Want to see a simple tool that helps save my sanity day in and day out? Behold - the snack plate! While this tray I got for under a dollar at a thrift store seems pretty unimpressive, it has become a critical tool in how I hand snack time day in and day out.
As a parent, I approach family eating and meals informed by Ellyn Satter's division of responsibility. In a nutshell, the parent decides the parameters of meals - what is offered at what time and what location. The child retains control of how much he or she eats and which of the offered foods he or she eats.
This model of feeding complements a baby-led solids (often referred to as baby-led weaning or BLW) approach and continues the trust for your child that underlies baby-led solids into their toddler and preschooler years (as well as beyond).
In the moment, the division of responsibility approach to eating takes away any possible power struggles around food. Long view the hope is that it encourages a healthy attitude toward food.
Want to try out a snack plate with a single kiddo or younger toddlers? Mini-muffin tins or ice-cube trays can make the perfect solo snack tray. If you do try out the snack tray, let me know what you think!
Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.