I remember seeing a photo meme on Facebook with a toddler who had a horrified expression on his face, with a spoon coming towards his mouth and the words “You want to put that airplane where?” It made me laugh, because that could have been my son!
As you know, getting food into my youngest son has been a battle. While he is now quite happy to play with food and have the odd bit accidentally swallowed, spoons are another story all together. But the latest problem is that he needs to learn to take food from a spoon because then I will be able to see exactly what he is eating.
So one sunny day I began The Battle of the Spoon, three opponents – me, my boy and the dreaded spoon. But like all battles, each side had a different mission, even the spoon – it just wanted to be useful! Unfortunately the airport tunnel would not open, so the mission was cancelled. I had to think of new ways to get him wanting to use a spoon which included letting him play with it during play times instead of meal times, using it as a teething toy and just leaving it in and next to his bowl for him to try out and experiment with. All these ways worked, but the most effective was to get him to play with it and chew upon it during play time. The association of a spoon during fun times instead of just meal times changed the way he viewed it and he was more willing to put it into his mouth on his own.
So what is happening nowadays? He is feeding himself using a spoon quite happily, still pretty fussy about what he eats and seems to prefer food which is strong flavoured. The thing that I have found the most useful to help with eating is that he uses a specially designed curved spoon for toddlers called the My Spoon He is able to get the spoon into his mouth without the food falling off it, as it curves around towards his mouth. As he cannot twist or bend his wrist to use a normal spoon easily yet, the My Spoon is perfect for him!
Witten by Jackie Procter from Baby Life Magazine.