Baby won t pick up finger foods
What to do if your baby doesn't like baby foods, purees, or solids
Introducing your baby to solid foods can be fun and photo-worthy, but this milestone can also come with some challenges.
It's normal for babies to balk the first time (or many times) they try new solid foods, since they've only ever had breast milk or formula. Don't be discouraged if your baby refuses food at first – it can take 10 or more tries sometimes to get your baby to eat a new food.
The key at any age is to offer your baby a wide variety of foods and keep trying. Even if they don't like the food at first, keep offering it to them – babies learn to love what they're given. If they don't like sweet potato, maybe they'll like squash. Once they get used to squash, try mixing squash with sweet potato to get them used to the new flavor. If they don't like bananas, try avocado and then go back to bananas for another try.
But if you're serving your baby different foods and nothing's working, read on.
If your baby won't eat solids
If your baby is about 6 months old and is developmentally ready for solid foods (has good head control, is grasping, can sit up on their own), but doesn't seem interested in food, they may just not be ready to dive in yet.
Some babies need a little more time to develop curiosity around food. Take it slow – if you try to give your baby one kind of puree and they refuse it, wait a few days and try a different puree. In the meantime, make family meals fun and engaging by talking to your baby about the food you're preparing and letting them watch you eat.
If your baby is struggling with purees, baby-led weaning could be a good alternative. This method encourages your baby to explore food on their own. Simply offer your child safe foods, like soft scrambled eggs or long spears of very ripe banana, and let them experiment with how the food feels in their hands and mouth.
Keep in mind that whether you start with pureed foods or try baby-led weaning, gagging is perfectly normal while your baby learns to feed themself. The gag reflex helps bring food to the front of the mouth so your baby learns how to chew.
If your baby won't eat finger foods
If your baby is 9 months or older and they don't like finger foods and thicker purees, there could be a few reasons. If your baby has primarily been spoon-fed by you up until now, they may need some time to get the hang of feeding themselves finger foods.
Or they may not be ready yet – babies can't pick up and feed themselves finger foods well until they learn the pincer grasp. This usually happens around 8 to 10 months, but if you're baby's a little behind, don't worry. They may just need some extra time to learn, and some encouragement from you can help.
You can help your baby master their grabbing skills by giving them lots of toys that are easy to grasp, like soft blocks, plastic rings, and board books. Play a little game with them by putting a colorful toy in front of them and encouraging them to grab it.
Some babies also have a sensitive gag reflex that makes them gag on lumpy food. (They may have had difficulty latching on when nursing as infants.) If your baby has trouble eating textured or lumpy food without gagging, sticking to thin purees may feel safe, but this could get in the way of helping your child learn how to chew.
Teach your baby to tolerate lumpy food by adding ingredients with a uniform texture – like wheat germ or cracker crumbs – to pureed food. Start with a small amount and add more as your baby gets used to the texture. You can also try giving them solids that will dissolve easily in their mouth, like baby crackers, to help them get used to new textures.
If your baby doesn't like the texture of meat, try a different preparation: For example, if your baby won't eat diced chicken breast, try giving them ground chicken or thinly sliced deli meat instead.
If your baby is sensitive to the texture of finger foods, experiment with introducing different textures in other ways – give your baby feathers, a bumpy ball, or cooked noodles to play with. (Just make sure to supervise in case small items end up in your baby's mouth.) Teething toys that have bumps may help, too. Getting used to new sensations at playtime might make your baby more open to unfamiliar food textures.
If your child still rejects lumpy or textured solid food at a year old, or if they aren't able to feed themself finger foods by 12 to 15 months, check in with your child's doctor. It could indicate that your child has a developmental problem or sensory issue that may be improved with the right help.
Severe difficulty eating a wide range of foods is common among kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or sensory processing disorder (SPD), but picky eating isn't the only sign of these conditions. Talk to the doctor if you have any concerns.
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What to do when baby won’t touch food
If you have just started solids and are not sure how to go about it, check out our course videos on starting solids, baby-led weaning and responsive spoonfeeding and consider downloading our Starting Solids bundle.
