Some kids look back fondly on the “The airplane goes into the hangar” days of spoon-feeding. Others see it as embarrassing proof that they were not always so ahead-of-the-game of their parents. Regardless, they almost all go through the phase between spoon-feeding and using real place settings, a phase in which they spend more time mixing, prodding, poking, and molding their meals than they do actually eating. Rather than try to contain that mess on tiny plastic plates or trying to clean unwieldy highchair trays, it’s worth checking out the wide array of silicone mats and trays designed to keep your child’s mealtime mess containable.
Beautiful Color Choices
I’d eat out of this. Amazon
This ingenious, placid blue placemat with built-in bowl can go from the microwave to being suctioned to the table to being cleaned in the dishwasher. Just try not to let the little one throw it on the floor. Or maybe do if you’re the free-range parenting type. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that it’s made from BPA-, BPS-, PVC-, latex-, and phthalate-free silicone.
Suctions To Flat Surfaces
Mealtime with a message. Amazon
Built from FDA-approved food-grade silicone with a suction cup bottom and three compartments to placate those picky eaters in your family, these Bella Tunno Wonder Plates make mealtime safe and easy. Thanks to a variety of color schemes and messages, they also make mealtime a lot of fun. Our favorite is the featured “Sweet Dreams are Made of Cheese” design. But “Give peas a chance” is pretty hard to deny.
Make your kid a lucky duckling. Amazon
These plates offer just about everything the previous entries have—food-grade silicone, microwave- and dishwasher-safe material, a built-in bowl, suction-cup bottom, and compartments. But we all know what the real selling point is here. The bowl is shaped like a duck.
Great For Messy Eaters
Over the edge. Amazon
If you’re not quite ready for the fight using silverware entails, you absolutely can’t do better than these suction-cup placemats by UpwardBaby. Drape the food-grade silicone mat over the end of the table and the kiddo now has a place to eat and play with their food, and a trough right in front of them to catch anything that is accidentally (or purposefully) discharged toward their lap. Thanks to an easily foldable design, you can pack these up in your bag and have them ready for meals at restaurants or at grandma’s house.