Spice up your child’s mealtimes with these fun food-related utensils and feeding tools. Whether you have a new eater or a picky one who’s wary of new foods, these clever items are sure to keep kids interested during snacks and meals.
Reduce the Mess of Puree Feeding
Blast off to easier feeding with this cleverly shaped silicone food-dispensing spoon that doles out baby food one bite at a time. Just load up the Marcus & Marcus Rocket Silicone Baby Dispensing Feeding Spoon with pureed baby food, hold it to your baby’s mouth, and squeeze. Voilà: one-handed feeding. Soon your baby will be squishing his own breakfast into his mouth.
Available at amazon.com; $10.99.
Sustainable Tableware That Grows With Your Child
Why shouldn't kids tableware match yours? This dining set from Miniware comes with a cereal bowl, snack bowl and sandwich plate that attach to suction feet to minimize spills. When your child is older, you can skip the suction feet and keep using these sophisticated bowls and plates. And here's why you'll want to: In addition to looking great, the set is made with natural, plant-based ingredients. It's biodegradable and plastic-free with no phthalates, BPA, BPS, or PVC. The polypropylene ring and silicone suction foot are both food-grade level.
Available at miniware.com, $65.
Baby's First Spoon
Made from silicone, the baby feeding material du jour, Olababy's OlaSprout leaf-shaped spoon is designed to help baby scoop foods with ease. The special shape even aids in cutting and slicing foods and keeping them in place when traveling from bowl to mouth.
Available at olababy.us; $14.95 for a 2-pack.
The Plate Made for Dipping
Offer a dip and veggies may suddenly seem more appealing to your little one. The First Years' Inside Scoop Dip Plate features a suction base to keep it in place on the table and a curved rim that helps newbie eaters successfully get food onto their forks. Dip, dip, hooray!
Available at walmart.com; $5.
An Easy-Clean Bib
You won't believe the amount of food dropped, dripped and dribbled when you start feeding your baby solids. This silicone bib from Summer Infant comes with an easy-to-rinse-out silicone pocket that attempts to catch it all.
Available at walmart.com; $6.62.
A Self-Feeding Miracle
Let your baby try their hand at feeding with Boon's answer to mesh feeders. Fill Pulp's silicone teething feeder with squishy fruit or steamed veggies and your tiny diner can gnaw on them and get nourishment through tiny holes. You'll love that it's easy to clean, and even goes in the dishwasher. Baby will love that it's easy to grasp and soothing when they're teething.
Available at boon.com; $5.99.
The Less-Mess Placemat
The ezpz Happy Mat will make your baby and you smile. This silicone placemat keeps foods separated (a big deal for some children) and stays in one place on the table. It's dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Available at ezpzfun.com; $24.99.
Tiny Tools for Big Developmental Milestones
Also from ezpz, the Tiny Spoon and Tiny Cup are designed to help children learn to feed themselves and drink from an open cup. The silicone spoon is narrow to fit in baby's mouth with a short, round handle to help little hands hold it. The silicone cup has a weighted base to reduce the chance of spills.
Available at ezpzfun.com, $9.99 for the cup and $14.99 for a two-pack of spoons.
The No Brainer Method for DIY Purees
So you want to be a baby-food chef? It's way easier than you think with the Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker Deluxe, a compact, all-in-one countertop appliance that can steam-cook, blend and create pouches of purees.
Available at babybrezza.com; $129.99.
The Placemat You Can Take Anywhere
Munchkin's Go Folding Placemat comes in both pink and blue. The silicone mat sticks to any table and has a rim to keep liquid spills and rolling berries contained. When mealtime is over, simply fold it up and snap it shut before you take it to the kitchen to ensure you don't leave a trail of crumbs and drips on the way. Also great to toss in your diaper bag for meals at restaurants.
Available at munchkin.com; $13.
A Cup That Encourages Drinking
How do you encourage your child to finish their milk? Give them a cup that has a cute animal hiding in the bottom of it. These dishwasher-safe mugs come in four bright colors with a different animal in each color: green (frog), blue (bird), red (pig) and orange (rabbit).
