Foodie Baby: Gear & Goods
I try not to talk about S.T.U.F.F too much in this space, because I like to avoid sounding like a commercial. With that said, I get comments and emails about stuff every single day – people looking for recommendations on baby gear, diaper bags, rice cookers, kitchen supplies, and all sorts of other…stuff.
One of my favorite things about writing this year has been the gradual merging of my love for food and cooking, with my natural new role as a parent. It’s fun to talk about what (and how) Cullen is eating, and it’s a fascinating experience to be part of. I know when I was first navigating the confusing waters of solid food, I was really overwhelmed with all the different gadgets and options. I valued recommendations from other experienced moms, since I essentially had no idea what I was supposed to be doing.
And here I am, safely on the other side. Cullen is growing and being nourished entirely by “real” food, and I’ve tried and tested enough things to find our favorites. Without further ado, here are all the things we’re using to get food – more or less – on the table.
Oxo Tot Sprout Chair – I did a lot of research on high chairs, and ultimately chose this one for a few reasons:
- One handed tray release – CRITICAL feature!
- Removable, wipe-able seat that is easy to clean
- Converts to a toddler seat and grows with the child
- Wood frame is durable and all parts are PVC/BPA-free
- Sleek modern design is not a huge eye sore
Of all the baby products we’ve invested in, this is probably my favorite. I love that it looks nice sitting out in our dining room, and it’s so easy to use. Cullen is in and out of it all day long, so it’s essential that we have something sturdy.
It is also really easy to clean. The tray comes off and fits right into our sink, and I just rinse and spray it off after every meal and set it aside to dry until the next one. Cullen knows how to make a serious mess, and we’ve had no trouble so far with stains or scratches.
Only negative? The price. This high chair is not cheap, but we saw it as an investment. It has five different levels to grow with Cullen, so he’ll be using it for a long time!
Runner Up: The Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair – both my mom and my inlaws have these at their houses for when we come visit. It’s very affordable (less than $50!), and just straps onto a dining room chair. I think the tray is cumbersome to get on and off, but it’s still a great option for saving money and space.
Bibs & Placemats
We have a bunch of different bibs, but two clear favorites…
Green Sprouts Waterproof Pocket Bibs – I use these in my diaper bag and when we travel. They are really thin so they fold up easily without taking up much space. They just wipe clean with a wet rag or baby wipe, so you can use them over and over again without worrying about laundry.
Carter’s 3-Packs of Feeding Bibs – Whenever I post pictures of Cullen in these bibs I get comments asking where I got them. I like them because they are really wide, so they cover up a lot more than most bibs. They are really durable, and have survived hundreds of laundry loads so far.
Brinware Placemats – I actually just started using these. We go out to eat with Cullen almost every weekend, and I never have something for him to eat on. I usually end up wiping down the table with wipes and then putting his food directly on it, but it still feels really gross. I got these portable, foldable placemats to keep in my diaper bag and pull out when we need them. So easy!
Dishes & Utensils
I tend to be really brand loyal, so you’ll probably notice that as I continue on. When choosing any items, but specifically things Cullen will have in his mouth, I look for things that are chemical-free and made from environmentally friendly materials and sources (when possible). When we feed Cullen at home, a lot of times I just put his food on our (adult) dishes, and then add to his high chair as needed. We have a few divided plates that I use occasionally, depending on what he’s eating.
He hasn’t quite mastered feeding himself with a fork or spoon yet, but he’s getting there. Here’s what he’s using:
Oxo Tot Feeding Spoon Set – We’ve used these from the baby days into toddlerhood. They come in several fun colors too!
Boon 3-Pack Modware Utensils – We just got these, and I’m finding them to be a good fit for Cullen’s chubby toddler hands. Easy to grip, and adorable colors and patterns. Both very important.
Boon Saucer Edgeless Divider Plate – These are heavy duty and non-slip, so Cullen isn’t able to toss them from the high chair. I like the fun circular shapes of the segments. Boon is a really high quality brand, and I’ve always had good luck with their products.
We spend a lot of afternoons out and about, which usually means we need packed lunches. I also take Cullen to a friend’s house once a week, and she watches him while I work (so I take his lunch there t00). So we have a number of good food storage containers that make it easy to throw lunch into the diaper bag and go!
Oxo Tot Divided Feeding Dish – We use this plate ALL the time. In fact, I’m looking at it right now, sitting dirty on my counter leftover from Cullen’s lunch earlier today. So easy to pack and go!
Oxo Tot Flip Top Snack Cup – We use this for things like sliced pears, cheerios, sliced grapes, blueberries, and other finger foods that Cullen likes to grab himself. He loves opening and closing the lid, so it provides entertainment too. It also comes in a large size! Another thing to note about the Oxo products, is that they all come in the same four colors. We have all orange, which makes it easy to keep track of what’s ours when we’re out with friends!
Munchkin Snack Catcher – Cullen is obsessed with his snack cup. I usually only use this for cheerios, puffs, or blueberries – things that are easy to grab. I almost always fill this up for stroller rides, to give Cullen something to snack on while we walk the pups. Occasionally, he sneaks into the pantry and tries to fill it himself…
Little Green Pouch – For snacks on the go, we rely a lot on the organic fruit and veggie pouches that you can find at the grocery store. But they are pricey and I hate all the packaging waste. Recently, I’ve been using these Little Green Pouches – reusable, washable pouches that you can fill yourself! Our best use for them? Yogurt! Instead of having to spoon every bite for him, Cullen will happily slurp down a pouch instead. It also makes it easy for me to take healthier options on the go, like smoothies, soups, and yogurts.
Sippy’s & Straws
We have a kitchen drawer that is currently serving as a graveyard for many different brands and types of sippy cups. Too hard to sip, too leaky, you name it – they have been rejected. Of the 10+ cups in our house, we survive using exactly two of them. They are in rotation at all times, often both at once.
ZoLi Bot Straw Sippy Cup – Hands down our most used cup, and probably our most used product on this whole list. Cullen never really got into sippy cups – he couldn’t really figure out the whole “tip your head back” thing, and he’d get really frustrated. Since the straw on this cup is weighted, it falls toward the tilt of the cup, allowing Cullen to drink all the way to the bottom without missing a drop. We could honestly use at least two more of these, since I wash ours constantly, but at $15 a piece I’m holding out until another one is critical.
Playtex First Lil’ Gripper Twist & Click Cup – I think I grabbed this at our grocery store when I was desperate to find something to use other than ZoLi (since it needs to go in the dishwasher from time to time!). It doesn’t have a weighted straw, so Cullen usually leaves a bit at the bottom, but the straw part still works well. Since the straw is pretty thick on this cup, I use it pretty much exclusively for smoothies, and it works really well for that.
And I think that is just about it! Seems like a lot now that I’ve typed it all out, but we’ve added things here and there over the course of many, many months. I can’t wait until Cullen can handle having more plates and bowls, and I can get adorable kid’s dinnerware in fun patterns and colors. I’m currently on the hunt for a good kid’s thermos/water bottles, but other than that I think we’re in good shape for a while!
For those who are bored with baby stuff – thanks for hanging in there. Delicious recipe coming up tomorrow!
I have not been paid or sponsored by any of these brands. These are simply products that I use and endorse! In order to organize all these recommendations I created a Baby/Toddler Feeding section in my Amazon Store. All links here are Amazon Affiliate links. Thanks for supporting DG!
Here are previous posts from the Foodie Baby series: