A few weeks ago we were out to dinner as a family, and Wesleigh was sitting at the table eating with a spoon. The couple next to us asked if Wesleigh was two (she was 16 months at the time). I can’t say it’s the first time, she is tall for her age! But this couple mentioned she was eating so nicely with a spoon, they thought she must be over two years old…
I wish I could say there was a super trick to getting babies to eat with utensils but, there is no trick except to let her experiment!
The second she could sit up in a high chair, I was offering her the spoon. She never really used it until she was about 9 months old, she would just hold onto it. I know it’s messy but in the beginning she would let me hold the spoon in her hand and guided her. At dinner time, I let her go at it. I give her a bath at night so it didn’t matter that she was making a mess. I swear by her first birthday she could eat properly with both a fork and spoon.
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1. Give Them Independence: Just like I mentioned above, babies only get good at eating on their own, with a little independence and a ton of practice. Yes, this is super messy, but only for a month or two. In the long run you will have a baby who eats beautifully at the table by the time they are 18 months, what a reward!
2. Spoons to Start! They are just easier to scoop food with. Once baby starts to place the spoon in the bowl, and not flail it around, then you know they are ready graduate to toddler utensils. Offer both a fork and spoon at 11 months, this way they can choose what they are more comfy with. Designed with little hands in mind, toddler utensils have large handles making them easy to grip and giving toddlers a sense of independence during mealtime.
3. White Hot Plates: Nothing will turn a baby off more than hot food. In the beginning when I would give Wesleigh table food, and it was too hot, she just wouldn’t eat it. Even after it cooled, she associated that food with “ouch!” Munchkin has these amazing white hot bowls and plates that are affixed with a strip in the middle that turns white when the food is too hot. It’s perfect to prevent baby from eating food that will burn their little mouths.
4. These Suction Bowls are genius because they won’t go anywhere while baby is learning to navigate their new table freedom. I give Wesleigh oatmeal for breakfast every morning, which is super easy for her to scoop up, but having her fling the bowl off the edge would make both of us cry! These bowls are designed with a wide rim to make self-feeding a breeze, while the suctioned bottom helps limit the mealtime mess.
5. Sippy Cup Tips! If you are trying to transition your toddler from bottle to cup, my best kept secret is the Miracle Cup. It looks and acts like a regular cup, because baby has to hold it up right and put their lips to the edge just like a real cup. However, it is completely spill proof! Baby has to suck from the edge just like they would a regular sippy cup in order for the cup to function. It’s my FAVORITE cup for on the go and at restaurants. We NEVER go on a trip without it.
This post was in partnership with Munchkin, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my partners who I wholeheartedly believe in.
Photography by Rebecca Hansen from First Mate Photo