We’re big foodies at KIDLY – perhaps you are too – so it can seem a bit crazy that kids so often act like their dinner is the enemy. Sure, maybe all little kids expect to have their cake and eat it, but what about their all-important fruit and veg? Don't despair, we've chosen a few clever picks that should help encourage picky eaters to embrace their mealtimes.
THE BOTTLE REFUSERS
Even brand new babies can be pretty defiant creatures, and bottle refusers are as stubborn as it gets. Whether you're combination feeding, moving from breast to bottle or formula feeding from the get-go, if you can’t find a bottle your baby gets on with, it'll soon be, 'Houston, we have a problem'.
Happily, Comotomo's innovative designs continually win babies over, the world over. Designed to mimic the experience of breastfeeding, the soft touch bottle and rounded teats minimise bottle rejection and nipple confusion – two of the main reasons babies say no. No surprise that they're one of our best-sellers.
THE SOLIDS SCEPTICS
You may have envisioned weaning would be a thing of dreams, with your baby devouring avocado smash like it’s going out of fashion. Unfortunately, it can end up a bit trickier than expected, but we’ve found that a few simple rethinks can really help. Remember, solids are a completely new experience, so keep portion sizes small. The tactile Cognikids Weaning Dip-Spoons have a unique flat head, which holds just the right amount of puree, so they don’t shovel too much in at once. And they come recommended by The Body Coach, Joe Wicks. Who'd argue with Joe, eh?
THE SALAD DODGERS
'5-a-day' is a rule-of-thumb we all know, but what if you’re struggling to get even one fruit or veg portion into them? Firstly, you're not alone. Kids notoriously swerve the healthy stuff at some stage or other. Experimenting with flavours is a great way to get round them. Whether you're chopping bananas into pancakes, packing veggies into bolognaise or making healthy juices, we love the Skip-Hop Fresh Food Press. It's ideal for squashing soft fruits or cooked veggies, as you can puree them directly into their bowl, for speedy prep. If you're making meals in advance, it comes with two lidded containers, which you can slide onto the press, then pop into the fridge until it's time to dine. The cunning plan doesn't stop at food. Sneak fruit into their drinks too, with the genius Precidio Drink In A Box. It's shaped just like a carton of juice: fill it with water and add chopped fruits to make a healthy alternative to squash.
THE SLOOOOOOW EATERS
Reckon your little one would still be pushing food around their plate come the morning, if you left them at the table? Toddlers and preschoolers are prone to becoming bored at meal times and grinding to a halt. Thankfully, there are fun products out there to make the experience a bit more exciting.
Whether you're packing lunch for school, or dining at home, the Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters are a great way to encourage kids to eat. There's nothing like fashioning sarnies into unicorns, trains and planes to make them instantly irresistible. Or, have them dine from one of OYOY's cool placemats. They're bound to keep their attention at the table.
THE SENSORY SENSITIVES
Some kids really don’t like their food touching - and that’s ok. We're here to help! To save you serving things up on one plate and them getting seriously stressed, genius brands like EZPZ and Tum Tum have designed attractive dishes with divided sections, perfect for keeping all the food elements separate. The suction bases on the EZPZ Happy Mats and eco rascals fabulous range of silicone and bamboo tableware also make sure that plates and bowls are kept firmly on the table. Meaning less mess and more contented eaters - perfect.
THE CRUISING GRAZERS
Some children love to cruise and graze or snack and go. Liewood's super cute, super practical Snack Bowl 4 Pack Set features adorable animal face motifs, and are the ideal size for holding little ones' snacks of choice. (We reckon they're perfect for peanuts and popcorn for you, too.) Skip Hop's Zoo Snack Cup is a perfect size for tiny hands, while being sturdy enough for those inevitable drops. It also has a hole in the handle, so you can tie it to the buggy or changing bag, there's a spill-preventing flexible lid, the handle is ergonomically shaped and it even comes with a second clip-over lid for when you're transporting it. So your handbag need never resemble the bottom of the recycling bin.
So there you have it. Our top tips for keeping even the pickiest of eaters happy. Bon apetit!