Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Seeing as my son was a picky eater straight out of the womb, I have to be uber creative in the kitchen. Not just with the recipes and presentation but also with the feeding supplies. The more fun and exciting a meal looks, the more likely he is to try it. I'm willing to attempt just about anything to get some food in his belly. Yes, this includes hopeless games of "Airplane", singing "Party in My Tummy" or "Try It, You'll Like It" from his favorite TV show, and other kooky sounds from Mommy's mouth.
Being a big fan of Dr. Sears, I was thrilled to see that he has partnered with Zak! Designs for a new line of toddler feeding gear, intended to promote healthy eating habits. All pieces are dishwasher-safe and BPA-free for easy cleaning and safe eating.
I purchased the Nibble Tray (top left, ARV $7.99) and Smoothie Sipper (bottom right, ARV $5.99) for Nate for Christmas last year as a stocking stuffer.
The Nibble Tray has six compartments for a variety of healthy snacks, including fruits, veggies, bread, cheese and fish. It also features a detachable stay-cool dipping section for up to 3 different dips. The dipping section and nibble tray both come with translucent lids for easy view and storage. The pineapple design is not only adorable but functional as well. At the beginning of the day, I throw in some fresh fruit, cooked veggies, shredded or chunks of cheese, crackers or cereal and dressing or yogurt. In between meals, I will set out the nibble tray so Nate can graze. When he's finished, I top it with the enclosed lids and put it in the fridge to keep it fresh. At the end of the day, I can just toss it into the top rack of my dishwasher for cleanup. This tray makes snacking so easy. I don't have to scrounge around for snacks on a whim and I can make sure Nate is getting nutrients from all of the food groups, thanks to the fun food guide faces at the bottom of each compartment. Two thumbs up!
I also bought the Smoothie Sipper with the hopes that I could sneak some more fruit and veggies into Nate's diet, inconspicuously. Unfortunately, Nate hasn't quite gotten the hang of the straw just yet so it is a work in progress. I love the pear shape, generous size (11 oz.) and non-skid bottom but I wish the straw could somehow lock in place. Nate has a habit of taking the straw out, which not only makes a mess but could cause it to be lost. I would also like to see replacement straws, as I have a funny feeling ours may disappear with more use. All in all, I think it will be great when Nate is just a little older and can resist the urge to play with his food.
After seeing more adorable items added to the product line, I was eager to expand our collection. So, I was delighted to have the opportunity to review the matching Sippy Cup and Flatware set.
The Sippy Cup (ARV $4.99) features a unique, patent-pending Flo-Control Valve, which allows parents to adjust the flow of the liquid. The cup is spill-proof and leak-proof. Of course, I fell in love with the whimsical grape design. I only wish I would have found this cup sooner! The soft spout and handles make for comfortable sipping and carrying. The customizable valve allows you to choose minimal or maximum flow, depending on your child's preferences, making this the perfect cup from infancy through toddlerhood. The only issue I have is that the valve has been knocked loose and even fallen out several times after Nate tosses the cup. That being said, when the valve is in place, the cup is absolutely leak-free, which makes for a happy Mommy.
The 2-pc. Flatware set (ARV $4.99) includes a spoon and fork in cute carrot and broccoli designs. The utensils are designed specifically for toddler hands. I love that there are ergonomic grooves underneath to encourage proper holding technique. Both are very easy for Nate to maneuver and they are quite durable, despite Nate's purposeful biting and chewing. I love that the fork is more of a "spork" hybrid, which makes for easy balancing of tricky or slippery foods. Here is Nate enjoying his vanilla yogurt to the fullest (excuse the Flock of Seagulls hair, he had just woken up from a nap):
Bottom line: I would highly recommend the Dr. Sears/Zak! Designs feeding line if you have an infant or toddler learning to self-feed. The products are original, innovative and super duper cute.
Next, I want to try the divided bowl with lid (which is a clever watermelon design) and the 3-pc. snack container that resembles an apple. Is there anything they haven't thought of?
BUY IT: You can purchase the Dr. Sears/Zak! Designs feeding line online at Amazon.com.
WIN IT: Zak! is generously giving away one sippy cup and flatware set to one lucky reader!
MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Visit the Zak Designs website and tell me what your favorite product is from the Dr. Sears line. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!
SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count! Remember to leave one comment per entry.
1.) Follow my blog and/or subscribe via reader or email. If you already follow and/or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry each)
2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. You can do this daily! You may use the following tweet of come up with one of your own:
Make mealtime fun with an ultra-cute sippy cup and flatware set from Dr. Sears and Zak Designs @kris10chumley! Ends 4/30 http://bit.ly/dAdIt3
Just leave a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry per day max)
3.) Visit the Dr. Sears website and tell me one of his many feeding tips for infants and toddlers. (1 entry)
4.) Become a fan of Dr. Sears on Facebook. (1 entry)
5.) Add my blog button and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry)
Giveaway will end on April 30, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. only. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.
Disclaimer: As mentioned above, I received the sippy cup and flatware from Chris at Zak Designs to facilitate my candid review. I purchased the nibble tray and smoothie sipper on my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed in my review and solely mine. Your experience may differ.