If you care for a baby who is relatively new to solids or is teething, then these these mesh fresh food feeders are for you!
I love them because:
- You can introduce baby to new flavors, with a significantly reduced risk of choking. Some great foods to start with are soft foods like bananas, avocado, (clean right away so banana/avocado residue doesn’t dry and stick), cooked peas, cooked peaches, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, or cooked skinless apples. Then as baby’s jaw gets stronger, you can try foods like cooked chicken or raw skinless apples or pears. What a fun way to explore new flavors!
- The handle is easy for baby to hold while he chomps away.
- The feeder snaps open in the center to allow easy access for inserting or removing food, but not in a manner that would allow baby to open it.
- It provides opportunities for babies to explore sensory input all around the mouth, rather than just the front of the mouth like most teething toys. This is so important for oral development!
- It can teach babies to move their tongue side-to-side (lateralization) as the feeder moves from one side of the mouth to the other while they chomp with their whole jaw. You may even be able to see that little tongue bending to the side that the feeder is on (so if the feeder is on the left side of the mouth, the tongue will move to the left, toward the stimulus).
- It is an especially great resource if you have a baby who is constantly seeking things to put in his mouth more than your average baby (like mine was!).
- It is one of many useful tools you can use to relieve teething pain…just add something cold or chewy in there such as frozen breast milk, frozen peas, watermelon, skinless apple, piece of bagel, etc. (You can give them a cold, wet washcloth for chomping if you don’t want to constantly give them food to gnaw on while they’re teething.)
- You can use a pacifier clip to attach it to baby’s shirt or bib so it doesn’t fall on the floor if he drops or throws it.
- You can use it to introduce foods to toddlers who are picky eaters, so they can try the flavor without having to deal with the texture or actually touch the food.
- It is BPA free and dishwasher safe (check the details on your specific product just to be sure).
A few precautions or things to consider:
- Always supervise baby while using the fresh food feeder.
- The mesh allows juice to drip out (mostly into baby’s mouth), so be prepared for a small mess depending on what food you put in there.
- Keep baby seated just like you would during regular feedings and don’t let him walk around while using it.
- Be sure the snap closure is secure before giving to baby.
- Wash as soon as possible after using, since some foods tend to dry or stick on the inside. FYI- The riper the banana in the feeder, the easier to clean.
- Discard feeder if you notice any tearing and snagging in the mesh (that’s never happened to us, but it could…).
- Don’t place any foods in the fresh food feeder that baby could potentially develop an allergy to before he is ready (such as strawberries or peanut butter before 12 months of age, check with your pediatrician for guidelines related to infants and food allergies).
- If baby isn’t interested in the feeder, then he’s probably not ready for it. Wait a few weeks and try again later.
- Always read the directions that come with the product before using.
These mesh fresh food bags can be purchased in most baby/toddler feeding aisles (such as your local grocery store, drug store, Target, Wal-Mart, Babies R Us, etc.), or you can find them online here.
Enjoy those food adventures, and let me know what you think of this product or what others ways you like to use it!
*This post contains an affiliate link. I was not compensated for this post.
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In addition to being mama to two sweet little boys and wife to a crazy awesome husband, Christie is a Registered & Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L). She holds a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Education from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA...Go Bruins!), and an M.A. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC OT). She has experience working as a pediatric OT in early intervention (birth to 3), clinic-based, and school-based settings. Her mission with MamaOT.com is to encourage, educate, and empower those who care for children. Christie loves that she gets to PLAY when she goes to work, is hopelessly addicted to Kettle Corn, and is known for being able to turn virtually anything into a therapeutic tool or activity, from empty food containers to laundry and everything in between. Learn more about Christie and what inspired her to become an OT.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a holistic profession that helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, also known as “occupations”. Some OTs help people diagnosed with disability, injury, or disease. Others help prevent disability, injury, or disease. Because of occupational therapy, people of all ages are able to say, "I can!" no matter what their struggle. Isn't that amazing?!
. . . . .Please provide appropriate supervision to the child in your care when completing any activities from this site. You as the grown-up will need to decide what types of products/activities on this list will be safe for your child. If you’re not sure, check with your child’s occupational therapist or pediatrician. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when implementing any ideas or activities from this site, particularly if there is any risk of injury (e.g., falling, crashing), choking (e.g., small parts), drowning (e.g., water play), or allergic/adverse reaction (e.g., materials/ingredients). The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.