Works For Me: Teaching a Toddler to Eat

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Teaching a toddler to use a spoon can drive a mother to put her head through a wall.  It is messy, and it is (for a long time) an exercise in futility.  But with my daughter, I’m having some success using peanut butter.  I put a teaspoon-size dollop on her high chair, give her a baby spoon, and let her go at it.  Because it isn’t runny, she is able to have success much more quickly, and it’s (slightly) less messy than practicing on, say, apple sauce.  Mmmmm, and she smells so good afterwards I could just eat her up! 

Of course, peanut allergies are nothing to mess around with, so be sure you talk to your pediatrician before trying out this little exercise. 

If you have a WFMW idea you’d like to contribute, just post your link below.  Guidelines can be found here.  Remember to post a link directly to your WFMW post, not to the front page of your blog.

52 thoughts on “Works For Me: Teaching a Toddler to Eat

  1. Janice says:

    oops – sorry – i forgot to put the link to my post. you will have to scroll down past my wordless wednesday. so sorry. (Last week I tried to do it right and then messed up the url. good grief i am dumb. THEN on all the WW linky lists I left that messed up url! So this time I messed up again – so sorry. Hope youdon’t mind a quick little scroll past my WW)
    That is a great tip about the peanut butter. I worried about nuts so i waited quite a while before giving my son PB. But it really sounds great!

  2. Nettie says:

    That is a good idea! My toddler is just about there with using a spoon, but she would love practicing with the peanut butter, as she loves it!
    I’m so glad you started doing the WFMW. I was noticing the other day how many things I’ve started doing differently (and better) now that I’ve been reading these. It takes a long time to get through them all, but the benefits are worth it. At least it works for me!

  3. Carol says:

    For me, teaching them to feed themselves wasn’t nearly as painful as actually spoon-feeding them myself. That’s the only thing I did not enjoy about having babies. The rest, I’d do again in a heartbeat.
    Will pass this tip along to my sister. Might help her get those twins feeding themselves faster!

  4. Maine Mom says:

    I’ve just recently gotten hooked on your Works For Me posts! I like the peanut butter idea. It can be a challenge to think of food to feed a wannabe self-feeder! Thanks for the tip.

  5. Amy says:

    Great idea, Shannon! I have an (almost) six month old little girl so this might be something we can try.
    Looking forward to reading everyone’s ideas. I agree with Joy- I am a much more efficient & creative mom since the WFMW feature! Thank you!

  6. Queen of Carrots says:

    Hmm, I should try the thicker food thing. Although I’m with Carol, I’d rather do just about anything than sit and spoon-feed a baby for an hour.
    I think I got my links all done correctly this week.

  7. Neighbor Jane says:

    Shannon–Just want to thank you again for your brainchild WFMW!
    What a great tip the peanut butter is. I’m saving it for grandchildren someday.

  8. Katherine says:

    My kids are big PB fans (my 2yo would rather just stick her hands in the jar, tho!). You just have to seriously watch choking and not let them get too much (impossible to heimlich that sticky stuff!).
    Thanks AGAIN for being such a wonderful hostess! Love, love, love it!

  9. Amy says:

    I found this from someone’s sight(I can’t remember who) and this is so fun. Thanks for letting me join in.

  10. Theresa says:

    This is my first “Works for Me Wednesday” and it’s so fun. I love the ideas and visiting with the other ladies.
    Have a blessed day!

  11. Kari says:

    I have so enjoyed your WFMW. I havent thought of anything clever enough to post on my blog but so love yours. One thing that I found that my girls (2 & 1) can self feed themselves is Yumster yogurt. It is thick enough to stick to the spoon when you turn it over. Of course they come with Dora the Explorer on the cup which really gets my 2 year old excited!

  12. Gina C says:

    Great idea! My kid are out of that stage though. One thing I liked using for toddlers was the spork. If they couldn’t stab the food with a fork they could always scoop it up!
    My WFMW is up about taking long car rides with kids!

  13. Mary says:

    Blogger is acting up again. I have tried to post comments on serveral blog with no luck so I am just going to say it here. “What a neat idea!” You may copy and paste that to your blog if you can get it to work. Thanks! Mary

  14. Jennifer says:

    I posted my link, too. First time!
    My son really “got” the spoon for some reason. He’s two now and fairly proficient.
    Yogurt is good, too!

  15. Created for HIS Glory says:

    Works for Me – Blogging

    I noticed something the other day that really struck me as important. Back at the beginning of December I started a category called In a Funk. Because I usually go through a difficult emotional time in the winter months, I was preparing for it and the…

  16. Sue says:

    You always have clever ideas Shannon. My best friend has a new grandchild she is caring for during the week and I’ll pass this on to her at the appropriate age 🙂

  17. LammyAnn says:

    GREAT idea…. and I love the idea about the Oatmeal and Grits. My son absolutly HATES HATES HATES raw peanutbutter (but will eat pb cookies) but LOVES grits.
    Thanks again Shannon, for your wonderful WFMW… I’ve learned so many great ideas.

  18. Tami says:

    It seems that I linked incorrectly this week- I apologize for the need to scroll through my other post for today. I’ll try to fix this next week!

  19. LammyAnn says:


  20. Kristina says:

    ALSO AN ALTERNATIVE to peanut butter is called Tahini. It is found at a natural food store, or you can find other natural peanut butters. They are better for them and can even be introduced earlier than one year I believe. (I would still ask your pediatrician)

  21. Gina says:

    As a Mom with a peanut allergic kid, thanks for putting the reminder in there. FYI…our ped allergist recommends no PB for kids under 3 yrs old. This goes for everyone not just those with a family history. We don’t have any family history yet I’ve got a child with a severe allergy. Go figure?

  22. Peggy says:

    I am brand new to blogging and when I found your WFMW feature I was hooked! So I posted one of my own and I hope I did everything right!
    Thanks for all your tips!

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