Meals made ezpz


When we started our son on solids we didn’t buy a lot of fancy feeding dishes/utensils.  We had 2-3 bibs, 3 baby/toddler sized bowls, two divided plates, and a handful of silverware.  We taught our son to eat using our dishes and magically he never even thought about throwing a dish or food.  We were lucky!

We never invested in toddler serving dishes until ezpz.

We never really invested in toddler serving dishes until ezpz.

When I heard about the ezpz less mess Happy Mat in the Fall of 2014 I thought it sounded like a great idea.  The ezpz less mess Happy Mat has been hyped up as a “game changer”.  I was first introduced to the product by The Baby Guy NYC (Jamie Grayson) when he posted his video of the Happy Mat during their Kickstarter phase of development.  Jamie’s video focused on the suction function of the mat which, in part, helps to prevent children from throwing their dishes.  This is where I stopped looking.  My toddler didn’t need to be prevented from throwing his plates.  When it popped up in my news feed on Facebook many months later, after achieving full Kickstarter funding, I took a closer look.  I wasn’t interested in it for our family, but I was intrigued for my clients.  The more I looked at the Happy Mat, the more I realized the brilliance of the design.  The Happy Mat is terrific for children who don’t want food to touch, teaching parents correct portion size for children (and adults), and for anyone who has any challenges that make feeding physically difficult.  The ezpz less mess mats do all of this and more, but I still didn’t want to spend the money on the product.  After all, one Happy Mat costs $25 and I probably spent the same amount on ALL of my toddler dining pieces combined.

Part of our ezpz stash.

Part of our ezpz stash.

Still thinking about just how wonderful a tool the mat would be from a nutrition standpoint, I joined a small test group for ezpz and learned more about their product.  We had the opportunity to test out some concept designs as well as the Happy Mat.  I dutifully ordered the concept products and a Happy Mat still thinking it would just be about reviewing the product from a health coach perspective.

When our mats arrived I was excited to try them, but you know who was even more excited?  Our toddler!  He was, and is still, enamored with them.  The colors are fun, vibrant, and appealing to both genders. There is even a gray Happy Mat inspired by Jamie Grayson!  All of the ezpz mats are made of a food-grade silicone.  They are BPA, PVC, Lead, and Phthalate free AND are made responsibly in China.  In fact the founder of ezpz, Lindsey Laurain, just hosted one of the women who handles the shipping in China for ezpz.

As soon as the mats were out of the box, our kiddo requested a snack.  I asked him to pick a mat so that I could wash it and get him the requested snack.  I’m not sure where our wires got crossed, but he chose all of the mats for snack and the following was the result.

Let me tell you a little more about the Happy Mat (smiley face mat) since it is the ezpz flagship product.  The Happy Mat, in addition to being made of a food-grade silicone that is BPA, PVC, Lead, and Phthalate free, is also dishwasher and microwave safe!  Every parent’s dream is to find out that a wonderful product is also dishwasher safe.  I will be honest and tell you that I have never put my mats in the dishwasher because they are simple and quick to hand wash and dry.  It is “ezpz” to take about 30 seconds to wash the mat after a meal because nothing seems to stick to it….even if you have left the mat overnight and last night’s dinner remnants are now crusty and gross…not that I would ever do that.

The suction function is terrific, the portion sizes for the smiley face are perfect and there is space around the mat to catch the spills, to make ears, eyebrows, and even whiskers with the food.  We have been using the gray mat for nearly 6 months now and it is showing no signs of aging despite daily use.  The lime mat pictured is a new addition to our collection and has only been used a couple of times.  Go ahead and compare.  I bet you can’t really tell which one is “old” and which one is new.

Happy Mats in Gray and Lime

Happy Mats in Gray and Lime

Are you curious what a meal looks like in these mats?  Check out the photos below.  Some are “before” shots and one is an “after” shot.

Throughout the process of feeding therapy, these mats have been a lifesaver for us.  In fact, ezpz works with Dawn, a Feeding Therapist/SLP to make sure their products are helpful in creating good eating habits in children! Our feeding therapist, Autumn, is also working with Dawn to provide feedback on the ezpz products.  It really is a small world.

The Happy Mat is the ezpz flagship product, however, it is not their only product.  Two other products have been released since the initial offering of the Happy Mat.  First up is the Snack Mat.  This is a round mat that works well for soup, cereal, dip, toppings, yogurt, crackers and so much more.  It really is a versatile mat, however, be warned that it will not fit on most highchair trays.  This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but it is something to note when you are choosing which products you would like to order.  You will notice the snack mat pictured below is gray; this gray snack mat was a prototype.  The snack mat is currently available in a fabulously vibrant mint color.  Who knows, if you write to Lindsey, maybe ezpz will start offering the snack mat in additional colors in the coming years.