There are many reasons why a child may not be interested in eating, but what do you do when babies or toddlers aren’t interested in even touching their food?Chase the why
If a baby is not eating, they are trying to communicate something. For some babies, they simply might not have the interest, skill, or desire to eat at that moment; for others, it may be more complicated given their history (reflux, a bad gag, negative associations with the highchair, etc.) It’s imperative to listen to baby’s cues in any of these situations while guiding them to learn.
The most important thing you can do is bring calm confidence to the table and believe that baby can learn the skills for eating. In other words, stay calm and don’t give up!If baby is 6 months old or younger
You’ve done all the reading about starting solids. You have the highchair, bib, and you know what food you want to introduce first. And then, in the blink of a camera, at the height of your anticipation, your bubble bursts. Baby doesn’t bring a single thing to their mouth.
Or maybe you started with spoon feeding and decided to make the switch to finger food. You cut the food just right, set the meal just so, but instead of enjoying it, baby doesn’t touch a thing.
At 6 months of age or younger, babies are often just not ready. Evaluate whether baby is truly ready for solids (see our page on readiness or check out our video) and make sure baby is truly meeting all of the developmental signs before starting solid food.
Consider waiting a week or two. If baby is less than or around 6 months old and showing signs of readiness, but doesn’t engage with food offered, try not to worry too much. Many babies at this age are just not cognitively ready to self-feed, even if they are showing the motor milestones for readiness. This is normal.
Even with spoon-feeding, many babies will turn away from the spoon when they are not ready. This is communication saying they are not interested or ready yet. Listen to what baby is telling you. Sometimes the youngest eaters just need another week or two to wrap their heads around eating.
Avoid feeding schedule changes. Encouraging or pushing baby to eat before they are ready can lead down a bumpy road of food refusal. At this age, avoid feeding schedule changes to make baby hungry enough to try solid foods. Remember: Baby’s primary nutrition should be from breast milk or formula until 12 months of age. Plus, an overly hungry young baby is not primed to learn. Babies who are too hungry and don’t yet have the skills to self-feed will end up melting down at the table. (Cue screaming for the breast or bottle.)
Let baby watch you eat, often. Even before you start solids, bring baby to the table. Pull up the bouncing chair so baby can watch you eat or sit baby on your lap. Channel a dinner party vibe—laugh, smile, and enjoy your meal so baby can see the fun of eating. When baby is ready to start solids, pull baby’s highchair up to the table or put baby on your lap while YOU eat. Babies learn from watching us, and many young babies need more modeling to realize that food goes in our mouths.
Get baby’s attention. Tap their highchair tray or table with your fork or finger, call their name, and make eye contact. Once they are paying attention, bring the food to your mouth and smile. This is very important with spoon-fed babies. Spoon-fed babies learn that food comes on a spoon, it’s put in their mouth, and swallowed. Picking up food with their hands and bringing it to their mouth is an entirely different story—the concept that hands bring food to the mouth is brand new. See the tips below for helping baby pick up and bring food to their mouth or dive in to our video on transitioning from spoon feeding to self-feeding.
Talk to baby and describe the food: “This is delicious spaghetti with Grandma Mary’s famous sauce! It’s tangy and sweet at the same time!”
Model with your mouth open. Throw your manners out the window and chew with your mouth open so babe can see what you are doing. When you swallow, point to your stomach and say: “The spaghetti went all the way to my belly!” You may feel a bit silly, but modeling is a game-changer for many young babies.
Go BIG with food sizes. It may seem counter-intuitive, but for young babies, bigger is better. Watch how a 6- to 9-month-old baby interacts with toys, and you’ll notice they use all of their fingers and the palm of their hand to grasp things. Bigger pieces of food are much easier to grasp, hold, and control. Learning to chew is challenging work, and we want to help make everything else (i.e., reaching and grasping) as easy as possible. A baby struggling with a smaller piece of food may give up because they don’t have the skill to grab it yet.
Bigger pieces of food are also easier for baby to manage in their mouth. The brain more readily notices and registers big pieces. Young babies are more likely to explore and move big pieces around in the mouth successfully.
