Meal Routine Tips
Here are some tips on how we can work towards independence during meal times:
1. Child-safe cutlery
As children are beginning to learn ways to hold their cutleries and plates/bowls, accidents are bound to happen. Having a plastic set will encourage them to try again instead of feeling frustrated and give up when it drops. Appropriate cutlery is also encouraged for them to get started with. Handling and manoeuvring techniques can then be taught and mastered with consistent practise.
2. Food proportion
Bit by bit, little by little. Ensure the plate/bowl is only half full so that children can have space to allow scooping. The extra space gives them the confidence that they are able to feed themselves with no spillage and they will persevere to do so with minimal guidance.
The messy but fun part: Get the child involved with wiping their table after pushing all spills into their empty plates/bowls. Then put away the items where they belong. This gives them a sense of responsibility and builds up their awareness of routines.
4. Praise and compliment
Don’t we all love some compliment or praise to feel assured and validated for a job done and tried? Be generous with your compliments on how well the child has held the spoon/fork or how nicely they have fed themselves with lesser spillage.
At the end of it all, the aim is for the child to come out feeling confident of their newly acquired skill. It is in our hands, as the adult, to nurture and guide them through the process. We want everyone to walk away feeling a sense of accomplishment.