DD went on a highchair strike shortly before her birthday this year. I was never able to get her back in her highchair. We ended up getting her a booster seat and letting her sit up to the table with us. She was much happier there. She has gotten a plate for every meal since then. The only meal we attach the tray to her booster for is spaghetti. She eats the spaghetti much better if I put sauce on it and I do not want sauce all over my table. So, she gets stripped down, gets her towel bib put on (the only time she wears it), and food goes directly on the tray.
We introduced silverware also around her birthday. She is getting better using them but sometimes I have to take them away because she just dips the fork/spoon into sauce and eats just the sauce. :/