M.S. asks from New York, NY on September 27, 2008
Eating with His Hands
Hi, my son is 2.5; he eats well but, he is eating with his hands. He seems to be left handed, but this is bothering me. I place the fork/spoon in front of him. Dad and I model eating habits, but he still eats with his hands. Any suggestions?
M.K. answers from New York on September 28, 2008
Your son may need a little more support or boundaries to make the coordination/focus of using utensils easier. Does he still use the high chair or is he seated at the table. If he is at the table, does he use a booster seat with a good back and sides? The ideal height for table top activities for a child (or anyone really) is below chest height so that the forearms can rest compfortably on the table surface. This way one can stabilize one hand down or hold the bowl and scoop with the other. Also many children do MUCH better with self feeding if their feet are supported. Consider getting a Trip Trap chair. It's kind of expensive but it grows with your child and many people love it. I think there is 'generic' version as well.
M. Kassover MS,PT,PCS
Board Certified Pediatric Specialist
H.P. answers from New York on September 29, 2008
My son recently turned 3 and he does the same thing. He is also left handed (or so it seems). He is getting occupational therapy... He was in the first percentile for grasp, so it makes it hard for him to hold a pencil or a utensil correctly.
Have you had your son evaluated for occupational therapy?
P.M. answers from New York on September 28, 2008
My son will be 3 xmass eve, and he was the same way till recently. Only within the last couple of months, he is using the fork and spoon more often. He actually used to not like eating from spoon even when I fed him, and always ate much better if I used my hand to feed him. This never bothered me, and as long as he was eating, I really didn't care how he ate. My son also uses his left hand a lot.
D.S. answers from New York on September 27, 2008
Try putting the food on the spoon or fork for him until he gets the hang of it. It is easier for him to use his hands however he should be using utensils as well. Keep making the effort and he will eventually get the idea.
C.T. answers from New York on September 29, 2008
Children are very challenging at that age, however he should be eating with utensils. Put the baby fork/spoon in his left hand, and help him to put the food in his mouth. You have to be firm with him, yet very loving. He is just being a normal toddler. Could you send me the address of your church. I would like to visit it.