You want to provide just the right amount of challenge. Bigger pieces of food provide baby with a fun challenge but aren’t too difficult to reach, grasp, and move around with their tongue. When tasks are too hard, babies may give up and (in their own way) say, “No, thanks!” Fine motor control improves as baby gets closer to 9+ months, and they’ll start using their thumb and index finger to pinch smaller items. This is a great time to size down in food so they can utilize their new skill.If baby is 9 months old or older
If baby is just starting to self-feed after a period of spoon-feeding, they might not know what to do with food in front of them. Remember, they’ve been practicing a specific eating skill (accepting a spoon) and need to learn a different way to eat.
Make sure baby comes to the table happy. If babe has a meltdown the minute you put them in the highchair, start there. Take a break from the highchair and serve a meal with baby sitting on your lap or have a picnic on the living room floor. Some babies love a little excitement on the way to the table—try dancing, twirling, or crawling! Set baby up for success and start the meal happy.
Model your daily eating routine. This is especially important if you are transitioning from spoon-feeding to baby-led weaning. Remember: Everything baby is doing is a new skill, and they need to see how it’s done to understand better.
Imitate baby’s facial expressions and encourage them to imitate you. Watching to learn is a huge part of infancy. Think about it this way—the more you enjoy something, the more interest your baby has in it. The more you look at your phone, the more baby wants to play with it, right? Enjoy eating your meal, and baby will want to participate in eating, too!
Bring baby’s attention to the food. Tap baby’s tray near the food to make sure they are visually attending to it, call their name, and say, “Look!” Sometimes a simple, single cue is all a baby needs to acknowledge and touch food on a tray. Note: While not common, a lack of sustained attention can be a sign of autism. If baby is not attending to the food after repeated attempts to get their attention to it, consult your health care professional.
Offer food vertically in the air. Make it easy for baby to pick the food up by offering it to them in the air. You can also try standing food upright to make it easier for baby to grasp. (Such as banana sticks in yogurt with the banana standing upright.) If baby is still not interested, try taking a bite of the food yourself and then offering that piece to baby in the air. If you offer something like yogurt, oatmeal, or other puree-type foods, you can load the spoon and hand it to your child or hold the spoon in your mouth and lean toward baby to grab.
Offer the food from your own mouth. Put your manners aside and try this tried-and-true feeding therapy trick: hold the food between your teeth, lean toward baby, and let them take the food out of your mouth with their hands.
Remember: Step one is for baby to interact with the food; if they are reaching for and/or grasping the food items, you’re making progress! Patience is key. We don’t expect babies to roll from tummy to back consistently the first time they try. Likewise, we don’t expect babies to eat consistently in the beginning, either. Their primary nutrition source remains breast milk or formula until 12 months of age. Any table food they consume is a plus.
Bring baby to the table a bit hungry. Consider offering breast or bottle 1.5-2 hours before mealtime, so they have a bit more hunger drive to eat the food on their tray.
However, if a 9- to 12-month-old baby tries to eat but appears frustrated and irritable at the table, it could be a sign that they are too hungry and want food but have yet to hone their fine motor or chewing skills—cue the hanger. This could be a sign that baby needs an appetizer, so they come to the table with a desire to eat, ready to learn and build skill, but aren’t hangry. Consider a small breast or bottle-feed 30-45 minutes before mealtime or offer easy-to-eat food to start the meal.For toddlers 12 months old and up
Here are some additional tips to encourage food exploration and new skills for toddlers resistant to touching foods or who have been spoon-fed and are now transitioning to self-feeding table foods.
Practice makes perfect. Toddlers learn by doing. They may need additional practice scooping with their hands and using containers. You can encourage and practice these skills by scooping water with cups in the bathtub or scooping dry items like rice or beans with spoons or their hands.
Let them practice feeding you. If the child is okay touching food but won’t feed themselves, ask them to feed you. Bring their attention to a piece of food, hand it to them, and ask them to put it in your mouth. If you have pets (and feel comfortable with little hands near the pup’s mouth), ask the toddler to feed the dog.
Pretend play! Feed stuffed animals or dolls and explain what’s happening: “You fed bunny a piece of cheese! It’s going to go all the way to her belly and help her grow big and strong!”
Model and narrate more. Toddlers still learn a lot from watching and modeling. Demonstrate feeding yourself and explicitly verbalize what’s happening: “Mama is putting this banana in her mouth! And then she’s going to chew it with her teeth! Watch!” Then point from your mouth to your belly and explain: “The banana is going all the way to my belly to help me feel strong!”
