Need a baby gift idea for family and friends? There are only so many onesies and blankets a baby needs, but feeding gear is always appreciated.
As a Registered Dietitian specializing in infant feeding and a mom of 7, I’ve found that giving (and receiving!) useful, practical and safe items related to feeding is a unique alternative to toys and clothes.
Many families don’t have the right gear to get a safe start to solid foods, so I wanted to share some of my favorite feeding finds for different ages + stages when you’re starting solid foods.
Gifts for 0-6 Month Old Babies
When it comes to starting solid foods, babies don’t need anything except breastmilk and/or formula until turning 6 months old.
But if you’re the planning type, there are a few key purchases you can make prior to baby starting solid foods.
A High Quality High Chair
The single biggest investment you will make related to starting solids is purchasing your high chair. If you choose correctly, the chair your baby starts out in at 6 months can adapt and grow with your child well through childhood and even into adolescence.
For stationary high chairs to be used at home I look for 2 key criteria:
Does the chair have an adjustable footrest? Baby’s feet need to be resting flat on the footrest to stabilize the baby’s core and facilitate a safe swallow. Most chairs on the market do not meet this basic safety consideration, so you can rule many out right off the bat.
Can the chair be pulled up to the family table so baby can participate in meals from his or her first bites? It’s not safe for high chairs to be at bar or counter height, but if you have a standard dining table, you can get a chair without a tray and bring your baby to the table.
The 2 high chairs that I use for my own family and in my infant feeding practice are the Stokke Tripp Trapp and the Nomi High Chair. Both high chairs were created by renowned designer Peter Opsvik and they promote independent feeding from your baby’s first bites.
Stokke Tripp Trapp
Opsvik designed the now-iconic Tripp Trapp for the Scandanavian design company Stokke in 1972. The Stokke Tripp Trapp is a high quality wooden chair with an adjustable footrest. I have 7 Tripp Trappps for my 7 children (in 7 colors!) and the small footprint is ideal for multiples or if you have limited space in your feeding area.
If you’re looking for the iconic, classically designed chair that will fit your child up until around age 12 or 13, the Tripp Trapp is the way to go. Be sure to purchase the high chair version with the Baby Set for feeding infants 6-18 months. Click here to see the Stokke High Chair with Baby Set setup on Amazon.
Although any good high chair is a solid investment, because this chair has withstood the test of time, it is easy to get a used Tripp Trapp on various baby sites or Craigslist. I bought most of my Tripp Trapps on Craigslist for about $90 each.
A drawback with this chair is that although the footrest and seat height are adjustable (and should be adjusted regularly to fit the growing baby’s needs), the adjustment requires tools and a considerable time commitment. It is a tad on the heavy side, but as a well-made piece of furniture, it should be!
Nomi High Chair
Legend has it that Peter Opsvik designed the Tripp Trapp for Stokke when his children were young, and then the newer Nomi High Chair for his grandchildren.
The Nomi High Chair is a modern upgrade to the Tripp Trapp. Because of newer safety standards the footprint is larger than the Tripp Trapp, but the adjustable footrest and seatrest does not require tools.
Parents may balk at the price of the Tripp Trapp and Nomis and they are certainly an investment. But I like to point out this is a piece of furniture you look at, use, and clean at least 3 times per day.
It is imperative the chair is safe (e.g., with an adjustable footrest) and these chairs grow with your children well into adolescence. I use a Nomi high chair at my desk and it is my travel high chair for BLW work because it is so lightweight.
Bombol Portable Booster
I covered a number of portable booster chairs in a previous post called FAVORITE PORTABLE HIGH CHAIRS FOR FEEDING ON THE GO…but one of my absolute favorites is the Bombol Portable Booster.
This is an origami-style pop-up portable booster that folds down absolutely flat. It is incredibly strong, holding up to 300 pounds and comes with a very convenient carrying case whose straps double as the safety straps for attaching the Bombol to an adult chair or barstool.
Click here to check out the Bombol Portable Booster. The code KATIE20 works for 20% off when the code is active (through 11/30).
In addition to selecting a safe seat for your baby to eat, another thing you can do to prep before starting solid foods is to take an infant refresher CPR course.
CPR skills save lives. And although choking is a very rare risk it is also a very real risk. Knowing basic CPR skills can save your baby’s life and I suggest that everyone who helps or is going to help feed your baby know CPR.
I take an online infant CPR course every quarter and this online CPR class I take is very thorough and very affordable. You can use your login to then have everyone who helps feed your baby (partner, husband, mother-in-law, babysitter…) take the course too.
Click here to check out the online refresher CPR course for $35 and code KATIE10 works for $10 off when the code is active.
Click here to check out the online CPR course.
