Offer your baby a spoon to hold as soon as she is old enough to sit in a high chair. She will begin mrecognizing that the spoon is a part of mealtimes even before she is ready to use it by herself.
Offering age-appropriate foods with different textures allows the baby to use multiple senses to discover their world. Finger foods offer textures for babies to explore using their hands and mouth. Be sure foods are cut into small, non-round pieces to reduce the risk of choking.
Put a spoon and napkin out for mealtimes with your toddler. Offer gelatin cubes and help put a cube on the spoon. Point out how the gelatin jiggles on the spoon. Encourage your toddler to try to eat it from the spoon.
Offer snacks that can be counted during snack time. As you give each item, count it with your toddler and encourage them to do the same.
Create snacks together, and allow your child help with the preparation. You might have the child use a plastic knife to cut up bananas or strawberries to add to yogurt or to spread peanut butter on crackers. Children can also help wash vegetables, count out snacks, stir mixes, and help with other cooking tasks.
This project was supported in part by the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590). Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590).