Toddlers like to explore and eat different things; they like to eat with their hands or with different things.
When Can Toddlers Eat by Themselves? Toddlers like to eat with their fingers, a spoon, in a bowl. On average, toddlers start to eat by themselves when they are 24 to 26 months old.
The toddler’s age group with food items they can eat by themselves
|Age of toddler||Food items and quantity|
|One year toddler||Solid masses, snacks, Three to four-quarter cups of potatoes, boiled meat. It is three to four times a day.|
|Two-year toddler||Eggs, cheese, meat, rice, potatoes, and cereals are common at this age. Fruits and vegetables are also included.|
|Three-year toddler||Grainy food items, fruit, vegetables, milk, butter, bread, and other such items.|
When Can Toddlers Eat by Themselves?
Their usual food is milk and other liquid things fed by the mothers or any of the parents.
Give them some space and show certain confidence. Put the bowl or plate in front of them and ask them to eat. They like this environment much because they get a chance to do something on their own. Utilize this factor and teach them self-eating.
Feeding with hands and fingers
Initially, they try to grasp all of the food at once, which is entirely normal. As a parent, you teach your kid that they should use their fingers to eat.
There is no need for the involvement of the whole hand in eating their food on their own. The children accumulate a bunch or patch of food in their hands, which is not right.
They slowly learn to feed the chunks of food inside their mouth with their fingers. Although the process is slow and sometimes tiring for the parent, it is useful for them.
They use two to three fingers for eating, and in this way, they handle all of the meals. The use of fingers becomes typical between the ages of seven months to twelve months. They also like to eat oranges.
Using a spoon
The children at the age of two years can eat with a spoon. They properly handle the knife by using their hands, and they know how to fill the spoon.
Few of them learn to use a spoon at a younger age than two years. Some of them make a mess at the age of one year, but they learn properly with growing age.
Allow him to grab and handle the spoon in the absence of food. Build an association between the bowls and spoon to make sure he has one with him every time.
Other eating cutlery
The fork is deadly cutlery for kids, do not put it near them until they learn to eat from it. You should handle and use the fork in front of the child.
They learn from seeing, and when you place it in front of them, they grab it quickly. The proper knowledge of functioning makes them so good that they force it inside the food. They directly put the fork inside his mouth without harming any other face organ. Toddlers can open the door knobs and play around while they eat.
Eating in a bowl
Some special bowls are designed for toddlers. These have padding, which does not allow the food to drop down on the floor. The pro tip is that you should give a small meal to them not to drop it.
The child consumes a small portion of food by taking it in the hands or spoon. Add more consecutive portions of the meal to the bowl. In this way, they keep on eating their food items without even understanding.
Help them for a spoon’s movement from the bowl to their mouth; this is for the safe transport of food without wastage.
The meal should consist of small portions; otherwise, the mess can be irreversible in terms of stains.
Encourage them to eat independently
Encouraging the kid for having their meal by their own hands is one of the most important keys to the process. Allow the kid to put some put on the food mat and other portion sin their mouths.
This helps to build a sense of confidence in them. Most of them do this by moving in all over the place. Keep the utensils near them and just put an eye on them, and they will start putting everything in their mouth.
Do not restrict them inappropriately; otherwise, they feel shy and eventually stop eating their meal.
Make sure you provide them all things which they like during eating. The bowls and other cutlery should be their favorite one. Put their soft toys near them and make the environment comfortable and healthy at the same time.
How to make toddlers eat by themselves?
There are few things which you need to consider:
Bright colors of bowls
Choose the cutlery according to the taste of your kid. They show their choices by choosing and playing with things like toys. Mostly all of them like bright colors with different designs on them.
They find all of them attractive and want to use them again and again. Buy bowls with dark colors on them. The interior colors should be dark, and the material should be good.
The material should be puffy; plastic is good stuff for such bowls. Purchase specially designed bowls and plates for your child.
Shapes of cutlery
The shapes and design of the cutlery should be funky. They must be in cartoonist shapes, and they must attract the toddler. The material should be soft, but some designs must be rigid, not to take them off.
Attractive food colors
Add food colors in the meals or add cubes of colorful vegetable sand fruits. This process makes the food so appealing to them. They enjoy their meal, and it will be more attractive to them.
Allow the mess
Allow them to make a mess during eating. There is no need to stop him at every bite. They cannot follow the instruction, but by doing this, you can make him stop self-eating.
Maintain the menu for them, do not overload all types of fats and vitamins in one meal. They feel so overloaded that they do not feel like eating anymore.
Add new items to the plates for your toddler. They like change and adventure every day. New food colors and the different taste is a good activity for them.
It should be all set when they are hungry. Make it before their mealtime; otherwise, they get frustrated. It is all up to you whatever you want to cook for them if it is at the right time, they like it.
There should not be many spices in their meal. Keep the quantity low or otherwise do not add spices at all. Chilies and sauces make them angry, and they drink only water.