Category Archives: Feeding Tools

Mama’s Helper : The HAPPY MAT

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Wow!  Am I ever impressed with this product!  In my experience, suction bowls have been a total and complete waste of my money.  They work for 3.5 seconds before the suction releases and bowl is victoriously tossed to the floor, or simply as far as possible.  I am a firm believer in touching food and making a big ol’ mess to learn how to eat sometimes the disaster is just a little much.  The game of “I toss and Mama picks up” also gets old really, really quickly.

This little number is a placemat and a dish all in one!  The suction is unbelievable.  The only way my little one has figured out how to move it, is to peel up one of the corners.  Otherwise, it has stayed in place FOR THE ENTIRE MEAL.  ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS!!!

Pros: great suction, comes in a divided plate version or bowl version, easily fits in the dishwasher and is big so it catches a lot of mess.

Cons: Cost. It is expensive.  It may not fit on the tray of a highchair because it is meant to be used at a table.  Takes ++ surface area to store flat.  It’s big.

Available at West Coast Kids for $29.99.  The bowl version is $23.99.

Let me know what you think if you try it.

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Mama’s Helper: Tool for starting solids

I recently came across this new product and totally love it!  In my opinion, it’s far superior to the mesh feeder bags.


This tool is an alternative to the mesh bags for babies who are early in their eating careers.  Made by “Baby Cubes” and carried locally by Kacz Kids and West Coast Kids.

I love that it has two sizes of inserts, a narrower one with slightly smaller holes for early on, and the wider one for later.  You can put fresh fruit for your babe to munch on without the worry that she will get a big piece off.  I love it with watermelon, berries and even pieces of BBQ’d chicken.  Great for tasting new things, munching, and practicing hand to mouth.  I also love that it is easy to clean. I detest the wet mesh bag you are left with after washing.  I once found mould at the seam when I went to use it… into the garbage it went.

Check it out and let me know what you think!



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Oral Hygiene

I am not a dentist or a dental hygenist but I understand the importance of oral hygiene and the great opportunity it can provide for developing oral-sensory-motor skills!

It is necessary to wipe a baby’s gums before he even has teeth.  The Canadian Dental Association recommends a soft finger brush or a soft cloth on your finger to wipe the gums.

Once babies are a little older, they can grasp and mouth toys.  There are all kinds of tools marketed for oral hygiene but are also great tools for developing the skills to learn to eat.   Experience with these tools can provide the opportunity for the mouth to become comfortable with different textures, for the tongue to learn to move separately from the jaw, and for the gag reflex to move towards the back of the mouth.  Particularly, the stick shape is different from the majority of rounded toys that babies play with.  Rounded toys don’t move past the front gums and tip of the tongue.   More frequent gagging is definitely a risk with stick shaped tools, especially when the baby doesn’t quite yet understand that pulling out the toy will stop the gagging.  Some of the tools listed below come with a “gag guard” to prevent exactly this.

Great tools for your baby to independently mouth include:

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Let me know if there is any other tool you’ve fallen in love with.

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Mama’s Helper: Gyro Bowl

I’ve just been on an epic journey.  Over the span of 4 days, we drove from Edmonton, Alberta to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho and back again.  Through flooded Calgary.  We are talking 12+ hours in a car with a three year old and a one and a half year old.

Just to add spice to the epic journey,  I FORGOT MY BAG OF TRICKS AT HOME!  All of the planned surprises and activities sat lonely on the bench by the back door.  So much for battling boredom and the fight with the car seat straps. Unfortunately, we were past the point of no return.  I had to be grateful for the food I had remembered to pack.  At least I had something to throw at them when the grumpiness became unbearable.

Our littles completely surprised us.  They were absolute troopers and we arrived with a nearly in-tact marriage and happy but tired kids.  They slept a total of an hour each the whole journey.  Without toys.  An empty juicebox, straw and creamers saved our bacon.  The juicebox bought us a solid 42 minutes.  Including the integrity testing of the packaging prior to explosion, the creamer gifted us a grand 68 minutes of peaceful bliss.

GyroI did manage to remember to pack our GYRO BOWL.  This was a gift from a friend when E was born.  Truthfully, I thought it was a little gimmicky and haven’t used it a whole lot.  It is not 100% effective and will spill with a ferocious shake and chuck.  It did stop the majority of spills and the unpredictable 1.5 year old could independently eat in the car seat.   I credit the gyro bowl for a significant decrease in the number of front passenger to backseat transfers.   It’s a great tool for road trips or just on-the-go car snacking. Well worth the cost of the bowl in my opinion.

PS.  The purpose of the trip was to cheer on my brother in his 2nd Ironman .  It is an unimaginable physical and mental feat that few will ever achieve.  Once again, I am impressed and inspired.   I am glad to have witnessed such incredible strength and willpower.

F trying on  the finishers medal

F trying on the finishers medal