Gifts for 6-12 Month Old Babies
Once your baby hits the 6 month mark and is showing the other signs of readiness to feed, it’s time to get busy starting solid foods.
I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to buy a lot of stuff to give baby a safe start to solid foods, but a few key items – like a silicone suction bowl or mat really helps with independent feeding.
Click here to read my blog post all about why we want to feed baby from a suction mat or bowl and not place food directly on the tray or table.
5 BENEFITS OF USING A BABY PLATE OR BOWL
You might think all baby plates and bowls are created the same, but they’re not. My favorite brand of infant feeding gear is ezpz and that is because their products are designed by a feeding expert with feeding milestones and developmentally appropriate features in mind.
Here is a quick list of my favorite feeding items from ezpz. You can get 10% off everything at ezpzfun.com with code KATIE10.
ezpz First Foods Set
The ezpz First Foods Set contains everything you need to get a safe start to solid foods. I used to buy the individual pieces of this set and put them together for baby shower gifts for my friends…but then thankfully ezpz went and did it for cheaper than the sum of the parts and in very cute packaging in a new product called the First Foods Set.
The ezpz First Foods Set consists of 1 ezpz Tiny Bowl, 1 Tiny Cup and a 2-pack of the Tiny Spoons. If you buy 1 thing to start baby-led weaning, let it be the First Foods Set.here
ezpz Mini Mat
The ezpz Mini Mat is another favorite of mine for starting solid foods. I teach a 5-step feeding framework where you introduce baby to 1 new food per day. But once you get to Day 3, it’s time to start introducing that new food of the day + 2 familiar foods from previous days…and the Mini Mat – with its 3 individual portion pockets – makes that happen.
If you’re just getting started with BLW & want to learn more about this approach to really PUSHING your baby’s palate beyond the simple starter foods, come check out my free online workshop called “BABY-LED WEANING FOR BEGINNERS: How to get your baby to try 100 new foods before turning 1 without you having to spoon feed purees or buy pouches!”
Everyone on the workshop gets a copy of my 100 FIRST FOODS list and you can sign up for this week’s workshop times here.
ezpz Tiny Cup and Tiny Spoons
But it’s always a good idea to have a few extras of these lying around when you’re starting solid foods. Babies can start learning to self-feed by spoon and drink from an open cup at around 6 months of age, and these are my favorite BLW cups and spoons, also designed by an infant feeding expert to promote independent feeding and help baby hit those important feeding and drinking milestones.
Keeping Stuff Clean
Starting solids is an inherently messy undertaking. While it’s not our intent to ELIMINATE the mess, we can take a few key steps to help MINIMIZE the mess associated with baby-led weaning.
Bapron Baby BLW Bibs
With 7 kids and 2 decades in the feeding business, I think I’ve tried every bib ever made for a baby. Hands down my favorite bibs for baby-led weaning are the full coverage BLW bibs called Baprons made by Bapron Baby.
This unique Bapron design is like an apron and a bib all rolled into one. Baprons tie around the back and under your baby’s shoulder blades (not all up in their neck), which leads to a more pleasant sensory experience when learning to eat (plus is harder for older babies to remove by themselves 🙂
The material is so durable and you can rinse the Bapron bibs in the sink right after meals, dry them on the drainboard and they’re ready to go for the next meal. No need to throw each bib in the wash after every feed like you have to do with other brands.
Oh, and a word about the Bapron sizing: their “Toddler” size is really for babies 6m+ and the “Preschool” size is what I size up to when the toddler turns about 18-24 months.
You can get 10% off at bapronbaby.com with code KATIE10 and click here to shop the Baprons.
Bapron Baby Splash Mats
When your baby is starting out with baby-led weaning, food will inevitably fall on the floor.
But all is not lost if you have a high quality splash mat under your baby’s chair.
The same company Bapron Baby that makes the BLW Bapron Bibs above also makes my favorite splash mats. The Bapron Splash Mats come in solid and prints, they’re huge (I use 1 Bapron splash mat under twin high chairs).
The Bapron splash mats are made from the same amazing fabric as their bibs. You can rinse them out under your own faucet and dry between feeds.
These splash mats also double as great picnic blankets if you’re out and about and they fold down so small you can easily transport them in your diaper bag.
Branch Basics Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies
Another key for minimizing BLW mess is to make sure to clean the food mess up RIGHT after mealtime. There’s nothing worse than hardened food that you let sit around for too long!
I use Branch Basics non-toxic All Purpose cleaner for tackling those tough post-BLW food mess situations.
All of the Branch Basics products are non-toxic…but they smell GOOD and they ACTUALLY CLEAN the food mess.
