Mess. Lots of it.

It’s just the way it is at meal times with a toddler.

Millie’s at a stage where she no longer lets me shovel food into her mouth but instead wants to have her own utensils to do it herself. But there’s a small problem… she can’t quite do it herself. But she’ll get there.

So we’ve given some of the Closer to Nature products a whirl and it’s making things a lot easier for both Millie (19 months) and I.


The Explora Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl ($10 for a set of 4) is brilliant. Millie is slowly getting the hang of the whole ‘scoop and eat’ thing and the slight triangular shape stops her pushing food around and around the inside of the bowl with her spoon. The corners help trap the food making it much easier for her to scoop up her meal.

An ingenious Explora Magic Mat ($10) suctions the Explora bowls and plates down so YOUR CHILD CANNOT TIP THEIR BOWL AND ITS CONTENTS ALL OVER THE HIGHCHAIR/FLOOR. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with this. Hooray for less cleaning up!! The mat itself is easy to wipe down and is dishwasher safe. Only downside is the mat doesn’t properly stick to our highchair tray (it’s the Oxo Tot Sprout highchair and the tray isn’t a shiny plastic). Millie hasn’t thought to pick up the mat – yet.

The Explora Magic Mat in action

The Explora First Cutlery Set ($10) is lightweight and great for Millie’s little hands to grip but at the same time the metal tips are steering her towards grown-up cutlery. The toddler-friendly size meant Millie didn’t blink when I swapped her usual silicone baby set for these.


The Explora Baby Food Blender ($40) is something I wish I had for when Millie first started solids. It’s perfect for the small portions babies eat and has two settings for different textures (purées, mash, chunks). I find Miss M tends to eat more if her food is blended a little (she plays with her food if I hand her bits and pieces on a plate) and so chunky casserole-y dinners are the go. I’ve made some yummy thick banana and yoghurt smoothies in this compact blender too and Millie’s mad for them.


We’ve been trying the Explora Active Sipper/Sporty/Straw cups ($12 each) and luckily Millie seems to enjoy drinking from each one. When I first introduced her to drinking water from a cup there was only one type she would sip from. After forking out for about 20 different plastic bottles, I found one that had a squishy silicone spout and Millie guzzled from it. But as she got used to regularly drinking water she progressed to a non-spill straw type cup and these days she is not nearly as fussy.

Some of the yoghurt actually goes in her mouth

These cups are non-spill and designed for babies older than 12 months.

The Explora Active Sporty cup has a rigid spout which is good for getting your child used to a straw, the Explora Active Straw cup has a flip-top lid and soft silicone straw and the Explora Active Sipper helps toddlers practice open cup drinking without the worry of it going all down their front.

The flip lid on the Active Straw cup could easily be closed by Millie but she found it impossible to open again once she wanted a sip. My tip is don’t use this cup during car trips when you’re driving or when you don’t have the ability to reopen it for them!

All the lids on these cups are interchangeable with each other and the cups are insulated (I put ice in Millie’s cup on hot days and it keeps lovely and cool). Keeping the cup to a size that’s easy to hold but has insulation means these sippers can contain only a relatively small amount of water (300ml). I find Millie goes through it quickly.

Closer to Nature is the number one baby feeding accessories brand in the UK and one of the top brands of infant products and accessories in the global market. Loved by parents and little ones, Closer to Nature receives numerous awards and accolades year after year globally. The range is available at stockists nationwide. For more information visit or

*MillieMummyMelbourne was sent a Closer to Nature toddler Explora pack for the purposes of a review

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