We love our snack mat, but I think we use our Happy Bowls, the newest addition to the ezpz family, just a little bit more.  This mat is smaller and fits nicely on many high chair trays, sits closer to the edge of the table making the bowl easier to reach, and still has room for extras outside the bowl.  Most of our dinner and lunches are served on the Happy Mat, but breakfast is almost always served in the Happy Bowl.  Oatmeal, cereal, berries, homemade granola, yogurt, and toast have all made appearances in the Happy Bowl morning routine.

We like to use placemats and cloth napkins at our table. Before the ezpz products wiggled their way into our daily lives we had to swap out the placemats every single day. Now, we can easily use one set of placemats for an entire week because the mats catch 99% of the crumbs! Even the smaller Happy Bowl footprint keeps the placemats clean.  Less mess and less laundry equals a happy mommy.

I will be completely honest with you, although the suction function is terrific, sometimes kids figure out how to peel up the corners of the mat and the mat gets deposited on the floor. Here are two key reasons that I love ezpz and founder Lindsey. First, Lindsey constantly asks for feedback on the ezpz products. Even after they have been finalized she is still looking for ways to improve the product. Second, she actually does something with the feedback! In our test group we noted that children were peeling up the mats (usually the bowl since it is smaller and lighter than the Happy Mat) so Lindsey went looking for a solution. Behold, a huge improvement!

Purple Happy Bowl (original design) and the Lime Happy Bowl (improved design)

Purple Happy Bowl (original design) and the Lime Happy Bowl (improved design)

Can you see what she changed? Here, let me give you a better view.

DSC_3993

Now can you see? The lime bowl with the improved design has a slanted or beveled edge making it much more challenging for little fingers to peel up from the table. This new edge will be introduced throughout the other products in early Fall. Parents of older children do not need to worry, our 3-year-old is able to pick up the beveled edged bowl with ease. Why is this important to me? Well, it is his responsibility to bring his plate, utensils, and cup to the counter so that we can get everything washed after a meal.

Now for some practical notes about the ezpz products.  Where do you store these things?  They are a bit big, but they stack nicely and can be stuck to a fridge for quick ezpz access.  The mats have lived in several places in our home including the counter, the fridge, and most recently on a low cabinet shelf so that our son can choose his own mat for the meal.  Just an FYI, this stacking ability also means that you can carry more than one mat at a time!

As you can see, we love the ezpz line – Happy Mat, Snack Mat, and Happy Bowl – for so many reasons.  Let me just go over them one more time with you.

  1. Ez to clean up.
  2. Ez to create fun meals for all ages.
  3. Ez-er feeding for individuals with limitations.
  4. Ez to store.
  5. Ez to encourage independence in little ones.
  6. Ez to love!

Now, I have been holding out on you.  You may have noticed some rogue ezpz products in the pictures above.  Let me tell you about the mini mats and the play mat before giving you a HUGE reason to LOVE ezpz and Lindsey (that is, if you aren’t already in love with ezpz).

The micro mats are fun.  When I first signed up to be in the ezpz test group, Lindsey sent us all a micro mat as a thank you in advance for our honest and detailed feedback.  I played around with it and thought it was a cute handout.  Then I discovered that it is useful too!  This little guy is pretty small, but can deliver huge satisfaction (and it still suctions fairly well).

The mini mat is a great chocolate chip delivery system and a fun way to serve morning vitamins.  What would you use a mini mat for?

The micro mat is a great chocolate chip delivery system and a fun way to serve morning vitamins. What would you use a micro mat for?

Last up is the play mat.  This product is not currently for sale (and sniff, sniff may become a collector’s item), but I thought you might like to see it anyway.  The play mat is great for crafts, snacking, painting, drawing with dry erase markers (all mats are compatible with dry erase markers), holding eggs for painting around Easter, and so much more.  Here is just one picture of the so much more that happens routinely around our house.

Now, here is the HUGE reason you should love ezpz and founders Lindsey and Brad Laurain.  They give back.  They insist on giving back.  They insist on involving their kids in their life.  They are working hard to promote the family table and healthy eating habits.  They are not just about profit.  How many times have we heard this, but never see the proof?  Here is just ONE example of their giving nature.

Before Christmas I contacted Lindsey about an angel tree at my husband’s work.  Each year they gather items for the Laurens County Disabilities Office.  This year we were gathering supplies and gifts for the division supporting adults with TBI (traumatic brain injuries).  The Happy Mats would give these adults, many of whom were having trouble feeding themselves, some measure of independence during meals.  I asked if she could help.  This is what arrived:

This is why I love ezpz!

I hope this review helps you get a clearer vision of how ezpz products would fit into your life.  They make mealtime fun and ez and cleanup ezpz!  After using them for nearly 6 months, I wouldn’t hesitate one bit paying full price.  They are worth every single penny!

Just a little ezpz window art!

Just a little ezpz window art!

Curious about the daily life of ezpz around our house, check out just a few more images and then scroll on down for a terrific giveaway open to all USA residents.

I hope that you are as excited about ezpz as I am.  To get your ezpz collection started I am giving away one Happy Bowl in blue to a USA resident. Entry is, you guessed it, ezpz.
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