Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spooning it up

I have been a bit slack about teaching Little E to use utensils, mainly because of the mess involved. But she's nearly a year old, and while the warm weather lasts I decided I need to make the most of the opportunities it offers for spreading mess outside instead of all over the floor.

Yesterday at breakfast I stood behind her and helped her eat most of her bowl of porridge with the spoon in her hand. For the last few mouthfuls I took my hand away to see what would happen. I expected lots of mess and not much eating. She was actually better at it than I expected! She can certainly grasp the spoon, and knows how to maneouvre it to her mouth, but needs to work on the scooping food onto it part. She had her lunch at playgroup so I didn't let her do any of it herself. Dinner was an absolute debacle; she fussed, wiggled, wouldn't eat with a spoon, with fingers, or from a spoon controlled by me. In the end she ate a bit of potato, mushed some more into her hair; chewed, spat out and mushed almost all of the chicken balls and repeated the process with banana.

I tried to repeat the process at breakfast this morning but I think I was a bit enthusiastic about how soon I gave E her breakfast after her milk. She fussed and resisted, and I gave up on her using the spoon, and shovelled about half the bowl into her myself. Then she spewed it all up. All over herself, the chair, the floor, and my foot. Aside from being a bit surprised she seemed ok afterwards, is perfectly fine now as far as I can tell ,and I'm putting it down to too full a tummy when she started eating.

Lunch today was vegetable and lentil soup and was a mixed bag of success. She managed some of the bowl with me helping, some of the bowl with me feeding her, a few mouthfuls on her own with a spoon and a lot of sticking her hands in the bowl. We repeated the process with yoghurt for dessert and I was very glad we were outside on the grass!

Perhaps the lesson learnt is that self feeding is best reserved for breakfast, when she is fresh for the day, and lunch, when she has just got up from her nap.

We will persist.

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