Trying to contain the food mess of a baby/toddler (boddler?) is like trying to catch the wind in a sieve but brightly coloured gadgets exist to lure parents into thinking there is a solution that will save time and reduce mess for all kinds of instances. At any given time, in the house of an average toddler, you are never more than ten inches away from a raisin, cereal hoop or stale toast crust. The toddler flings these foods far and wide with glee, sometimes ingesting up to 5% of the given snacks. Once white carpets are now an unfashionable shade of beige, walls resemble an edible Jackson Pollock painting and food is at the risk of only being allowed outside, yes even in the soggy winters of the UK.
You would think that by child number three I’d have accepted that this is just one of the many gross stages the early years brings, put on my hazmat suit and accept it. But no, I’m always tempted by shiny gadgets with promises of making life easier and usually I confer with myself for the best part of a week before deciding I’d rather spend my money on fun things like scented disinfectant. But in a late night moment of online grocery shopping delirium I added the NUK Active Snacker to my basket. I must admit the half price-ness of it helped and £2.99 for something that might help contain the carnage even just a little seemed pretty reasonable.
The description says ‘This attractive Snack Pot is perfect for snacks like grapes and other small pieces of fruit, helping to teach little ones to eat on their own. The clip-on lid helps to keep food fresh, and the soft silicone lid ensures that the contents stay within the pot whilst allowing the child to easily reach in and help themselves.’ Sounds good, I’m sold, click buy.
The next day it arrives and, after the obligatory first wash, gets filled with cereal hoops. I give it to the baby who lifts it by the handles, like a cup and tries to drink from it, then shakes it, and just as I’m about to retrieve the instructions from the bin in case I’ve missed something obvious she reaches in, through the clear flaps… and gets her hand stuck. I free her hand before there are tears and enlist the 7 year old to demonstrate. Ever keen to regress she shows the baby how to successfully obtain yummy snacks without getting a hand wedged in the pot.
This works and the baby is now freely delving in and out of the pot, picking up hoops and some even make it to her mouth. The rest she throws around with glee and what I’m sure is a smug little grin.
I don’t think this is the product that will change my life. The biggest benefit I can see is that the food stays in the pot for slightly longer than a regular one and when it inevitably gets knocked over or chucked across the room the contents will mostly stay inside. It’s what happens to the contents once the baby has fished them out which continues to be the problem that only time will sort out, I thought I knew that! There’s no doubt this pot will be used, it’s nice looking and I like the handles, and maybe as she gets older and less amused by raisin shotputting it will show its use more. Until then I will remain the mother with banana in her hair and a soggy cheerio stuck to her arse.