View Full Version : how to encourage self feeding.

little chickee
03-05-2011, 02:24 PM
I have an 18 month old mindee who although will feed herself with finger foods does not know how to use a spoon.

She doesnt even seem to know how to hold it. She usually has sandwiches for lunch but always a yoghurt for pudding which i have to spoon feed to her. Then at tea time its a meal and a pudding that i have to spoon feed her.

She can take absolutley ages to eat - up to 45 mins for tea which is quite a while for me when i have other mindees who don't have their tea with me.

So i'm at table with lo while trying to also watch up to 3 others who are playing. ( and also my own 3 boys)

How do i encourage her to feed herself? I have tried giving her a spoon too but she won't hold it. tried leaving food and spoon in front of her - she just sits making no attempt to either spoon feed herself or eat with her fingers.

I thought as she will happily eat sandwiches, fruit, crisps etc herself i would put her tea - pasta, potatoes, veg, chicken etc in front of her and she would pick it up with her hands - but no.

I feel she is capable but is used to being spoonfed.
Any ideas?

04-05-2011, 06:16 AM
does she use a spoon at home? you may find that mum feeds her so its quicker at home which is why she dosent know how to use a spoon,, have you tried holding the spoon in her hand and 'using it together' or make a game of it, you do one mouth ful she does the next,, you might have to make it fun and mess about a bit to begin with untill she does it herself,, I would also tell mum that she needs to learn to feed herself as all your atttention is focused on her and the others are missing out. i would also try leaving it infront of her with the spoon for a good 15mins or so incase she is just being stubbon or waiting for you to feed her as this is what she expects and see what happens.

04-05-2011, 07:28 AM
My little boy is 15 months old and all of a sudden just picked up the spoon and started feeding himself however he started not allowing me to spoon feed him at all and it was taking too long for him to feed and then he was getting stressed, so what I have done is I have a spoon and so does he. I feed him nice size spoonfulls, and he feeds himself too so we take it in turns. Much quicker and less messy. He has always been one for putting spoons in his mouth though so maybe this little one just needs to play with a clean spoon to get her used to putting it in her mouth and then it will progress from there. -x-

04-05-2011, 03:15 PM
Just let her eat with her fingers for now then. Leave the spoon there so she can mess with it if she wants to, and let her see you eating with a spoon.

DD will eat yoghurt from a spoon if I load the spoon and hand it to her, but she much prefers to hold the pot and 'drink' the yoghurt, or to dip her fingers in and lick them. Sometimes she tips up the pot and smears it on the table - that would count as messy play as well for your mindee :)

04-05-2011, 09:53 PM
Role play with a doll/teddy bear and spoon?

05-05-2011, 06:40 AM
Could you allow any of your children or mindees to
feed her while you oversee this? I would also give the child who helps you a spoon and a yogurt and first get the little one to watch them eat infront of her. Little ones often respond better to elder children teaching them. I would also give the little one a spoon for each hand whilst she is being fed by the older child.
If this doesn't work, how about putting two bowls and a spoon on a tray. Fill one bowl with something like rice crispies and show the child how to spoon across the rice crispies from one bowl to another, this maybe a fun way for the child to learn, rather than at meal times?
Good luck
Becky x

The Juggler
05-05-2011, 09:49 AM
have 2 spoons hon. give her one, feed her with the other and let her try herself when she is ready.:thumbsup:

put spoons in your home corner with teh dollies. my now 2 year olds from a year would 'feed' the dolls but were just as often chewing the spoons themselves:thumbsup: