Noah is only a couple days past one years old but we have introduced utensils at meal times. We know that he will not successfully use a spoon or a fork for quite some time, but we want to let him explore. This also helps him slow down when eating because normally, he shoves food in his mouth faster than you’d believe. Offering something different, like a spoon or fork, allows them some time to explore and acts as a minor distraction.
Noah loves his little forks. Mommy or Daddy will stab a piece of food on his highchair tray and hand the fork to Noah. He usually will hold it correctly and put it into his mouth. After a few times of this, he ends up playing with the fork and throwing it on the floor a dozen or so times.
He also tosses his milk or water straw cups on the floor a few times during meal times. This isn’t the child being defiant or being a pain, this is their way of learning cause and effect. As annoying as it is, especially as a blind mom, when it is a guessing game of where the cup or fork went, he isn’t doing it to be malicious.
We found that not really drawing much attention when things are thrown off of the tray, helps. Noah seems a little more disinterested when Mommy and Daddy quietly pick up the cup or fork and place it back on the tray without making a big deal of it.
The real fun part is trying to find the food that Noah either tossed or dropped during a meal. We don’t want him to eat something off of the floor and get sick. We have a mat under his highchair but to be honest, it’s more of an annoyance. We vacuum probably every evening to clear that area and ensure that there are no leftover snacks hanging out on the floor, waiting to be nibbled by a little food monster.
Happy meal time!