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Learning to use a fork

A few days after Christmas, Henry started reaching for our forks during meals. I thought it was a good idea to support Henry's lead and break out the flatware. 

I wasn't sure if Henry was really ready for a fork. The general guideline is that babies can learn how to use a fork between 12 and 15 months, but I figured it would not hurt to let him try a little earlier. 
Henry tries chicken on a fork.
Right away, Henry figured out how to hold the fork and maneuver the food to his mouth. Sometimes he holds the handle and other times the prongs. It's a combined effort of using his fork and his fingers, but I'd say he is doing a great job with less than two weeks of practice. 
video

I am not a fan of the plastic kids flatware. It looks and feels like a toy, not a tool. I figure if Henry wants to be like Mommy and Daddy using a fork, then we should let him use utensils that looks like what we use. Finding metal flatware for kids, however, is a challenge. Fortunately, Henry's Grandma saved the stainless steel spoons and forks that my sister and I used as children. I also discovered an affordable set at IKEA.  

Henry has not really taken to using spoons yet. This is probably because we just don't use them frequently enough. If we practiced more, he would likely start to learn how a spoon works for scooping food. I think many kids pick up on using a spoon when they have cereal every morning, but we rarely eat cereal for breakfast. Henry eats lots of yogurt, but instead of giving him preloaded spoons, I tend to serve it smeared on foods like pancakes or squash bites. When we have oatmeal, I make oatmeal rounds that are easy to pick up by hand. Similarly we often have soup, but again Henry's portion usually consists of large bits of meat and vegetables along with bread dipped in the soup broth.
 
Refill my fork please!


This week I have given Henry a fork every time I am using one too. I guess I should also look for more opportunities for Henry to practice eating with a spoon.

Comments

  1. Great job Henry! I really appreciate the video to see him in action

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