Family Mealtime Is Important To Start Young
Sitting down for family mealtime was something ingrained in me from the beginning. My family ate lunches and dinner family style. As kids, we were responsible for helping set and clear the table. We all often took turns cooking part of the meal. We had family dinners with my grandparents and extended family nearly every Sunday. So many memories shared around the dining room table. Large families often mean loud, crazy mealtimes. Which brings to question–when and how do you integrate the baby into this crazy ritual? We’ve always incorporated our babies at mealtimes because we believe the importance of family meals starts at a young age.
Eating breakfast with sister!
How Do You Transition Out Of The High Chair?
For almost 9 years now, we’ve had a baby sitting off to one side of the table in a high chair with a tray. It’s bulky and takes up so much space in our small dining room. They usually feel left out at family mealtime.Currently, our older kids have a hard time getting the baby in and out of her chair. The padded seat has so many nooks and crannies, my mom created a chair cover out of white towels. Then I just throw her mess into the trash and bleach the towels. However, I’m over her cluttered corner of the dining room. It’s time for her to move into a big girl seat. Our problem is, we have 5 people and 4 dining room chairs. I couldn’t figure out what I was going to put her booster seat in. Thankfully, just as I was toying with these decisions, Hauck sent me the perfect answer to my problems in exchange for this review. A Hauck Alpha+ wooden high chair. Family mealtime is about to be a lot more fun!
What Makes This High Chair Better Than Others
For starters, the Alpha+ is really more like a wooden chair that can be pulled up to the table. No tray attached, means taking up less room. Our daughter’s face lit up when she saw that her new chair allows her to be a part of everything. She can get in and out with ease. My favorite thing is that I can wipe down the chair easily to clean up all of her messes. Our older kids like sitting in it too and since it can hold up to 198 pounds, we can use it for anyone in our family. Lastly, at 20 months, our tiny kiddo is sitting with the seat and footrest positioned in the first notches. This chair will grow with her and be a part of our family mealtime for many years.
My Favorite Out-Of-The-Box Family Mealtimes
It’s summertime around here and my family loves to take mealtime outside. Again, 4 chairs and a tiny ledge from our back door to the patio. Our old high chair can be wheeled out there, but it is fairly difficult to get it to fit through the door. Then it takes up a large amount of our already small patio space. After putting together the Hauck Alpha+ chair, we had burgers on the patio. It was so easy to just pick up the chair and carry it out to the table. Now our sweet girl can sit up to the table at family mealtime perfectly!
Several years ago, we found a couple of picnic blankets on sale at the end of summer and they have been lifesavers! We use them often for an out-of-the-box family mealtime. Now that we are on the go with sports activities, it’s easy to pack a quick meal and spread out the picnic blanket wherever we are. I find our kids are thrilled with something away from their normal setting and we still can connect as a family.
More Than Eating Happens During Family Mealtimes
At the end of the day, there is something therapeutic about coming together as a family. Sharing food, laughs, stories, and plans help teach valuable lessons about putting others first and being part of a team. I find our kids are more secure, happier and sleep better when they have had time to be a part of our family unit. Family mealtimes with a baby certainly require lots of work and patience, but the payoff, in the end, is worth it. Adding in the Hauck Alpha+ chair so our babe can feel like she’s truly part of the action is going to be such an amazing addition to our family mealtime.