How do I get my 16 month old to eat with a spoon and fork?

Valerie - posted on 01/10/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 16 month old daughter refuses to use spoons or forks while eating. She used them when she was a little baby eating baby food, although it always made a mess. But now the only way she'll eat is with her hands, any suggestions on how to get her to stop using her hands?

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Alex - posted on 01/10/2010

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My four year old still prefers to eat with his fingers. He will use a fork or spoon if I really insist though. It just takes time and persistance and her seeing you eating with utensils. Also, when you feed her, make sure you use a fork or whatever (I'm sure you do anyway) Eventually she'll get it but if you make a big fuss out of it she's likely to continue with her fingers for far longer. I found with my son that just getting him to eat anything I cooked was really hard and the bigger fuss I made and the harder I tried, the more he resisted. Good luck! :)

Nikki - posted on 01/10/2010

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We make a bid deal when Liam does anything we want him to do. He gets excited and continues with what made us happy. Make a big deal about your husband/SO/friend using his/her fork/spoon and then giver your daughter her utensil. When and if she tries praise her. Liam will only use his for a short while. It is frustrating but keep on giving her the chance to use them and eventually she will understand then while eating she needs to use her utensils. Make it fun and once she gets frustrated or even you, discontinue for that meal and try again later.

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