This post is sponsored by Target.

Our baby has been Eating Real Food for over a year now, and looking back I can condense dozens of trials and errors into a list of 14 products that have made feeding Mazen easier. From the first purees to the messy finger foods, may these help you turn your baby into a mean, green, real-food-eating machine!

Eating

1. A good highchair. It’s an obvious start, but you really do need something for baby to sit on and for containing the inevitable mess he’ll make! I’ve used a handful of different high chairs while traveling and at friends’ houses and have learned that the things most important to me are a medium-sized flat tray (too many nooks and crannies just gets messier and medium so it fits in our sink!), a really easy to wipe seat (again, nooks and crannies are bad!), an easy-to-remove tray (some of them are tricky to figure out for grandparents and visitors!) and a stylish look (not the most important but nice to consider.) This is our OXO Tot highchair and we love it!

Fav bib

2. A mix of good spoons with both shallow and deep bowls. When we started feeding Mazen, he couldn’t get his lip into a deep spoon bowl, so these OXO Tot Spoons were our favorite. They are super soft and durable and the shape was great for parent feeding. Now that Mazen can feed himself, we love these Munchkin spoons – because the bowl is so deep, the food stays on his spoon better as it heads toward his mouth. A plus is that they are super cheap.

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When Mazen first started to eat purees, I made most of them myself. This was not nearly as daunting as it seemed at first thanks to a few great pieces of equipment.

3. Ice cube trays. The OXO Tot Baby Food Freezer Tray is great because it comes with a lid (so there’s no need for plastic wrap) and the shape of the cubes makes the frozen food cubes really easy to pop out.

Ice cube

But of course, a cheap ice cube tray works too – especially when you want more food per cube. These are harder to get out, but after a little thawing I could dump them all into a zip lock bag for storage.

Regular ice cube

4. Freezer storage. Sometimes I wanted to put more food into one container for a bigger meal so I found these OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Storage to be great. They even had their own little tray to keep them organized in the freezer.

Tupperware

5. Reusable pouches. These were also great for anything pureed, and we still use them for yogurt and applesauce some of the time (like when we’re on the go). These saved us a lot of money because we didn’t need to buy a ton of the pre-filled pouches, and of course they’re better for the environment too.

Pouch

6. A baby cookbook. When making purees, I knew how to steam and blend, but a good baby cookbook will give you lots of inspiring ideas and take the guesswork out of wondering exactly how long to cook the veggies or how much water or milk you needed to add to puree. The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet was my favorite reference – it was simple with lots of information.

Books

7. A stick blender, food processor, or blender. I find all of them to be super helpful in blending up purees and smoothies. Mazen can’t really chew greens yet, so green smoothies have been a nice way for him to get more of them. And our stick blender was great for pureeing in the same container I cooked the food in. I found my regular kitchen appliances to be easy enough, I didn’t consider a specialized baby blender or steamer.

 Blender2Foodblog-5609Smoothie

8. Premade squeeze pouches. Of course I couldn’t make Mazen’s food 100% of the time, so I do always have a few squeeze pouches in stock. Our favorites are vegetable-heavy and low in sugar. For bigger “meals,” I look for ones with protein from beans or meat. These two are our favorites: Carrots + Broccoli Pouch and Ella’s Kitchen Four Bean Feast. Mazen loves the carrots + broccoli, but I gotta say, it doesn’t smell delicious to me!

Pouchescommercial

9. The perfect bib. We love the soft plastic bibs with the deep bowl for catching food. {Like these} We also put a Command hook on the back of Mazen’s high chair, where we store the bib between uses. This way we don’t have wet bibs hanging all over the kitchen and it’s tucked out of sight : ).

Bibhook

10. Baby dishes. Once Mazen started to want his own spoon and fork, we had to get a few of his own bowls. I’m such a huge fan of the OXO Tot line that I got him this set. The non-skid bottoms and curved lips are great.

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11. I have written about sippy cups before, but our favorite after a year of using them all are the OXO Tot ones with straws. I will say that this cup’s straw is open, so it’s not ideal for a first cup that will end up sideways all the time, but as M has gotten older it’s our favorite all-around cup mostly because it’s really easy to clean and does well with water, milk and smoothies. Straws that you have to bite to suck aren’t as good for drinks other than water because the gunk gets caught in the straw. This straw is easy to get in and out for washing and washes out easily. And the cup is leak-proof when you close the lid.

