How to teach your child to self feed
This post is sponsored by Nuby, but like always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The first year of having a new baby is tough. You want to make sure that your precious baby is meeting all the milestones such as crawling, playing, speaking and walking. One milestone that I found to be a very important one for our son to meet was for him to be able to self feed.
1. Mastering the pincer grasp
At six months of age we began to focus on mastering the pincer grasp with our son which is the first step in self feeding and we didn't go out and purchase any fancy toy but we used the well loved Cheerio. Small enough for our baby to practice the pincer grasp and delicious enough to encourage the baby to put it in his mouth. Once your child has mastered the inner grasp it's time to move on to utensils.
2. Self feeding with a spoon.
When teaching your child to self feed with a spoon make sure that they have the correct spoon. Nuby makes fantastic spoons for toddlers that are easy to grasp, colorful, and food stays put. I start with easy foods that I know will stick to a spoon since learning the scooping motion is a skill they later master. I use foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, even ice cream. It may be hard to watch your toddler struggle with the spoon and make a mess, but it is all part of it. If we intervene than they will never learn to troubleshoot the problem. Once your child master's eating with a spoon it is time to move on to their own bowl.
3. Food on plates and in bowls.
I am guilty of just putting food on a placemat for our son for far too long and once he was given bowls he did what he did with food on a placemat, stuck his hands in it. Too avoid this I suggest giving your child food in their own bowl as soon as they master using the spoon. Nuby has cute bamboo bowls that have animals on the bottom. Kind of the hidden surprise when your child eats all of their food.
4. Self feeding with a fork.
I love these Nuby travel utensil set. I keep them in my diaper bag and I love how soft and easy to grasp these are. We take them everywhere! Like using a spoon, you want to use foods that you know are easy for your child to get on the fork. No noodles at this time. We always use strawberries, grapes(in half) pizza cut up, pancakes are great also and if you put dips on the side you can encourage your child to take their food that is on the fork and dip it. They will think this is so fun and if you're child is like mine, he will love that his hands are sticky.
Just a word of encouragement. If your child is still eating with his hands or won't use a fork, but only a spoon, you are fine. Each child reaches milestones at different moments and all arrive there differently. If your child has not started practicing the pincer grasp ask your doctor for advice.