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Learning to use a Spoon

543 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  frowningfrog
How do you teach a toddler to feed themself with a spoon?

Mine's got the right idea. I give him a spoon and and an empty bowl to play with while i feed him, and he scoops imaginary food which he spoon feeds to the dog.

If i give him a spoon with food on it, he finds it vastly amusing to wave it wildly in the air, thus spreading food all over the kitchen.

But how do i get him to feed himself?
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Give them the spoon and something they like and they'll figure it out. Just be ready to clean up. Learning is messy work.

DS, at two and four months, can generally eat yogurt now without most of it ending up on his shirt. That's within the last week or so, and we still go through a lot of bibs. If I see him holding the utensil in a gonna-make-a-mess way, I try to correct his technique and demonstrate a couple of bites. We do "scoop...and eat" for spoons and "poke...and eat" for forks.
It comes with time, practice, and a good example from you. And yeah, they'll make a TERRIBLE mess along the way. Don't worry, that's normal, even if it is a royal pain in the neck to clean up sometimes. DD is 19 months and she CAN feed herself with a spoon if she likes the food a lot and she's really hungry (hence motivated) but a lot of the time she just wants to fling it, so I just calmly say, "oh, not hungry? Okay, let me take it for you." Even when she IS trying to do it right, she still makes a big mess, but that's okay. I know she'll get it eventually.
My dd actually has better luck using a fork for some reason. We didn't really do any teaching, we just gave her the utensils and she watched us eat and somehow figured it out. If she's in a big hurry (ie Very Hungry), she just eats with her fingers.
My dd decided that yogurt is just the best thing ever... I got tired of feeding it to her 4 times a day (yes she eats 4 yogurts a I handed her the spoon, gave her the cup, put on a bib and she figured it out! She is 19 months now and this staretd maybe 2 months ago ... before that she may have been able to use one I dont know- I guess I probably didnt give her much opportunity. She has some trouble with a fork though... she has the right idea, but just doesnt put enough pressure into it to actually stab far enough through the food...
I've never tried to *teach* DS to eat with just sorta came. He watches us and then he tries it himself. He will be 2 in a few weeks, but he still mostly eats with his fingers, or else he picks the food up and places it on the spoon and feeds himself that way. I think I'm a bad example, though, because I eat a lot of things with my hands. It's not important to me to spend my time and energy and patience trying to teach DS to use utensils. I know that he can, because I've seen him do it very proficiently. But if he wants to muck around and use his fingers, that is fine with me. Yesterday he ate most of his applesauce with his hands, and he had a jolly good time!
I give 21 mo old DD cheerioes in a bowl and a spoon to practice. Other then that when i give her a spoon wit hother foods she just pushed the food around and eats wit hher hands ..

I see no harm in her eating with her hands ..she will get the jist of it when shes ready to.
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