Any mom would know that at a certain stage, a child who is a picky eater is one big parenting concern because it could lead to poor nutrition. It usually equates to having mealtime battles, and makes teaching toddlers how to eat independently more difficult.
Celebrity momma Iya Villania said that she has received a lot of questions about teaching her one-year-old son, Primo, to eat independently, since her Instagram account is filled with photos and videos of the adorable tot eating enthusiastically on his own.
"A lot of you ask what I did for Primo to learn to eat the way he does," the TV host wrote on her Instagram Stories. "Really, all I did was give him time to explore and discover things," Iya shared. Primo does not take any vitamin because he is an eager eater. He's especially excited about mealtimes when his food has sabaw, the soon-to-be-mom-of-two shared.
Iya said she wasn't too particular about the method of introducing solid foods to her son. "I'm not hardcore in my BLW (baby-led weaning) or Montessori ways. I do what works best for both Primo and I," she said, adding, "A little bit of this and a little bit of that." On Iya's Instagram Stories, Primo's videos show him practicing his utensil skills, but he's also been using his hands a lot.
As opposed to traditional feeding, which involves spoon-feeding a six-month-old baby with pureed fruits, veggies, and other mashed food, baby-led weaning is a method of introducing solid foods by allowing the baby to feed himself using his hands. It is also called baby-led eating or child-led feeding. The little one is in charge of his meal, munching on fist-sized chunks of food.
Montessori weaning, on the other hand, is a method that lets the baby learn and experience life, even eating, at their level. Instead of putting the baby in a high chair on an adult dining table, he has his child-size table and chair set, which he can get himself into on his own. His plates, glasses, utensils are all tailored to his small size, and the child learns how to eat solids by watching adults do it.
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Iya said that while Primo is actively eating independently, there is still so much they are figuring out. "He too has his off days. We have yet to master eating breakfast with ease," she shared. She also reminded moms not to pressure their child to eat like Primo, because each child is unique, and to go with what works for their child.
"What I find has been effective is just being patient with Primo and embracing his mess as an opportunity he took to learn something new," Iya advised moms, adding, "unless I see he is intentionally doing something cheeky," she wrote. She also included the hashtag #HeIsHisFathersSon, referring to how Primo and his dad Drew Arellano share the same playful characteristic.