Introducing Solids With the Tiny Bowl
By Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz
Introducing solids is a pleasurable time for baby, but it can be nerve-wracking for first-time parents. To make the transition to solids easier on the entire family, I have provided some of my favorite tips.
Highchair Tray: If you are introducing solids on a highchair tray, then the ezpz Tiny Bowl is perfect! With dimensions of 9 x 6.5, the Tiny Bowl fits on the tiniest of highchair trays (including the Stokke Tripp Trapp and the Boon Flair). That means that no matter where you go (grandma’s house, restaurants, etc.) you can rest assured that the Tiny Bowl will fit on the tray. Plus, it’s packaged in a reusable wet bag so you can carry your mat (clean or dirty) in your diaper bag.
- When placing the Tiny Bowl on the highchair tray, place it as close to your baby as you can. This will help baby cross midline (baby’s ability to use their hands across their body to eat) while keeping mess to a minimum.
- Make sure the tray is close to baby’s chest but not pushing on it. This will help decrease reflux and make solid food introduction more enjoyable.
Presentation: Baby’s first solids should look delicious and easy to grasp. Whether you are offering purees or bite-sized chunks, present foods that are colorful and are readily consumed by the entire family. My favorite piece of advice when choosing how to feed your baby is to make sure that it is a safe and trusting feeding experience for the both of you!
- Purees: Use the Tiny Bowl for spoon-feeding formula, breast milk and purees. Since the bowl is sealed to the surface, you can easily dip the Tiny Spoon and feed your little without chasing a baby food jar around the table. The suction feature is also helpful when baby starts to use a spoon. Baby can focus on feeding themselves with their dominant hand while using their non-dominant hand to hold on to the edge of the Tiny Bowl. That means improved balance and safety!
- Baby Led Weaning (BLW): The Tiny Bowl’s suction technology keeps the bowl at midline for a safer BLW experience. This allows baby to focus on the foods presented while they pick up foods (with their hands or with the Tiny Spoon) and feed independently. The unique oval shape encourages infants to easily see inside the bowl, making eye-hand coordination and finger feeding more successful!
Variety: There is a trend in the media right now where some folks blame and shame parents that have a picky eater. However, there is growing research that suggests that 50% of a child’s selectivity about foods is genetic and 50% is environmental. So, the most important tip when introducing solids is to offer a variety of tastes / foods and continue to do so! You can’t control genetics (what’s done is done…insert chuckling) but parents do have control over a child’s food environment (what is offered at each meal). Making food more familiar and fun to eat will help you and baby persevere over picky eating tendencies.
- When using the Tiny Bowl, use the sides of the mat as a place to offer a few morsels of a new food or taste.
- Use the rim of the Tiny Bowl as another place to introduce a new taste! Babies love to lick and gum the edge of the bowl, so start rimming the bowl (like a cocktail drink) with an orange slice, kiwi or other yummy new fruit. Increasing the variety of new tastes/foods at mealtime just got even more creative and fun!
How do you plan on using the Tiny Bowl with your little? What are some of your baby’s favorite first foods? Share your ‘introducing solids’ pics with us by using the hashtags #ezpzfun #tinybowl #blw.
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 26 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning Tiny Cup & Tiny Spoon (for infants) and the Mini Cup + Straw Training System & Mini Utensils (for toddlers).