Available at jjrabbit.com, $7.49.
The Placemat That's Also an Educational Drawing Tool
Silicone placemats are a lifesaver when you’re on the go, and this one teaches kids geography and gives them a durable surface to write on with washable marker, crayons and pens. You can easily wipe away any artistic masterpieces and food spills, and this mat folds up just like a map for easy storage in your car or bag.
Available at silikids.com, $14.95.
The Secret Star for Slurpable Foods
Is it a spoon or a straw? It’s both! This bowl and straw combo from b.box works great with liquid-y, slurp-able food babies and tots love: cereal, yogurt, smoothies and soup. Bonus: it comes with a special snack top so you can use it for taking dry cereal or crackers on the go.
Available at bboxbaby.com; $14.
The Microwave-Free Way to Warm Purees
If you're a baby-food-making whiz, you'll love this gadget. The Lillypot is made from stainless steel and has three pods for defrosting frozen purees. Just set it on top of a saucepan (like a lid) and turn on the heat. Great for parents who aren't fond of microwaving baby's food.
Available at amazon.com; $19.95.
The Funky First Spoon Baby Will Love
Razbaby's raspberry-shaped spoon is as wonderful for teething babes (thanks to its bumpy gum-massaging surface) as it is for novice feeders.
Available at myrazbaby.com; $5.99.
The Plate That Focuses a Picky or Distracted Eater
This food-grade silicone rubber placemat and plate from Marcus & Marcus is a whimsical wonderland where you and your child can make broccoli climb stairs and pasta slide into the pool. With this on the table, you can keep a toddler occupied or help a picky eater get more comfortable with trying foods on their plate. Comes in five colors: yellow, red, pink, purple and green.
Available at amazon.com, $24.99.
Small Popsicle Molds That Are Perfect for Small Hands
Bring new life to your baby’s favorite smoothie by pouring it into these tiny popsicle molds. Each holds 2/3 fluid ounce and has a stick with a drip guard to minimize drippy messes. Good for an afternoon snack, and great for teething. On a cold day, make it a bathtub treat! Also works with breast milk or formula for teething babies who aren't eating solids yet.
Available at amazon.com, $20.99.
Transition Cups With a Funny Twist
These cups will give caretakers a laugh while baby takes a sip. The 5-ounce cups, which help babies in their transition from bottles to cups, feature silicone spouts and comfortable, removable handles, along with hilarious messages on the bottom. They come in white, gray, blue and pink.
Available at babybrezza.com, $8.99.
Cut Grapes in a Flash
Grapes are a perfect baby snack — fun for tiny fingers to grasp; sweet and easy to chew. But you have to quarter them up for safety’s sake, a task that will start to drive you crazy around, oh, grape number 1,274. The OXO Tot Grape Cutter takes some of the work out of the equation, and you can also use it on pitted olives and grape tomatoes.
Available online at oxo.com; $9.99.
A Dining Set Featuring Your Child's Favorite Animal
Let your child bring a favorite animal friend to the table with this sweet dining set consisting of an animal-themed spoon, collapsible bowl with lid, and feeding spoon, all made from sturdy silicone. The food container collapses to fit into your diaper bag, and the spoon is soft on sore gums. Comes in 5 bright colors: red (lion), purple (whale), yellow (giraffe), pink (pig) and green (elephant).
Available at amazon.com, $44.97.
The Paint for Your Food
Kids will love that they can squirt this yummy, brightly colored paint on their food. And parents will love that Noshi Paint is made from organic fruit puree with no added preservatives. Decorate oatmeal, toast, pancakes, yogurt, and more.
Available at noshi-for-kids.myshopify.com, $14.99.
A Snack Container That Minimizes Spills
Toddlers love to dive into this snack container. Its soft flaps give easy access to snacks but won’t spill them when it falls over or gets thrown around. Handles are easy to grip for small hands, and the top comes off for easy cleaning. Comes in bright blue, green, orange and pink.
Available at munchkin.com, $3.
— Julie Seguss & Eva Ingvarson Cerise