I don’t know about you, but toddler mealtime for is usually one of my least favorite parts of the day.
The prep time (cutting, cutting and more cutting)…
The complaining about what they were served…
I get through it by:
- Knowing my kids need to eat to survive, and
- Having super cute and functional plates, cups and utensils to serve the ‘goods’ on!
Boon felt I might need some help in this arena, and they sent me some of their mealtime ‘tools’ to take on a test ride.
When I say a few, I really mean:
If you want to see majorly innovative tools in the toddler mealtime space, head to their website. You’ll be amazed!
Today I don’t just want to talk about a brand – I want to talk about solutions to our mess of a problem surrounding toddler mealtime.
So, what are those problems?
Toddler Mealtime Problem #1: What to Serve
This is always a good one. Do you find your kids change often? One day they love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the next day they hate peanut butter and all-of-a-sudden refuse to eat whole grain bread (I mean, really, don’t they get the importance of whole grain?! ?)
[bctt tweet=”Unpredictable toddler mealtimes call for serious “Keep Mommy Sane” tenants!” username=”@thedarcypeters”]
Kids are super unpredictable, and because of that, I’ve adopted a few of my own “Keep Mommy Sane” tenants:
Here they are:
- If you have the ingredients, offer two choices for the next meal. Once they choose – that’s it! This gives them what they feel is full control, and might help when it comes to downing the food on their plate.
- Incorporate the pieces of the meal you feel are important and include those no matter if you think your kiddos will eat them or not. If you want a veggie on their plate, put a veggie there. If you want a grain, add in a grain. After seeing these things on their plate time-after-time, they might even start to try them!
- For the items you think they will be hesitant (or downright tantrum-y) to eat, include them in much smaller portions, like this >>>
- Don’t force them to eat anything, but make it clear that they won’t get more of any part of the meal until their plate is clean (or until they eat _____).
- Don’t forget the water or milk (almond, cow, goat, coconut, etc.)! This will help them fill up as they go and stay hydrated, which will help with all of those really fun post-meal body processes.
Toddler Mealtime Problem #2: How to Serve it
There are so many options out there. What I’ve found through this Boon experiment is that the reason I’ve had a tricky mealtime experience might be because I didn’t have the right tools by my side.
Here are some aspects I was missing before, but found with Boon:
- Plates slipping off the table, perhaps by the sneaky push of a child’s hand.
Boon has a non-slip ring around the bottom of their plates. Super cool!
- Many pieces to sippy cups – I can never find them all!
Boon revolutionized the sippy cup. I will never go back to another. They sell a stretchable, no-leak sippy lid that fits over any cup. Say what?! I can bring it to a restaurant and let my 1-year-old drink out of most any cup they have. No, not a wine glass. That’d just be crazy!
- No way to prevent the cereal, oatmeal or soup dribble all over the table.
Boon had this amazing idea to add in a bowl ‘bib’. It catches that stray milk as your kiddo teeters their spoon back-and-forth on the way from the bowl to their mouth.
Toddler Mealtime Problem #3: The Clean-up
Arguably, the most difficult piece of the puzzle is mealtime clean-up, namely: toddler mealtime clean-up. Sometimes I feel like I’ve crossed the finish line once mealtime is over. I’m quickly reminded (via my super full sink), that it’s far from over… [insert weeping mama here]
You have two options when cleaning your toddler mealtime dishes: dishwasher or hand wash. Argh… neither sound great. Where’s the maid option? ?
Let’s hit the hand washing first.
I quickly learned that the sponge just doesn’t do it.
I’ve used my sponge on a stick for years – you know, that sponge that has a handle that you can fill with dish soap? I’d never say this is a bad tool. It’s helped me out of many a mess, but I will say that I’ve found it to scratch my kid dishes. Not cool, sponge, not cool!
I recently threw away a few kids plates after a few months of using a sponge on them. The picture on the bottom was coming off (Ick, was it in their food?!), and there were scratches on it. Each scratch exposed the plastic underneath, potentially causing a chemical transfer.
Although the sponge cleans well, the fact that it hurts the dishes and gets really gross is a deal breaker for me when it comes to choosing an item to clean my children’s plates.
I also use one of those bristle brush sticks meant for bottles. While great for glasses, it’s a little tricky to get the suds going to wash flat dishes, and it also tends to scratch my toddler plates up. This is not a great option, but I hadn’t found anything better until I saw Boon’s Forb Mini. Sounds like a super hero name, right?!
Can you see it? ?
Problems the Forb Mini solved for me:
- It holds soap inside, which is one reason I really like the sponge wand. Whoop!
- It doesn’t scratch my dishes. The Forb Mini is made out of silicone and is soft to the touch.
- It stays free of bacteria, as it’s non-absorbent. This allowed me to relieve anxiety surrounding how to clean the items that hold my children’s food. If I feel it’s getting a little dirty, I pop it on the top rack of my dishwasher. Bingo!
- It’s cute! No more eye-sore of a sponge or dirty bristle wand on my counter.
Pretty cool! If you want to check out the nitty-gritty details, you’ll find it here.
Now, onto the dishwasher.
This is the most crazy, brilliant solution I’ve heard of for a really common problem. I actually never thought of finding a solution for this. I thought it was just something I had to deal with through my toddler mealtime days. Thankfully, there are folks much more innovative than I in this world!
This is how I felt after hearing about Boon’s Span. >>>
[bctt tweet=”Have you ever had your kid dishes turn over and fill with murky water in the dishwasher? Ick!” username=”@thedarcypeters”]
Span stretches over those lightweight dishes, cups, cooking utensils and anything else you have that flies around or turns upside down and fills with water in the dishwasher.
In this picture, I used the span over dishes and cups (which you can’t quite see in this image). Do you see that side-turned green kid cup? That wasn’t under the Span.
After keeping the dishes in place without pools of murky water within, I found it really easy to remove Span and store it on the top rack.
This is video shows it much better than I can explain:
I wasn’t convinced the Span would be as awesome as it was until I tried it on a plain-ol’-jane of a day. It really works! I plan on using it to prevent icky water-filled cups, bowls and plates from stepping into my house again. ?
What do you think of Span? Interesting, right? Here you will find what it’s made of and how much it costs.