This is a partnered post with The Clorox Company as a part of the Clorox Influencer program.
Raising boys over the years, we’ve had some interesting adventures with trying new foods. Starting from about six months old until their toddler years (and even beyond), each has very particular taste, and they let me know what they liked (and didn’t like) in any way they communicate- words not necessary. Various unsavory foods decorating my walls and mashed vegetables sputtered onto their clothes expressed their displeasure, or simply, nothing more than a cute pouty face..
These are the years parents find themselves doing loads of laundry, wading through mountains of sauce and juice-stained clothes, and wondering whether it will ever end. It does, but the food fight years are certainly a time-consuming journey. Babies outgrow clothes very quickly through their early years, so replacing soiled apparel every time it’s stained is just impractical and expensive. On the other hand, we don’t want our feisty little treasures to look uncared for either, so times like these call for Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster Liquid– a true wardrobe saver when we add it to our wash to boost the stain removing power of our detergent by up to four times.
Growing pains… for the parents
Maybe you can sympathize with one of these situations- we dealt with them all:
1. Baby projectile spits out every single new fruit or veggie puree you attempt to put into her mouth, and you resort to setting out drop cloths for every meal to protect your carpet. We started with veggies at six months (as per their pediatrician, who said starting with sweet fruits would make them permanently eschew vegetables) and realized our child would never get to solids this way, so we began experimenting with a mix of veggies and some fruits mixed in on our own.
2. Pasta sauce and pureed peas are colorful art media for your child, who use them like finger paints to draw on their feeding tray and seat. You definitely need to get a very simple high chair with only a few parts, so it’s easier to clean. Don’t get anything with a lot of padding and crevices, or you will have to hunt through all those folds to clean out the mess.
3. You finally find a snack your child likes. Yay! The first time they drop a piece by accident and you bring it back, they discover a new game with mom and dad- Fetch! Now they continue to toss their food and laugh just to watch you scamper around picking it up. The first time it happens, throw it out (no 5 second rule thinking) and nip that game in the bud.
4. Your child eats one thing and one thing only. Three times a day, seven days a week, going on over two months now. Any attempts to offer something new or disguise something else within their favorite food is met with shrieks and food sprayed on your walls. You find yourself pulling their high chair into the middle of the room to protect your wallpaper. When this happens, and you just have to ride it out. One day, they will want something else.
5. You find your child going through your own snack pantry or the fridge, pulling out something that is too salty or lacking in nutritional value. You are just so happy they are eating something you let them eat the darned pretzels or sticky popsicle and call it a day. It inspired us to make sure any snacks we bought for ourselves were healthy for them too, and in the end it worked out for all of us.
Obviously, there are as many tales of feeding gone wrong as there are children, but I have a feeling the same mess-induced feeling of frustration resonates with many parents, especially when beloved clothing is soiled by tough stains such as blueberries as a result.
New foods, new stains, new solutions
I’ve been there, and still go through it, and learned some tricks along the way. Here are a couple of tips for when your child tries their first bite of something new, or when they graduate to trying to hand-feed themselves with their first spaghetti and marinara sauce. I did all of these, but not from the start. I had to learn as I went, and you are the lucky recipient of the sage advice produced by my misfortunes ;-)
How to handle those messy First Foods years
1. 1. Buy vibrantly patterned clothes that can camouflage the stains until you can pretreat the stains with Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster Liquid, and stock up on just-whites that can be bleached with Clorox® Regular-Bleach₂.
2. Avoid feeding them anything that can be impossible to wash off walls (anything with oil) or is difficult to wash out of hair. Just skip those foods and make your life easier, and for a while, skip the pasta sauces too. They can eat plain pasta.
3. 3. Keep their clothes looking as good as ever by adding Clorox 2® to your wash to boost the power of your detergent when it’s time to fight those tougher stains. I have two boys, and Clorox 2 saved me a lot of money because all my older son’s clothes become hand-me-downs for his little brother, and they look as good as ever. Clorox 2® can be used to pretreat as well, and even save stained clothing that have been through the dryer already. It’s also available in a Clorox 2® Free and Clear formula option, made without dyes or perfumes to be gentle for sensitive skin.
4. Have your camera ready… you do want to take a lot of pictures, because the images of their disappointed faces at the taste of an asparagus baby smoothie and their attempts to play fetch with you are what make it all worthwhile ♥︎
Are you going through the first foods phase now, or do you have advice to share for other parents?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Clorox. The opinions and text are all mine.