Do ezpz mats really work?

Do ezpz mats really work?

I spent two days at the Calgary Baby & Tot show this fall, stationed at my local natural parenting store’s kiosk. It was a slow year, and the effects of Alberta’s economic downturn were obvious to the exhibitors. Yet one sucky brand was flying off the shelves: ezpz. Don’t get me wrong—I mean sucky in the best sense of the word. These colourful silicone dishes are designed to suction to the table or high chair tray, promising a solution to overturned bowls and plates-turned-Frisbees. In case you’re not familiar with ezpz’s lineup of dishes, it includes the three-sectioned Happy Mat, the Mini Mat—which is a smaller, portable version of the Happy Mat—and the Happy Bowl.

Do ezpz mats really work?

These dishes are promoted as an all-in-one feeding solution: a combined placemat and plate to capture “most of your kid’s mess.” Other selling points include being “dishwasher, microwave and oven safe, easy to clean with warm soapy water (silicone doesn’t support the growth of fungus, mold or bacteria), easy to store (place in utensil drawer or cabinet) [and] built to last (silicone is bendable and flexible and doesn’t fade, corrode or deteriorate).”Do ezpz mats really work?When my mother-in-law sent money to buy the kids their Christmas gifts, I decided to get a Mini Mat for Little Miss Cub. If you give her a regular dish, she knocks it over or picks it up, often nonchalantly tossing it over the side of her high chair tray. Serving her meal directly on her high chair tray is a perfectly decent alternative unless I’m serving yogurt or soup or cereal. A dish that stays suctioned to her tray seemed like the ideal solution, since she really really likes to feed herself. (And I much prefer her learning to feed herself over spoon-feeding her!)

When I first placed the Mini Mat on our kitchen table to test it out, I was impressed with how firmly it held in place when I tugged at rim of the feeding section. The mat doesn’t budge if you grip the edges of the dish and pull up. To release the mat, you just peel the corners of the mat to release the seal. NEAT! I eagerly served Little Miss some yogurt.Thirty seconds later, she had figured out how to peel the edges of the mat up and had her Mini Mat proudly in her hands above her head. NOT NEAT.Do ezpz mats really work?

At first I wondered if I was doing something wrong … but alas, unless it never occurs to your child to peel at the edges of the mat and they only ever tug upwards on the rim of the dish, they will be able to pick up their ezpz mat and do whatever they want with it. 

So that’s why it sucks, figuratively: I thought it would allow me to run to the bathroom while Little Miss is enjoying some yogurt without returning to question if the five-second rule applies to semi-solids. It will not stop your child from dropping, throwing or wearing their meal if they want to. But as long as what Little Miss wants to do with her mat is eat off it, it’s actually really useful. So this is why I love it: she wants to use cutlery, but when she tries to use a spoon in a regular bowl or plate, the bowl or plate moves around as she is trying to move her utensil. Because the Mini Mat stays firmly in place as she navigates with her spoon, she’s able to get yogurt onto her spoon and then concentrate on the critical spoon-to-mouth component of food consumption rather than becoming frustrated with chasing a bowl from side to side on her tray. However, just like any dish I place in front of her, I need to move quickly once she’s decided she’s done. The suction gives me an extra split-second to react to her decision to pick up and toss her dish … so I suppose it doesn’t completely suck that it doesn’t perfectly suck?



Now that we have a Guzzie & Guss Banquet High Chair that allows her to sit right at the dinner table, Little Miss gets all her meals in her Mini Mat. We almost never eat out (unless you count Drive-Thru), but if we were going to a restaurant for a meal, I’d definitely pack the Mini Mat for her to use at the table.

Despite my initial disappointment with our Mini Mat, I actually bought a second ezpz product for my son. Cub is four, so this might seem kind of old for an ezpz mat. If his little sister figured out how to peel it off her tray, I didn’t expect him to be fooled either. Thankfully, I’m not trying to prevent my preschooler from picking up and tossing his bowl of cereal. I’m trying to avoid him accidentally knocking it over. The kid is just like me: all flailing arms and misplaced elbows and zero sense of where objects are in relation to his appendages. He’s also working on his independence. We’ve got a new routine set up for him to get his own breakfast in the morning while I’m still in bed with his sister. Every night we leave an old breastmilk bottle in the fridge filled with enough (cow’s) milk for his cereal. There’s a little container with one portion of cereal in the pantry, and his ezpz Happy Bowl is either in the dishrack or on the counter waiting for him to find it. (I learned the hard way that he does not appreciate us leaving the bowl out and ready for him at his spot at the kitchen table … he MUST put it there himself.) There’s no chance of him knocking his Happy Bowl off the table or accidentally nudging it out of the way as he pours out his own milk and cereal in the morning.Now, arguably the best part of cereal in the morning is slurping up the milk that’s left at the bottom of your bowl. This is really not an option with the Happy Bowl, but Cub and I have come up with a simple solution. When he grabs his cereal spoon from the cutlery drawer, he also grabs on of our stainless steel drinking straws. He uses the straw to slurp up the milk from the bottom of his Happy Bowl! And since, as already established, the mat is not truly childproof, when he’s done he can peel it off the table to bring it to the sink. (We’re still working on this step … most of the time when I come down, the bowl and cutlery and containers are still on the kitchen table.)Overall I find our two ezpz mats live up to most of the hype. My toddler doesn’t throw her plate or “drop” it unless she’s done eating or doesn’t want to eat (we’re working on a better way to communicate that …), so the fact that she can peel up the mat isn’t a deal breaker. I think some parents will buy this in hopes that their child will not be able to unstick the mat at all … and perhaps this would be true of a six-month-old, but really, any toddler will figure out how to peel it up within seconds.Compared to our divided feeding dishes and bowls made of melamine or plastic, I much prefer the Mini Mat and Happy Bowl. They are definitely more durable and are not going to crack or shatter when dropped. They’re also much easier to clean: there are no little nooks and crannies for food (or mold) to hide. I know my husband doesn’t like how they fit into our cupboards … mainly because they don’t. If the only dishes you own are ezpz then sure, you can stack them up in a drawer or cupboard. But if you’re like us and have a mishmash of different kiddie dishes, then you’ll just have to settle for flopping them in where you can.It’s not often that I write a review for items I didn’t specifically receive for review purposes, but there’s been a lot of curiosity about these mats. The main thing to know is that YES, your kid will be able to peel their mat off their tray or table. However, if the issue is accidental spills rather than intentional ones, then this doesn’t matter. Since they’re so easy to clean, we just use the same ones for every meal. The Happy Bowl is $24.99, the Mini Mat is $27.99 and the Happy Mat is $29.99. I’m waiting for a sale before I add a couple more to our cupboard! They’re pricey, but if they’re the only feeding dishes you buy until your kids graduate to grown up plates and bowls, it’s not so bad. Once they no longer use them for eating, ezpz mats are awesome for crafting!

