Mealtime isn’t just about feeding your toddler – it can also be a great opportunity to bond with them. Once your baby graduates from their high chair and uses a booster seat, it can help them feel more included at family meals. But is your child ready for this transition?
It Gives You a Place to Sit
Trying to get toddlers to sit still during family meals without giving them the attention they want can be a frustrating experience. This is where creating mealtime rituals can be helpful. Every time you do anything routine before a meal, your youngster will learn what to expect and can relax a little. Use a booster seat that provides your child with an optimal sitting position. A booster with a flat ledge for their feet will make them more stable and balanced. Their feet dangling can increase restlessness and fidgeting, making it harder to concentrate on eating.
If you’re looking for a travel-friendly option, look for portable toddler booster seats New York NY that can easily attach to a chair. You can bring it on family vacations, to restaurants or when visiting friends. Check if it meets safety protocols and can be installed in minutes.
It Gives Your Child a Place to Sit
A booster allows toddlers to feel like part of family meals rather than a “baby” being fed. It can also make them feel more independent, especially if they have already moved up from their high chair. Booster chairs can help ensure your child is at the right height to eat, which will be important as they develop their motor skills and become more self-feeding. Keeping their feet flat helps them focus on eating and will help eliminate some of the wiggles that may otherwise occur. Additionally, setting clear boundaries with your children about when it’s time for meals is important. It’s normal for young kids to want to move on from mealtime once they are done, which is okay. By setting this boundary and having them get their booster, you can help them understand that they must return during mealtime.
It Makes Mealtime More Fun
Boosters provide children with the support they need to be at the table rather than on the floor or in the kitchen. Many toddlers have weak core muscles and poor body awareness, leading to wriggling, shifting, or falling out of their seats. Providing your child with a booster seat or other supportive prop that allows them to sit upright helps prevent these issues and makes it easier for them to focus on eating (source). Making mealtime fun can also help encourage your toddler to stay at the table. It can be helpful to start a routine of family meals at set times and have your toddler participate in other preparation activities like setting the table or choosing their placemat before dinner. This can help them feel ready for the action and help ease their transition from TV or another activity to the table. Some studies have shown that a positive mood is associated with the frequency of family meals. It can also make kids more likely to want to stay at the table to eat if parents or siblings do not pressure them to leave.
It Gives Your Child More Independence
Only yesterday, you strapped your little one into a high chair to try their first bites of solid food. But, as they age, most toddlers start wanting more independence — including at the dinner table. Establishing limits and mealtime expectations in advance is the greatest approach to aid your child in navigating this change. Ensure your tot has a booster seat that attaches securely to adult chairs and gives them the height they need to enjoy family meals. They can also use their tray for the extra convenience of having their food nearby, which helps reduce mess and distractions during mealtime. This portable, compact booster seat from Ingenuity is a great choice for older toddlers who no longer need the safety harness but aren’t quite ready to sit in a regular dining chair. Plus, it folds down and includes a carrying strap for easy travel.