Does your young child leave the table and wander around during meal times, or want to be fed most of the time? Here’s how you can solve these common problems.
1 / 7Load more
2 / 7 He creates a huge mess. There's more food on the floor than in his mouth!Load more
As your little one learns to feed himself, expect the food to go everywhere – not just into his mouth – because his coordination isn’t fully developed.
Be patient. Clean up the mess without reprimanding him or complaining.
3 / 7 He leaves the table and wanders around, instead of sitting stillLoad more
Make each meal an enjoyable experience. If eating is fun and pleasurable, your toddler will sit happily at the table without wanting to get out of his seat. Create a relaxed atmosphere; sit beside him and chat with him while he eats on his own.
4 / 7 He takes forever to finish his mealLoad more
Stop the meal after a fixed time. To ensure that self-feeding does not become a lengthy play activity, remove his plate after a reasonable time (say, 15 minutes) and warn him in advance when that time limit approaches. This discourages him from wasting time.
5 / 7 He is a picky eater and skips his vegetablesLoad more
Give him small amounts of food on a large plate. Your young child may be put off by large mounds of food on his plate – it may seem overwhelming to him. Also, get him used to the taste of vegetables by mixing them up with food that you know he likes.
(Also read: Toddler doesn’t like to drink water: What to do)
6 / 7 He struggles to hold the spoon or fork firmly in his handLoad more
Keep cutlery child-friendly. Your child’s hand is small, so give him a spoon with a handle that is appropriately sized and shaped for those little fingers to grasp. Show him how to grip the handle properly.
(Also read: Are you overfeeding your baby?)
7 / 7 He continues to want you to feed himLoad more
As his hand control improves, reduce your direct involvement. Encourage him to hold the spoon on his own, even if he asks for your help. Get the grandparents and domestic helper not to give in, too. The more he manages by himself, the less he’ll need you to help.
(Also read: How to use time-out on toddler)