I have a full blown love letter to Branch Basics going on in this blog post called “FAVORITE NON-TOXIC CLEANING PRODUCTS FOR KIDS’ FOOD MESS” but if you’ve been looking to ditch the toxins, you’ll definitely want to check out Branch Basics.
You can get 15% off the Branch Basics Starter Kits with code KATIE15. Click here to shop.
(…and there are 2 Branch Basics Starter Kits but I highly suggest the “Premium” that has the laundry add on & Oxygen Boost. I use that Oxygen Boost for everything – including getting food stains out of anything and it’s totally worth the extra $10)
Gifts for Babies 12 Months+
What changes in feeding when your baby turns 1?
Well basically you move to cow’s milk and it’s time to size up on the cup and spoon and add the fork. (Babies under age 12 months do not need a fork).
ezpz Mini Cup and Mini Utensils
Once your baby hits about 12 months it’s time to size up to the bigger ezpz cup called the Mini Cup.
Whereas the Tiny Cup is 2 oz and designed for 6-12 months, the ezpz Mini Cup is a 4 oz silicone cup ideal for babies 12 months+.
Code KATIE10 works for 10% off the Mini Cup and click here to shop. (Oh, and I definitely don’t recommend using the Mini Cup for babies less than 1 year. They need that smaller sized Tiny Cup that is designed especially for their smaller mouths and hands.)
Another milestone that happens when baby turns 1 is we start to introduce the fork. Spoon use starts at 6 months but by age 1 I switch baby to the ezpz Mini Utensils.
These were designed by their feeding expert with all sorts of features intended to support independent feeding and age-appropriate feeding milestones as baby moves into the 2nd year of life.
Gifts for Cooking with Kids
After babies learn how to eat, you can keep the magical relationship with food alive by incorporating your toddlers and children in the kitchen by helping with food prep.
Here are a few of my favorite tools if you’re going to be cooking with kids:
Little Partners’ Learning Tower
This tower is a bit of an investment but we have 2 Little Partners’ Learning Towers in our kitchen and they’re almost indispensable at this point.
The Learning Tower is great for getting kids safely up at the counter and I love that they can accommodate a few kids at once. Heads up they are heavy and bulky and definitely take up room, but worth looking into if you want your kids to cook with you.
I don’t have a discount code for these towers but they’re here on Amazon if you want to check them out.
Kiddi Kutter Training Knives
For whatever reason kids always want to do the most dangerous task in the kitchen, and that involves cutting with knives.
I think I’ve tried every kid-friendly trainer knife out there, but the only ones that actually cut food and not kids’ fingers are the Kiddi Kutter Training Knives.
Raddish Kids Cooking Subscription
This is kind of a cool feeding related gift from Raddish Kids and it’s a monthly cooking-with-kids subscription box.
Basically Raddish Kids is a cooking club for kids…with monthly culinary fun delivered right to your doorstep.
**Click here to check out Raddish Kids Cooking Subscription.**
They brought their BLACK FRIDAY deal back up until 12/14 and you can get 1 month free with a 6m membership or 2 months free with a 12m membership using the code BESTDEAL
Gifts for Readers: Best BLW Books
If you’re not into buying gear yet and just want to familiarize yourself with starting solids using baby-led weaning, I’ll link to a few of my favorite books that I highly recommend here:
Jenna Helwig is a BLW author and the food editor at Real Simple Magazine. Her newest book The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook is available on Amazon here & is a great excuse to bust out your InstantPot to start feeding your baby!
If you’re curious about the latest research and evidence supporting early introduction of potentially allergenic foods, be sure to check out pediatrician & food allergy expert Ron Sunog, MD’s book called Eat the Eight: Preventing Food Allergy with Food and the Imperfect Art of Medicine available on Amazon here
If you’re interested in more book gift ideas, I have 2 other posts to check out you might be interested in, “MY TOP 10 KIDS BOOKS ABOUT FOOD” and “KIDS BOOKS ABOUT CULTURAL FOODS”.
Gifts for Foodies: BLW Foods to Buy & Try
I’m not a big fan of packaged foods for baby-led weaning, but there are a few that are fine by me and can help make your life easier plus offer a safe alternative for feeding your baby.
Puffworks Peanut Butter Puffs
When it comes to introducing peanut protein, research shows us that early introduction helps prevent peanut allergy down the road.
But because intact nuts and globs of peanut butter can be a choking hazard, I like to use peanut butter puffs formulated for babies and my favorite brand are called Puffworks.
These are organic peanut butter puffs, they’re softer than any other puffs on the market so they dissolve on baby’s tongue and they have no added sugar and just a smidge of salt.
Plus the Puffworks Baby Peanut Butter Puffs are the perfect size for baby to pick up and self-feed.
Kabrita Goat Milk Nutrition
If you have one of those babies who does not do well with cow’s milk, you might consider checking out a goat milk alternative.
