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Feeding a hungry and thirsty toddler

Oooh those little mouths can be demanding!  You've got past the constant-breastfeeding stage, but their little bodies are still growing so fast.  And they need to fuel that growth.  Right.now! 

From grunts, tugs, pointing and fridge-pounding with fists, your toddler is wanting sustenance pretty constantly.  The more you can teach them to fuel themselves, the easier life gets.  But how?!

Well there are some fabulous products on the market designed to help you do just that - read on!

 

Quenching their thirst

There's been a fair bit of press about the grosser aspects of sippy cups of late, and seriously - who has the time to dismantle and reassemble pieces of cups when you're parenting?  I have thrown away a number of items due to this requirement - I just can't deal with parts that don't easily go together (or finding minuscule diagrams on tiny booklets that I put... where did I put that?!)  Therefore, I have decided that the simpler the mechanisms on my toddler's cups, the better all round. 

Here are some A+ options to consider:
 
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The Munch Eco Hero Baby Cup is great for several reasons (not the least of which: my toddler would get a kick out of that lizard every time he picked it up!)  It's simple: a cup, and a lid.  No other bits and pieces.  It's easy clean, dishwashable, natural, safe and biodegradable.  It has an easy-grip handle and is just all round pretty great.  I have the Munch Eco Hero set and I know that it washes and functions really well.
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Check this fascinating little cup out.  This is the Doidy cup, and it's like nothing else! Excellent for toddlers who want to feed themselves (mimicking the sucking action required for breastfeeding), the Doidy cup can be used for much more than just milk - think yoghurt, smoothies, soups etc.  It really is a very interesting product - read more about it here.
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The Siliskins Silicon Sippy-top looks unique.  They 'grip tightly to the sides of a glass using air suction to keep the top in place' and can thus be used with many different cups.  When used with a glass, your toddler can have a completely plastic-free spill-proof sippy cup, if that's your preference. 

 
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I've always found my world has opened up a bit once my kids can confidently use a straw - smoothies, water, milk - they can drink unassisted and with minimal spillage (though some crafty toddlers can pretty much create spillage regardless of any product promises made!)  This is the Bobble Art Insulated Cup with straw, featuring a double wall with a cute rocket print and a spill proof lid.
 

Satisfying their hunger

First up - the bib.  I love a good bib. It saves my laundry pile (and sanity!) no end.  And bibs can be just so adorable - here are a couple of options:
 
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Giraffes!  Ahh, so cute.  And dark.  Hiding multiple evils.  Like blueberries. Possibly even banana!  This one is by Apple Tree.
 
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If you're serious about saving those clothes from the perils of toddler mealtimes, then a cover-all style bib is definitely the way to go.  This one is pretty cute with little hippos and orange detail.

 
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I speak from experience when I say that time is of the essence with a toddler.  When they want something, it's now.  Seriously.  Delay will cause damage.  To you. Or them.  Or the house in general... so this idea is magic.  It's the Funbites Food Cutter, and you will have those food items in safe to consume small portions in no time when you use it.
bamboo-dinner-set
The requirement for products to be indestructible takes on a new emphasis when your walking little person starts chucking.  As well as being good for your abdominal strength as you duck this way and that to avoid items flying in your direction, this is a good phase in which to invest in some hardy tableware.  This bamboo set is pretty funky (and durable)... toot toot!  It can drive off the high chair and survive!
 
Pukeko
 

A decent set of cutlery for small fingers is a great investment.  I always like it when cutlery isn't fussy - it doesn't have any little joins for bacteria to collect and goes through the dishwasher time and again.  Isn't this little pukeko set gorgeous?  It would make a sweet gift too, as it comes so nicely boxed.
 
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I couldn't finish off this post without showing you the Constructive Eating bundle set - it just looks like so much fun.  Complete with plate, cutlery and placemat, your small child will be able to play with their food!  And hopefully a pleasing amount will actually make it to their mouths.


This stage doesn't last forever - most preschoolers have become very proficient at getting their tummies full.  However, it can be a bit challenging while it lasts - hopefully some of these fabulous products will help you steal five minutes to drink your coffee.
sal-43Sally Mangai is the Community Manager for www.babybites.co.nz and also www.kiwifamilies.co.nz. She has an eye for a deal and loves to look for funky deals for her son. 
 

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