Thursday, October 23, 2008
Self-feeding is a major milestone for your toddler! Since preemies often have so many other, more significant, feeding issues, helping your child learn to self-feed can take a back-burner. I truly believe it's important though. Self-feeding encourages fine motor skills and coordination and also often leads to children trying new foods along with their new-found independence. Here are three little ways to make the learning process a little more fun:
Cocktail forks- These tiny forks are perfect for little bite-size chunks of meat and, since little fingers end up closer to the food, it's easier to be precise and therefore successful.
Toothpicks- Frilly toothpicks make kids happy. It's that simple. And they're great for cheese cubes, diced tomato, or even marshmallows. And, really, who wouldn't be impressed to see a toddler who knows how to politely eat from a cheese tray?
Crazy straws- Can't say it enough... as a society, we have got to start weaning kids off sippy cups before, say, kindergarten. It's kind of ridiculous. Straws encourage kids to move on to an open cup and, believe it or not, the crazy variety are actually good for them. Because children have to "pull" the liquid so far, these straws help build oral strength more than their straight counterparts.