Sitting down for dinner at home as family every night is something we have done since before we had kids, and definitely a habit we pride ourselves on practicing with our kids, too. Both Jason and I grew up with families that enforced the same rule, and we have every intention of carrying this through our kids' childhood, knowing that instilling this now will make it just that much easier for them to continue through their adult lives. I love having the time of dinner for my family to sit down and interact together. With Jason working during the week, and two small babies constantly on the move and with differing needs, plus keeping up with the housework, it's tough to find a time each day to call for our family to be together, enjoying each other fully. That's why I love a good routine in our lifestyle... and dinnertime is one of those routines that we rely on every day to allow us that special time together.
I typically start dinner shortly after Jason gets home from work, where he plays with the kids or we allow screen time, where Nolan is allowed his designated iPad time of the day and Acelyn usually tunes into Sesame Street while playing. As dinner gets closer to finishing, Nolan will help set the table with silverware and napkins, and also loves to get out the croutons for our salads. As he's setting the table, I'm dividing and serving plates, cutting and prepping the kids' dinners, that way we aren't up and down the whole meal. Everyone typically eats the same meal, which makes life easier than cooking all separate dinners, and even Acelyn eats most of what we are eating, as well as a puree in addition.
During dinnertime, our Nuby Sure Grip Miracle Mat Section Feeding Placemats are the best plates for both toddlers and babies alike. I love that it's a plate and placemat in one for Acelyn to be introduced to eating off of something other than her tray, and the integrated section plate gives new dimension for her to navigate. For Nolan, I really love the super suction feature that doesn't quit... he's super clumsy and the non-slip base that sticks to flat surfaces allows for no tipping of bowls or elbows hitting corners of plates, saving us extra mess to clean up... plus allows us to continue our own meal while he's content on his own!
While we eat, we share each of our days and I love getting to hear Nolan's stories and imagination spark as we talk. Listening to Acelyn mimic sounds and new words is always a favorite during dinner, and she's the most vocal and in the goofiest mood at this time, which makes for even better memorable moments. She's always willing to share her newest tricks at dinnertime, and recently, she absolutely loves to throw things off of her tray, whether it's food or cups, and the Nuby Keepeez Adjustable Cup Strap prevents her sippys from hitting the floor. In colorful and fun patterns, the strap keeps cups tightly fastened with the adjustable, spring powered push button locking mechanism, and attaches to her high chair, or stroller, car seat or shopping carts if we are out on the go.
In between Acelyn feeding herself bits of finger food and taking spoonfuls of purees as I feed her, if I want a little break to catch myself up with my own dinner, I hand her over her Nuby Designer Series Flip N' Sip Cup, where she drinks (but mostly plays) with her sippy and practices her straw drinking skills. The twin handles make it an easy hold and the soft silicone straw is gentle for her teething gums and emerging teeth. My favorite is the No Spill weighted straw that allows her to drink from any angle since she's still getting the hang of using her cup like a pro.
Cleaning up is always the thing I least look forward to, but I try to make it easier on myself by cleaning as I cook, before dinner is even on the table, that way most of it is picked up and put in the dishwasher when we're cleaning up our plates from meal time. Another plus point on our Nuby items is that all are dishwasher safe, allowing for a quick rinse and a toss into the dishwasher with no hassle and no extra scrubbing. I'm also a fan of the Nuby Easy Clean Soap Dispensing Bottle Brush, which I'll highlight in a separate post soon. And, as always with most Nuby products, they are all BPA Free, which gives me even more peace of mind with our constant use.
As I finish up dishes and a quick wipe down of the kitchen, it's a pretty common occurrence to blast some music and have a dance party to end our dinnertime routine and transition into bath and bedtime. We let the kids get our their last bits of energy for the evening, and I love being able to get one last wiggle and giggle fest out before our last routine of the day begins. I think the most important part of our schedules and routines is the consistency, so by routinely practicing the same habits, the babes are more likely to respond positively because they know what's coming next and what to expect, which they thrive on.
Now, of course our dinnertime routine is not always happy smiles and cleaned off plates, but the more important part is that it happens every night. There's spills and scream wars and bribing with "three more bites for a cookie!" and flinging baby food... but there's always the four of us, sitting together, experiencing the craziness together!
Thanks to Nuby for all of our extremely helpful and awesome products. They currently are partnering with Babies R' Us for the M is For Mealtime Campaign, featuring a Buy More, Save More Sale! Great savings on Nuby infant & toddler feeding products at Babies R’ Us stores & online. http://bit.ly/2mvCGgL
Buy 1 Get 10% off
Buy 2 get 20% off
Buy 3 or more get 30% off
Sale includes bottles, cups, mealtime, bottle accessories, & bottle dish soap
Sale dates: 3/2-3/26. Promotion details: http://bit.ly/2lNZmEJ
And, because Nuby is so generous to us, as always, we partnered with them to give you a chance to win your own Sure Grip Miracle Mat! To enter, keep an eye out on our Instagram @jenkelton for details on how to Enter!