10 answers

How Do I Teach My 12 Month Old Daughter to Use a Spoon/fork?

This is my first request, so I apologize if I mess up. My daughter is about 12 months old and refuses to allow anyone to feed her with a spoon. She only wants to feed herself finger foods. When do I try to teach her how to use a spoon/fork? I could really use some ideas how to teach her? I really appreciate it, thanks.

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I was able to help my children use a spoon by giving them cheerios with yogurt instead of milk. The cheerios stuck to the yogurt which then stuck to the spoon. It was just so fun to watch them try to eat it all off the spoon!
My kids ate their cereal like that for quite a while because cereal with milk frustrated them.
This works well with oatmeal and raisins too!

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter is 13 months and we started putting the spoon or fork on her tray and she picked them up by herself because she was curious. We didn't force them upon her. She still likes to use her fingers but is using utensils more too. My experience shows that if you put them out for her to see she will pick it up when she is ready.

1 mom found this helpful

If you don't mind the mess, just give her the spoon and let her go at it. Make sure that when she is eating that you are eating as well, she needs to watch you so she can learn. Have fun and get ready for the mess. She'll be a pro in no time.

1 mom found this helpful

I never really had to teach my kids how to use a fork or spoon. They picked it up on their own. I just served every meal with a fork or spoon and eventually they started using it. I sometimes gave them a plate of food with the fork already stabbed into something and they kind of got the hint I guess. I talked to them about using the fork or spoon and showed them how mommy and dady use a fork. As I always advise...less pressure on a child works better. The more pressure the more resistant a child becomes. Hope that helps. G.

1 mom found this helpful


My best advice for you runs along the same line as the others. Just give your little girl a spoon to hold/ play with during mealtimes for a while, then put some food in a bowl and let her try it for herself (preferably when she's in a good mood). She'll get the hang of it when she's ready to.

My younger son didn't get the hang of using a spoon until recently, and he's nearly 2! It may take a while, but don't give up, okay?

Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

I've found that the best thing that worked for my children was just pick a meal that was the least hurried (usually lunch) and let them have a spoon or fork on their tray. I would watch them gradually incorporate the utensils into their feeding routine without me really doing much besides encouraging them. They just sort of started doing it on their own. Now my daughter, age 20 months, is an expert with her spoon and fork! I started introducing utensils around age 9 months. So, I hope this offers something you can use. I think not being so uptight this time around really helped too!! (With my first child, I tended to get stressed easily over feeding issues). I wish you luck!


1 mom found this helpful

I would just get her her own spoon/fork and let her play with it during meal time. Kids like to imitate what they see others doing, so little by little she will start to figure it out. It does take a while to master...my 3-year-old usually uses his spoon/fork, but still sometimes prefers to use his good old hands.

1 mom found this helpful

I would say not to stress over this at all. Toddlers can turn pretty much everything into a finger food but she will learn how to feed herself with a spoon or fork at some point! In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter if she does it when she's 12 months, 18 months, or 2 years. (If she still can't use a spoon when she's in school, I'd start to worry!) If this is really important to you, you might try buying the bowls and spoons that stick to the tray of the high chair. When she's not over-hungry or over-tired, give her something that can't easily be picked up (like cereal) and let her start experimenting with the whole bowl-spoon thing. (And get the video camera ready to enjoy the show because even though the bowl and spoon can't be flung to the floor or tipped it'll still be a messy, giggly good time!)

1 mom found this helpful

I just put the fork or spoon front of them (which ever one we used during meal times.) I had my daughters using their own. We sat at the table at meal times or when you can so we are all eating together. I mean they won't do it consistantly like you would want them to. I still kept the utensil on the plate near the food...they sometimes didn't use it and sometimes use their hands. The more you do it and have the utensils there they will eventually pick it up and use it. Don't get frustrated and force it on them because the more you do that they will go back to hands. I mean let it go sometimes. They still get the food in their mouth. The only things I said was use your spoon or don't forget about using your spoon or fork. I see it as you are the parent you set the examply by doing. YOu show them they will follow you.

1 mom found this helpful

M., I found with my kids that if I called it a "big boy/girl spoon" they would be more interested. I would say something like, "Oh, look at Aspen, she is using the big girl spoon....wwwwooooowww!!!!....see, mommy uses a big girl spoon too!!" Also, I gave my kids baby spoons and forks as soon as they could hold on to one. I would fill the spoon then give it to them and let them try to put it in their mouth, always praising any successes with the big boy/girl spoon or fork.....or just let them push the food off of the tray using the fork or spoon (more likely).

Other than that, at 12 months I wouldn't worry too much. As long as she is eating then you are doing fine, she'll probably get interested in utensils when she is ready.

Good luck

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