Bottom Line:

These mats will NOT prevent 99.9% of children from throwing their plate if that’s what they feel like doing. They will, however, prevent accidental spills and help children learn to use their cutlery. Little Miss enjoys feeding herself soups and yogurts in her Mini Mat, and Cub is able to serve himself his morning cereal thanks to his Happy Bowl.

You can buy ezpz mats using my affiliate link to Well.ca!





16 responses to “Do ezpz mats really work?”

  1. janie vezina

    very interesting review, love that you give pros and cons. i’d still be interested in trying one, just know to not trust it completely

  2. Sandra Caballero

    I love EZPZ . My youngest daughter have one that is square. Super fun to decorate her food on her EZPZ. So easy to clean when greasy food is in the EZPZ.

  3. Shirley Tang

    Haha my 9 month old does exactly what your liitle miss Cub does: if there’s no food in the mat he will instantly pick it up and chuck it. However, it works great while he’s actually eating. After eating he has also decided he likes to pick it up and suck on the plate to get all the flavours, I guess. Still, not a bad purchase for $30. I like the lower profile so my tiny kids can see their food as opposed to most suction plates and bowls on the market. We love the bag it came in for bringing to restaurants!

    Oh, and it isn’t clearly advertised, but since it’s silicone it’s actually oven safe too! Like a baking dish!

  4. andee fischer

    We love our EZPZ’s, too! Yes, the kids figured out how to pull them up, but berries don’t roll all over the ground any more. Our 3-year-old loves the play mat, too. So fun for crafts and food-making. Great review.

  5. Kristen G

    Thanks for the review! I just bought an ezpz mini mat online and I can’t wait for it to arrive so we can try it with my one year old daughter! ?

  6. Amy Hall

    I appreciate the review. Everyone is going gaga over these and I sat here wondering but what if the kid just picks up the edge? lol And also wondered how well it fits on most high chair trays.

    1. Lindsay

      The Mini Mat fits most high chair trays, they have a decent list in the FAQ section of their site! The Happy Mat and Happy Bowl are too big for most trays though.

  7. Amber Ludwig

    Lol!! Yes my son figured it out pretty fast too!! But I loved it and still love it for ease of eating!! No sliding plate or bowl when my kiddo is trying to cut/scoop food out!! :

  8. Caroline Duggan

    I think that these are such a good idea even though they won’t prevent all messes. I can’t wait to get some for my little messy eater

  9. Andrea Van

    Glad to see both sides. I considered these when our local store started carrying them about a year ago, but couldn’t justify the price (since regular bowls are much cheaper and I still have a broom). I was also concerned that the kids would just figure it out. Glad I didn’t spend the money, but I do know some people who love them!

  10. Amanda Louise

    I’ve been curious about these mats. Thank you for your honest review, I won’t be jumping out and buying a bunch right away, but adding one to our mix seems like a good idea. I never thought to use them while eating out.

  11. Amy B

    i have heard a lot of good things about these mats. i appreciate the honest review. it is nice to know how a mom feels about a product and all the pros and cons before buying. i see how these would be helpful for the bowl situation with cereal or yogurt

  12. I like this review, honest and to the point. I am also a fan of these mats but totally agree they are pricey!

  13. brandon beau bakhtiar

    Is anyone selling their 10×15 happy mat? Any color is fine but as a single parent I have to ask before buying a brand new one.
    Thank you,
    Brandon
    Brandonbeaubakhtiar@gmail.com

  14. […] I serve a lot of the boys’ food directly on their high chair tray, but when I want to serve yogurt, soups and other not-so-finger-food, I use our EzPz mats. (These mats also have their own blog post: Do EzPz Mats Really Work?) […]

  15. In the past few months, I have tried a variety of placemats for my little angel and I am glad to share that EZPZ mini mat is simply the best one. It is made of a high quality material and suction is also great.

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Welcome to my Wolf Pack!

My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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