I know, I know. Nobody asked me. <raises hand> But I’m going to share with the class anyway.
Babystar uses four different types of plates. I did not research ALL OF THE PLATES (like I did with strollers and that was hell) so there may be better options out there. Pretty please let me know in the comments if you have any of these and like/hate/feel nothing about them. Or if you have a favorite that I have not listed.
ezpz mini mat
- It fits on our Ikea high chair tray.
- It is perfect on the living room side table or restaurant table because it does not slide easily.
- The divided tray encourages Babystar to eat a variety of foods.
- It’s silicon, so it’s BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates free.
- Dishwasher safe (top rack).
- It’s freaking adorable!
- The extra lip around the food sections is a great place to put tiny bites from my plate that she may or may not try. But she does not get upset about them because they are not (apparently) technically in her food areas.
- It is really easy to move around on the tray or table. It does NOT suction. It is well designed but most kids are smart enough to pick it up if that is their goal.
- Babystar does like to move her plates from room to room because she takes ninety minutes to finish a meal. These plates are rubbery so very difficult for her to carry without spilling. (I get that this is only an issue for some kids.)
- These plates are quite expensive. If you want several different colors or have more than one kid, you are spending some serious dough.
- I like the two we own (one was a gift at a MommyCon session). I also have one of the bowls, which does not fit on the Ikea high chair tray but is great for art supplies. I definitely LOVED these plates a bunch when Babystar was just learning to eat and would get frustrated when her plate or bowl moved around unintentionally. My advice: get one or two for when your baby is first learning to eat. Once he or she can pick up the plate, it’s time to teach them not to do that anyway. I like it as a ‘training plate’. And then as a travel plate.
Re-Play Divided Plate
- Re-Play is a great company that I kind of want to make out with. Their products are made from recycled milk jugs. In America. And did you hear the part about RECYCLED MILK JUGS??
- BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates free.
- Dishwasher safe (top rack).
- The sections on the divided plates are deep enough to put actual food in, even runny stuff, like fried eggs or oatmeal or even, EVEN, cereal with milk. Whoa.
- The divided sections also encourage her to eat a variety or foods. She NEEDS something different in each section. (So it also encourages ME to be a good mama and balance her meals. Thanks, fam.)
- So far they have proven indestructible but I have not tried them on the bottom rack of the dishwasher (dun dun dunnnnnn). Which is great because Babystar likes to carry her plates around these days. (I really cannot figure out why she needs a change of scenery mid-meal.)
- There are so many pretteeee colors from which to choose!
- They are very affordable! I linked the plates from Abby’s Lane above because that online shop offers free shipping, and sells the plates individually for $3.25 each, in case you want to try one. You can buy direct from Re-Play here, but they sell the plates in 2-packs for $5.99. The catch is that you have to spend $79 for free shipping, and I hate that rule. I hate most rules tbh.
- Ahem. I must spend $79 for free shipping on the Re-Play website? AND their shipping is expensive. No, thank you.
- Yes, please. We love these. But beware: if you have a plate thrower (opa!), these plates are irresistibly light and frisbee-esque. However, they aren’t going to break so there’s that.
IKEA KALAS Plate
- These plates are SO affordable! Six for $2.49!! I bought a few packs and I use them for everything: play date snacks, stuffed animal birthday parties, and tossing in the diaper bag for picnics. I have lost a few along the way and I DON’T EVEN CARE.
- The are BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates free.
- They are dishwasher safe.
- They are kind of the perfect size.
- The plates are not divided, and Ikea does not offer a divided plate option. Sometimes that is fine. Other times it is less fine. The problem is that Babystar (being a typical toddler) never really gives me a heads up.
- The plates are almost too light. I like their weightlessness when I am carrying them in Babystar’s bag, but they do tend to get swiped onto the floor a little too easily.