Engage in sensory play outside of mealtime. If the child does not want to touch certain textures (i.e., wet, cold, sticky), try sensory play outside of mealtime. Go for finger paints, shaving cream, or slime. If texture avoidance happens with more than just food, consider talking to a pediatrician. An occupational therapist trained in sensory integration may be able to help.
Explore different shapes, sizes, and props. Some toddlers respond well to making food more fun. Try serving food with a toothpick or cut food in a fun shape. Mango in bite size pieces on a plate may seem totally boring… but mango on toothpicks? Fun!
Stop spoon-feeding. If a toddler knows they will always be spoon-fed to meet their hunger need, they are less likely to try feeding themselves, which is more challenging for them to do. Tips for this transition:
- Start meals slightly earlier than usual so they are hungry but not starving or hangry.
- Use the modeling tips above and model for them to feed themselves.
- If you are confident they can chew foods, consider not spoon-feeding them and see if they self-feed. If they choose not to eat, allow them to learn that hunger is a natural consequence if they don’t feed themselves. This is age appropriate and should work rapidly. If you have any concerns, discuss a plan of action with a feeding therapist or health care provider.
- Offer a snack that they can self-feed a little bit later to help them solidify the skill.
For more support on transitioning babies and toddlers from spoon-feeding to self-feeding, see our video here.
If the child has not had the chance to learn how to chew foods and they appear to struggle with consistencies other than purees, consider talking to your pediatrician about a referral for feeding therapy with an occupational or speech therapist to help build chewing skills.When baby will touch everything but wet foods like yogurt
Will baby or toddler interact with everything except wet textures like yogurt, oatmeal, or sauces? Some kids are more sensitive to this type of texture and may need help learning to tolerate it.
Practice self-feeding with a spoon. This is a skill babies and toddlers need for life, so practicing with pre-loaded spoons or scooping with utensils are great options. Offer the spoon but don’t put it in baby’s mouth: stop a few inches away from their face and let baby reach for the spoon to pull it toward their mouth.
Provide opportunities for sensory play. There are many ideas online for “sensory bins” for babies and toddlers, but consider playing in wet grass, painting with ketchup, making edible slime or finger paints, or playing with sponges in the bath or at a water table.
Let baby feed you. Will they touch the food to bring it to your mouth? This can be an excellent gateway to touching the food for themselves.
Avoid over-cleaning their hands. Sometimes when babies and toddlers know that messy play ends with a wipe down, they altogether avoid the activity anticipating the ending. It’s tough watching kids get super messy, but there’s a massive benefit in letting them get sticky. Make clean-up fun and lighthearted. Go to the sink, turn the water on, and have a splashing party.When to seek help
Generally, a lack of interest in touching food is not typically a concern; it’s often just a sign the child needs more exposure and practice. However, consult your pediatric health care professional if the child is:
- Gagging, retching, or vomiting at the sight or touch of food.
- Extremely sensitive to certain textures (like wet, sticky, etc.). They may need extra help with sensory processing. Talk to your health care professional for a referral for occupational therapy to help them better regulate their body.
- Not gaining weight well despite drinking breast milk or formula.
- Not consuming any solid foods after 8 months of age. Note: Spoon-fed babies and toddlers in transition to finger food and self-feeding may have a period of food refusal. See our video for tips on how to bridge this transition.
- Not accepting any chewable foods after a couple of weeks of exposure to solid foods (9 months or older). If baby is younger than 9 months and not accepting chewable foods, employ the tips above for baby’s age and give it a bit more time.
- Swallows all chewable food whole without attempting to chew and is 12 months old or older.
- Not attending to the food on the tray after attempts to get their attention (calling their name, tapping the tray, etc.). While not common, a lack of sustained attention can be a sign of autism.
No matter the age of baby, remember the division of responsibility. There are certain things you can control and certain things you cannot:
You control what foods the child is offered, when food is offered, and how you show up to the meal (i.e., your attitude).
Your child is in control of whether they eat and how much.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot control if or how much your child will eat.
Trying to control their intake is a slow spiral down a rabbit hole of picky eating and food refusal. Try one or two strategies at the meal, and if your child is still not interested, enjoy your own meal, and move on. Tomorrow is another day.
