Toddler Tips #701: Civilized Dining (sort of)

With each passing day, I find myself trying to solve some new challenge with raising four toddlers, aka “quaddlers”. They are a cunning lot who inspires a little ingenuity on my part (and George’s) just to manage day to day life. While my ideas are born from being surrounded by four toddlers, I think many of them could be helpful to any parents of little ones so I'm sharing.

With each passing day, I find myself trying to solve some new challenge with raising four toddlers, aka “quaddlers”. They are a cunning lot who inspires a little ingenuity on my part (and George’s) just to manage day to day life. While my ideas are born from being surrounded by four toddlers, I think many of them could be helpful to any parents of little ones so I’m sharing.

 

We are far from a perfect mealtime at our house, but we are diligently working on it.  At around 15 months we began serving the babies meals on plates (we ordered the Boon Saucer Edgelesss Stayput Divider Plate, Multi
as seen on Texas Tales), and we gave them toddler utensils.  At that age, they refused to let us spoon feed them, and attempted to self feed by grabbing our spoons.  They didn’t yet have the dexterity to feed themselves with utensils and instead relied upon finger feeding.  Dinner finally became family mealtime where all six of us ate at the quad table, which allowed us to model utensil use for the quads.  It wasn’t long before they made crude attempts at spearing and scooping food.  Despite their interest level and best efforts, the process was frustrating to say the least.  They’d chase their food and poke, but rarely got food onto their forks.   I bought metal toddler forks, but they are so dull even I struggled to stab food.  Sydney’s Occupational Therapist suggested using cocktail forks instead of toddler forks.   The next time I was out shopping, I scoured Home Goods and found a four pack of cocktail forks that closely matched our flatware.  I couldn’t resist buying the matching cocktail spoons as well even though they probably weren’t necessary.

 

I scored these at TJ Maxx for $6.99.  They are a close match to our flatware so I could probably use them as cocktail forks if we ever had a cocktail party.

Since these are a close match to our flatware so I could probably use them as cocktail forks if we ever had a cocktail party.  If that ever happens.

 

I excitedly presented the new forks at our next dinner.  The results were magical.  With small, yet sharp utensils, the quads easily speared food AND the food stayed on their forks.  They were so proud of their newly acquired skill that they beamed.  We’ve been using cocktail forks for a few months now, and for the most part the quads use their forks instead of fingers.  It’s still messy, but I attribute better success to our new forks.  I wouldn’t recommend offering cocktail forks to very young toddlers since they are a little sharp.  They are probably best for toddlers who have the concept of self feeding and won’t poke their hands or faces.  I might start with spoons and when the concept is mastered, offer cocktail forks.

They are messy, but really using their new forks!

They are messy, but successfully using their new forks!  In the picture, Rylin is using her right hand, but 95% of the time she uses her left and does a much better job when using the left.  I wonder if she’l be a lefty.

 

Are you left handed or right handed?

 

Hugs!

 

Amber

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