Raising an independent toddler requires heaps of patience, love, and some helpful self-feeding tips for mealtime. It begins with deciding the right age to wean your baby, and the right baby cutlery set utilised to accomplish this field.
This article gives you an overview of why toddlers should learn how to eat independently and ways to encourage healthy eating habits
Overview: What Is Self-Feeding?
It’s the ability to eat by yourself without any support.
Toddlers develop sensory and fine motor skills through independent eating. The primary focus remains on the pincer grasp, which becomes prominent when your baby reaches 7-9 months. It refers to the ability to pinch or hold food between the thumb and index finger.
Once your child turns a year old, they grow more interested in eating without any help. You might notice them picking up small objects and putting them in their mouth or trying to take the feeder from you to eat.
Apart from motor skills, toddlers learn to understand and respond to food after forming healthy self-feeding habits.
Self-feeding Tips for Toddlers: How to Begin?
Here are some tips and tricks to develop structured eating habits in young children:
Step 1: Prep Ahead
Nothing’s worse than a hangry (hungry+angry) toddler. They might get frustrated if they have to wait for prolonged periods for food. Therefore, you should set the table beforehand to ensure you don’t have to leave the dining space when they are having their first mouthfuls.
What does a kid-safe eating station look like?
- A toddler-friendly spoon and fork that doesn’t have any sharp, pointy edges.
- A bib to keep the baby’s clothes dry and mess-free during mealtime.
- A booster seat or a steady high chair that allows your tiny tot to reach the plate and the food inside.
- Mini plates and bowls that have rims to serve your child.
In short, create a proper setup to signal that its’ mealtime.
Step 2: Begin with Finger Food
Some toddlers might need more time to become familiar with the mechanisms of an easy-grip baby cutlery set. You might also have to wait for them to develop the right motor skills.
In this case, begin with small portions and preferably bite-sized food that they can eat with their hands. These include:
- Fresh fruit slices
- Boiled or steamed veggies, diced/mashed
- Scrambled eggs
- Organic baby food from the market
Instead of worrying about why your toddler hasn’t begun to eat with a spoon, encourage them to use their hands to stimulate all five senses; taste, smell, sound, touch, and eyesight. Eventually, your child will transition from hand-to-mouth feeding habits to proper dining practices.
Step 3: Eat Together
Have you noticed your child mimicking your actions or repeating the same sentences? Take full advantage of this habit to introduce them to how to eat with fork and spoons. Your child will learn significantly by watching the rest of the family eating well. It’s especially true if they have older siblings around.
Here are some self-feeding tips to keep in mind:
- Create a structured schedule to form a healthy mealtime routine so the youngest family member can develop good eating habits.
- Engage your child with fun activities instead of propping a digital device in front of the little one.
- Teach your toddler the difference between soft vs. hard food or hot vs. cold food to promote mindful eating habits
Moreover, encourage them to eat leafy veggies and well-balanced meals by swapping sugary treats for healthy homemade food.
How Does Our Baby Cutlery Set Help?
My Little Panda makes mealtime fun for toddlers with a right-sized easy-grip baby cutlery set crafted from olive wood. Our sustainable toddler-friendly set comes with a wooden spoon and fork with round edges. These are ergonomically designed to fit their small mouth and teeth without causing any discomfort.
Plus, the curved handle supports a firm grip when little hands begin to take their first few mouthfuls.
Other specs are as follows:
- The lightweight and portable design allows you to practice our self-feeding tips during outings
- A naturally-dyed 100% cotton bandana-style bib to minimise messy eating
- Hemp pouch to carry the baby cutlery set for easy storage
- Food-safe grading from SGS UK to verify eco-safe solutions for feeding toddlers
- Compostable design ensures that there are no harmful traces left behind
- No aftertaste
Apart from this, these wooden forks and spoons are easy to clean and reuse for the next meal. These specs make it a convenient fit for any sustainable home. More importantly, it teaches children to care for the planet at a young age.
Pro Tip: Personalised baby cutlery sets make excellent baby showers for expectant mothers and birthday gifts for toddlers.
In the end, one of the best self-feeding tips involves planning and patience. You need a baby cutlery set that supports your meal plans. It will ensure that your toddlers learn to eat independently with utensils that do not cause them any harm. Consequently, the organic and ethically-produced design manages to protect the environment too.
Ready to shop? See our sustainable product line for your baby and other loved ones right here.