- They are available online but shipping is $10, so you have to either live near an Ikea or know someone who does. Or buy a whole bunch of stuff from Ikea to make it worth it which would definitely be my preference. Go check out their pillows. I’ll wait. (I definitely sent several packs of the KALAS bowls to my nephew in another state whenever someone was headed that way.)
- Worth having on hand, even if you don’t have kids. I totally owned some before Babystar was born for visiting children. The price is amazing. The product is good enough.
Regular Dinner Plates
- I’m pretty sure she feels like such a BIG GIRL when her plate matches mommy’s (and everyone else’s if it’s dinnertime).
- This is extremely economical. Unless. Unless your child breaks them all the time and you have to pay for more adult plates (although this is like the salad plate size) or some ER visits from glass shard related injuries.
- Ok, first of all, and not plate related, but maybe don’t give the baby metal
weapons utensils, even if they were given to you by her grandmother and used to belong to her father. Even then.
- Also, we so fancy, and our dinnerware (though very cheap to acquire, dude, I bought an entire set of vintage Franciscan Starburst for fifty bucks from some clueless amazing person on craigslist), would be very expensive to replace. That does not mean I do not TOTALLY wish I had the child plate version of this pattern. But I just found one online after an hour of searching and it was $90 soooooooo I’m thinking that’s probably a nope.
- Babystar likes to carry her food around. I would not freak out about the broken plate if she dropped it, but I would DEFINITELY freak out about the sharp ceramic shards on and around my baby.
- Again, it’s not divided. (Though the child’s plate version is but I don’t have that one so please mail me one ok thank you.)
- I don’t think this is a super great idea. Probably don’t do it. But also, you know, live your life.
My little Babystar has started this cool thing where she wants to eat twenty-five hours of the day. Yes, twenty-five. Because twenty-four doesn’t seem to be enough. I guess she’s trying to grow so she can reach the cookies.
My stack of five re-play divided plates was no longer even getting us through a whole dishwasher cycle, because of that whole CONSTANTLY EATING thing. I just acquired four more plates. Two were purchased by grandparents and two by me ($6).
RAISING BABYSTAR: $16,297.37
I love Re-Play Recycled kid’s plates and utensils. One look at my Instagram is all the proof you need. If you need proof. Like, if you think I’m constantly lying to you. Wait, what? Oh yeah.
Re-Play. I also love the Snack Stacks. I have three of the containers and three lids, so I can use them together or separately. I find myself making snacks in advance and putting them in the refrigerator so I can easily pack the Baby Bag in the mornings. (My family, we are not a morning people. Not even little Babystar. Weird, right? Babies are usually known for their 5am parties.)
Now Babystar likes the Snack Stack containers to hold her crayons at various impromptu workstations throughout the house so that she can create masterpieces the very moment that inspiration strikes. Brilliant artist, that one.
Clearly, I needed more. A few weeks back, Re-play had a great 50% off all Snack Stacks sale, so I bought the Rainbow Set for $25.24 including shipping. (I despise their $79 minimum shipping but the $6 shipping was worth it for such a great sale. The regular price for that set of twelve containers plus lids is $38.50. Score!)
And here is all of the food I purchased in March for Babystar. (These food posts are boring but important for accuracy. And I love accuracy. Again, I’m only counting food that I buy specifically for Babystar. We share our food with her, of course. And she shares hers with us. But for math purposes, I count all of the extra stuff that I would not have bought if she didn’t exist. Except now I count half of the money spent on frozen pizza and tots because we sort of buy those for both the Teen and the ToddlerMonster now. She LOVES tater tots.)
