When you've got a picky eater on your hands, mealtime can be a whole ordeal. First comes the careful prepping of the meal you hope they'll actually eat, then the coercion, pleading, and bargaining ("Please eat your food? Then we can play all you want!"), then resignation when you inevitably find half of their spaghetti on the floor.
Fortunately, experienced moms know that the right gear and approach can help you get through this, so we've rounded up some helpful advice in partnership with Cloud Island at Target. One pro tip? For little ones who are ready (think around 8 to 12 months), you can make mealtime fun and interactive by giving them the freedom to feed themselves with easy-to-grab utensils. Remember: practice makes perfect.
Of course, the trial-and-error of feeding is going to be messy no matter what, so a catch-all bib is crucial — as is an endless supply of wipes to help with quick clean-up. First-time mom, Marilynn Sanchez, learned this quickly: "We use them for changing her diapers, quickly cleaning the folds in between her neck, wiping away spit up, or cleaning her changing pad on-the-go if we're not at home," she said. "We can go through a pack in a week and a half."
Read on for more mom-approved tips for working with a fussy eater.
Try These Super Cute —And Kid-Friendly! — Bowls And Plates
Whenever the mealtime menu doesn't fit your little one's tastes, there's a chance it'll end up on the floor. Instead of having to replace your regular dinnerware, get a set of these cute kid-friendly bowls and plates.
Never Start A Meal Without One Of These Protective Bibs
Messes are a way of life when you've got a hard-to-please eater. Instead of trying to fight the inevitable, just prepare for it with a set of catch-all bibs.
Give Them Control With Easy-To-Hold Eating Utensils
Sometimes kids just want to have a little control over mealtime. Give them a chance to learn how to be an independent eater with easy-to-grab utensils like these.
Messes Do Happen, So Rely On An Endless Supply Of Wipes
Wipes are a must for your diaper bag, but they're also lifesavers for saucy mealtime messes. Keep a few refill packs nearby to make clean-up that much easier.
Shop Our Picks
Dining Plate with TPR Bottom - Cloud Island™ 3pk
Bowl with TPR Bottom - Cloud Island™ 3pk
Silicone Bib - Cloud Island™ 2pk
Stainless Head Fork - Cloud Island™ 3pk
Stainless Head Spoom - Cloud Island™ 3pk
Baby Wipes - 80ct - Cloud Island™
In partnership with Cloud Island at Target.