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My 18 month old daughter refuses to eat with silverware what should I do?

She use to eat just fine using spoons and forks, now she refuses to eat unless its with her hand. Im afraid that she isnt going to learn how to eat using them if I dont get her to start. Any suggestions?

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Asked by Maggierae06 at 1:30 PM on Jan. 17, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • She'll be fine. Little ones love finger foods. Keep in mind eating with hands is a natural thing and silverware is a society inflicted ritual that small children find awkward. She will come around and use them when necessary but I wouldn't fight her on this. She's too small to make a big deal over it.

    Answer by admckenzie at 1:35 PM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • its a developmental phase (like so many other things we, as mothers worry about). she'll go back to using utensils soon enough, but right now she just needs to explore her food. food isn't simply about stuffing your face, its full of all kinds of tactile sensations. by touching and squishing, and feeling textures she is learning what food is all about, what to do with it, what is good to eat. if you could see the synapses firing off as she explores you would never question it. its the same when the put things in their mouths, or walk barefoot in the grass, or play in sand... it's an amazing experience for them. once she fully explores it, she'll be ready to eat like the rest of us, but right now the world is an amazing place that she is only beginning to learn about, and that is how she learns- sight, touch, taste, smell... even listening to the sounds her food makes. its actually really cool!!

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 1:35 PM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • Well, my daughter is 18 months old and to be honest, I don't always give her silverware to eat with. She plays with it more than anything. She doesn't eat as much when I give it to her. I usually wait until she has eaten a reasonable amount and then I give it to her.....................otherwise she just plays the whole time. They are young and have plenty of time to learn how to properly use their utensils! They're still babies!!

    Answer by BridgetC140 at 2:47 PM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • I agree it's probably just a phase particularly since you say she was able to do it but now won't. Just make sure to keep trying. Offer the utensils for each meal and encourage her to use them (even if it's just for a bite or two). You might also want to find a few foods she really likes that require utensils to encourage her to keep trying. My son will be 3 in April and still prefers to eat with his fingers when he can get away with it.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 3:20 PM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • this probably isnt going to help but here 3 year old still uses his hands and tells us he is lol...he does use silverware but for the most part uses his hands cause he is able to get more in lol...i agree its just a phase and they wil go back and forth before they finally go with silverware...good luck and dont stress

    Answer by ldylancer03 at 3:22 PM on Jan. 18, 2010

  • Don't worry about it. It's just a phase... This too shall pass!
    My DD did the same thing at about 15-16 months. She LOVED silverware, then wouldn't touch it. She would throw a tantrum because she wanted to eat soup with her hands! Now she is 21 months, and loves silverware again- except this time it HAS to be adult silverware, not the toddler stuff. I'm like, what's next?? LOL
    She is exploring new textures with her hands. When it grates on you, just remember, you won't end up with a 20 year old that won't use silverware ;)

    Answer by emslala at 7:21 AM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • give her the spoons and forks to eat with at all the meals, if she sees them she may use them some of the time, i give them to my son all the time, sometimes he uses them, sometimes he doesn't but its okay, they're there to use if he wants

    Answer by calvinsmommy18 at 2:49 AM on Jan. 23, 2010

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