Feed­ing dra­mas

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -

IS YOUR child still in­sist­ing on you spoon-feed­ing them their din­ner?

Is your child mak­ing a mess while they eat?

Many ba­bies are ea­ger to feed them­selves and will be reach­ing for the spoon when you are feed­ing them, while oth­ers will in­sist you con­tinue to feed them.

When they’re first tran­si­tion­ing onto solid foods, you should feed them, but there is a point where you want your child to gain in­de­pen­dence. IN­TRO­DUC­ING UTEN­SILS While you are feed­ing your lit­tle one with a spoon or fork, it’s of­ten a good idea to have a sec­ond one handy for them to hold onto as you feed them.

About 18 months is a great time to in­tro­duce chil­dren to uten­sils.

If your child shows less in­ter­est, try play­time with toy spoons and forks.

If your child is strug­gling with the spoon, in­tro­duce fin­ger foods first. Small pieces of fruit or potato or pump­kin are good op­tions.

Place th­ese foods in front of your child but don’t pres­sure them.

Cu­rios­ity will of­ten lead them to pick up the food. MY CHILD MAKES A MESS While it can take ef­fort to clean up and be an­noy­ing, it is a nor­mal part of a child’s de­vel­op­ment to make a mess while eat­ing.

Learn­ing to eat is about de­vel­op­ing an un­der­stand­ing of taste, tex­ture and tem­per­a­ture of food. That in­volves both their mouth and their hands.

They might pick up a piece of stew and drop it when they re­alise it’s not meant as fin­ger food. Try the fol­low­ing tips: En­sure your baby wears a bib to pro­tect their clothes; Let your baby use their hands, as use of the spoon tends to in­volve more spills; Cut food into small pieces so it is eas­ier to pick up and eat; Line the area un­der your baby’s high chair with news­pa­per or a plas­tic sheet.

From about six months old your child is ready to try a cup to drink.

This can also be a messy and long process, but again there are some sim­ple steps you can take to help your baby.

Try to en­sure the cup is a child’s cup so they can eas­ily han­dle it and only fill it to half­way to re­duce spills. CON­TACT US Con­tact the WBHHS child health team for fur­ther ad­vice: Gayndah – 4161 3571, Mundubbera – 4165 5222 Monto – 4166 9300 Biggen­den – 4127 6400 Eidsvold – 4165 7100.

Ref­er­ence: www.rais­ingchil­dren.net.au

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