I wanted to talk about self-feeding for your little ones and it can easily start with 2 spoons!
Typically you set yourself up with the food and spoon, and you are all ready to go! However, your little one might have other plans.
They will want that spoon for more than just to eat :)
I always recommend to families to include an additional spoon at mealtimes. It saves a lot of struggling when you want them to eat and you are trying to get that solo spoon back!
The added spoon allows for:
🥄 increase independence and sense of control (increase control for a little one is huge for willingness to try new foods!)
🥄 some kiddos might keep getting upset with the single spoon (because you need to use it too!) and if the meal feels negative then it doesn't create a very positive experience for anyone. A feeling of success around meals makes a big impact on a little body.
🥄 when the spoon is in their mouth, oral motor skills and again sensory exploration can start to emerge (ie. moving the tongue around the spoon, figuring out how it feels and where the feeling is in the mouth, squishing it between the gums so getting a sense of how much the jaw creates a squeeze), etc.
🥄 learning to reach out and grasp the spoon (using the shoulder muscles to stabilize to then use hands)
🥄 develop fine motor and visual-motor skills
🥄 and so much more!
Remember: always supervise little one for safety & always make sure little one is properly seated for meals 🍽 (feet supported and elbows at table height)
It's important to enjoy mealtimes together so that your baby gains a positive perspective around food and the social cues that go along with it!
Thanks for reading!
Jessica Earle, Occupational Therapist