Eating is part of our daily routine. When our kids are still little, we are their hands. We take time to make food for them and sit beside them to do the feeding. As they grow into toddlers (around 1 year and above) they start exploring and start being more independent. This time, they become more participative in task, plays and instructions given to them. They also start learning how to take care of themselves like combing, eagerness to wear slippers, hold sippy cups when drinking. But sometimes, getting kids to eat on their own takes some effort and time.
Here are effective tips from mommies on how to teach your kids to eat independently:
•Establish a Routine
Being in a routine makes it easier for kids to familiarize and master the act. Each time you are eating, show to him how he should handle his food, first with hands and when they are ready, then let them use utensils.
•Be a Role Model
Sit beside them in a dining table. Show to them how you eat using the spoon and fork. Remind them of how to properly use those. Prepare the food and anything they might need to avoid constantly standing up.
•Let Them Use Kiddie Spoon, Fork and Plate
Use utensils that are appropriate for them. Teach them how and when to use spoon and fork together with the plate. Since they are still little, use utensils that are for kids too.
Tip: Try using kiddie utensils that has cute characters or cartoons in it. It entices them to try on it.
•Provide a Pleasing Ambiance
Make the dining room extra acommodating for the little kids. Make a pleasant atmosphere that keeps them comfortable and makes the routine much easier for the little ones.
•Guide Them With the Utensils
When it comes to using the spoon and fork, guide them well. Spoon is more useable for younger kids since they could just scoop the food with it. Guide them by letting them hold the spoon and put your hand over theirs and guide them spoon to their mouth and they will start to register that movement through their brain saying “this is how i should eat”.
Playing is one of the most effective ways of how children learn. Use it to keep their attention and interest in learning. You can use cooking and kitchen play set. Play pretend that you are cooking and eating together with them so that it helps their brain retain memories that are extra fun and exciting for them.
Along with all of these, don’t forget that you are teaching a little kid. Know his capabilities with his age. Do not force him too much on it. Above all, you are the role model so stay patient with him. He can be messy and clumsy at times but don’t let that be a reason why he should stop learning the things you should teach him. Be patient because in time, it will all be worth it. Way to go Momma!