Take Back the Table
It sits in a forgotten corner of the kitchen, covered in papers, folded laundry, bottles, and toys; it's your family dinner table. With a newborn and just children in general, it can be hard to find time to sit down for meals altogether. But, mealtimes are important to strengthen social and developmental skills, even in the earliest stages of life.
According to a Cornell University study, Do Family Meals Really Make A Difference, your child may be 35% less likely to engage in disordered eating, 24% more likely to eat healthier foods and 12% less likely to be overweight if they partake in family mealtime. Whether you are nursing an infant, bottle feeding a baby or have a hungry toddler on your hands, it is never too early to establish great family mealtime routines.
From choosing the baby’s feeding equipment, what he eats, food temperature and the table gear, there is a lot to think about to make mealtime a pleasant and enjoyable experience for the entire family. By following a few simple guidelines, you can make every mealtime a safe and enjoyable one.
- To heat a bottle, it’s better to pour hot water over it or submerge in hot water. Don’t microwave bottles. The contents of the bottle could be hotter than the bottle itself and the steam build-up could cause it to burst.
- Avoid propping the bottle on baby and try not to let your baby fall asleep with a bottle in his mouth. The milk pools in the mouth and could promote tooth decay.
- When feeding baby, first test all warmed foods for a comfortable eating temperature before serving.
- Heating baby food in a microwave is convenient, but be sure to check the temperature very carefully. Use microwave-safe dishes and stir food from the center out after heating to ensure the temperature is even.
- When baby begins to eat solid foods, do not give the child small, hard foods. Check with your pediatrician for a list of appropriate foods.
- Remember, your baby should always eat and drink in an upright position.
- If toddlers are present, tablecloths and placemats should be removed to prevent pulling everything down on top of themselves.
- Be sure that children cannot climb onto cabinets, counters, or range tops.
- Do not use on portable hook-on chairs on glass or loose tabletop, or on a table with a single pedestal, leaf, tablecloth or placemat.
- Prevent tip over – Keep high chair far enough from the table, counter or wall so the baby can’t push off from it.
Want more safety tips? Play our Top 10 Hidden Hazards game to see if you can find the unexpected hazards in your home!