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How to Choose that “Just-right” Spoon for Baby by Melanie Potock

How to Choose that “Just-right” Spoon for Baby

By Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

It might surprise you to know that some speech language pathologists (SLPs) specialise in
helping babies and toddlers progress through a tricky part of development called “feeding.”
Whether parents choose to follow a baby-self feeding model or present the spoon to baby’s
mouth, or prefer a blend of both feeding styles, safety is the #1 priority. Another important
priority is supporting the development of crucial fine motor skills, so that we set baby up for
success.

It’s so tempting to hand baby a “standard” spoon straight from our utensil drawer, but
that’s asking a learning eater to eat with a shovel! It’s just not designed for beginner eaters
or for little hand and mouths.

Fine motor skills aren’t just limited to hands and fingers, but include the tongue, lips and
jaw too! Pick a spoon that is specifically designed for little mouths and to support fine motor
development. Choose a spoon with four features, like the Grabease brand.

The size of the spoon matters in FOUR ways:

First, the “bowl” of the spoon, or the part that enters baby’s mouth needs to be just wide
enough to hold the food without too much spilling in order to reduce frustration. It also
must be that “just-right” size to be comfortable across the width of baby’s mouth from
corner to corner of the adorable smile!

Second, the “bowl” also needs to be flat and third, not too long. Grabease utensils have a
bonus feature. A specially designed lip-block prevents babies (or you) from putting the
spoon too far back, causing gagging and/or depositing foods too close to the airway. The
spoon can also be used as a teether, reaching the first half of baby’s tongue to help
desensitise the gag reflex without causing discomfort.

Fourth, the handle needs to be short and squat, designed for little fists to grasp, even when
slippery. Babies need to get very messy when exploring new foods & developing self-feeding
skills. A vital part of learning to become an adventurous eater means exploring of new
foods with all of the senses, including the tactile sense. That’s how baby’s learn and a little
mess is a good thing!
But for the days when need to clean up in jiffy, consider the Grabease
Allover Bib.

Above all else, what matters most is the joy you bring to your family table! Raising a
healthy, happy eater is a gradual journey that takes time and guidance. For more tips on
how to help babies, toddlers and school-age kids learn to love a variety of foods, visit me at
www.melaniepotock.com. I look forward to chatting!

How to Choose that “Just-right” Spoon for Baby by Melanie Potock

Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, is an international speaker on the topic of feeding babies, toddlers and school age kids. She is the co-author of the award-winning Raising a Healthy Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating (2015)(available here) and Baby Self-Feeding: Solutions for Introducing Purees and Solids to Create Lifelong Healthy Eating Habits (2016). The tips in cookbook for parents & kids, Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes (2018) are based on the latest research and Melanie’s 20 years of success as a pediatric feeding therapist.
Melanie’s children’s book You are Not an Otter takes preschoolers on a food adventure, exploring all the ways that various animals eat! Melanie’s advice has been shared in a variety of television and print media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal CNN.com and Parents Magazine.

Contact her at www.MelaniePotock.com for more articles, professional tips, and helpful videos to raise your adventurous eater and follow Mel on Instagram and Facebook too!

P.S. If you want to learn more about picky eating solutions, identifying Feeding problems and Expanding your child’s diet. We now stock Melanie’s  book – Raising a Healthy Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating.

Available here. 

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Overnight Oats Recipe

Overnight Oats
Recipe

by Bourke St Baby

There is nothing better than getting up in the morning and knowing you’ve got breakfast sorted! No more ‘hangry’ baby,  hanging off your leg whilst you prepare a cooked brekkie. With this fab overnight oats recipe from our resident Baby-Led Weaning Blogger, Bourke St Baby, you will have a power-packed and most importantly, EASY start to the morning!

Please make sure you’ve tried your toddler on nuts before adding the almonds to this recipes. If you’re not sure how to do that, read our Introducing High Allergen Foods post for guidelines. 

baby friendly bircher muesli recipe

Ingredients

(Makes approx 8 serves)

5 cups Whole Rolled Oats

1/2 cup Medjool Dates (Roughly Chopped)

1/3 cup Chia Seeds

1/2 cup Almond Flakes

1/2 cup Sultanas

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

Pre-Mix together all of the ingredients in a large pot or mixing bowl until well combined. Transfer into an airtight container for the pantry. Store until needed. 

 

 

 

Method

When ready to use;

Add 2 cups of your muesli mix to a mixing bowl.

