself, having a few handy products can make that much more manageable!  Below are my food prep survival tools:

Meal Time

When it comes to mealtime supplies, we’ve tried out many products!  Here are my top picks from each category:

BIBS:

Top Pick: Bumkins Waterproof Superbibs

Why:  These bibs are easily washable, truly waterproof, and are available in a variety of attractive patterns.  They are equipped with a food-catching pocket and, unlike some similar, plastic models, these are actually comfortable for baby to wear.

PLATES:

Top Pick:  Wee Sprout Divided Silicone Toddler Plate 

cooking-baby-only-kitchen.jpgWhy:  My two favorite features of these plates are that they are stackable for easier storage and are dishwasher safe.  Life with a toddler can be hectic – anything that makes it easier gets two thumbs up from me!  These plates are skid-resistant (i.e. more difficult to swipe onto the floor), durable, and come in a variety of colors.  I also like the size of the sections (they are more substantial than some other models) and the higher plate walls (which make it easier for baby to self-feed).

If you have a little one with a habit of throwing plates, my favorite suctioned plate is the Bumkin Silicone Grip Dish.  This product is sturdy, has the most effective suction I have found, and is similar in design to the Wee Sprout option above.

UTENSILS:

Top Pick 1: Num Num Pre-Spoon

Why:  These pre-spoons can be a great way to introduce little ones to the idea of using utensils.  In my experience, they work best with a thick, pureed texture that is likely to stick to the “gootensil”.

Top Pick 2: Olababy Silicone Soft-Tip Training Spoon

Why:  The primary reason I love these spoons is that they support self-feeding.  The handle is appropriately designed for little ones whose grasp is still developing and the bowl size is just right for little mouths.  I have also found that the soft-tip feature assists baby in navigating the spoon into his mouth.

CUPS:

Top Pick 1:  Talktools Honey Bear Straw Cup 

Why:  In my opinion, this is one of the best drinking products on the market.  This straw training cup was designed for use in feeding therapy.  In other words, this is what the experts typically use to teach straw-drinking.  If it works for the experts, it works for me too!  My little one learned to drink from a straw within a few days of using this cup.  What’s the magic?  The cup is squeezable, forcing the liquid up the straw and into baby’s mouth.  This helps your little one understand the purpose of a straw and you can then gradually fade your support until she is straw-drinking independently.  Simple yet brilliant.

Top Pick 2:  Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup

Why:  I have found this cup to be the perfect follow-up to the Honey Bear Straw Cup.  I tested several similar products and my little one was most successful with this cup.  My favorite features: (1) spill-proof, (2) sliding cap to keep straw clean when not in use, (3) easy-to-hold handles, (4) arced straw for easier drinking, (5) very durable.

Side Note: Did you notice that neither of these options is a sippy cup?  That’s not an oversight!  Many professionals in the field of feeding suggest using an open cup and/or straw cup rather than a sippy cup.  For more information, take a look at this article: Step Away From the Sippy Cup (by Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, Pediatric Feeding Expert).

Other

Top Pick 1:  Nuby’s Garden Fresh Popsicle Tray

Why:  These are great for warm weather and for teething toddlers!  While there are many similar models on the market, I favor this one because of the large handles (which are perfect for little hands) and the design of the popsicle stick (there are holes in it, allowing the liquid to freeze through the stick and making it less likely to fall apart/off).  Additionally, the size of the popsicle molds are just the right serving amount for a toddler.  A word of advice: to prevent breakage, run the bottom of the popsicle tray under warm water for 20-30 seconds before removing the popsicles.

Top Pick 2:  Kidsme Food Feeder

Why: I found silicone food feeders to be helpful with introducing some new tastes that my son was struggling with (e.g. citrus).  This product allowed him to adapt to these tastes before actually consuming full bites of them.  I prefer these silicone models over the mesh models largely because they are easier to clean.

 

Thanks for reading!  Let me know how these products work out for you and if you have any other must-have tools or resources!

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