Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Toddler Eating On the Go

Eating on the go with a toddler can be stressful if you're not prepared, but we've found a way to make it an enjoyable experience.  We love food, and knowing we can go out without worry is important to us.  We choose awake and alert times to eat out (mid-day between naps or early dinner).  Henry also only frequents family friendly restaurants.  My diaper bag is usually full of favorite snacks and/or favorite toys - soft toys are great for restaurants, as he likes to bang his toys against the table.  Another go-to toy is a spoon.  It will keep him occupied for a few minutes.  One tool I've found useful is the Biodegrable Table Topper by One Steph Ahead.  It's a disposable placemat with 2 adhesive strips on the bottom to keep it in place.  The placemat protects him from germs, and it actually stays in place, unlike suction cup place mats.  He still throws a good amount of food on the floor, but that's easy to clean up after the meal.  Another plus is that there are colors and pictures to keep him entertained while I shovel my lunch down my throat. 

I've developed the bad habit of eating at competitive eater speed.  It's either don't eat at all, or hoover the food down before Henry needs me to feed him or stop him from causing a disaster.  I used to worry that my sister had an eating disorder post-baby, as she dropped a ton of weight and never ate her meals.  Now I know it's because her kids ate her food, and/or she didn't have time to eat!  To ensure that he and I both get enough to eat, I've started ordering full adult meals for him.  I take home whatever he doesn't finish, but often he eats almost an entire adult portion (not including what he throws on the floor).  Considering he is 1/5 my size, it's amazing how much energy he needs to fuel his growing brain and body!  

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