23 Things That'll Make Mealtime With Toddlers A Little Easier

A board game plate just might keep everyone in the family from getting hangry.

Let’s just come right out and say it: Mealtime with a toddler is stressful. Sometimes it can feel more like a battleground, especially when there’s food flying to the floor. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can navigate dinner ― and lunch and breakfast ― with a few tools.

A suction silicone placemat will ensure your kid can’t throw their plate on the floor, and a diaper bag that transforms into a booster seat will make dining out a breeze. These and 21 other items will transform the way you feed your kiddo. Bon appétit!

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A spiffy three-stage silicone cup
This cup will adapt as your toddler's fine motor skills start kicking in. Once they begin to insist on drinking from a "big kid cup," this unbreakable bud is here to save the day.

Promising review: "This cup is fantastic for my toddler. I love that the straw is built in. It’s super easy to clean. The material is great, easy to hold, and my toddler is able to grip onto it well. We have had a couple of drops and the liquid did not spill. I also love the neutral colors. I will be buying more products!" — Jordana

Get it from Amazon for $17.99 (available in three colors).
A pair of chopsticks for beginners
Designed with a silly shark attachment, these chopsticks will help your youngster get a big bite of rice before chewing it up in their mighty jaws.

Promising review: "My 2-year-old loves these! I wasn’t sure if she would be able to use them right away, but she figured them out pretty quickly! She now asks for her shark when it’s dinnertime. Definitely a great purchase at a great price!" — Shelby Reyes

Get them from Amazon for $7.57+ (available in three styles).
A silicone placemat
This Montessori table setting will show your kiddo how to set up utensils before dinner. Involve them in dinner prep and watch them eat more than ever before! (BTW, this woman-owned business is based in London.)

Promising review: "This is top-notch. These placemats are exceptional both in terms of design and functionality. I have three very young kids and have tried out quite a few versions, and these are by far my favorite. I bought one for every family member and it was so worth it. The simple, clean design is very appealing and the Montessori idea of enabling young kids to help with setting the table independently works great. And choosing silicone as the material is just genius — it looks great, cleans up super easy, and stays on the table nicely. And if someone were to knead it, or fold it, it bounces right back into its original shape. In addition, I had a specific request regarding handling, and the seller couldn’t have been more thorough, thoughtful, and friendly. It truly was a pleasure doing business with this shop. Thank you!" — Art23

Get it from Kids House UK on Etsy for $23.20.
A pair of snap bibs
Snap this on your child to keep them from ruining their outfit when they seem to think mashed food is the latest fashion statement.

This Black-owned company is based in Dallas. These bibs are made with 100% cotton muslin fabric. Be sure to wash these in cold water on the gentle cycle and only use chlorine-free bleach. Tumble dry on low.

Get them from Little Muffincakes for $10 (originally $15).
A "taco truck"
Keep your kids' tacos upright while they eat — which can hopefully prevent the temper tantrums over "broken" tacos. Sigh, if they only knew how delicious a deconstructed taco really is.

Promising review: "This was larger than expected. It washes well in the dishwasher. My grandkids love to have their food served this way." — Terrie, Charleston-SC

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
Or a cat version
Prove your fun family has no problem with kitten around when it comes to taco Tuesday.

Promising review: "I was hesitant that the cleaning would be a hassle but this is super easy to scrub. It makes dinner easy and more interesting for the kids during quarantine." — Amie

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
A travel cooler
Keep your snacks fresh inside your car with this insulated cooler. It's pretty typical for toddlers to need food every three to four hours, so having snacks and drinks inside the car helps prevent crankiness between meals.

Promising review: "This is the perfect lunch bag to take on a picnic or road trip. It is big and roomy and can hold items for the whole family. I can pack all of my kids' snacks in one bag. The design is sleek and looks nice." — Adam

Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in two colors and two sizes).
A food tray
This isn't any ordinary food tray. It'll turn dinnertime into a bit of a game — but any item that gets picky kids to eat is a good one ... even if that means playing with their food.

