Divided + Open Plates for Babies
Offering a plate to your baby when they start solids will give them a strong foundation for self-feeding. However, choosing a first plate can be a little overwhelming if you are a first-time parent. This blog will highlight some of the features and benefits of both divided and open plates to help make starting solids ezpz.
Divided Plates: The Mini Mat is ezpz's top-selling plate, and it is a great mealtime solution for both infants and travel. The Mini Mat is an all-in-one placemat + plate that suctions to the table or highchair tray. The mat’s stable base reduces tipped plates and helps babies learn to independently self-feed. The 2oz, 2oz and 4oz divided plate design also helps with:
- Encouraging a Variety of Foods: A divided plate can be a great visual reminder for caregivers to serve a variety of foods at each meal, e.g., a protein in one eye, a fruit or vegetable in the other eye, and a carbohydrate in the smile.
- Encouraging a Variety of Textures: Since divided plates have sections, they can support offering various textures. This is especially true if you are offering your baby a puree as well as stick shaped baby-led finger foods. The compartments help contain foods so they don’t blend together, which can be especially helpful when offering potentially allergenic foods or foods with different temperatures.
Open Plates: The ezpz Tiny Plate provides an open plate design to promote self-feeding + utensil use. The plate supports the traditional method of feeding (purees), as well as the baby-led weaning method of feeding (baby-led strips of food). The 9oz open plate design also helps with:
- Encouraging Imitation: Babies love to mimic what they see their caregivers doing. And since we eat from an open plate, having them do so too can make them look and feel like the rest of the family. This type of mealtime imitation may foster their joy of trying first foods!
- Encouraging Change: Eating from an open plate encourages babies to use their hands and mix up their foods, textures, temperatures and tastes. Having them be in control of the changes in their food may boost more mealtime independence. Yes, this will be messy. But it may stimulate baby’s sensory system and help them engage and learn more about their food. This may also embolden baby to eat a bit more too!
Choosing a Plate: You can always offer baby both types of plates! Give your baby a divided plate for one meal and an open plate for another. Just be sure that the plate has the following features:
- Made of Food-Grade Silicone: Unfortunately, there are a lot of plates out there marketed for mealtime that are not made from food safe silicone. ezpz products are 100% food-safe silicone that is 3rd-party quality tested (FDA approved + CPSC certified).
- Suctions to the Surface: We all know that a baby-led approach to starting solids comes with a bit of mess. But having a plate that suctions to the surface significantly minimizes the mess (plus helps decrease plate throwing!). In addition, a suction plate can make reaching, grabbing, scooping, piercing and dipping more successful. This can help your baby focus on their mealtime milestones instead of chasing a moving target!
- Can be Taken On-The-Go: Parents are constantly on the move, and we want to encourage babies to eat in a variety of settings. Both the Mini Mat and Tiny Plate are packaged in a reusable bag that is ezpz to pop in your diaper bag for mealtime on-the-go!
Having a variety of feeding gear can give you (and your baby) some fun choices at mealtime. We hope that our divided and open plates can help keep your feeding experiences positive for everyone at the table! #ezpzfun #tinyplate #minimat
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 28 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating tendencies. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning feeding products.