Encouraging self-feeding can help to develop healthy eating habits in children. Find useful ways to encourage kids to eat on their own.
Children basically are
self-feeders. However, to avoid mess parents start insisting to feed them especially
when they are fed with varieties of foods. Well, you should be prepared and
must have patience when you are teaching your toddler
to eat on her own.
Remember, if you will allow her to have
fun with her food, she will have the practical approach towards self-feeding
and she will be able to master the skills easily and quickly. Give her adequate
amount of freedom in selecting foods and eating
do Toddlers Start Self-Feeding?
start making new moves which make them become an active little person
gradually. Self-feeding is an important skill which helps the child have
personal as well as social development. This skill is not only going to give
your child the right chance to develop independence, but also help her
understand the indications of hunger and fullness.
to 12 months, when your child will be able to start using her thumb and
forefinger, you can start teaching her lessons of self-feeding. Between 13 to
15 months you can help her start eating with a spoon. However, the best way to
judge your toddler is by offering her very small bits of food in a plate and
finding out if she eats on her own.
7 Ways to Encourage Kids to Eat
on their Own
Here is how you can
encourage your kids to eat on their own.
Let them try over and over again.
You can cut small pieces of an apple or similar fruit and serve her in plate.
The play and feed table especially designed for toddlers will be of great help
2. Let Them Hold Food
Ask your child to hold biscuit or a small
piece of fruit from your hand. Offer only safe foods, which mean the size that
she can easily hold and chew and even if she swallows the food, there will be
hazard. Offer foods that dissolve easily in mouth. For example small
pieces of ripe fruits like banana, mango, watermelon, peaches, small pieces of
soft cooked vegetables like carrot, sweet potatoes and cooked
3. Pay Attention to Your Childâ€™s Hunger
Once you have watched out for the signs
indicating that your child wants to try self-feeding, now is the time to look
out for hunger cues of your child. Offer her suitable food items in proper size
and of apt softness so that she tries and is able to feed herself as
4. Demonstrate and Practice with Your
Teach your child how to hold the food and
how to put the food items in her mouth. Try to have your toddler meals with the
entire family. You can also sit with your toddler and talk about the food she
is eating and hold one piece at a time to show her how to
5. Supervise your Child When
Never leave your toddler on her own
to eat her food. Make sure you supervise so that if she is choking you can attend
her immediately. However, you can reduce the danger by keeping the food pieces
very small, but it is advisable to have a close
6. Be Prepared for The
Your toddler has just started to learn how to
eat and she will take time to master the skill. While learning she is going to
spill, splash and create a mess of food and of herself also. Be prepared for
that. Just make sure she does not hurt herself by putting the food into her
nose or rub her eyes with the same hand.
Do not forget to praise
your child when she successfully finishes her food from the plate.
After all, she is on her way to master one of the most important personal and social
How to Teach Your Child to Eat
Here is how you can teach
your child to eat with spoon.
Watch out for the signs and start
only when your child is ready.
Choose the right spoon so that the
food goes into her mouth and she does not get hurt as well.
Demonstrate and teach your child
how to use the spoon.
Start with thicker and denser
foods so that it stays on the spoon till your child takes it to her mouth. Make
sure that the food does not pose any choking hazard.
Try to include your toddler in
family meals so that she learns faster by seeing all the members
Last but not the least point is to
praise even the simple efforts made by your
Just like teaching your child how to eat with fingers and
spoons, teach her how to drink water independently. Start with the cup that has
a lid. Once she is capable of drinking with the lid on, remove the lid so that
she learns how to manage drinking without spilling. Help your toddler only when
she really needs it.
Messiness is an unavoidable part of the
self-feeding learning process. Let your child take her time so that the
learning process is smoother. If you will not force your child or scream at
spilling, the process will not only be less frustrating, but also fast and
How to encourage
self-feeding kids? Which signs indicate that kids are ready to eat on their
own? What should parents do to encourage their kids to eat on their own? Discuss
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