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What kinds of foods do you like to give toddlers to encourage them to feed themselves? Preferably things that do not result in Yogurtbeard, Scourge of the Kitchen:

She clearly hasn't mastered that spoon yet!

A nice weekend. I let Jake be Dad for a good chunk of time, put on my headphones, and dove into some programming for clients that had stacked up on my to-do list. I haven't had such a long block of time without distraction for a while, and made excellent progress. I also leveled up in Wordpress and like it much better than I used to. Oh, plugins, you are so delightfully user-friendly! The weather was gorgeous, so we spent some time outdoors, and there was much playing and giggling and lots of music and amazing food (fresh everything-slaw, grilled steaks, grilled chicken tarragon salad, everything-fruit pie that included cherries, pineapple, pear, coconut, walnuts, rhubarb and raisins!...), plus a long walk with the dog. I got just a little bit of art time this evening (despite a baby who INSISTED she was not ready for bed and got a late second dinner after wailing from her crib for a long while), and did manage to weave out three short poems for the Muse Fusion and start another! Sadly, I did NOT get a new installment for Torn World finished. I have decided I need to completely scrap what I've got written and start again. Two weeks in a row without updates! I'm sorry to my three or four loyal readers!

Today I must try to get bear photos for Guppy's 17-month birthday (yesterday!) and make bread, write, program, be Mom, and take over the world. Getting right on that.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
I don't know how you do it! If I had your dedication maybe I could get some of my own art done. I've been wanting to pull my sewing machine out for a month, I think about it every day but somehow it's still sitting on it's table in the bedroom.

Anyway, when you find the snack, let me know! My kids look like that several times a day! :p
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
I have already found that if a project involves 'pulling out' anything more complex than a sketchpad and a pencil or pen, it just won't happen. Even then, tasks with a concentration span of 10 minutes or less are best!
Jul. 29th, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
Bananas, cheerios, avocado, tiny pb sandwiches, cheese cubes. You are probably doing all these already, but these are the ones I recall, through the mists of time.
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
Tiny sandwiches are next on my list of things to try! Cheese cubes are our standby... just moving up to cheesesticks now that she doesn't try to cram The Whole Thing into her mouth.
Jul. 29th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
I am not a parent, but my experience so far in offering lunch to toddlers who are not yet spoon-capable involves a lot of finger foods. Cut up fruit, veggies, cheese, meat, bread, cold cereal, cooked beans -- whatever you're eating, sans sauces, purees, and gooey things, for self-service. That will not keep them from gumming things half to death and then flinging them on the floor or sticking them in their hair, but the mess is less immediately disasterous than applesauce or yogurt. Purees with utensils I'm inclined to supervise if they're not shortly before bathtime.

The Guppy's about one and a half? The pair of twins I know about that age can both handle finger food fine (when they want to), but one is a determined self-feeder and can wrangle spearing things on a fork to feed herself when she wants to eat like the grownups (slowly, but with determination -- she will accept someone handing her a fork with food on it towards encouraging her to eat more solids, but isn't fond of someone else putting a utensil in her mouth) and dipping a big chunk of bread into thick soup and taking a bite, while the other one still thinks tablewear is for playing with and is happy to let someone else spoon food into his mouth.
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, many good things to try here. And good to hear that in this, too, babies are variable. I was worried we were behind the learning curve because she hasn't been interested in using utensils herself but likes things fed to her just fine.

Jul. 29th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
Decidely variable -- about what they'll eat, too. (I think they're a couple of months older than the Guppy.) Seriously, try her on whatever you're eating -- they were both willing to eat (only mildly spicy) shrimp and veggies from my plate at a Chinese restaurant.

The things I've been told to be careful of are whether they can chew well enough to reduce whatever pieces they're given to digestable size, and whether they can protect their airway well enough that they're not going to choke on a piece that's a little too big. ("Do I need to cut up the grapes?")

My favorite "babies are different" story is from a while back. Two daughters of different friends, about the same age, had very different priorities. Little Miss Extrovert wanted to SIT UP, so that she could see and interact with people. Once she could do that, getting places wasn't urgent -- she was happy to interact from across the room, even, and good at telling when someone was paying attention to her or addressing her. Little Miss World Traveller didn't care what you were doing, she wanted to GO. She was doggedly trying to crawl when she still had to do a five-point crawl because she couldn't hold her head up for very long.
Jul. 29th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
Finger foods tend to be good -- cheese, bread, etc -- and there also are these little mesh bags with handles that can be filled with fruit or other squishy food and handed over. I will try to find out their brand name.
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
Oo, those sound useful! Thank you!
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
Older cub likes granola bars, dried fruit, grapes, and bananas. Pocketbook sandwiches are also popular (one slice of bread, folded in half).

When he was younger, toast with ghee or apple butter was a favorite. If guppy is old enough, hard boiled eggs may also appeal.
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, granola bars, that's a good idea! She has been on and off about hard-boiled eggs, but she'll eat a scramble pretty readily. I MISS having a toaster, that's going on the grocery list. (Our gave up the ghost some months ago and we've put off getting a replacement!)
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
Lessee.. other things he's loved have been cheese and slices of lunchmeat ham. We did find a brand of graham cracker (Annie's, look for the bunnies) that's not as sweet and has no HFCS in it. He dips those in yogurt or eats them plain.

We did Cheerios for a while, but they're astonishingly high in sodium, so that stopped when I started having to check labels for my own consumption.

He also enjoys olives, but those are only available when the hubby gets them out. I am not a fan. :)
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:33 pm (UTC)
soup with so many crackers it becomes a near-solid. but that may not avoid Soupbeard, Yoghurtbeard's closely related but less well-known cousin. :) young indiana is an oddly tidy eater, all things considered, and has been since the start, so possibly this is not a good suggestion. :)
Jul. 29th, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC)
Oo, I may risk Soupbeard, that sounds like a tasty treat!
Jul. 29th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
You already have lots of good suggestions for food. I will suggest giving her a regular teaspoon. If you can find a smaller sized one, that's even better. They make a thing called a coffee spoon, which is shorter and has a smaller bowl than a teaspoon. None of my grandsons performed particularly well with the made-for-baby spoons. I think they're unwieldy.
Jul. 29th, 2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
I loved dried apricots at that age, and also banana chips (the crunchy kind)
Her hair is looking lovely :)
Jul. 29th, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. Killian eats everything I do, pretty much. He has been a determined self-feeder for a long time. He will let us fork things for him but prefers to do it himself. He loves his fork...

Actually, both my kids moved to finger foods from adult-spoon-feeding very early, probably because I'm not much of a spoon-feeder. The big problem I had/had was keeping them at the table eating, rather than getting bored and escaping. But Killian is a big fan of string cheese, apple chunks, peaches (whole or cut up), avocado cubes, toast squares, strawberries, chicken cubes, peanut shells (alas), french fries, bananas, mommy's baked potato, mommy's cabbage, mommy's ...

We did use squishy bags for a while but it was a ways back. So, er, I'm not very useful because I never had to encourage my kids to feed themselves, now that I think about it. Er. Carry on!
(Deleted comment)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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