I have a 23 month old who uses her hands to eat and when given a spoon or fork she still uses her hands. What can I do to get her to use them?


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Elfrieda - posted on 08/09/2012




My 2 year old likes stabbing things with a salad fork (gave him a real fork at 18 months, he was just too frustrated with the safety forks) but when the pieces aren't cooperating he uses his hands. And if the spoon isn't fast enough, his fingers help along. It doesn't matter, in my opinion. Just teach her to wipe her hands and she'll be as tidy as any other toddler. And she'll learn eventually, just by seeing what you do.

My son had trouble learning what to do with a spoon, and I found that putting some yogurt in a plastic tumbler was a good incentive... he'd turn it and scrape the spoon along, and eventually figured out that the fastest way to eat the yogurt was with the bowl of his spoon. Also porridge that is quite thick isn't as frustrating as soup or something that will fall out of the spoon if he tilts it even a little bit.

Dawn - posted on 08/09/2012




My daughter's over three and still eats with her hands. I offer her utensils every day. She even sets the table. I set a good example by using mine. At this age, I'm more concerned with her eating than using her fork.

Are you using age-appropriate utensils? Maybe she just needs something smaller, or perhaps she doesn't have the eye-hand coordination mastered, yet. Just give her time. I doubt anyone expects a toddler to have excellent table manners.

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