Author Topic: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!  (Read 2971 times)

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Offline BeeAnn

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11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« on: November 15, 2013, 22:49:38 pm »
My 11 month old DD is starting to reject being fed by spoon (except for breakfast and yogurt).  For the last 3 months or so, I have generally been feeding her finger foods at lunch and then spoon feeding her a 'meal' like chicken curry, Bolognese etc) for dinner.

She is good at eating with her hands so I think that maybe she is starting to not want to be fed with a spoon anymore.  I tend to give her sandwiches or steamed / roasted veg (sweet potato, carrots, runner beans etc) with some kind of meat - pre sliced ham, chicken pieces etc.

So I am a bit confused about what other things I can give her to eat with her hands if that is all she will be getting.  I know a lot of people say to feed babies what we eat but how do you feed something like a saucy curry, casserole or a bolognese so that they can eat it with their hands?!  Doesn't it make an awful mess and they won't get any of the sauce in their mouths?  I kind of want her to eat things like that so that she gets used to different flavours etc - so that it is not just plain meat - I just don't know how to do that without a spoon!!

Some people have also mentioned jacket potatoes with cheese and beans - same question - how do you serve that up so they can eat it themselves e.g. skin on or off, cut up into chunks or not?

What other proteins are good to give her to eat with her hands?

I like giving her meals that I can just take out of the freezer and defrost as I find preparing food with her running around my ankles quite a chore!  so any advice on food that is either easy to prepare or can be frozen and defrosted would be great.

Also, if I just let her feed herself with her hands most of the time then how will she cope with then switching to feeding herself with a spoon / fork which I want to do fairly soon.  How will I even start reintroducing meals with a spoon?  She did show some signs of wanting to feed herself with a spoon a week or so ago but even refuses to do that now. Has anyone BTDT?

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Re: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 23:09:04 pm »
In general enough sauce sticks to the chunks of food for them to get a taste of it and continue to enjoy regular family meals.  I don't think you need to change much at all really just stop trying to feed her and let her get on with it herself :)

I introduced a fork before a spoon, easier to stab things rather than scoop and it doesn't fall off before it gets to the mouth like spooned food often does so I would give her a fork and spoon by her plate and let her choose to use them or not, you can pre-load a fork and just put it down for her to pick up if she wants to, if she does then pre-load again, if she ignores it then just let her use her hands.

For very saucy things I often pour some on his plate for him to dip food into or pour some into either a dip bowl or a small bowl/cup and if DS likes the taste he will pick it up to drink it.

There was a short time when DS became very frustrated if we served spaghetti as he couldn't get it in his mouth fast enough with his hands so we threw a different shaped pasta into the pan at the same time to cook for him - twists or penne pick up and 'trap' more sauce and minced meat inside them too - this helped until he decided he wanted exactly what we had and demanded the spaghetti regardless of how difficult it was to eat.
Curry or Stews the only thing I changed was to chop veg slightly larger to ensure there were some big chunks he could pick up or stab with the fork more easily.  The more he used his fork the more I chopped to bite sized where as earlier I chopped to baton/wedge/finger size for picking up with hands and biting a piece off, but larger pieces are still good to offer as then she can begin to use a knife too.
Baked beans min used to pick up one at a time, great for pincer grasp development, all these things will develop fine motor skills, even if she doesn't use a spoon for another year or more.  Mine isn't a fan of baked potato but if he was I'd cut it into wedges so there is a nice big size for her to pick up and munch on.
Soup can be served in a bowl/cup and drank or dipped into with chunky bread.  Mine always likes his chunks separate from his soup so I dish his up with the chunks on a plate and the liquid in a small bowl or cup.

The best thing is to continue to give her the regular food you eat you've said this yourself. You can just continue to set the table like you do for an adult (use kids cutlery if you like) and when she decides she wants to use the spoon she will, I don't really think it is a case of needing to reintroduce it at a later date.

Protein - mine likes fried sprats, head, tail, the lot  :D


Offline BeeAnn

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Re: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 15:13:54 pm »
Thanks for this - think I just need to bite the bullet and try it!

She had the jacket potato, cheese and beans for lunch.  She was definitely not too keen on the beans and kept spitting them out.  The jacket potato and cheese was not too bad although I had to put some of it in her mouth to begin with.  I also made the mistake of putting some of it out of her bowl onto her tray because I thought it might be easier for her to eat - after which she took the bowl and started carefully putting all of it piece by piece onto her tray without eating it! 

