Avoid feeding your baby directly from a jar of commercially prepared baby food, and instead spoon the food into a divided baby feeding bowl. Feeding directly from the jar can contaminate the food in the jar with bacteria from the baby's mouth.
Using a Divided Baby Feeding Bowl
Solid food is usually introduced between the ages of 4-6 months. Often, the first solid food is rice cereal. From there, other foods are gradually introduced. Divided baby feeding bowls are designed for spoon feeding and self-feeding.
Infants tend to enjoy fruits and sweeter vegetables when first trying solid foods. Sweet vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes are usually enjoyed whether you use commercial baby food or make your own.
As your baby tries new foods, be patient. If he doesn't like a specific food, re-introduce it again in a couple of days. It takes time. Your goal will be to introduce your baby's taste buds to a wide variety of flavors and a balanced diet. In some cases, it might take persistence on your part to help your baby warm up to foods he doesn't initially like.
Gradually, your baby will transition from finely pureed foods to chunkier consistency selections as he transitions from baby food to more and more toddler-friendly table food. Letting your baby feed himself can be a messy endeavor, but this milestone is part of the learning process for both parent and child.
In today's baby market, a selection of divided baby feeding bowls can make the feeding transition less of a mess.
The Less Mess Toddler Feeding Bow
Sassy makes a divided feeding bowl that comes in a selection of assorted colors. This bowl is specifically designed for toddlers learning to eat with a spoon. A ledge in the bottom of the bowl combined with the angled design of the bowl helps toddlers get the food scooped onto their spoon. Another added benefit to this bowl is the suction grip base that prevents the bowl from sliding off the high chair and onto the floor. This grip is removable so the bowl can still be used as your baby grows older.
EZ Grip Baby Bowl
The EZ Grip Baby Bowl is the perfect divided baby feeding bowl to use while still spoon feeding your baby. This bowl divides into two sections. It has a thumb ring which works great for one-handed feeding as parents can hold the bowl securely while paying close attention to spooning food into the baby's mouth. Plus, this bowl comes equipped with a soft-tipped safety spoon designed to reach to the bottom of a baby food jar. This spoon changes colors to indicate if the food is the right temperature or too hot.
Munchkin Stay Put Suction Feeding Set
The Munchkin Stay Put Suction bowl is another suction cup design for toddlers. In this case, the suction cup is permanently attached to the base. This sectioned feeding bowl is great for toddlers learning to feed themselves, and the suction is designed with a quick release tab to make it easy to remove from the tray for clean up. It comes with a lid that seals which makes it perfect for traveling.
Baby Einstein Tray
Baby Einstein Eat and Discover Mealtime Tray is another feeding option for babies learning to feed themselves. The design keeps food separated in individual compartments which are deep enough to encourage using a spoon to eat. Each section comes equipped with a lid that flips open and close. This feature can make eating a game of discovery.
Along with your divided baby feeding bowls, it's nice to have stackable bowls that store easily. The Always Learning line of baby feeding supplies makes a stackable set of three bowls that come with matching spoons. These bowls not only stack for storage but are designed with a slip resistant base and are made to tilt toward the child to help make eating a little easier.
Features to Consider
Learning to feed himself is part of the growing process for your baby. Learning to do it with the least mess and the most fun for your child is part of the parent's growing process. In that process, consider these additional features when choosing the age-appropriate divided bowl or tray for your child. Are they:
- Microwave safe?
- Dishwasher safe?
- Spill proof?
- Equipped with a lid for storage or travel?
Selecting a feeding bowl that's easy-to-care-for, spill-proof and made for storage makes the learning process for both you and your baby less of a challenge and more enjoyable.