How you show up to the meal is much more important than you probably realize. The literature on picky eating shows that parental concern about intake and pushing babies to eat when they are not interested consistently leads to picky or selective eating later.1 2 3 4
So, take a deep breath and try to have fun as kiddo instinctively fumbles through learning to eat.
If you are concerned about your child’s weight gain or ability to eat table foods, talk to your child’s pediatrician. A feeding therapist can provide new ideas and additional support.
Kary Rappaport, OTR/L, MS, SCFES, IBCLC
Kimberly Grenawitzke, OTD, OTR/L, SCFES, IBCLC, CNT
- Emmett, P. M., Hays, N. P., & Taylor, C. M. (2018). Antecedents of picky eating behaviour in young children. Appetite, 130, 163–173.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.07.032
- Cardona Cano, S., Hoek, H. W., & Bryant-Waugh, R. (2015). Picky eating. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 28(6), 448–454.
- Steinsbekk, S., Bonneville-Roussy, A., Fildes, A., Llewellyn, C. H., & Wichstrøm, L. (2017). Child and parent predictors of picky eating from preschool to school age. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1).
- Cole, N. C., An, R., Lee, S.-Y., & Donovan, S. M. (2017). Correlates of picky eating and food neophobia in young children: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition Reviews, 75(7), 516–532
What to do if the child does not want to chew - "Healthy Child's Internet Cabinet"
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Ufimtseva Olesya Borisovna
Social teacher of the consultative and health department of the City Center for Medical Prevention
Transferring a child from ready-made formulas and breast milk to adult food is a problem for many parents, since the baby cannot learn to chew food, is naughty, refuses new foods, and spits out what he cannot swallow without chewing. The transition to more solid foods that must be chewed in order to be eaten is a natural physiological process associated with the development of various body systems. The digestive system gradually gets used to the digestion of solid food. The demand for nutrients is growing. A variety of "adult" foods can satisfy her. If a child does not learn to eat normally, then the nutrition of all tissues of his body will be disrupted. This affects his physical and intellectual development. If there is still a problem with chewing, then do not panic. Some special tips will help teach your baby to chew pieces of food.
Dr. E.O. Komarovsky gives the following simple advice to parents who are faced with the unwillingness of the baby to chew food:
- To teach your child to chew both soft foods and hard pieces, you need to gradually add dishes with larger food particles to the meal. For example, soft bread can be gradually added to the soup so that the child can feel the pieces of food on the tongue. You can give the baby a boiled carrot: it is convenient to hold it and it is interesting to pull it into the mouth. In order for the baby to learn to chew food, you need to give him a tasty and beautiful cookie or a piece of sweet fruit that he likes. A bagel will do. Some parents give children as early as the age of 5-6 months drying or baby biscuits. At this age, as a rule, there are no teeth yet, but the child works on drying, because he feels a pleasant taste. He soaks it in his mouth, bites off small pieces with his gums, learns to chew and swallow them. Drying should be given not so much for saturation, but for the development of the chewing reflex. Then, when the first teeth appear, it will be more difficult for the baby to get used to such a useful and tasty toy. It is uncomfortable for him to bite with his gums, and there are still few teeth. Of course, you need to carefully monitor so that the baby does not choke.
- Mom and dad do not have to immediately agree with the stubborn demand of the crumbs to give him the usual pureed food. Parents should show artistry, portray regret that, for example, the blender is broken. In extreme cases, you can give the baby a fork so that he mashes the pieces of potatoes. He will surely like it, although the lack of skill may lead to the fact that half of the puree will be on the floor, but the next time the child will demand just such “interesting” food, stuffing it into his mouth (the fork must be special - plastic, with blunt teeth) .
- If a child does not chew, but tries to lick and suck an apple or a biscuit, he does not need to rush to rub this very apple on a grater or soak the biscuits in milk. Give him solid food more often, if the number of teeth allows, let him train.
- If a child refuses to chew, swallow, or pick up a spoon, E.O. Komarovsky advises to reconsider the diet. It is likely that the baby simply does not have time to get really hungry. This happens in families where the crumbs are given to eat “when the time has come”, and not when he himself asks for food. Overfeeding is not only the reason for the unwillingness of the baby to take part in the process itself, it can trigger the mechanisms of a variety of diseases. Therefore, overfeeding is more harmful than underfeeding.