Add 1 cup of Almond milk (or milk drink of your choice. You can also do 1/2 cup tinned coconut milk and 1/2 cup almond milk for a creamier version)

Add 1/2 cup of coconut yoghurt.

1 Apple (grated)

Mix together until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl so all the Chia seeds are in the mix. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Serve with your choice of fresh fruit and berries. Top with milk if desired.

This recipe is Dairy-Free but it is easily adaptable. 

Sub out the milk and yoghurt with your favourite dairy alternative to suit your family’s taste-buds!

Enjoy! xx

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Fuss-Free Mealtimes with Toddlers – 7 Easy Tips

7 Easy Tips

for

fuss-Free
Mealtimes

written by Tracey Davidson

Getting toddlers to eat at meal time can be no mean feat! They tend to be stubborn and often refuse to try new foods, which can be rather frustrating for their parents. We’ve all been there, so here are 7 simple tips to try for fuss-free mealtimes. Hopefully making dining more fun and encourage them to eat more (or a wider variety) in the process.

#1

Involve them in Preparation/Cooking

meal prep Grabease Fuss-free mealtimes

From as young as toddlers, there are age-appropriate tasks you can get kids to do to help prepare meals. Younger kids especially like helping and like to be given jobs. This can often lead them to being more likely to eat the food if they ‘made’ it. Simply helping with washing vegetables or placing salad into a bowl gives them that sense of achievement.

#2

make a food rainbow

food rainbow Grabease Fuss-free mealtimes

Toddlers are very visual creatures. The more appealing the food presented to them looks, the more likely they will be to eat it! Mix fruit and veggies on a platter in the colour order/shape of a rainbow. This is also a fun activity to practice learning colours. Encourage them to try at least one thing from each colour.

#3

Use a Fun Plate or Utensils

Baby-Led Weaning

Toddlers are wired to play. Have you ever noticed how throwing food on the floor suddenly becomes a game for them? Try making food more fun by using a novel plate (like these bamboo Aussie animal plates) or with their own cutlery that encourages independent eating, such as  grabease. This also gives them the autonomony they crave, while hopefully getting them to eat well!

#4

Cut it into Fun Shapes

lunch cutters and Grabease Fuss-free mealtimes

Using food cutters can entice even the fussiest eaters to try something new. Who can resist a dinosaur sandwich? Look for cutters that are in shapes of things they like and use that to cut up sandwiches with healthy fillings. Even simply cutting fruit. They’re also great to use for party food!

#5

Make a Smoothie Instead

smoothies and Grabease Fuss-free mealtimes

A lot of goodness can be packed (hidden) in a smoothie, so why not substitute a main meal for a smoothie from time to time? You can add veggies, protein powder or other powders (such as super greens powder) and include a couple of serves of fruit in a tasty drink. You could even get them to help you make it. Another tip for summer is to freeze smoothies in icy pole moulds and use the grabease utensils as handles for little hands. A great healthy, tasty treat!

#6

Pack it into a Bento Box

yumbox and Grabease Fuss-free mealtimes

Another novel way of serving a meal is in a bento lunch box. Kids love them! They can pick and choose what to eat. You can actually fit a lot into them (more than you might think). They are super handy for meals on the go, but you could incorporate it into a backyard picnic or even serve dinner in it for something different. We love the Yumbox lunchboxes as they’re leak-proof and can be cleaned in the dishwasher! Don’t forget to include your grabease in the yumbox as they fit perfectly in its compartments.

#7

serve toddler-friendly snacks and food​

healthy snacks and Grabease Fuss-free mealtimes

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to make toddler meal-time as fuss-free as possible! Making mini muffins or cookies that are packed with nutrients, but look like treats, can be one way to get them eating better. The Adventure Snacks range of baking mixes contain only wholesome ingredients, and some have hidden veggies in them, so you can make (with your toddler) healthy little snacks they will love to eat.

written by Adventures snacks fuss-free mealtimes

About the Author

Tracey is a mum and owner of Adventure Snacks – a business she started when her son was a toddler and she couldn’t find nutritious, convenient snacks on supermarket shelves. She created a range of organic baking mixes which are perfect for toddlers and school lunchboxes; with the added bonus of being able to freeze the snacks once made, so you always have healthy snacks on hand! You can find out more at the links below:

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Filled with mealtime tips, recipe ideas, developmental facts and fun for you and your Little One.