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'What I can't parent without': How to make meal time a breeze

By Nikolina Koevska Kharoufeh |

From starting solids to tackling a toddler's fussiness, feeding kids can be quite an adventure - and a very challenging one at times.

The good news is, it doesn't take long to pick up some great tricks and tips to help make meal times easier. It could be a handy product that helps or advice that actually works.

We asked 9Honey Parenting mums and dads to pass along their best meal time tips and here is what they shared.

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Meal time can be difficult, but there are ways to make it less stressful. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Snack tray for the pram

Being able to avoid hunger-induced tantrums while out-and-about is important and the first step in right direction is to invest in a snack tray for the stroller or pram like the Munchkin Brica Snack Pod that retails for just $13.99.

The Snack Pod attaches to your pram and can hold baby bottles, fruit, biscuits or any other favourite snack so your hands are free to push the pram and get on with your day.

The Munchkin Brica Snack Pod can hold bottles or snacks and is super affordable. (Kogan)

The Snack Pod is adjustable and can also hold a water bottle, so there is no need to get it in and out of a bag each time your child wants a sip.

Sydney mum Najla is a big fan of the tray that sits on her double pram: "Keeps both kids occupied while I shop, and I just refill the snack as they start to crack it!"

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IKEA ANTILOP highchair

Meal times get messy - very messy - so it's important to have a high chair that is easy to clean. This is where the popular IKEA ANTILOP highchair comes in handy.

The IKEA ANTILOP Highchair retails for just $29. (IKEA)

The simple and compact chair retails for just $29, and is made from plastic so it's easy to wipe or hose down at the end of a meal, which makes a world of difference for busy parents.

Its best feature is the removable legs that also make the chair portable. It can even be packed in the car and taken on holidays.

Parents ?around the world rave about the product - and it's also popular with cafes and restaurants.

"At this price, what's not to lov?e about it?", declared one Sydney mum. "I can't believe I nearly bought one that cost $200 more."

Of all the endless baby product options out there, overpriced high chairs take the cake - they are so unnecessary and not something you need to splurge on.

"Take it from me. This highchair is all you'll ever need! Don't waste your money on anything else. I swear by it."?

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Supermarket Swap app

"I used to feed my kid all kind of rubbish until I downloaded this. Game changer!" mum to three-year-old Lennox Sarah says finding out about the Supermarket Swap app.

Created by Aussie mum Nabula who was looking for grocery options that didn't have as many additives and preservatives for her son, the app and dedicated Instagram page has grown into a phenomenon.

Mums and dads can look up additive free and 'better choice' food products sold in Australian's leading supermarkets, allowing them to shop guilt free for their kids.

It's an easy way to ensure you are buying the best options for your child - and avoiding the typical unhealthy snacks they can quickly get addicted to.

Avoid wiping their face during a meal

As tempting as it is, constantly wiping your baby or toddler's face during a meal can get very annoying for them. So annoying, it may even put them off their meal.

So to ensure meal time is a success, leave the wiping til the end when they are nice and full.

Mum-of-two Ana shares this advice with all new mums: "Even though I couldn't stand the pur¨¦e dripping from my daughter's face when we first introduced solids, I just let it be so her experience wasn't interrupted."

The advice in this article is general in nature. Please always consult a medical professional to obtain advice that is tailored to yours or child's specific condition.

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