When do children start being taught to eat alone?

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When do children start being taught to eat alone?
When do children start being taught to eat alone?

Feeding a child continuously until he grows up is not a good thing. Therefore, it is important for parents to teach their children to eat on their own. If it's done at the right time and in the right way, your little one can quickly get used to eating without Mom's help, you know

Mothers need to know that eating alone has tremendous benefits for children. Although it may seem simple, eating alone can teach him to be independent, develop fine motor skills (such as holding a spoon), and teach him about the texture and temperature of various foods.

When do children start being taught to eat alone? - Alodokter
When do children start being taught to eat alone? - Alodokter

This is the Right Time for Children to Eat Alone

Learning to eat on their own can generally start at the age of 9 months, which is when the child is able to grip his own food. At this age, Mother is allowed to give her finger foods or foods that are easy for her to hold.

Children will start to be interested in holding their own spoon, fork or water bottle with both hands when they are 13–15 months old. Well, at this time, food will not always fill the spoon and he managed to put it in his mouth. Not a bit of food will fall on the floor or table.

Although it might look dirty and messy, it's always a good idea to let your child eat alone once in a while, isn't it? Stay patient and stay with your little one, Bun. Give good directions so that he understands how to eat himself properly and correctly.

Around 18–24 months of age, he will begin to get good at putting his own food in his mouth with less mess. However, your little one must always be supervised while learning to eat on their own.

Because they are still learning, sometimes children may choke, cough, or vomit. Later when the little one enters the age of 24-36 months, he will be more adept at eating and enjoying his own food without the need for help from his mother.

What is no less important to remember in skills like this is that you shouldn't compare your little one's abilities with other children, even those of the same age as him, because every child has a different pace of skill development.

Tips for Teaching Children to Eat Alone

Well, so that your little one is interested in trying their new skills for self-feeding, here are some tips that you can apply:

  • Put a bib or apron on your little one's chest so that his clothes don't get dirty.
  • Give your little one eating utensils that are safe and don't jeopardize their safety. Choose her favorite pattern and color.
  • Choose non-sharp forks, spoons, glasses and plates made especially for children.
  • Start by giving a menu of foods that are soft and easy to reach when your little one spoons them, such as mashed potatoes, oatmeal, cereal, pasta, pudding, scrambled eggs, or cheese slices.
  • Cut the food to be given into small pieces to reduce the risk of your little one choking.
  • Let your little one reach for their own cutlery, even though later the food will spill and fall apart
  • Keep watching and help him stay motivated to learn to eat on his own.

Although it's not easy, you should enjoy the process of teaching your child to eat on their own. Don't be surprised if your little one throws or throws their food or cutlery. Just be patient and consistent to teach him, ok, Bun.

Mothers don't need to force their children to be able to eat on their own right away. However, if at the age of 2 years he has not shown interest in eating on his own, you should consult a doctor to get the right treatment, because your baby may have problems in his development.