- Watermelon 2.69, 2.55, 4.33
- Chia waffles 3.59×2
- Bananas .46
- Granola bars 8.99 (Costco)
- Ice cream 2.98
- Tots 2×2.79
- Mac and cheese 2.99×4
- Pears 2.99
- Clementines 2.99
- Cheese 3.19
- Eggs 3.99
- Apple bars 1.99
- Graham crackers 1.99
- Apples 6.98
- Frozen pizzas 12.00
- Strawberries 8.00
- Angelica Pizzeria slice 3.64×2
- Chik-fil-A 2-strip kids meal 4.65×3
- McDonalds Happy Meal (sans meat) plus Cutie clementine 3.49
RAISING BABYSTAR: $15,967.94
We went out to dinner last month and did not order a single thing for Babystar. She shared with everyone, and basically got the Teenager’s extra side (fries which is all Babystar really wanted anyway).
But. Whoops. We forgot to bring any toys. WHAT ARE WE, ROOKIES?!?
Luckily, we were at Longhorn Steakhouse which is in the parking lot of a strip mall. One of my favorite strip malls. It has a Home Goods (cue that ahhh ahhh shhhhhh music). And luckily (luckily?), there was a 40 minute wait so the girls and I walked over to Home Goods just to browse.
When my darling husband texted us to say that the table was ready, the Teenager had to text back: we’ll be there in a min. mom is buying an airplane. emoji emoji emoji.
Babystar LOVES this Melissa and Doug airplane. She played with it at dinner. She plays with it all the time at home. She has decided that certain two passengers are ‘mommy and daddy’ and she even eats lunch with the mommy and daddy at her little table and feeds them and shows them her toys. She uses the luggage as cell phones. I saw her take a selfie with one. Best. Toy. Ever. Plus it was only $13.77 because Home Goods is the bomb diggity. (Am I allowed to type bomb and airplane in the same blog paragraph? I can’t keep up with the TSA rules.)
We did buy some food for Babystar in February. I’m still only counting food that I buy specifically for her. I eat a lot of it, but I buy it for HER. She eats a lot of my food, too. She’s lately loving salmon, but we don’t cook any more than usual. I just eat a little less. She also shares our veggies, but we would always cook the entire bag. Again, I just eat a little less. A toddler serving is like a couple of bites for me.
We buy a LOT more fruit than we used to. A whole lot more. I try to buy in season and whatever is on sale but DUDE FRUIT IS EXPENSIVE. I never noticed before this fun, terrifying project called babycostsmoney.
- graham crackers 2.99
- clementines 14.47
- strawberries 13.97
- blueberries 4.98
- tater tots (1 of 3 bags for the month but she eats a lot of the Teenager’s tots) 3.09
- apples 12.54
- pears 5.71
- watermelon 11.36
- shrimp platter 11.99 (she didn’t eat a single one of course but we bought them for her)
- granola bars 5.19
- grapes 3.05
- organic carrots .99
- cucumbers 1.69
- chia seed waffles 5.98
Plus some fast food meals out. Shhh, don’t talk about it.
- Chick-fil-A 1 strip meal 3.39
- Chick-fil-A 1 strip meal 3.39
- Chick-Fil-A 2 strip meal 4.69
- Elevation Burger fries 2.95 and orange slices 1.95
- Costco pizza 2.19
- Costco pizza 2.19
- Costco pizza 2.19
- Pizza Hut pizza via Target 4.29
- Pepperoni at Sbarro (Yes, just extra pepperoni. She shared our stromboli.) 1.49
RAISING BABYSTAR: $15,232.37
I totally said this when I was pregnant. And I have no fucking excuse.
Babystar is my THIRD child. I love going to Chik-fil-A with the teenagers (their food is better than their politics but it is waaaaay better and chicken sandwich love conquers all). I don’t even really care that McDonald’s french fries aren’t vegan (even though they are potatoes, right, so how–nevermind, I don’t care). This is not my first rodeo.
But I said it. All smug. And stupid. Last December, Babystar had her very first kid’s meal of her very own. And in January she had, um, a few more.
(I currently have three ‘Corduroy Gets a Pet’ board books because our local Chik-fil-A didn’t think to diversify the toddler toys this month. Also, why does a bear need a pet? Who decides which animals HAVE pets and which animals ARE pets? Does this have anything to do with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?)
