How I learned our toddlers to start self-feeding
When you talk to people around us, most of them agree that our kids are very independent. One thing we do not agree about is that our kids are independent because in our family “there are a lot of children” and that in opposite situation I could not achieve anything at all.
Well, that’s just not true.
The kids in our lives did not arrive in the package, than one by one. This means that the same rules were valid for our eldest and our youngest kid. Even more, I did not use any space techniques just the faith that the wish for independence is an innate need. And yes, I try to avoid the situation that I had found irritated before I became the mother by myself. Because of that, our toddlers very early learn self-feeding!
First of all, every single baby in the world knows whether is hungry or not! Very simple, until the time when they come into the world, babies born at term, are perfect little being with an innate feeling of hunger.
When a baby is hungry she needs breastfeeding or a bottle. Exactly like that baby knows is it hungry and when she starts to eat other food.
And trust me when I say, babies like self-feeding!
So at my dinner table wasn’t place for books, toys, tablet…. The purpose of self-feeding is enjoying the meal. For me, it was perfectly OK if the kid would not eat everything from the plate. I chose what is for the meal, and they choose how much would eat. That means that if the toddler does not eat soup, he would not get next part of the meal. If the toddler would not finish a meal there was nothing until the next meal. No cakes, no mini- meals… nothing. That way our children learned that the meals are for eating. And if they already need to eat(or to stay hungry) why not make eating fun? Nothing is more fun than self-feeding.
One extra thing- are you always eat with the same appetite? Because I do not. Some days I eat like a wolf and another like a bird.
Why our children wouldn’t have the same opportunity?
Grown up enough for self-feeding? Enjoy in washing teeth!
When our toddlers grow up for self-feeding I gave them the opportunity for independent brushing teeth, and that was the real thing. They loved it! After dinner, they would wash teeth (and I would help them at the end), and go to bed with a wonderful smile. If you want you can read more ideas how to learn your toddler to wash teeth.
No blended food for children with teeth!
Chewing and the proper use of teeth is very important for the development of the jaw and the correct pronunciation of voices.
For that reason, our children did not get blended food instead of the opportunity to chew.
Moms from the park had told me that giving blended food is the fastest and the most efficient way to feed children. Undoubtedly yes. From my point of view, it is questionable whether the best.
When they got first teeth, they began to eat out of their hand (with adult’s supervision). After that, they learn to use a small fork with a morsel of it, and then comes spoon. Before the second birthday, they were able to eat soup- alone! More about milestones for the age of two you may read here.
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Of course, I give my best to prepare meals that they would like, and more importantly, I truly believed that they can do it. So, I cheered for them from the bottom of my heart.
Never underestimate the power of positive attitude and strongly believing in skills of our children.
P. S. When your toddler learns self-feeding that will significantly increase the amount of food around the table. But, we can clean the mess and his proud smile while master new skills, it is irreversible, is not it?