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eating time disasters

My 14 month old is a good eater and plays with the spoon or spork but mostly eats with his hands...he manages to get food almost everywhere...he also dumps the food out of bowls or off plates...

How do I teach him to eat like a big boy?

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:31 PM on Aug. 11, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (4)
  • it takes time.

    my 3 year old still prefers her hands to the fork or spoon. just keep encouraging the use of utensils and he'll catch on. my dd will pick up the food to put on the fork then attempt to get it to her mouth lol

    as for the plate dumping....he's still pretty young I would just say No sternly and put it back. if he continues just take the plate away.

    Answer by hypermamaz at 4:41 PM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • It takes time.... my dd is 21 mos and can eat with a fork and spoon for most foods, but still prefers to use her hands! It is playing with the textures and such... I tell her to eat and when she is full she plays in it. But when she was 14 mos I never could tell how much she ate or if she got enough because food was EVERYWHERE! Every meal we had a bath... when we went out to eat I would use like 20 baby wipes to clean her up! The do grow out of the stage!!
    As far as dumping the plate, we used plates that attached to the table with suction and when she did flip it I'd tell her "No" and explain if she does it again, Mama thinks she is no longer hungry! If she did it again I would say "Ok, baby is full, no more dinner and now it's bath time!" That worked for her, but I did have a girl, and I hear boys are harder..... GL!!!

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 4:46 PM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • My 2 yr old is still working on the whole fork/spoon concept. We deal with the dumping problem but ending the meal. If you think he's still hungry, you can always restart the meal later. The suction cups on plates/bowls are also worth a try but I found that my son could get them unstuck and the resulting mess was far greater than a simple dump since it tended to project stuff everywhere!

    Answer by momofryan07 at 7:15 PM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • 1. He's not a big boy...he's a young toddler. Don't put a lot of pressure on him to act older than he is. Developmentally, he isn't supposed to be a neat-eater. He's supposed to make a mess.

    2. Don't put a plate in front of him. Put a few pieces of food in front of him and let him finish it before putting more food in front of him. He's not ready to be handed a plate and a spoon/fork. Developmentally, he's supposed to be mainly eating with his fingers. Prepare his foods such that they can be eaten with the fingers. SLOWLY add foods that need the assistance of a spoon or a fork.

    3. Place a clear sheet of plastic underneath his high chair to catch potential spills. Get bibs that cover the shoulders. If he gets food in his hair, wash it. You shouldn't be punishing him for acting his age.

    4. At his age, expect that you'll be doing some of the spoon-feeding at least for awhile.

    Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:14 PM on Aug. 11, 2009

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