How to teach a child to eat independently?

The ability to eat without the help of adults is a great achievement in the development of a baby, as well as joy and relief for his parents. However, in order to achieve this quickly, it is important to organize the learning process correctly and not to repeat common mistakes.

Make all the necessary preparations, be patient, and everything will go like clockwork, which your baby will soon be eaten on its own for both cheeks.

First, let's look at what stages the child goes through in the development of self-eating.

  1. The game. The kid shoves and sticks out a spoon from a plate, dumps food on the table, smears it, takes it with his hands and tastes it.
  2. Training. Now the toddler is trying to scoop up the food with a spoon and bring it to the mouth. Attempts are often not entirely successful, a lot of spoon contents is spilt, but over time there are fewer misses.
  3. Fastening skills. As you know, patience and a little effort. And now, finally, the beloved child confidently absorbs the soup, without spilling a single droplet!


The kid reaches for the spoon

If in the process of feeding you notice that the child reaches for the spoon, solemnly give her a little Explorer. All, it's a start! This usually occurs when the child is already accustomed to the new food, willing to eat solid foods and wants to take food with his hands.

You can stimulate the interest of the baby: put him at the table along with adults, smacking an appetizing during a meal, demonstrate how to properly handle cutlery. Make out children's dishes beautifully so that the child wants to try them himself, as well as play feeding toys - this perfectly develops the coordination of hand movements!

Operation Preparation

While the child learns to eat on his own, forget about the cleanliness in your kitchen. There will be food scattered everywhere, spilt drinks, and this is natural. Therefore, equip a convenient place for feeding, cover the floor, be patient, and at the same time with everything you need, so that the learning process of the baby goes as smoothly, quietly and quickly as possible.

Yes, accuracy will not come immediately

So, you will need:

  1. Deep plate with sides. From it, it will be convenient for the child to scoop food, drive the spoon along the edge of the plate and carry it into the mouth. It is desirable that the plate was of unbreakable materials, as it sometimes turns from a dining room into a flying one. There are also plates on suckers that will help to save their contents and are heated so that the food does not cool while the child slowly refines his skills.
  2. A spoon. They are sold a great many, most importantly - ease of use. An ordinary teaspoon is quite suitable for mastering the most important skill.
  3. Fork with rounded teeth, so that the baby is not injured. Some children begin to use this device earlier than a spoon.
  4. Water bottle with two handles and a lid. The optimal capacity is 120-150 ml so that the child can hold it.
  5. Bib with pocket. A very useful thing that will reduce the time for cleaning, because all the spilt food falls into the pocket! In addition, the plastic bib is easy to clean and dries quickly.

Principles of successful training

Principles of successful learning

Now, when the kid should be equipped to put it over the table to feed and serve a dish that is easy to scoop and easy to lose on the way to the mouth. This can be porridge, mashed potatoes, cream soup — it is important that the food is liked, little gourmet.

Dip the spoon into the bowl and wait for a little until the child begins to try to eat independently. If he is confused you can take a spoon handle crumbs and help to bring it to his mouth. However, some children do not like such interference. Then just start to feed the child themselves, and he will join in the process. If the toddler won't eat yourself, don't insist.

During feeding always be there because the child may choke and he's going to need your help. Remember that the child at first is difficult, therefore, if he is tired and put down the spoon, decorate it.

Praise the favourite child for any achievements, even if he bore in his mouth a few spoons. Encourage him in case of failure. Encourage any manifestation of independence not only in the food.

Typical mistakes

Do not panic! All must succeed!

In order for the training to bring forth the long-awaited results, in no case:

  1. Do not force the child to eat. If you dance around the dish or distract toddler cartoons to pour into it the required amount of food, to teach him to eat on their own will have a very long time.
  2. Do not start the training when the baby is sick or in a bad mood is useless.
  3. Do not scold the child for spilt food, dirty table and other blunders during the meal — you risk to discourage education and to sow uncertainty in a child's heart.
  4. Don't rush the baby. At first, the process of self-eating very long stretches, but as far as mastering the necessary skills it will accelerate. Take it for granted and try not to get annoyed.
  5. Do not force the event. It is impossible to proceed to the next step before mastering the previous. Give it time, let the child is walking confidently on his way. Practice shows that excessive haste discourages and slows learning.

In the end, the natural tendency to learn new things, and desire for independence inherent in every child, will do the job, and your kid will certainly learn to wield Cutlery. Show maximum patience, be tactful, generous in praise, don't rush nature, which have chosen for your kid is his personal rate of development, and the important skill of independence is not long to wait.


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