Happy Line for Little Kids
By Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz
Mealtime with toddlers and preschoolers can be challenging, even for the most experienced parent. But little kids will be more cooperative and excited about mealtime when new foods are fun! The ezpz Happy Line can help make meals more enticing for your littles and less stressful for you. Below I have outlined some important developmental milestones as well as feeding gear tips to set your preschooler up for success!
Happy Mat: The Happy Mat is ezpz's award-winning flagship product. It is an all-in-one placemat + plate that suctions to the table, which means that it captures the mealtime mess and reduces tipped plates. Designed for kids 24 months and older, the Happy Mat can help toddlers / preschoolers obtain their feeding milestones with a smile!
- Biting: I work with a lot of toddlers that tear their food with their fingers or teeth because they can’t bite through their food. Being able to bite through a variety of food thicknesses is a feeding milestone that supports both independent eating and safe swallowing. The suction feature of the Happy Mat makes self-feeding less frustrating, so toddlers can practice eating a variety of food textures.
- Pincer Grasp: It’s important for little kids to continue to practice a pincer grasp (using tips of index finger + thumb) throughout toddlerhood. Have your tot practice this grasp by holding or dipping foods into the Happy Mat’s eyes!
Happy Bowl: The ezpz Happy Bowl is an all-in-one placemat + bowl that suctions to the surface, helping toddlers and preschoolers eat soup, pasta, oatmeal, salad, cereal and more. This 12-ounce bowl is great for for achieving feeding milestones and sensory play too!
- Utensils: Toddlers should be able to scoop food using a spoon and pierce food with a fork. The stable base of the Happy Bowl promotes utensil use, as it stays in place and allows for effortless practice with a variety of textures.
- Finger Feeding: Even little kids will continue to use their fingers to finger-feed soft foods. The suction stability makes independent eating “ezpz” for both snack time and mealtime!
ezpz Book: Our book, Making Mealtime ezpz: Fun Ways to Fill the Happy Mat, is the perfect companion for family mealtime with your Happy Mat! It is a great resource for parents to make fun, eye-catching mealtime creations for toddlers and preschoolers. And guess what? Most of the food art in the book can be made in less than 5 minutes. Score!
- Cause + Effect: Your toddler is at the age where they understand cause and effect. They are even learning that cooking together or creating food art can encourage them (and others) to try new foods! Get your kiddo in the kitchen by having them start with one kitchen duty. We have a whole page in our book dedicated to ideas for getting your littles involved in food prep (without a huge mess or time commitment!).
- Pretend Play: Your little one is also engaging in some pretend play during these early years. This is very important for their emerging language, speech, social skills and feeding abilities, too! Toddlers feel more comfortable experimenting with foods when meals are presented with some simple food art fun!
We hope that you notice more willingness to try new foods and more smiles at mealtime when using our Happy Line. Be sure to download our FREE printable to track your little one’s milestones. #ezpzfun #happymat
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).