When it comes to buying baby gear, new parents can be forgiven for becoming a little befuddled with all the equipment needs of a new baby. One item that is on most parents’ list is a feeding chair and it seems the choices and styles are endless. Here’s an interesting new travel-ready solution that might attract parents who lean towards green – Belkiz’s Feedaway – a strong, portable and lightweight feeding chair made from 100% recyclable Visy cardboard.

The Feedaway is strong, safe, and can be assembled quickly and easily. It is suitable for toddlers up to 20 months of age (up to 20 kg or 44 lbs) and is designed to be used specifically away from home so it’s perfect for traveling or visiting grandparents’ or friends’ homes. The chair can be folded away flat when not in use and is fitted with a polypropylene three-point safety harness. The surface is made with non-toxic food grade coating, and the decorative inks are water-based. Food and spills can be cleaned up with a warm, wet cloth.

This chair should not be used as a permanent feeding chair, but it will last for about 30 assemblies. It is made from recycled cardboard and weighs approximately one kilogram (2.2 lbs). Whilst it is not quite as high as a standard feeding chair, this is necessary to keep it stable and to keep it compact enough for travel purposes. The chair is housed in a recycled cardboard carry box with a convenient carry handle. It is strong enough to withstand travel in planes, buses and cars and it also fits in a large suitcase. The total weight of the chair and box is approximately 2kg (4.4 lbs).

The Feedaway was invented by Betul Madakbas, an entrepreneurial, Australian-based designer who came up with the idea when a friend and her baby visited and she could not offer a feeding chair option. Her mission was to design a portable baby chair that was not only light and practical but was also environmentally-friendly and recyclable or disposable.

Madakbas is currently liaising with international retailers so the Feedaway chair could be in a store near you in the future. She said, “It can definitely be shipped internationally by the user.” Her preference, however, is to have it made in the country of distribution. She noted, “The idea is to keep the footprint small and therefore production will happen in the country of distribution.” Madakabas is aware that this will make the product a little more expensive, but it will ensure it is locally made.

This Feedaway is expected to be available just before Christmas 2009 and will retail for AUD39.95 (around. US$36 at time of publication).

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