Enjoying meals with your family is always a magical experience no matter how you slice it. Simply sitting around a picnic table in the summer, gathering for a huge family meal in the dining room, heading out to eat at a restaurant, or enjoying a quick meal around the kitchen table; it doesn’t matter how you do it if you can enjoy the presence of your entire family all in the same place at the same time.

For us, when everyone gathers around the table to eat a meal together is the time when we can all catch up, slow down for a bit, and just enjoy each other’s company.

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Including baby in the mealtime routine

The same holds true for bringing your baby into the mealtime fold. Just because your young child isn’t eating exactly the same as you doesn’t mean they can’t be part of the family meal. Even though our baby girl still doesn’t have any teeth at 8 months old, she really really loves to eat food.

Allison’s diet consists of baby food we’ve been making at home, as well as some organic pre-made foods that we buy when we just don’t have the time to make anything. In addition, we allow her to gnaw on steamed foods so she can eat some of the same things we are eating.

This approach to including her in our family meals has worked out really well, and the Disney Feeding Set from The First Years has made serving up fresh foods super easy. Baby girl loves using the bowls and trying to scoop out the purees and cereals to feed herself. She is actually pretty good at using the spoon already!

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Of course, we do help quite a bit just to make sure she is actually eating some of the food, but allowing her to learn on her own is always part of the experience.

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I’ll take that…..

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See, I’m pretty good at this. 🙂

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But sometimes…..

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I just think fingers work better!

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Look, Dad, all gone!  Umm… yeah, nice try baby girl.

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The bowl is our most used item in the Disney Feeding Set, however, we have tried out the plate a few times too. Right now we are using it for finger snacks to help Allison develop better fine motor control, but we have placed some steamed foods on the plate for her as well.

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Allison is still learning to use the straw cup, but she actually does pretty decent with it. I’ve decided to go straight to a straw cup instead of using a sippy cup after bottle. While I do still nurse as well as bottle feed, the transition to the straw cup has gone pretty well.

The insulated straw cup is great to take on trips with us, and we even loan our cup to friends once in a while.  🙂

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So tell us…

Do you do family meals? What is your favorite way to bring everyone together?


Want to learn more about where you can find the great feeding sets featured in this post? Head on over to The First Years and get all the info and more!




Thank you to The First Years for providing the feeding set and straw cup for my daughter’s use.