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Good Eating Habits Start with Where you Sit

Good eating habits start with where you sit. When you are seated comfortably, in a well-supported chair, with a table at a good height for you, you eat better. The same goes for children, which is why when you are looking to purchase a high chair (or weaning table), you should take care to consider the seat from your child's perspective in addition to your own.

Easy to Clean

Firstly, your high chair should be easy to clean. This creates clean-up ease for you, and a clean seat for your child (with no old smells permeating their current meal). Look for a seat and tray that are free of cracks and crevices where crumbs could hide. Absolutely no Velcro - food gets stuck in Velcro and is impossible to clean out. If it has a cushion, look for machine washable or easily wiped clean. Make sure if you are in a store to lift up the fabrics on floor models to see where the crumbs go underneath. Cushions are not necessary. A well-designed seat doesn't need a cushion to be comfortable.

Look also at the top and underside of the tray for cleaning ease, and try taking it off and putting back on to see if it's easy to do. Dishwasher safe is always a plus, but make sure the tray isn't too large to fit in your dishwasher.

Supportive Seat

The seat should support your child well. A seat that has small leg openings will be uncomfortable on chubby thighs. A seat too shallow will be uncomfortable on the lower back (the seat should extend past mid-thigh) - knees should be on the same level as hips. A younger infant may require support along the back and sides as well. Keep in mind that most children move to a booster seat or sit in a regular chair by the time they turn two. So you don't have to focus your search on a chair made to fit a 3-year-old. It won't fit your 6-month-old well, and your child likely will not use it at age 3. The exception is the true grow-with-you chairs that adjust the seat/footrest/height/and depth to make a chair that converts over time. The Stokke Tripp Trapp, Stokke Steps, Evomove Nomi, and Keekaroo Height Right are examples of true grow-with-me high chairs.

Feet Flat

Posture helps you digest. If you are slouched you compress your abdominal organs. Feet flat, sit up straight, knees on level with your hips. Dangling legs can also pull on your lower back. It's unfortunate, but many high chairs do not have adjustable foot support that can accommodate 6 months to 2 years.

Tray Height

This falls under making sure the chair is the appropriate size for the age of the child. If the tray is up by their armpits it isn't easy to reach the food.

Tray Position

It's incredibly frustrating to feed a baby who is sitting a mile away from their tray. The food naturally bypasses the bib and ends up all over their lap.

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