Promising review: "Unbelievable!!! I'm sooo extremely thrilled with these plates. My granddaughter is four and she's been a very, very picky eater since she was two. We've tried every trick in the book to get her to eat her veggies (something other than chicken nuggets, spaghetti, mac and cheese). This plate changed that — now she asks for second helpings of broccoli!! I was so thrilled I ordered all varieties of these plates." — Lisa Sernick

Get it from Amazon for $15.30+ (available in six styles).
Or a construction zone plate
If you add a bit of fun to your kid's dinner, they might actually eat everything on their plate.

Promising review: "My toddler is really into construction vehicles and when I served his breakfast in here he was so excited and couldn't wait to eat by himself. Great quality too! I'm very happy with my purchase. My 30-month-old toddler likes to eat now!" — Ks

Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (available in seven colors).
A five-pack of clear stove knob covers
These will keep your pint-sized chef from cooking up mischief in the kitchen.

Promising review: "My son was reaching for the knobs as soon as he was able to walk and talk enough. These covers did the trick by making it impossible for my 13-month-old to turn the knob without opening it." — Spartacus

Get it from Amazon for $12.95.
A pair of silicone trainer utensils
With soft edges and perfect dimensions for tiny hands, these utensils might seem soft to the touch, but they are strong enough for toddlers to actually puncture and pick up food. They're also dishwasher-safe — the dream. (BTW, this woman-owned company is based in Los Angeles.)

Promising review: "I am completely in love! These are good quality and I love the color." — Paola Linares

Get it from Chlomi Baby on Etsy for $9 (available in four colors).
A six-pack of reusable sandwich bags
These are an eco-friendly way to keep easy-to-grab snacks in the fridge or simply to save money on disposable plastic bags if your family prefers packed lunches.

Promising review: "I really like these. They are perfect to keep my diaper bag more organized and keep messy items contained. They open and close easily but with a good hold. Tested to hold water perfectly. The stand open design is very useful and will protect items well. The presentation was nice too and would make a good gift." — Mrs.Krahn

Get them from Amazon for $8.99.
An OXO booster seat
Reviewers rave about how easy this is to clean. Sit your messy eater down and see for yourself. This chair will practically make the arduous post-meal clean-up a thing of the past!

Promising review: "OMG I am obsessed with how easy this is to clean!! I mulled over buying it for a couple of weeks because of the price but it was well worth it! There are no holes for food to get trapped, I repeat, NONE!! Everything empties onto the chair it’s sitting on for the easiest cleaning of any high chair or booster seat! I worried that the holes that contain the straps would catch food but they don’t because it empties out onto the chair. The lift-out seat is genius! The straps also fit a variety of chair sizes, so I feel very safe switching between our barstools to our kitchen chairs with this. I can not recommend this enough! It’s going to be my go-to birthday present for friends and family. You won’t be disappointed with this seat!" — Heather W.

Get it from Amazon for $52+ (available in four colors).
A funny face plate
You and your little loved one can decorate this plate to your heart's content.

This business is run by Leslie Mingo, who designs each of her plates to inspire children to have fun while eating food that is nutritious for them. All products are made in the U.S. And if you're looking for cute food inspiration, Dylbug's Instagram is outta-this-world darling!

Get it from Dylbug for $22+ (available in several styles).
A triangular cup
This cup is designed to give your youngster perfect portions of snacks and sides. These are particularly great as dipping sauce cups because KIDS. LOVE. DIPPING. SAUCE.

Promising review: "This is a fantastic idea! Both of my children love them, three years and 10 months!" — Janae Roithmayr

Get it from Lollaland on Etsy for $4 (available in seven colors).
A pair of baby food cutters
Safe to keep in a diaper bag or have out at the dinner table, these clever scissors will quickly cut food into really teeny-tiny pieces — something your fork and knife have never mastered.

