By the age of 1 year, you should have successfully made it past the finish line of your toddler’s weaning journey (i.e. going through the stages from a milk only diet to eventually being ready for family meals), but the work is not over just yet!

Learning to eat isn’t just about the food itself, it’s also about teaching your toddler how to eventually feed themselves so that they can fully participate and enjoy family mealtimes.

Toddler feeding tips

As they become more confident and independent, many toddlers will want to take control of their own feeding. Here are a few tips to help you encourage this stage of your toddler’s development:

teaching toddler to feed themselves

  • Offer them finger foods which are easy for them to grab and chew
  • Give them their own spoon to play with during mealtimes
  • Have regular mealtimes together, so your toddler can learn how to eat by  watching the rest of the family
  • Toddlers can get frustrated and fed up sitting in a highchair, specially designed booster seats are useful in this instance as they enable your toddler to sit at the main table like the rest of the family
  • Prepare for flying food and bowls by placing a splash mat under your toddler’s chair and using plastic crockery

Your toddler may be able to feed themselves with a spoon, by around 15 months of age

With patience and encouragement, your toddler may be able to feed themselves with a spoon, albeit rather messily, by the time they reach around 15 months of age. It won’t be long before your toddler gets to grips with using a knife and fork. But remember that all toddlers are different and this is just a guide, so don’t worry if your toddler takes a little longer to get the hang of learning to eat by themselves.

If you’d like any further advice on toddler feeding, contact our Careline