Looking for some advice

I really think my husband and I are hitting our stride as parents. Spencer is a charming, smart, playful little guy who, for the most part, is very good natured. He has his moments, though, and is clearly entering the volatile toddler years. There hasn’t been a full blown tantrum yet, but there has been some dramatic body flinging and a wee bit of foot stomping. There are a few areas where I think we could use some advice. We have tried a bunch of things and nothing is working quite right. Tell me your triumphs and your failures. Help. It is going to be help a mama out week here at Baby Baby Lemon.

Topic the First: Eating with Utensils and Throwing Food

Spencer is ok with eating. He is super-awesome with his hands. He can feed himself with a pre-filled spoon and every once in a while is successful at stabbing something with a fork and getting it to his mouth, but he is not consistent and is just as likely to throw the fork on the floor as stick it in his mouth. He also throws food. Not all the time, just when he gets bored of it (I think).

I feel like he is behind on his eating skills, but Baby Center says 17 to 18 months, so maybe he isn’t too far behind. I don’t really how to teach him how to use the spoon. I let him hold the spoon, hold the bowl full of yogurt or oatmeal and he stabs the spoon in it over and over again, sometimes sticking it in his mouth and sometimes wiping it on my arm or stabbing his high chair tray. Is this still the learning process and I just need to stick it out? Because to be quite honest, I hate it. It wastes food, makes a mess and takes forever.

And the food throwing? Will he grow out of that too? I can deal with the mysterious finickiness where he loves oatmeal on Tuesday and on Wednesday he acts like I’m feeding him poison. I can deal with having to cut up his food in little pieces. But I would like to introduce a plate without the plate (and the food) being tossed back in my face.

So, tell me your stories. Can your toddler use a plate and a fork? Do you have a finickier eater? Do you have the best. baby. ever? Please share.

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7 Responses to “Looking for some advice”

  1. Amanda says:

    Sounds like you are on the right track. If I remember correctly (my little one is now 4) Maddie went through pretty much the same thing. We just made sure to set her up with her fork or spoon every night and let her at it. Sure there is always a mess but I just try to look away. Plus it’s hubby’s chore to clean up after dinner anyways! We used the Gerber Graduates Kiddy Cutlery sets (which we still have and she still uses) and they were the perfect size. Although if you have a garbage disposal they are also the perfect size to slip down the drain and make horrible sounds. Oops. Now that she is 4 I can assure you she no longer throws food, can use her utensils appropriately and still makes a complete mess at every meal.

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  2. Wolf_Mommy says:

    Sounds pretty normal to me! My 18 month old constantly throws food, rubs it all over himself & anything nearby, and has limited success eating with a fork or spoon.

    He’s actually starting to make strides with the spoon. He kind of stabs his yogurt/applesauce/thick liquid with it and brings it to his mouth to eat. As he doesn’t get much on his spoon he quickly looses patience and sticks his whole hand in and scoops it out for quicker eating.

    He’s big on dipping. Everything.

    He can *almost* get cereal on his spoon and to his mouth. I’d say there’s a 20% chance of a couple of Cheerios making it to his mouth from the bowl via spoon and about a 100% chance of most of the milk making it to the floor.

    It’s a learning process. =) Don’t worry about it. He WILL learn how to eat with eating utensils when he is ready.

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  3. We seem to be pretty much at the same place as you guys right now. Ivy *is* getting better with the spoon and fork. we use the Nuby toddler spoons and forks – the fork is more like a spork, so in addition to stabbing food she can also scoop it up and sometimes get it to her mouth. I also find that serving her stuff in a shallow bowl as opposed to a plate helps so she can push food up the edge then scoop it up instead of just shoving it off the plate.

    But yeah, we still resort to either her eating with her hands or one of us feeding her just to make sure that some of her dinner actually gets ingested.

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  4. I have no idea about food and toddlers. Hopefully someone will have good advice and you can advise me in a few months.

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  5. Natalie says:

    He’s fine! You’re fine! Sounds like he is rocking it and as long as he can USE it, and you give it to him at every meal, he will get to the point where he will use solo and all the time. Mine are 4 & 2 and sometimes forgo the utensil for fingers (until they are caught, that is ;o) I don’t know about throwing food, as mine didn’t “throw” so much as “let fall from their fingers discreetly when mama doesn’t see and she’ll find it two days later”. The 4 year old, not so much, but I’ve caught my 2 year old doing it STILL. So just keep whatever method for telling him that’s not okay going and he’ll get that too (I hang on to that hope). Also, please note my 2 year old still sometimes dumps the food off of the spoon because she will turn it the wrong way trying to get it into her mouth.

    Sorry for the long-winded-ness, but it really does sound like he is on the right track! :o) Hope that helps.

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    Amy Reply:

    Thanks for all the help. I think I am being a little neurotic about this because I seem to get asked a lot if he can use a plate yet. And then I get judgey face when I say no.

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    Natalie Reply:

    That drives me INSANE. “She’s not potty trained, YET?” was what I used to get, as Olivia took a bit longer than what most people deemed “normal” (about three months before her third birthday) and I finally realized that provided my doctor wasn’t worried, everyone else could suck it ;o)

    Tell them he uses a plate, he’s just currently training for the 2028 Summer Olympics Discus Throw competition and any deviation from that training could be detrimental to his future Gold Medal win ;o)

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