How do I get my son to use a fork on his own?

Shayna - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have a 14 month old son that I am trying to get to use forks and spoons on his own. Any suggestions?

14 Comments

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Esther - posted on 01/24/2010

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i feed my twins til now. they are 23 months old now. i start with bad practice from their early months...i gave him toys to play when they are eating. they don't like to feed themselves even i have try to gave them own spoon and fork. they will ask for playthings while eating. it really a great problem. i don't know how to change the situation. anyone can give me some suggestions.

Caroline - posted on 01/23/2010

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yeah my son suprised us by trying to stab a sausage with his fork. it was great

Melissa - posted on 01/22/2010

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If you put them out, they usually like to copy you when you start eating. And dont say anything about the mess, as hard as it is! LOL

Caroline - posted on 01/22/2010

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I'm haveing trouble getting my 2yr son to use a spoon but i know he can, he just gets a little lazy so we try not to feed him at breaky so he feeds himself. we do help him get food on his spoon but mostly its him. this seems to be working a little but he still tries to get daddy to feed him. but most of the time dad just puts some on the spoon and leaves it for son to pick up. like i say this seems to be working a bit

Claire - posted on 01/20/2010

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We're having some resistance with our son, but we used the stab-and-scoop method with our daughter (and our neighbor's kid). This works best with soft, non gooey foods. Put the fork in his hand, take his hand with the fork and put him through the motions of stabbing the food, then scooping it up to get it to his mouth. It will take a little while, and some foods will be messier than others, but it will work. We used sporks for things like peas and slippery noodles (mac n cheese). Then worked on spoons for dry cereal and graduated to oatmeal.

Tiffiny - posted on 01/20/2010

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u have to let him play with them just give them to him while hes eating it will be messy but thats the only way he will learn i have been doing this with my son befor he turned one hes 15m going on 16m and he still makes a mess but he does not like me to help him hes mr independent lol but hes starting to get better and better at it theres times where he will give up though and just use his hand but he has learned the difference on how a fork works and a spoon works but i did start out with a spoon for a long time untill he was older but sence ur baby is already 14m it should not hurt

Liz - posted on 01/20/2010

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I used to worry about this too (and my son was a bit older!). I asked the nurse at my pediatrician's office, and she said no big deal. All this means, if he is resisting, is that he is just still content being fed by you. Toddlers seem to grasp different skills at different times. My son is now 26 months, and has got the spoon thing down, but not the fork. I would usually help him by wrapping his hand around the utensil, and then my hand around his, and feed him that way, so he'd get the hang of what he should do, and that seemed to help a bit. But if I remember anything I've read, it's that you can't force kids to do anything before they are ready. The more you do this, the more frustrated everyone becomes, and not much is accomplished.

Good luck - you'll get there!!

Helen - posted on 01/19/2010

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my young bolk likes the plastic knives and forks you get for entertaining and i find it hard for him to part with he now eats his meals with them

Shayna - posted on 01/19/2010

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Thanks ladies. Its just so hard, its like he just doesn't want to do it! He tries so hard when he's eating spaghetti or any type of pasta, but vegetables or anything else, he'll just push it aside.

Amy - posted on 01/19/2010

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My son is also 14 mos, i give him todler fork with the rubber grip (easier for him to hold) and let him go at it. At first he'd just push things around, but by watching the adults eat he gets what he's supposed to do now. With smaller or tougher foods i put my hand over his and stab the food, he then eats it on his own. He'll get it, no rush, good luck!

Mary - posted on 01/19/2010

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Put him in the high chair with a spoon or fork with whatever you are feeding him and let him feed his self you can guide his hands with him holding on the the utensil to his mouth. That's what I did with my son and he is now 2 and will not eat anything with out a utensil.

September - posted on 01/19/2010

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Just give it to him and let him explore. Give him the opportunity to practice, and in time he will catch on. Good luck :)

Carolee - posted on 01/19/2010

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Let him make a mess. Let him help you first (have his hand over yours while feeding him), then help him a little bit while he's holding the utensil. After a few times of doing that, let him try on his own. There will be a huge mess. Make sure to praise him for getting even the slightest amount in his mouth, and help him out every once in a while. Eventually, he'll get it... then he won't want/let you help at all! Good luck, and it takes time and patience... and a lot of cleaning.

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