What began in 2021, out of a humble basement converted home office amidst the Coronavirus health pandemic, Meal Nanny’s placemats were created by an overtired mother who struggled day and night with her child’s feeding habits.
“I saw myself rushing food onto the table every meal. Then bribing my daughter to sit still long enough to eat using my phone to stream cartoons to hold her attention. Often I asked myself, how did we come to this?”
Feeding became a heart-wrenching task every day. How can a mom cook, entertain, educate, and make lunchtime special when there are 7 other ‘fires’ to put out by lunch?
Every mother’s (food) fight
My kid is awesome. She’s sweet, silly, and cuter than a basket of bunnies. But even the most “awesomest” kids have their moments. Some things are just more of a struggle depending on the child. With my daughter, meals were a huge struggle.
This desperate momma wished for a nanny nearly every day. A meal nanny: someone to make mealtime less of pain – more of a bonding experience like it should be – and never being dependent on a blaring TV.
Unfortunately, a meal-time nanny didn’t exist. Nannies do not magically appear like genies in houses of busy parents 3 times a day to help occupy, teach, and play with kids. I wish!
It’s always been a rush to get the food prepared with kids around. Then you rush to serve it up and entice them with bribes to stay in one place to eat.
Once they’re done, your own food’s cold.
Meal time is more important than you think
And I don’t just mean nutritionally. Let’s do the math:
The average American child eats 3 square meals a day (and a zillion snack breaks.)
Meals can range from 5 seconds to 2 hours when you have kids. Let’s take a conservative average of 30 minutes per meal.
That’s 1.5 hours a day, not including snacks.
There are 7 days a week so we spend 10 to 11 hours per week at the lunch and dinner table.
That means every month, we spend a FULL TIME work week (40 HOURS), just feeding kids!
Two things are blaringly obvious from the math above:
- They don’t pay moms enough.
- Meals happen way too often to spend it miserable.
How to make meal time better for family
Under this desperate environment comes innovation. My husband and I needed to figure out how to make every breakfast, lunch, and dinner an enjoyable experience with our daughter. We had hit a breaking point.
When I was a child, I remembered going to McDonald’s for their happy meals. I especially remember the McDonald’s tray paper liners that were filled with mazes, puzzles, and activities. Oh, that really rounded out my McDonald’s happy meal experiences as an extra positive one.
Eureka! Let’s figure out how to make ENGAGING, ever-changing, placemats that will actually keep our daughter in her chair…learning, eating, playing…most importantly, so we could have an enjoyable meal as a family instead of a stressful one.
“That’s a very tall order” my husband said.
Oh yes, but this momma is always up for a challenge, especially when it comes to her kids.
So we took this mundane, everyday object and bought in renewed, much-needed practicality.
Meal Nanny created the world’s first set of ever-changing placemat designs, puzzle games, learning activities to make mealtime fun for kids and easier for parents. Every page of our placemat has a themed design and several interactive, educational activities printed on each side to keep children entertained, giving parents time to cook and serve up food.
Now every day and every meal brings us on a new adventure, making every meal an enjoyable experience every kid can look forward to.