I had the most interesting conversation with a fellow mum recently and I really wanted to share what she had to say on this subject. She’s definitely learnt a thing or two when it comes to feeding her 5 children and how to stay sane at mealtimes.
Let's hear from Luca, photographer extraordinaire and mum of 5 kids, living in the Launceston Region on the island state of Tasmania.
Have you used divided plates before?
Yes I have.
Do you love using your divided plates?
No. I’m actually not a fan of the divided plates and have never understood why they are all made that way.
What do you not like about them?
Firstly, I feel that divided plates encourage fussiness. Our 7 year old still gets annoyed when different food touches each other on his plate (he used divided plates as a young child).
Secondly, divided plates also make it more challenging for the child to eat their food as a meal; because it is trickier to make the effort to get a piece from each section and put it in their mouths. Whereas if it's one plate without any of the bento divided sections (like we as adults use), as they scoop and use their fork and spoon, they automatically mix and pick up the different elements of the meal.
I suspect the divided plates may have played a role in creating picky eating habits amongst my kids.
My Own Experience
Well, Luca is not alone. My sentiments echo that of Luca's.
When Delia was starting her food journey, I too, like many mums bought a divided plate for her. It was instinctive to get a divided plate because everyone seemed to be doing so and the market is filled with divided plates for young children. I didn't think too much about it.
However, in my experience with Delia, I could not get the divided plate to work for me. Firstly, I struggled to fill each section with food. Mine has 6 sections! Also, I found it difficult to get Delia to eat from all the sections. She picked and chose which section she wanted to eat from and ended up eating mostly from the section closest to her and I had to scoop food in the other sections to place in that main section she was eating from. It defeated the purpose of a divided plate!
So when I was sourcing for children's dinnerware to add to our range after Esme was born, I wanted it to support mums (myself included) in:
- raising independent eaters
- encouraging children to eat like adults (from a non-sectioned plate)
- preventing fussy eaters - so all the food for your children don't go to waste and they get a full range of nutrients by loving a wide range of food
- super easy to clean dinnerware
I would love to hear about your experiences on this. I really believe in our Bear Plates. Time to get yours today and avoid those fussy mealtime dramas.
You can find them here.
Esme halfway through her dinner, eating her rice with steamed fish and stir fried green beans and carrot.