- Chik-fil-A 1-strip meal $3.35
- Chik-fil-A 1-strip meal $3.35
- Chik-fil-A 1-strip meal $3.35
- Chik-fil-A 2-strip meal $4.55 (no she didn’t eat the second one)
- Chik-fil-A fries $2.89 (we shared but they were for her)
- Chik-fil-A 4-nugget meal $3.35
- McDonald’s fries $2.99
- Elevation Burger grilled cheese and oranges $3.25, $1.95
She also still loves to share with us at Shake Shack or our local pizza place (omg she LOVES going for pizza, knows the way there when we are walking, and starts yelling PIZZAPIZZAPIZZA as soon as we turn the corner). She still never eats enough to justify buying her a separate meal.
January groceries purchased just for Babystar:
- Blueberries $2.99, $2.99, $1.99, 4.99
- Strawberries $6.99, $7.59, $3.00, $5.99
- Graham crackers $2.99, $2.99
- Clementines $6.99
- Sweet onion $1.71
- Bananas $1.46 (She still won’t eat them what is happening.)
- Opal apples $6.70, $5.91, $1.88
- deli turkey (Can toddlers eat this? She loves it.) $3.65, $5.17
- eggs $2.89, $3.99
- granola bars $5.49
- cheese $3.00, $3.00
- cookies (yep, the kind with m&m’s in them, don’t worry I ate most of them) $2.50
- Trader Joe’s mac & cheese with the chilis $2.99, $2.99
- Chia seed waffles $2.99, $2.99
- Trader Joe’s Honey-O’s $2.59
- chocolate ice cream minis $1.39, $1.39 (Shhh, her throat was hurting.)
RAISING BABYSTAR: $14,543.67
Babystar sat at the kid’s table. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY TINY BABY.
We went to a friend’s event and I’ve cropped out the other kids but omg look!
She also sits at her cousin’s little table and eats with her. And crawls into the big chairs at the table at home. I am clearly in denial and it was way past time to get this child a table her size. Where is my World’s Best Mom coffee mug??
Have I mentioned how much I love Ikea? $24.99. Babystar even helped me put it together. She twisted one of the screws and did not eat any of the others and I think that was a huge help.
Also, here is December’s food tally. I know I swore I would make these more interesting for 2017 and I really probably won’t, but this is technically for food purchased last year so leave me alone. Also, I would like to give a shout out to all of the people that sent fruit baskets to my husband’s office and to my parents for sending a fruit and cheese basket because that really cut down on our food bill for Babystar this month. Please send more for January, and include berries, ok thanks.
- blueberries x5 $17.95
- strawberries x3 $12.98
- apples $3.24
- pasta $2.69
- zucchini $3.65
- squash $1.15
- diced tomatoes $1.50
- so much cheese $12.00
- teddy grahams $2.99
- animal crackers $1.50
- donuts (shhhhh) $2.99
- frozen microwavable vegetables x10 (various, hell of a sale) $10.00
- HER VERY FIRST Chik-fil-a kid’s meal $3.35
Y’ALL. My tiny little baby has her own table and chairs and she got her very first kid’s meal toy and WHERE IS MY BABY???
Btw, Chik-fil-a don’t play around with their kid’s meal toys. Babystar got a super cool little board book called Fish Kisses and she loves it and she kisses it and I die.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $14,364.37
I’m not talking about the kind with bumpers.
Although, real talk, I totally bowled in the bumper lanes with my kids. I don’t even want to go bowling anymore now that the teens are past the age of bumper lanes.
And I was still terrible.
I’m way better at Wii Bowling and I know that is so ten years ago but whatever I still have a Wii and I still play sometimes. My Wii age is like 65 though. Yours?
WAIT WHAT WAS I TALKING ABOUT.
