When my little boy was starting to eat solids I was beyond excited. All new foods to try out, AND I caught a break from being a 24/7 dairy cow. As he started eating more and more, the need for sippy cups, plates, bowls, and silverware arrived. Then the real fun started. He learned he could throw food. And not just in little amounts. He would throw the whole bowl on the floor. And it was so exciting for him. It made a big crash and the dog would run over to happily clean up his mess. My solution was to just take all the bowls and plates and hide them in the back of the cupboard forever. But what about going out to eat?
When we would go out to eat, it was a constant battle to keep the food on the plate, on the table. I’d let go of the plate for two seconds and he would pull it right onto the floor. Here he is almost 2 years old and he still tries to take the plate- not to throw it on the floor anymore but to pull it close to him. So that’s not a worry so much anymore, but the worry I have is when they bring you hot plates, AND that I have another baby who is about to start solid food. I kept thinking that there had to be a better way. Oh and there is!
Enter my new best friend: The Happy Mat by Ez Pz.
This silicone mat is AWESOME. The people who came up with this are geniuses. Seriously. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with it, and my son loves them. They are available in blue, lime, gray, pink and coral.
As soon as I got them in the mail I ripped it open to see if it really did “suction” to the table like they claim it does. Oh, it most definitely does. I tried to pull it up, shake it, scooch it, you name it. That thing did not budge until I lifted up the corner to release the suction. In fact, in doing so, I moved my ENTIRE kitchen table. Talk about crazy suction.
These mats are FDA-approved and CPSIA certified and are made with a very high quality silicone. The silicone is non-toxic, PVC, BPA and phthalate free.
I put this mat to the test. It says microwave safe- it is! I tested it with a cheesy melty noodle mixture to see how it would handle that. Pulling it out of the microwave it was warm, but not hot. Here’s the result:
It claims to be dishwasher safe. You BET I tested that out! (Though it’s really easily cleaned in the sink as well because everything practically rolls off the silicone!) It looks the same it did when it came out of the package. When I originally was taking the cheese off, it literally just slid right off before using any water to rinse it.
I wanted to see what else the mat would suction to, so I tried that out too. I put it on my table, my counter, the laminate kitchen floor, our window, the stove, I even stuck it to the bathtub wall (Why? Because, why not?) I admit, at this point I was just having fun sticking it to things! Though it’s not very fun when your child takes it and sticks it to the floor when you’re not looking and you kick it…and stub your toe because it REALLY doesn’t move.
As soon as my husband got home I couldn’t wait to have him try it out. I thought maybe since he has a bit more arm strength than me he could get it unstuck. Nope! In fact, he almost punched himself in the face when his fingers slipped off while trying to get it off the table. True story.
The depth of the little compartments is very reasonable. About the same that you would find on a normal children’s plate. I really like that it is divided as well since my son isn’t quite a “mixer” yet.
Stacking these is about as easy as stacking other plates, though they do take up a bit more room. They measure in at 15 inches wide and 10 inches length wise. I keep them in a separate drawer actually that has all of our pacifiers, bottle nipples, and teethers in. Snug as a bug!
As a solution for throwing food, this isn’t going to stop them completely. They can still take the food out and throw it on the floor, but at least they can’t dump the whole thing! The “placemat” part of these mats will catch most of the mess however, as I found out first hand.
I was so impressed by these mats that I even bought their “micro mat.” Not to use as a feeding mat for Legos (like they say you can), but instead to stick to the window sill above my sink for a ring dish! (Hopefully my ring will fit!)