Babies need a proper spot for their meals. They need back support, plus a spot that is secure. And to be practical it would be ideal for them to dine in a chair that is easy to clean (as their table manners leave something to be desired).
For us, the bÃ¨bÃ¨Pod is an terrific place for the first few dinners of mashed peas and the like. The Pod is made of squishy plastic. Thanks to the upright seat position, it gives babies (5+ months) enough support to sit straight--I like it instead of a bouncy chair as it lets baby interact with older sibs on a more intimate basis. It comes outfitted with a tray that's just right for placing a few Cheerios or other finger foods. Included are two place mats and a toy that attaches to the tray--so after baby is finished you can buy yourself a few extra minutes to cram in your meal. Prince Lionheart bebePod Plus is available in three festive colors on Amazon $45.
As for fun utensils, checkout the line from Trebimbi. Their forks have kept my older daughter amused as she tries to polish off her broccoli. You know the drill...three bites before she can go back to playing princess. Trembini's three piece set (knife, spoon, fork) snap together to make a little marching line. I like the ability to toss them in the dishwasher. $24.99
Don't want to bribe your tots with goodies? Very admirable. May I then suggest you visit tadpoledreams.com It's all about good manners for children and has downloadable etiquette lessons as well as printed books. Table manners are tackled and advanced lessons include the dreaded thank you note! This is a wonderful way to turn a learning experience into a bonding experience.