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  • 5 Tips To Teach Your Child How To Use A Spoon And Fork While Eating

    It’s an exciting stage of development for your little one!
    by Kate Borbon .
5 Tips To Teach Your Child How To Use A Spoon And Fork While Eating
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  • Each milestone of a child’s life is something to look forward to, but teaching your child to use utensils during meals is an exciting stage because it means he is learning to eat independently—a skill he will need later in life. If you’re about to enter this stage with your little one, here are some tips that can help you.

    How to teach your toddler to eat using utensils

    Look out for signs that he’s ready

    According to What to Expect, your child might be ready to learn how to use a spoon once he has mastered finger foods and the pincer grasp. This is because the ability to move food from the table to the mouth is the foundation for utensil use, Fatherly writes.

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    Start early

    Because each child develops at their own pace, there’s no set time to introduce utensils. In general, though, it’s better to start once you see him show signs that he is ready. Verywell Family says that some factors to consider when to start teaching your child to use utensils include the following:

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    • How long he has been eating solid foods
    • When you introduced finger foods into his eating routine
    • How interested he is in eating independently

    Get the right tools

    The tools you will need are a spoon, a fork, and a non-slip dish. When looking for the right utensils, Fatherly advises choosing ones that are small enough to fit in your child’s mouth, light enough to lift without much effort, and easy to grip.

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    Meanwhile, when looking for a dish to serve your child’s food in, select one which won’t slip off your table easily. One great option is Nuby’s Sure Grip Miracle Mat Section Plate, which has a non-slip base that sticks to flat surfaces and different sections for the food to be put in. It is made of silicone, easy to clean, and comes in different colors and designs so you can choose which one your child will like best.

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    Practice, practice, practice

    As they say, practice makes perfect! At the start, things will get messy; your child will spill or drop food everywhere, so it can help to put a bib on him and place a newspaper under his chair.

    Having your child eat with you during mealtimes is a great way for him to practice as often as he needs, which is also a recommendation from the moms of Smart Parenting Village. In the first few days, try the hand-over-hand approach: Put your hand over your child’s and guide him in scooping up some food and bringing it to his mouth. You might have to repeat this a few times before your child gets the hang of it.

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    Provide the right foods

    Verywell Family recommends giving your child foods that he can easily scoop up with a spoon, such as oatmeal, applesauce, mashed potatoes, and pudding. When your child moves on to learning how to use a fork, give him foods that he can poke into easily, like chunks of fruit or cooked vegetables.

    Is your toddler a picky eater? Learn about what you can do here.

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