1) Semi Self-Feeding/Distraction - Ryan wants to be in control of his utensils, but this can become really messy really quickly. When I let him feed himself, about 90% of his food ends up on his head, ears, highchair......So now I use 2 spoons with every bowl of food. One for him to hold and "feed" himself with, and the other for me to feed him with. This works pretty well because he is so distracted by his own spoon that he just opens his mouth when I bring the spoon to his mouth. I have a feeling this one won't last, but it's working for now!
2) Costco! - Seriously, this is really strange. I think it's the novelty of eating in a shopping cart at a store where there's lots to look at. But for some reason, Ryan really chows down when we go to Costco. I went yesterday and offered Ryan all of the samples. Here is what he ate: 1/2 Pizza Bagel Bite, 2 Pita Chips w/ white bean hummus, 1 slice Havarti cheese, 1/4 Chicken Burger, 1/2 Madeline cookie, 1/2 GoGurt yogurt. That is easily the amount of food he eats in an entire day! And most of those are foods he would never even try if I offered them to him at home in his highchair.
3) Squeezable Fruit Pouches - A few months ago I thought these were just a new overpriced way to package baby food. What I now know is that yes, they are overpriced, but they serve a purpose. Ryan loves eating these because they give him all the control. I love them because they don't make a mess! (Unless he turns them upside down and squeezes out the contents. But shhhh he hasn't figured that out yet!) Most that I have seen are just a combination of fruits, but there are a few that also contain vegetables. I will pay the $1-$1.50 per pouch for these because they guarantee Ryan eats some fruits and veggies!
So that's what works for me right now. Any other tips I should know about?