Feeding Himself With a Spoon: What a Mess!

(Left): Mason feeds himself Greek yogurt with homemade peach puree–and tries to snatch my phone when he catches me photographing him.

Our efforts to teach Mason to feed himself with a spoon have been in full swing for about a month now. He seems much more motivated to use the spoon when he’s at school. I suppose it’s because he’s sitting with eight other kids, all around his age, who are doing the same thing that he’s doing. It’s absolutely precious to watch all of them in action (the girls are dainty, the boys are sloppy). At home, we generally practice every night at dinner, with yogurt or applesauce. It always starts out the same way: He studies his spoon and then takes a few spoonfuls of the food in front of him and feeds himself very well. I get excited and cheer. But after a few minutes he tosses the spoon and scoops up handfuls of his food and shoves it into his mouth. It’s really cute but the mess just stresses me out! I mean finger food is messy, but this is mess on a whole other level. By the time he’s finished, there are globs of applesauce or yogurt everywhere. Any tips on helping him master the skill, with a little less mess?

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  1. by Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

    On January 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I think you will like this chapter from my book, Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids! It’s all about the messy steps to self-feeding, including which spoons to use!

    http://www.aloveforlanguage.com/en/articles/general-interest/i-can-do-it-myself-messy-steps-to-self-feeding.html