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Tips on getting toddlers to use cutlery

 
You know introducing cutlery to your little one is going to be messy! Whether you decide to wean your little one with purees or go down the baby-led route, all the effort you put in now will be worth it in the long run. Check out these useful tips.
You know introducing cutlery to your little one is going to be messy!

Whether you decide to wean your little one with purees or go down the baby-led route, all the effort you put in now will be worth it in the long run.
 
Check out these useful tips:
 

1. First steps

  • Introducing a spoon as soon as your little one starts weaning will help them soon understand that cutlery is a part of mealtimes.
 
  • As they progress onto more solid foods you can introduce a spoon and fork, then a knife and fork when they are a little older. 
 
  • Buying cutlery in bright colours or even with their favourite characters can encourage your little one to use cutlery.
 
  • When they are starting out they may find special-shaped, moulded cutlery easier to hold too.
 

2. Don’t stress about the mess!

  • Don’t stress! There will be LOTS of mess when your little one is learning to use cutlery.
 
  • Moving from fingers to forks is a gradual process and to begin wiht there will be a mix of fingers and cutlery, scooping up food with their hands as well as their spoon. 
 
  • The important thing at this stage is that they try a variety of foods rather than have amazing table manners so early on.
 

3. Practice eating with cutlery

  • During playtime you can help your little one practice using cutlery too.
 
  • Perhaps host a tea party and pretend to feed their dolls and soft toys using either toy or everyday cutlery.
 
  • Dried pasta and rice make good toy food or encourage them to cut up small pieces of Play-Doh and shape it into pretend food for their toys.
 

4. Lead by example

  • Children love to copy, so sit down together to eat so they can watch how you use your cutlery.
 
  • Cut up their food into bite-size pieces and show them how to spear a piece onto their fork or scoop it up with their spoon.
 
  • Experiment with lots of textures and techniques.
 
  • As your little one gets older, encourage them to set the table with you and talk about what each item of cutlery is used for and how it is laid out on the table.
 
  • They may not be able to hold a knife and fork together or in the right hands, but with lots of encouragement, they will get there.
 
  • By the time they start school, they should be able to use a fork all of the time and a knife at least some of the time.

Check out our other Hot Topic on: Image source: parentdish.co.uk
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