Skip to main content

Trying out travel placemats

Eating out with Henry can be a messy business, so I'm always on the lookout for ways to make it a little less so. Recently, we tried out two different types of placements designed for kids. Since Henry is still practicing how to eat from a bowl or plate, a placemat helps to make clean-up easier. Also, sometimes Henry wants to chew on the edge of the table, so a placemat helps protect the table from his sharp teeth.

The first product we tried was the TinyDiner Placemat. This item receives rave reviews from other baby-led weaning families so I thought we should give it a try. This placemat has suction cups along the sides to help it stay on the table and a catch tray along the front edge to collect dropped items. When baby is done eating, it rolls up and can be tucked in the pocket of diaper bag. It is reusable and dishwasher safe.
Henry eats Japanese food from his TinyDiner Placemat.
The first couple of times we used the TinyDiner, Henry was distracted by the catch-tray. As you can see in the photo below, he spent a good portion of our meal chewing on the tray instead of eating his food. 
Henry attempts to eat the TinyDiner Placemat.
After a few uses, Henry figured out how to rip the suction cups off of the table. In addition, since the placemat spent most of the time rolled up in the side pocket of Henry's diaper bag, the plastic wanted to return to that shape when we laid it out on the table. This mat would benefit from stronger and more effectively placed suction cups.

Since the TinyDiner Placemat was not working well for us, I went in search of another option. I purchased one set of the Neat Solutions Neat-Ware Table Topper. These placemats come in packs of 20 but they fold up very small so I can tuck a few in a diaper bag pocket. While I am not a huge fan of disposable products, these are biodegradable. 

The placemat sticks securely along all four edges to the table. I adhere the front of the placemat just under the table edge and so far Henry has not been able to peel them off of the table. I have heard that some of the Table Toppers only have adhesive on two sides so be aware that they are not all the same.
Henry waits for his meal.
The Table Toppers come in several fun patterns which we look at together while waiting for our food to arrive. So far the designs have not proven distracting during mealtime, but I could see how this may cause problems for some kids.
Henry enjoys eating a quesadilla off of his Table Topper.
When Henry is done eating, I just peel the placemat up by each corner, folding them in to the center to create a pouch for any remaining bits of food and water. Several waitresses have remarked that these placemats are a great accessory for eating out with little ones.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Henry's Lunchbox - Easter Treats and Peanut Butter

This week, Henry packed four school lunches and purchased one cafeteria lunch. His stash of Valentine's chocolate just ran out, so he was thrilled to resupply his candy stash with Easter treats, including Cracker Jack popcorn.


In case you missed the first post in this school lunch series, you can learn more about our family's lunchbox guidelines here.

DAY 1

DAY 1 - WHAT DID HENRY PACK FOR LUNCH?
Grapes
Apples
Chocolate Cadbury Egg
Peanut Butter and Raspberry-Cherry Jam on Sourdough Bread 
Water


DAY 1 - WHAT'S LEFT IN HENRY'S LUNCHBOX
Most of the Grapes
One bite of Apple

DAY 2

DAY

Henry's Lunchbox - The Purple Lunchbox

This week, Henry packed four school lunches and purchased one cafeteria lunch.

Henry's favorite lunchbox this year has been his purple Bentgo Kids container. He chose the color himself. He especially likes all the sections in the box so that he can have lots of different foods at lunch. In January, I even purchased a set of silicone muffin cups so that he would be encouraged to use his Planetbox Shuttle as often with its single divider.

Henry's Lunchbox - Week 3

This week Henry packed 5 days of school lunches. He tried out a new recipe on Monday and had his first completely eaten lunch on Friday.
In case you missed the first post in this school lunch series, you can learn more about our family's lunchbox guidelines here.

DAY 1

DAY 1 - WHAT DID HENRY PACK FOR LUNCH?
Cinnamon Banana Almond Butter Roll-up, cut into 5 pieces
Parsnip Chips
Plum
Pistachios
Saltwater Taffy, licorice flavor
Water
DAY 1 - WHAT'S LEFT IN HENRY'S LUNCHBOX?

Half the parsnip chips
A small bit of plum
A few pistachios
Most of the taffy, he was not very thrilled with the licorice flavor
*His water bottle was nearly full. Henry has decided he prefers water with a few drops of lemon juice. We forgot to add the lemon to today's water bottle.

DAY 2

DAY 2 - WHAT DID HENRY PACK FOR LUNCH?
Salami and Provolone Cheese, 2 slices each rolled up together
Dried berry medley, cherries/blueberries/strawberries
English muffin with lemon curd, cut into quarters
Banana Chips
Orange Tootsie Roll