Meal Time Booster Chairs

Picks for high chair alternatives

Whether you're looking for a space-saving option for toddler feedings or want to give your little one a taste of independence, a meal time booster chair is a great option to consider.

When choosing a booster, it may help to think about the reasons why you think it's time to ​transition your toddler out of a high chair. Then use these descriptions of different types of boosters to help you decide what your toddler needs.

Safety 1st Sit, Snack, and Go Convertible Booster Seat

Safety 1st Sit, Snack, And Go Convertible Booster Seat
Booster chairs can make toddlers feel at ease and more willing to eat. Pricegrabber

This is a standard design for booster seats. It includes chair straps that secure the booster to your sturdy, hard-backed dining chair. To keep your little one safe, it has a three-point harness that includes a strap between the legs to prevent smaller toddlers from slipping under the tray top and down the chair. The bonuses with this model make this a step above the basic model, though. These features include:

  • removable backrest
  • removable tray and armrests
  • adjustable to two different height levels
  • three tray levels
  • a dishwasher-safe serving tray
  • a cup holder that fits most brands of sippy cups or juice boxes
  • eating surface that makes it easier for your toddler to grasp finger foods
  • easy-to-fold design for travel or storage

One Step Ahead Kids High-Back Foam Dining Booster Seat

One Step Ahead Kids High-Back Foam Dining Booster
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I had my doubts when I saw this style of booster. Boasting that there are no straps to fuss with, the makers of this seat emphasize that it is easy to transport and use.

This foam seat is supposed to be used with hard-surfaced chairs only. Special suctions on the bottom of the seat grip the chair's surface. Your child then sits on the contoured seat -- no belt to force him into.

I like One Step Ahead's products usually, so I think this should be as trustworthy as most boosters -- and may be the perfect choice for toddlers who fight against being locked into a chair. However, I do think that I would push their age recommendations from age 2 to at least 30 months -- and I wouldn't ever turn my back on my child.

Summer Infant Take Two Booster Seat

Summer Infant Take Two Booster
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This style of booster is less commonly seen in homes. That's probably because you need to be sure you have a VERY strong table in order to attach your child's chair (and your child, of course) to the table. Obviously, this would tip over any table that wasn't strong or steady enough to balance the weight.

If you have the right furniture, though, this may be a really good option for your home. It's also easy to fold up and take with you so your toddler can avoid those awkward restaurant high chairs that make it impossible for a little one to actually eat at the table.

Clean up is quick and painless with this model as well since the removable seat can be machine washed.

Polar Go Anywhere Travel Feeding Booster

Polar Go Anywhere Travel Feeding Booster
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Travel boosters are incredibly practical. You don't need to buy a second chair for grandma's, it's super light weight, is made of material that is quick to clean up, includes secure straps, and, like this one, usually fits to a wide variety of chairs.

The downside is that it's not as sturdy. This means it may not hold up through the preschool years or last to serve younger siblings. It also means that your child could more easily fall out of it -- especially if leaning over the soft sides before you have her strapped in (and trust me, that can happen in a split second).

Mutsy Grow Up Booster Seat

Mutsy Grow Up Booster Seat
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Priced around $65, this seat fails the budget test, which is a common motivational for choosing a booster over a high chair from the start. However, if you like your baby gear to be stylish, you might overlook the price tag. The modern European design of the Mutsy appeals to many families. But it isn't just pretty -- the five-point safety straps for toddlers makes it a very secure option.

Other selling points for the Mutsy:

  • a wide, comfortable seat allows you to continue to use the booster as your toddler grows into a preschooler
  • it is super easy to clean

Kaboost Chair Booster Review

kaboost
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This is like the alternative to the high chair alternative. Rather than boosting up your child to the table, this product boosts the chair itself so you toddler can sit on a regular seat to reach the table. Our Guide to Baby Products, Heather Corely, gave it four stars in her review, and she says, "If you're looking for a way to boost an older toddler up to reach the dinner table, Kaboost is a great choice."

Eddie Bauer Pop-Up Booster Seat

This portable chair is great to take with you to grandma's house or a restaurant, but it's sturdy enough to serve you every day as well if needed. 

Read the full review.

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