Oh, right. I bought the ezpz bowl. I like the two ezpz minimats that we have. We use them as ‘snack plates’ on the little side table in the living room when we are too lazy to cook a real dinner but still need to feed the toddler healthy food. We sometimes eat late night (fancy) cheese and (fancy) crackers and (fancy) salami for dinner around here. I know. We fancy. And we share with Babystar but also give her fruit and veggies. (Just kidding it’s all fruit.) And we cut her food smaller so she doesn’t choke and stuff. Plus she takes one hundred hours to eat so if we didn’t save some for her she would be hungry all the time.
And now she wants to eat cereal or pasta or whatever out of bowls with spoons ALL BY HERSELF so I bought the ezpz bowl hoping it would stay put on her high chair. Her spoon skills are rudimentary at best.
The ezpz bowl does STAY on her Ikea high chair (unless she actively tries to remove it but duh it’s not glued down) but it doesn’t exactly FIT. Whoops. I should have measured.
Has anyone cut one of these? I’m thinking that has to be the solution. It totally ALMOST FITS. But at $24.98 (including shipping), I’m a little scared to cut it. Will it completely fall apart? No, right? Right? Please share any knowledge you might have. Or opinions. Or inspirational quotes about cutting things down to size or whatever.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $14,097.19
I don’t know how to make these food posts more exciting. Maybe I’ll make that my New Year’s Resolution. But it’s still 2016 so here goes.
Food we bought especially for Babystar in November:
- those weird fruit and veggie melts x4 $11.96
- canned diced tomatoes x2 $2.48
- digitali pasta $1.99
- zucchini x2 $1.67
- yogurt (which she didn’t like btw) $2.99
- raspberries $3.99
- TJ graham crackers x3 $5.97
- pears $2.99
- so much cheese $5.98
- eggs $9.98
- deli turkey $3.59
- sweet potatoes (which she wouldn’t eat btw because they are apparently for babies) $4.99
- butternut squash (still sitting on counter and likely bad by now) $2.77
The November tab is low. Babystar was so sick the first week of November that she basically had milk and crackers. And the milk is free! And the grandparents bought SO MUCH FOOD when we were there over Thanksgiving. Babystar looooves shrimp. Crap. Expensive baby tastes. She really loves seafood but I usually just share my salmon or whatever. Now I’ll probably be buying shrimp cocktail platters.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,589.31
Like pretty much every ToddlerMonster on the planet, Babystar loooooves fruit.
Autumn is tricky, though, because apples are in season. And apples want to choke my baby so very badly.
(Yes, I know about pears. I love pears. Babystar loves pears. But they are sosososososo SO SO messy. They are delicious and sticky and drippy and apparently VERY FUN to squish in a tiny fist before licking off of a tiny hand. So I’ve heard. We eat pears just before bath time. Or if we don’t have anywhere to be for a few hours. We rarely eat pears for breakfast because the clean up time is ridiculous.)
I also know that this is 2016 and I can get any fruit any time. I’m not a strict locavore, but I do like to pay attention to the seasons. Out-of-season fruit is EXPENSIVE. And even more importantly, out-of-season fruit is kind of gross and tasteless. So here we are: Apple Season.
Babystar thinks applesauce is baby food. I make homemade freaking delicious cinnamon applesauce but she hates it. Whatever; more for me. However, the grandparents brought us a peck of delicious yummy apples from an orchard in Maryland so we have apples for
days WEEKS and I had to figure out a way to slice them that Little Miss Five Teeth could eat without choking. And I got tired of peeling apples all the time.
This seems to work.
- Use the apple corer as per usual.
- Use a knife to cut one regular human sized slice into three or four thin baby-bitable slices.
- Score the peel so that the bits are so small that she can swallow them whole.
Voila! ToddlerMonster-safe apple slices!*
RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,235.18
*I am not a doctor or nutritionist or in any way qualified to tell you how to feed your child. Your toddler might choke on apples. Your very small baby probably WILL choke on apples. You know your kid better than I do.