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Re: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 18:52:00 pm »
tbh if she has been mainly spoon fed until now exploring food by picking up and putting down, fill and dump activity, is both normal and great, at least she was picking it up :)  There is so much to learn about food, the temperature, size, shape, texture, weight, smell, squashability, etc etc it is really a great learning activity (although I put a stop at the dropping to the floor phase of exploration).
I would just continue with the foods she already knows and likes the taste of but serve as finger food perhaps load a spoon or fork but leave it for her to pick up.  I just have a stack of face cloths in the kitchen reserved for meal times and use one each meal then throw them in the washer, it's not as messy as you might imagine, after all we don't want to teach or encourage throwing food across the room as funny as it is once in a while ;)


Offline Lemonthyme

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Re: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 07:27:35 am »
I wouldn't worry about cutlery.  My son feeds with cutlery most of the time now he's 3 but he will still eat with his hands sometimes but that's what adults do!  My son went through a similar finger food obsession at the same age.  I don't think it's a problem.  He got back to all kinds of foods later.  Anyway I remember driving out of the supermarket carpark having a brainwave that fish pie and fish cakes are basically the same thing so here are some ideas!

Frittata (you can almost infinitely vary the fillings for these): http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/broccoli-frittata-for-babies-toddlers.html
Sausage "squishes": http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/sausage-squishes-for-babies-and-toddlers.html
Tuna "meatballs" a bit messy though for hands!: http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/tuna-meatballs-for-babies-toddlers-and.html
Sweetcorn fritters: http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/sweetcorn-fritters-for-babies-toddlers.html
Mushroom pasta bake (big pasta is great for little hands): http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/mushroom-pasta-bake-for-babies-and.html
Parsnip chips: http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/parsnip-chips-for-babies-and-toddlers.html
Apple pancakes (sugar free): http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/wholemeal-apple-pancakes.html
Quiches: http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/broccoli-and-cheddar-mini-quiches-for.html
Broccoli nuggets: http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/broccoli-nuggets.html
Mini meatloaves: http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/mini-meatloaves-for-babies-and-toddlers.html
Chicken nuggets: http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/garlic-and-herb-chicken-nugget-recipe.html
And of course!  Fish cakes: http://mamacook.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/salmon-and-spinach-fishcakes-for-babies.html

That should keep you going for a while!!!  :-)
Here's my blog which is focussed on simple food for babies, toddlers and families http://mamacook.blogspot.com/

Offline BabyKain12

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Re: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 21:37:36 pm »
My ds did the same thing when he figured out self feeding. I agree with the first poster about giving them a fork first, but also some "clean" finger foods that still give nutrition that I feed my son are ravioli without the sauce, any veggies, fruits that have been rinsed off (I cheat and get the fruit cups so I just rinse the juice off) and some meat that doesn't have sauce or gravy. He understands now that if he wants sauce or anything wet that we feed it to him... Though he just pulls it out of his mouth and sticks it back in himself lol. But a lot of times we let him eat naked to explore his food then toss him in the sink for a quick rinse

Offline Bababoo

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Re: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 09:59:46 am »
She is good at eating with her hands so I think that maybe she is starting to not want to be fed with a spoon anymore

Hi...just wondering how the transition went for you....my 10 month old DD is in exactly the same situation....loves her food and will eat anything....but the last few days is refusing anything that she can't pick up herself...which is great that she is so willing, but a nightmare when trying to get porridge into her..which she does love, but won't take now because she can't pick it up...I've been trying to do a trade-off by giving her a piece of toast or fruit to hold - and getting a spoon of porridge in while she is mashing up the food in her hands (which she likes to do before eating it!) but she has gotten wise and now just ends up covered in porridge...do you have any advice on how to keep feeding her 'wet' foods (like porridge, yogurts and scrambled eggs) while letting her eat herself aswell?

Thanks!

Offline BeeAnn

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Re: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 14:22:08 pm »
Hi.  It's been a little while but actually my DD refusing to eat things that were fed to her turned out to just be a short phase (a very annoying one but short nonetheless!!)  I think what I did was make more things like omelettes and meat and two veg etc.  I also made some things like fish cakes and stuff that she could eat herself that weren't too messy.  t think she was always ok to be spoon fed porridge but can't quite remember.  I think I just kept trying but didn't pressure her too much and then one day she was just fine again!

We started letting her feed herself properly with a spoon and fork when she was about 13 or 14 months old, and had enough coordination to do it. It is quite messy but you get used to it!  It is also surprising how much porridge they can get in their mouths using their hands, if you can put up with the mess!!  The pelican bibs are quite good actually because you can spoon the food back out of them.

You could maybe try letting her hold a spoon and helping her scoop it out, if she will let you?

Offline Bababoo

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Re: 11 month old rejecting spoon - finger food ideas please!
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 08:30:16 am »
Thanks for taking the time to reply BeeAnn...I'm hoping it is just a phase...she has just started crawling and I thought it might be part of an overall trend to assert her independence...and once she realises that being spoon fed some things doesn't impede on feeding herself that she will be happy to combine both!
I'm stressed about it less because of the mess it creates, and that mealtimes now take AGES but moreso because she's not getting as much into her as she would if I was feeding her...dinner is usually meat or fish and veg and she can pick up the little lumps of both..but what she can pick up to eat is much less than what I'd give her off a spoon...I'm conscious aswell that I don't want to turn mealtimes into a battle...especially when she has been a happy little eater since starting solids.

I might try letting her spoon some stuff herself and see if she'll let me feed her at the same time..so she feels happy to do it herself..while also getting some food in from me!