OXOTot cup

12. Snack containers. Another must-have is the Munchkin Snack Catcher. What did moms do without these? We still fill them with cereal or cheddar bunnies if I need a quick on-the-go snack. It works great with fresh fruit like blueberries too (although that’s messier if they fall out…which they do).

Snack traps

13. Disposable placemats. Ones like this Neat Solutions Table Topper were great when we would eat out in restaurants before Mazen was old enough to not send a plate flying. They stick to the table and your little can make as much mess as he or she wants. Also, there’s no need to worry about how clean the table is! And after the meal you just ball it up and toss it. M is old enough now to be fine with a real plate, but these were lifesavers in the earlier months.

Placemats

14. And finally – Lunch Skins! These reusable pouches are wonderful for sending snacks to our gym’s Kids Zone. I fill them with everything from fruit to pretzels, a roll or whole apple. I will say that the gooier the food, the harder they are to clean, but they are dishwasher safe so it’s not a huge deal. They come in dozens of super cute patterns!

Lunchskins

And there you have it – 14 of our finest feeding props! Was there something you used and loved that I have yet to discover?

The above links are not affiliate links. Love me some Target though!

This post is sponsored by Target. The adventure begins here: Discover all Target has to offer for your baby registry and throughout your motherhood journey.

{ 17 comments }

19 Months Old

April 9, 2014
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I have never liked the number 19 very much but 19 months we are! We’re in that gray area before two takes us over by surprise. 20 months is going to seem so old! Mazen has really become a little boy this month. I’d say 18 months was a big developmental turning point. As our […]

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Motherhood: Is It Easier Now?

April 2, 2014
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  The short answer: Yes. Definitely. The long answer: In general, I have found each and every day to be a little bit easier than the last. For these reasons! 1. Feeding While I really enjoyed breastfeeding, I found it to be a logistical headache. In the early days nursing took SO long, and I […]

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3 Questions + 3 Answers

March 26, 2014
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Of course I can talk about my cute baby is till the cows come home, but I would love to share some helpful posts on BERF as well. I recently asked Twitter for a few recommendations for post ideas. Here were three responses and my answers –     We dropped down to one nap […]

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Baby Registry: 10 Items You Might Overlook

March 18, 2014
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This post is sponsored by Target When you have a new baby you never know what you’re going to need till you need it. There is so much to consider from clothing to nursery furniture to all-things-diapers that you might overlook some of the more “off the beaten path” items. Plus they grow up so […]

14 comments Read the full article →

18 Months Old

March 12, 2014
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Indulge me in a little cliché: HOW HAS IT BEEN A YEAR AND A HALF ALREADY!!!?? Here is everything that is going on with sweet Mazen Duke! Words – so many words are popping out! I’ve been looking forward to this stage for….a really long time…and I’m glad it’s here! Here are the new ones […]

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Mazen’s Lately

March 5, 2014
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Hi guys, it’s Mazen! Mommy just taught me how to type on the keyboard properly (I’ve been banging on it with my fists for months now) so I thought I’d tell y’all a little about the toys and joys in my life! This is currently my favorite toy along with about 5 other trucks. I […]

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Finding A Mom Community

February 26, 2014
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In March of 2012 I was 14 weeks pregnant and my friend Alice invited me to join her group of new mom friends for a meet up at a local coffee shop. I was eager to absorb information and hopefully get to hold a baby for practice! Two years later, these ladies are my dearest […]

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17 Months!!

February 19, 2014
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I took zero notes this month, but I feel like I have so much new stuff to share. However now that I am sitting down to write, nothing new is coming to mind! Let me see… Words have started bubbling out of Mazen this month, and he’s started to copy us a little bit. If […]

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Outings

February 12, 2014
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We moms are always asking each other where to take our toddlers for fun. We have a handful of outings we keep in rotation that I thought I’d share in hopes that they spark inspiration! I’d also love to hear ideas from you. Restaurants with play areas We have a few in town, notably Sweet […]

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