Parenting Now!

Taste Of Independence: Supporting your toddler’s independent eating

This week, the Triple P Team offers ways to help your toddler lean to feed themselves more independently.

Infant and toddler eating habits seem to change in the blink of an eye. One day they request nothing but scrambled eggs for every meal, and the next, they won’t touch the stuff.

The same can be true of how a toddler eats. If your child, who is normally content with you spoon feeding them mashed fruits, suddenly protests the incoming “airplane” or, better yet, wants to fly the plane herself, it might be a good time to encourage independent eating.

What is Independent Eating?

Up until this point, your child was either nursed or bottle fed, then graduated to a high chair where they could experiment with early foods, such as baby cereals and other softened food like bananas, avocados, and yogurt. They may have been using their whole hand to grab food, or graduated on to the pincer grasp (using just their thumb and pointer finger) to pick up small pieces of food.

As an infant’s tastes mature and their skills develop, so does their interest in trying a wider variety of foods that they can feed themselves.

For tips on good first finger foods and other tips for successful mealtimes, visit lanekids.org

This article is brought to you by Parenting Now! Parenting Educators and authors Amanda Bedortha, Claire Davis, and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson (andupdatemywebsite.com). 


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