As a parent or carer, you couldn't be prouder when your child can eat independently! But how and when do you start teaching them to eat on their own?
Every child develops at its own pace. There is no right or wrong. Usually children start to show interest in doing things themselves between one and two years of age. Learning to eat by yourself can still be complicated, but where there is a will, there is a way. Fine-tuning the coordination between scooping up food, bringing it to the mouth, opening the mouth, taking a bite, then chewing and swallowing takes concentration and above all a lot of practice. For us adults, this is very obvious, but not for your little one. Patience is a virtue in this respect.
To make the learning process easier, it is important that you use crockery and cutlery which is specially designed for toddlers. At Difrax we look specifically at the learning process of babies and toddlers and offer a practical toddler and baby eating set.
Difrax toddler and baby cutlery consists of a fork and a spoon. The handle is thick and short and has non-slip material. This makes it easy for children to hold. Difrax baby cutlery encourages proper hand-mouth coordination.
The Difrax toddler bowl has a rim so that food can be scooped up easily. Its robust shape makes it stable on the table. This prevents the bowl from tipping over and prevents spills. It is advisable to start with a bowl rather than a plate.
Tip: Is your child right-handed? Then put the high side in front of your toddler on the left. That way, your child can easily scoop up the food with his or her right hand. If your child is left-handed, the opposite applies.
Both the toddler bowl and the cutlery from Difrax are entirely melamine-free and safe to use.
What should my child eat?
Your child can eat (almost) anything you eat. But be careful! It is best to avoid raw fish, meat, milk, eggs or products that contain these ingredients. These may contain bacteria that small children are not yet able to tolerate. It is also important to use salt in moderation.
If your child is still very young, make sure your food is soft to make chewing easier. Most of the time, small children only have a few teeth and no molars.
Tip: A varied diet is important for your little one's growth, even if you are a fussy eater. Your child will then get all the nutrients and vitamins they need and learn how to eat a variety of foods.
Learning to drink
It goes without saying that something to drink is also part of the meal. Learning to drink is a learning process, just like eating. Difrax has developed cups especially for each step of the process to help your child, such as our sippy cup, 360 degrees cup, cup with straw, or if you are already practising drinking from an open cup, the Difrax training cup is an ideal help. Want to read more about our drinking cups? Read more here: Teaching your child to drink on its own.
A little help.