Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Self-feeding at an early age

Many years ago..... Over 20 to be exact; I was a young mother of three messy little boys and just beginning my carreer in early childhood education.  I cound't stand to have to clean up a mess so I fed my children for years.  I would have never dreamed of putting a plate of spaghetti in front of them to feed themselves.  However, as you can see in the pictures below, this is no longer the case for me.  I now know the importance in developing these early developmental skills. 

My granddaughter, Braylyn Honeycutt self-feeding

So proud of herself!
Mess-making is all part of your baby’s first attempts to learn to eat independently. To make mealtimes less stressful, it can help if you:
  • put a plastic sheet or newspaper under the highchair
  • use a bib or take their shirt off
  • cut food into strips or fingers so that it is easier to eat
  • let your baby eat with her hands
It is important for young children to learn self-feeding even at this messy stage. Before long they will  will use the spoon very well and can enjoy a variety of flavors and textures.  They can eat the same food as other members of the family if it is cut up for them.  By the age of three they will have learned to use a spoon and fork without help. This helps in developing independence, and ensures that they can use both hands skilfully together.

If your child has difficulty achieving the milestones suggested then you should discuss this with your child's teacher or doctor. By encouraging your child to feed himself independently and offering a variety of nourishing foods you will be starting him on the road towards a healthy lifestyle.

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