You may have seen baby feeders, whether mesh or silicone, in your local store and wondered what they are for. Well, they are a great tool for feeding babies and toddlers—and are especially awesome for teething relief. There are many on the market though, so today I’m sharing the best of the best!
A baby feeder is a little pouch with lots of holes in it that’s attached to a handle that makes it easy for baby to hold. The idea is that the holes allow some of the flavor and texture of the food to come out, but baby won’t have to handle larger pieces of food so you have less to worry about when it comes to choking risks.
They don’t allow babies to have the full texture experience of the food—since the texture is just the mesh of the feeder—so you don’t want to use them for every meal or even most meals. (Lots of exposures to lots of textures helps babies and toddlers gain confidence in handling them, which can make feeding kids a lot easier over the longrun.)
But they can be a handy tool to have in the mix. And they are a great way to offer cold teething relief!
Baby Fruit Feeder
Many people like to use baby feeders to offer fruit, either fresh or frozen, since the product makes it really easy for baby to suck on and explore the flavor of fruit in a safe way.
TIP: Another name for this is “Baby Fruit Pacifier”.
Best Mesh Feeder
This baby feeder has a streamlined, simple design of a mesh bag for the food and a ring for baby to hold onto. Small, digestible pieces of food comes through so baby is getting some nourishment (and comfort if using for teething) without the risk of choking.
Best Silicone Feeder
Boon Silicone Feeder, $5.99
This baby feeder is made from durable silicone and can be used with fresh or frozen foods. The interior stem forces food towards the tiny holes in the feeder and the small handle is sized just right for baby’s little hands.
Kidsme Food Feeder
This popular Kidsme feeder has a replaceable silicone pouch that comes in two sizes, so you can adjust and replace as your child grows. It has a unique handle style that some babies may prefer.
What should I put into a baby feeder?
Here are some fruits that are good to serve in a baby feeder:
- Raspberries, fresh or frozen
- Strawberries, fresh or frozen
- Blackberries, fresh or frozen
- Mango, fresh or frozen
- Roasted sweet potato
- Roasted butternut squash
- Ripe fresh pear
- Fresh cucumber, skin removed
- Cooked red meat such as steak
- Frozen grapes
How to do I use a baby feeder to help with teething?
If you fill the feeder, whether mesh or silicone, with frozen fruit, you can soothe teething in infants who are eating solids or in toddlers. It’s cold and yummy, yet requires no real work for the child to suck on so it’s comforting.
Are all of these baby feeders BPA-free?
Yes, if you choose a mesh baby feeder or one made from silicone, they are BPA-free.
What’s the best way to clean a baby feeder?
Try using a bottle brush or just running water to clean out the mesh. It should be fairly easy to clean if you avoid letting it sit too long with food in it!
What are the downsides to baby feeders?
The one downside would be if you rely on it too much, the child learns the texture of the feeder, rather than of the food. This can make it harder for a child to learn to move actual food around in their mouths, so I would recommend using this product at limited times such as when on the go at a restaurant or to help sooth a teething infant, baby, or toddler.
This is not recommended as a way to feed your child at every meal. If you are worried about choking, review this information on toddler choking and trust that if you serve foods that are easy to squish between your fingers, baby is sitting down at meals, and you are with them, they will learn to eat like so many other kids who have gone before them!
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