My 2 year old absolutely refuses to eat with a spoon or fork

Rebecca - posted on 05/04/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son turned 2 in March and he still refuses to eat with a spoon or fork. I've shown him how and he knows how to grab the spoon, put it in the food, and put it to his mouth. But every time I give him a spoon at meal time, he holds onto the spoon with one hand and grabs food and crams it into his mouth with the other. I have no idea how else to get him to eat with a spoon except to give him one at every meal time. Anyone else having this problem? I could use some advice/tips. Thanks.

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Mel - posted on 05/25/2013

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My youngest son had the same issue and even now, at almost 5 years old, he still doesn't like to use utensils even though he knows how. He loves to just stuff the food in his mouth with his fingers and generally enjoys mashing and touching the food. He's always been a very messy eater. Last year he was evaluated and found to have SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). He is stimuli seeking, hence he LOVES touching and playing with his food.
Not to say that your son is dealing with the same issues, but if there are other symptoms associated with this behavior it would warrant to mention this to his pediatrician. My son hardly ever slept from the moment he was born. He was a total cat-napper and as soon as he was mobil he was unstoppable (think energizer bunny). He loved touching soft fabrics and even at 6 months old he would pull the blanket over his face so it would cover his lips for comfort - he still does that to this day.
Another factor was the speech delay. At three years old he wasn't talking very much and the little he did was unintelligible. The pediatrician was not concerned and said this was normal - I didn't think so but followed her advice and gave him more time to catch up, which he never did. Finally at almost 4 years old we had him evaluated and he is now receiving speech therapy and OT and doing much better, I just whish we had started sooner to make it easier on him to integrate in the school process and keep up with his peers.
Obviously this does not mean your little one has sensory issues, but just in case there are other signs it is always a good idea to explore options sooner rather than later.

Janessa - posted on 05/18/2013

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I would not worry about that at all, they figure it out eventually, I start giving it to them, as they get older they do start using it, it isn't something you can really force. I don't even notice how often my 2 year old uses her utensils, I know a lot of the time she puts them down and eats with her hands, but she does use them on occasion because she likes to imitate us. They figure it out. My older kids did.

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/10/2013

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I know this sounds unorthodox , but I know 2 year olds seem to " want to get away with things" so maybe try playing a game with him like " you better not use the spoon!" I know this works when I want my daughter to eat something and she's giving me a hard time. We both end up laughing and she thinks she's getting one over on mommy and I get her to eat her broccoli ! I wouldn't worry too much though , for him it's just easier and faster way to feed himself to use his fingers. Sometimes when we take the pressure off and stop worrying then that's when our kids will turn around and do What we wanted them to the whole time

Kimberley - posted on 05/14/2013

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As long as it isn't hurting anything let him try on his own time. Just keep showing him how to do it. Make sure he sees you eating your meals and he will catch on. Every child has their own time frame on these things. Let him have fun. As long as most of ends up in his mouth it is fine. He is probably just to excited to eat the food to have the patience for a spoon or fork. Faster with fingers!

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Whitney - posted on 01/11/2016

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Mel, do you think you could answer a few questions for me, I'm in your same exact boat and wanted to know how speech and the sensory processing turned out.

Helen - posted on 05/11/2013

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don't worry about it - he's only just 2, and he will start eating with a spoon and fork when hes ready; at the moment its to slow to use a spoon and he's still exploring the texture of his food :)

Try giving him a spoon and a fork - something in each hand might help, but then again, it might not!

We're having the next step up problem with our 4 yr old - trying to get him to use a knife. They will both get the hang of things eventually :)

[deleted account]

My son was that way... just keep giving him the spoon/fork and eventually he will get the hang of it.

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