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Teaching a 1.5 years old to use spoon

  1. #1
    DeeDeeMom is offline Registered User
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    Teaching a 1.5 years old to use spoon

    My girl is turning 1.5 in April and I want to let her to use spoon to feed herself. However, I want to know what food should I start with that will be less messy - I have that phobia of getting dirty - what should I let her try first?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    plain rice is a good start, it's sticky, so it's easier to spoon up & it sticks to the spoon. get pearl rice, it's stickier than regular rice. or thck congee is good too, but congee might be more messy of spills.

  3. #3
    Sumei is offline Registered User
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    hi deedeemom,

    unfortunately if you want your child to master the art of feeding herself than you will just have to bear with the mess, the good news is the more practice they get, the faster they will learn! You can minimise "mess" by ensuring you cover the dining area with place mats or newspaper and letting your child wear a plastic bib (that catches food rather than the cloth type) and using a plastic bowl instead of a flat plate etc.....try to be patient and encouraging and positive about the whole thing, it's a challenging step for them and as much as we might think, they are not intentionally creating mess for us to clear up!

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    hkmommy is offline Registered User
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    I confess that I, too, had anxiety about the mess... but it's important to encourage your child to practice eating independently! Here are a couple things that friends suggested and I actually tried (sounds really silly but it worked); maybe they might help you. Good luck!

    1. Had my child first practice spooning in the bathtub during bathtime---no real food yet. Just enjoying spooning water into cups and toys. This was fun!

    2. When my child was pretty good at spooning, I sat my child in the empty bathtub, handed him a spoon and held a bowl of food in front of him and asked him to use the spoon to scoop a little food and get it into his mouth. We made it into a game. (We did this right before bathtime so he was naked and I just hosed him and the tub down right before bathtime). We played this game until he was able to get food to his mouth pretty well.

    3. We moved to "normal high chair" eating with a spoon. No issues with my child flinging food everywhere on purpose or by accident. He knew from our "games" that food should go from the bowl to his mouth with the spoon. Of course we had the normal amount of messy bibs and high chair trays but hey, nothing landed on the floor!

  5. #5
    KatBoo is offline Registered User
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    my son's 19-months old too and has started to feed himself. I always give him a spoon of his own and I have one. He basically copies me and I think finds it a new challenge to feed himself. It helps if you are eating at the same time so they can copy you exactly.....sometimes he feeds me...which is fine too!

    often, if I load his spoon and leave it on the side of his plate and he will pick it up, he also loads it himself sometimes. I find porridge good as it's sticky.

    At the moment I feed him more than he feeds himself, but i think it will switch and he'll feed himself more than I feed him as time goes on.

    I don't rush him. I praise him when he does feed himself. I absolutely do not worry about mess.

    Apparently, telling them off about mess, or generally being paranoid about it and cleaning up as soon as they drop it is the fastest way to them becoming fussy eaters later on (and I can well believe it....my sister's son, now 8, is excruciatingly fussy.....and my sister is excruciatingly mess-paranoid!). My son rarely throws it deliberately, and if it ends on the floor is usually because he's dropped it by mistake (he has even started pointing at it on the floor and saying 'uh-oh').

    The more you get irritated by mess, the more they will see they can get a reaction from you that way....and you know how much they love doing that!
    Last edited by KatBoo; 03-21-2007 at 08:01 PM. Reason: spellings

  6. #6
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Katboo is absolutely right. If you show anxiety around food, including not wanting your child to make a mess it is the quickest way to turn them into fussy eaters. Children have to learn and experiment with food. They have to touch it with their hands, put it into their mouth (and wherever else it falls) and they have to master using a spoon at their own pace without fear of being told off for making a mess or fear or making mum angry because of the mess. My husband didn't really like the mess at first but I put my foot down, what's the big deal, we can clean it up? Now, at just 13 months our little boy eats really well with a spoon by himself and there's hardly any mess. He's not afraid to try anything we give him and it makes life a lot easier.

    I've seen first hand what happens to kids whose parents don't want them to make a mess and it's not pretty! At 3 and 4 they are still difficult eaters and are actually afraid of food because they've never been allowed to get up close and personal so to speak.

    I even remember from my own childhood that my mother hated me making a mess and it's a bad memory not a good one! You don't want your child to look back on their childhood and think bad things like I do!

  7. #7
    DeeDeeMom is offline Registered User
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    Thank you so much for your sharing. I really appreciate it.

    As I am a working mom, I asked my helper to start feeding him mashed banana to try out with spoon, I will see how it goes and let you all know. Yes, I confess too that I am VERY anxious about mess, but I think I just have to bear with it for the time being...thinking a lot more mess she will get onto...

    Bath tub...good idea and I never thought of it. Probably good for summer as it is not very cold....

    Thanks...and wait for my update

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