Promising review: "It’s hard to cut foods very small using knives, so I couldn’t believe I could cut foods very small, evenly using these small plastic scissors. Also it’s very easy to clean. The clear plastic case is included, so I can bring it to anywhere I want to. I’m pretty satisfied with my purchase!" — DD

Get it from Amazon for $9.90.
A set of three nylon kitchen knives
Give your little sous chef the ability to chop till they drop (without hurting any of their adorable digits).

Promising review: "My 2-year-old was desperate to join me in the kitchen and I wanted to be sure she was safe. These knives come in three sizes. They are not sharp to the touch but easily cut through most fruits and vegetables! For denser foods like carrots she needed a bit of assistance, but she was quickly chopping all of the asparagus for dinner!!! We just got these so I can't speak to durability, but for the price these seem like a great value for my little chef!" — Nicholas and Zarya Fogelson

Get it from Amazon for $8.95.
A Bumpkins water-resistant smock
Just call this your outfit-saving solution.

Promising review: "These things are a lifesaver! It took my son a little while to get used to them but he never really minded them much. They completely cover him from his shoulders to his lap and I love that if he drops food into his lap the pocket catches it. I no longer have to worry about him getting food all over himself or his clothes! He’s a messy self-feeder but it’s not a problem anymore thanks to these bibs! I also especially love that I can easily just wipe them down after meals so I only have to wash them once they start looking slightly stained. Then I just throw them in the wash and they come out good as new! I bought three and I’m so glad I did! If your kid is exceptionally messy, I highly recommend these!" — Alicia Briggs

Get it from Amazon for $9.95 (available in 15 styles).
Or an adjustable, silicone pocket bib
Toss this on your kiddo before they toss lunch all over their brand-spankin'-new sweater.

Promising review: "We have a newborn in the family so I decided to gift them this bib. It's great because you can wash and reuse it as many times as you want without having to put it in the laundry like traditional bibs. The kids love it!" — Anna

Get it from Amazon for $7.97+ (available in five styles).
A Boon food-dispensing spoon
The squeezable silicone pouch in the handle of this spoon will make feeding pureed meals cleaner and easier than ever. Plus, this comes with a hard plastic lid so you can seal it up and save it for snack time.

Promising review: "This product is amazing!!! I now have kids in sports/activities and I am always on the go. I put my baby's food in one of these and take it to go in my diaper bag. It comes with a spoon cover that is hard plastic that covers the hole where the food comes out. The body of the spoon is a soft silicone that you gently squeeze to get the pureed food out. The spoon itself is a hard plastic but we had no issues. It is easy to clean and comes apart in two pieces. Seriously, this is the best gadget ever! This is coming from a mother of four who has probably owned and purchased every gadget out there to make life easier!!" — castgirl

Get it from Amazon for $8.35+ (available in two colors).
A suction silicone placemat
Stick this to the table so you can stick to your quick lunchtime schedule. There's no time for thrown plates today, toddler!

Promising review: "I am completely satisfied with this purchase! The mat itself is heavier than others I have seen and it does not slide around. It is also dishwasher safe which makes my life easier. I like the fact that there is a built in bowl because that also means I'm not cleaning a bowl and plate. The suction prevents the mats from sliding, it does not prevent anyone from peeling it off the table. Yes, my two year old does this occasionally but it isn't the placemat's fault." — Jenn H

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.
A booster seat diaper bag
It may look like a classic diaper bag, but it actually transforms into a secure seat (including chair straps) so your little one can sit up at the table when you're out to eat. Even when used as a seat, the hollow center can be filled with all the things you need throughout your day. The booster seat pops up and has adjustable straps to secure onto any chair. Plus. it's machine-washable, padded, water-resistant, and supports up to 60 pounds.

Get it on sale from Ashley Homestore for $42.99 (originally $84.99).
And finally, a coloring tablecloth
This is sure to put your easily bored babe in the right frame of mind when you expect everyone in the family to sit together at the dinner table. They'll stay entertained and busy while you finish your meal in peace.

Get it from The Coloring Table on Etsy for $29.99+ (available in three sizes).

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