Goat milk is not appropriate for babies with cow’s milk protein allergies, but for little ones who have tummy troubles or skin problems associated with cow’s milk, switching to goat milk may help.
For more info on goat milk nutrition check out my blog post “IS GOAT MILK EASIER TO DIGEST?”
READ: IS GOAT MILK EASIER TO DIGEST?
Gifts for YOU: Adult Feeding Finds
I know it’s all about the babies over here, but sometimes you need a little self-care too when it comes to feeding gift finds!
For me it’s a box of meat, a box of wine and a super heavy duty blender that makes my day!
Butcher Box Meat Subscription
I went all in on Butcher Box this year and I am so glad I did!!
Butcher Box delivers high quality, sustainably-raised meat right to your doorstep.
A Butcher Box subscription works out to about $6 per meal and I figured it out that we’re saving about $100 per month on protein since we switched to Butcher Box.
We do 1 large custom Butcher Box each month to feed our family of 9, and it’s the only meat I have to buy all month. (We eat meat about 2-3 times a week).
**Click here to check out the latest ButcherBox offer**
And if you’re not convinced babies can eat meat safely (…they can!) you might want to start with ground beef, which is a great “gateway meat” for baby-led weaning. Check out my blog post “5 GROUND BEEF RECIPES FOR BABY-LED WEANING” to get started safely feeding your baby meat.
Revel Wine Subscription
I’ll admit I got Instagram influenced into signing up for a Revel Wine subscription.
Now I’m down for any staple item that gets delivered to my house, but in the past I’d been disappointed with the quality of some wine subscription services I had tried out.
By no means am I a fancy wine drinker, but with a Revel Wine subscription, for $12-$15/bottle you’re getting what you would pay around $17-$20/bottle at in the store. Plus it comes to your house!
With Revel Wines can pick red wine or white…or both and choose 4, 6, or 12 bottles. They ship every month or every other month or every 3rd month…seriously it’s one of the most flexible wine subscription services I have seen and the wine is not only decent, it’s good.
Get $20 off your first Revel Wines order of $50+ with code TRYREVEL20 when you click here.
Vitamix Blender Deals
When my husband brought home an unauthorized Vitamix purchase from an unauthorized Costco trip he went on…suffice it to say I was HEATED.
For years I had scoffed at the price of a Vitamix. That was, until a Vitamix showed up in my kitchen and changed my life forever.
We use our Vitamix almost every single day. It’s one of the highest quality kitchen appliances out there and does everything you would expect a top-of-the-line blender to do.
…and for ideas on how I use my Vitamix BLW blender foods, check out this blog post called “3 BLW BLENDER RECIPES FOR PRACTICING PUREES”
3 BLW BLENDER RECIPES FOR PRACTICING PUREES
A Feeding Gift for Fur Babies
If your family also has animals, those fur babies need to eat too.
Ono Friends Suction Pet Bowls
The ONO FRIENDS pet bowls suction to the ground to help stabilize during meals and prevent spills of pet food and water.
You can get 10% off everything at onofriends.com with code KATIE10.
They have different size bowls for smaller and larger animals plus single and double options your self-feeding animal is going to love!!
Click here to shop ONO FRIENDS suction pet bowls.
Podcast Episode: Gift Guide Roundup
Each week I release 2 new episodes on the BLW podcast: Monday is a mini BLW training & Thursday’s episode is an interview with a feeding expert. Click here to subscribe to the BABY-LED WEANING MADE EASY podcast.
Family Feeding Gift Guide Roundup
Well, hopefully this gift list gives you some ideas of feeding present ideas for babies, toddlers, adults & even pets of different ages and stages.
Here’s a quick rundown of the links with codes if you want to check any of the items in this FAMILY FEEDING GIFT GUIDE out:
Bombol origami portable booster code KATIE10 for 10% off – shop here
ezpz code KATIE10 for 10% off – shop here
Online CPR refresher course code KATIE10 for $10 off $35 class – register here
Bapron Baby code KATIE10 for 10% off – shop here
Branch Basics non-toxic cleaners code KATIE15 for 15% off starter kits – shop here
Kiddi Kutter Training Knives code KATIE10 for 10% off – shop here
Puffworks Baby Peanut Butter puffs code 20BABYLED for 20% off – shop here
Kabrita Goat Milk Nutrition trial offer for free (you pay $5 S&H only) – shop here
Raddish Cooking Club for Kids 2m free w/ 12m code BESTDEAL – shop here
Butcher Box Meat Subscription new member free offer on now – shop here
Revel Wine Subscription code TRYREVEL20 for $20 off first $50+ – shop here
Vitamix blenders almost never go on sale but here’s the deal – shop here