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How to get your toddler to feed himself

Posted by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM
  • 17 Replies

My son is 16 months old and is picky about feeding himself.. He will only feed himself certain things & I end up feeling him because I want him to eat. I do give him a fork/spoon with each meal but will only try to pickup food on certain solid foods. Any suggestions on how I can get him to want to feed himself?

by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mamoore83
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM
What types if things will he pick up? Maybe he just needs finger foods right now? I'm sorry I'm not much of a help here's a bump for you.
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confused632
by Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM

I have a almost 4 year old (will be 4 tomorrow) who has had issues and doesn't eat solids or self feed.  We are in therapy for this.

The way they have started doing it and I have been working at home with her on it, is to feed a bit or 2 with the spoon/fork and the get some on the spoon and lay it on the tray.....she will then pick it up and feed herself that bite and set it back down and we repeat that until she is done.

We also do hand over hand if she is not willing to pick it up and feed herself.

It takes lots of patience and understanding. 

My soon to be 2 year old also prefers finger foods at this point but he does use a fork/spoon when needed.

STVUstudent
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Praise the heck out of him for being such a big boy and doing such a good job when he tries to feed himself.  Let him try to feed YOU... it is amazing how much fun they think THAT is...

I never had this issue- mine wanted to do it. 

SewingMamaLele
by Bronze Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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Dunno... we never fed our kids, we always had them feed themself so I never encountered this issue. 

PinkButterfly66
by Bronze Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

When I was in college, I was staying with my boyfriend's sister's family during the summer due to a job.  She had a daughter and a son.  While I was there, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and he was in and out of the hospital and I helped take care of her kids when she wasn't there.  The little boy (4), was going thru a phase that he wanted people to feed him.  It probably was a reaction to his daddy being so sick.  His parents didn't want to feed him but I think they felt guilty.  One night I was home with the kids and he asked me to feed him.  I told him no.  He kept whining and whimpering and stalling.  I finally said that if he wouldn't eat, then he needed to get his bath and get ready for bed.  I swooped him up in my arms and took him upstairs for his bath.  When I started filling up the tub, he finally realized that I was serious.  Poor little guy cried thru the bath and when I was drying him off and getting him dressed I asked him if he was ready to come downstairs and eat.   He agreed and came to the table and ate his dinner.  The next night he asked me to feed him and I reminded him about last night and if he wanted a repeat.  He thought about it for a minute and decided to feed himself.  

I'm not suggesting that you do this to your 16 month old, though.  But I would give him food that he can pick up and then only one food that he needs a fork or spoon with and only expect him to try.  

iamcafemom83
by Mariah on Jan. 4, 2013 at 4:26 PM
Try one food at a time.
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TerriAnne2606
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Well, I don't have any suggestions but maybe someone else does.  I never had any issues getting any of my four to eat nearly anything I put in front of them.  Okay - maybe a couple of suggestions: make sure they are bite sized pieces easy for him to pick up.  Lots of colors - steamed veggies - broccoli, carrots along with peas and small bites of chicken....  Or make it fun - like a lettuce wrap with shredded carrots and ranch dressing...  Maybe some of those suggestions will work.

RetiredUSAFWife
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Put things that he can pick up easily on his highchair tray. You can cut up little chunks of things that he likes, such as bologna, or sliced cheese, pickles, and bread. I used to make little squares with the bread that was buttered, and put out little squares of cheese, and bologna and tomatoes, etc, that are soft for them to chew on. It's time consuming, but the child will probably soon find independence about eating on his own. Kids can be very fussy eaters. (Our nine year old grand daughter is very picky, but I make her eat at least a few spoonsful of whatever we're having. She's pretty good about it now.). In other words, if you teach them good habits while they're young, hopefully they;ll continue to use those habits later on as they grow.+

ANSLUASI
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:47 PM

We did this with my DD too (had her feed us to get her to feed herself as well) when she was a toddler, and it really does work.

Nothing quite like getting a cold noodle or string bean put in your mouth by a very sticky little hand. Yucky but effective.

Quoting STVUstudent:

Praise the heck out of him for being such a big boy and doing such a good job when he tries to feed himself.  Let him try to feed YOU... it is amazing how much fun they think THAT is...

I never had this issue- mine wanted to do it. 


JasonsMom2007
by Platinum Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:49 PM
US too


Quoting SewingMamaLele:

Dunno... we never fed our kids, we always had them feed themself so I never encountered this issue. 


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