In August, Little Miss Babystar started teething on vacation. (That kid has excellent timing.) She was crying all night and partying every day, getting six teeth AT ONE TIME in her poor little mouth. These were her first teeth ever, so she was probably like WTF IS THIS SHIT.
She hated it.
She also hated Tylenol and Motrin and any other type of pain relieving medicine. In desperation to find something that worked, I picked up Hyland’s Teeting Tablets at the Target in West Hollywood and crossed my fingers and said a little prayer and made a little offering to the Goddess of Teething. Guess what? They worked! She picked them up with her newly working little pincer grasp and ate ‘her candies’ and they freaking WORKED! I know, I know, it’s homeopathic and all, so it’s probably placebo but how can you placebo a baby? I’ve genuinely been thinking about this. You can’t, right? (Can you?!) They actually worked. Did I mention that they worked?
We ran out last week and that’s when I found out that they have been voluntarily recalled. Crap. My local Harris Teeter pulled them along with most US drugstore chains and I was freaking out and desperate so we ordered three boxes from Amazon that very day. She isn’t teething now but I didn’t want to be stuck without them during her next round of teething fun.
In the meantime, I have read many reports about the teething tablets. Hyland’s specifically, though I know the FDA has recommended discontinuing all brands. I talked to Babystar’s pediatrician about the tablets on our last visit, and she gave the ok. I have personally decided to continue using (and mildly worshiping) the teething tablets. I hope I am right. Parenting is hard. But I’m still researching. I don’t want to start a debate. But I am interested in your opinion. Especially if you have links and facts to share.
We got a couple Halloween books too, as the tablets were one of those annoying Amazon Prime ‘add on thingys’ (technical term) so the shipping is free, but not really.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $12,493.77
Someone please suggest a better system for keeping track of Babystar’s food. Right now, I’m keeping a list of food that I buy SPECIFICALLY for Babystar. Although we do sometimes share. And we share a lot of our food with her. But I am not counting that, because I was going to buy that bag of veggies from Trader Joe’s anyway. I would have just eaten that extra tablespoon of peas and cauliflower or whatever if she didn’t eat it. You know what I mean? Ok.
Oh, and this is for the beginning of August except for the parts in California and then all of September. I kind of forgot at the end of August. Plus who wants to read this boring blog post anyway? I just have to include it because I AM ADDICTED TO ACCURACY. Ugh, so annoying.
- Nectarines $6.98
- String cheese $6.47
- Mozzarella toast (at our fave local pizza place) $4.99 x 2
- 3 cans of diced tomatoes $2.97
- 3 zucchinis $3.00
- 1 sweet onion $1.50
- 1 orange pepper $1.50
- 2 boxes ditalini pasta $5.58
- 5 packs of Gerber veggie melts $14.95 (yikes!)
- 5 packs of organic free-range hippie eggs $19.95
- Gerber veggie puffs AKA Babystar’s Cheetos $2.99
- box of Trader Joe’s version of cheerios $2.39
- 3 boxes chia seed waffles $8.97
- strawberries $9.00
- peaches $4.78
- plain vanilla yogurt (for making popsicles) $2.79
- so many bananas $8.00
- Spinach artichoke dip $7.99
- Fancy crackers $5.99
Those last two seem a bit odd, yeah? Babystar often goes to Costco with her dad on the weekends. (She likes any stores that doubles as a buffet. Same, Babystar, same.) APPARENTLY, she went crazy for the spinach artichoke dip at on of the sample stations and loudly insisted that they go back for more whenever she ran out. Of course, Husband was a wonderful Dada (and decent human being since she ate so much of it) and bought a container to bring home. He even bought the crackers they were selling to go with it since she loved them too. She didn’t eat a single bite at home. It was yummy. We all enjoyed it. But it goes on her tab because we bought it FOR HER.
RAISING BABYSTAR: $12,296.35