Dear parents, be patient with your children and love them with all your heart. Only then will they develop according to all age norms!
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The child eats with his hands: norm or deviation
Many mothers, having heard enough of their friends and relatives, begin to worry because their baby has not yet learned how to use tableware. The baby takes food with his hands, smears it on the table and clothes, scatters it around the kitchen - such a picture will infuriate even the calmest mother. When can you start learning to hold a spoon in your hands and eat on your own?
Advice from psychologists
Undoubtedly, the endless washing of children's things, bathing the child after each meal, daily cleaning bring additional troubles to young parents. But most of all, mothers worry that their baby is lagging behind in development, because the neighbor’s boy is only a year old, and he is already actively using a spoon.
It must be taken into account that before the introduction of complementary foods, the baby is not interested in the food that the parents eat. At about 6-7 months, he begins to understand that, in addition to mother's milk and formula, there are other products. And children begin to confidently hold a spoon, as a rule, not earlier than 2 years.
At six months, the baby learns to sit, and along with this skill comes an interest in "adult" food. Psychologists advise mothers to give a baby a plastic spoon in the hands of the baby with the start of complementary foods. Mom feeds the baby vegetable or fruit puree, and he, in turn, twists his own cutlery in his hands. Firstly, it helps to develop fine motor skills, which is important for full development. Secondly, the child gradually gets used to the fact that a spoon is needed while eating.
Getting used to can take a long time, and parents should not be afraid of this. Mom needs to remember a few simple rules so that the baby subsequently actively uses cutlery.
Rule #1. Accept the fact that the child has his own taste
In order to understand what foods your baby likes, you need to regularly offer him different types of food. At some point, the baby may refuse the offered food and eat only a few products. Also, with age, the child's taste preferences may change. When the main products are introduced into the baby's diet, offer him various variations of dishes: vegetable and fruit purees, cereals, pieces of fruits and vegetables. Experiment with the baby, and then he will be able to choose what he likes.
Interesting: How to teach a child to speak in a calm tone
Rule #2. Do not be afraid of dirt in the kitchen
At first, mothers are sensitive to the spread of porridge on the floor and traces of broccoli on a white T-shirt. Time will pass, and you will remember this period with a smile. And the stains are easily washed with the help of special products, and the wallpaper can be washed. The child learns the world, and does not try to spite his parents to spoil the fresh renovation in the kitchen. Often mothers make the mistake of spoon-feeding their babies until adulthood. And then they wonder why the child does not want to eat on his own. It's just that he is not interested, he perceives food intake as a mandatory program. I ate a spoon for mom, a spoon for dad, that's good.
Psychologists say that often such children later suffer from obesity and other eating disorders.
Rule #3. Praise for independence
If you are spoon-feeding your baby, and he suddenly snatches the device from your hands, do not interfere with him. On the contrary, praise the child and invite him to try to eat on his own. At the same time, arm yourself with a second spoon. While the baby will try to scoop up the porridge and bring the spoon to his mouth, you can calmly feed him from your spoon.
If at lunch a child takes out pieces of meat with his hands and tries to put them in his mouth, in no case scold him. Let the little man do what he has in mind. Parents who forbid their kids to do something on their own should not be surprised that their children will later eat from a spoon. It is better to let the child figure out for himself how to scoop up porridge or soup, bring it to his mouth, put the spoon back down. The baby learns elementary things by experience, and it is better not to interfere with parents.
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Why a child refuses cutlery and eats with his hands
There are several reasons why the baby likes to take food with his hands more:
- Age. One-year-old children still do not know how to hold a spoon, but they already want to eat on their own. It is easier for them to grab a piece of meat with their small fingers or to catch vegetables from the soup. Parents need to develop a food interest in a child, but in no case should they be forced to hold a spoon. In the end, you can put on baby home clothes and tie a bib, and cover the table with oilcloth. The kid learns the world, and this is a necessary stage in human development.
- Attracting attention. If the child is already old enough, but continues to grab food with his hands, perhaps in this way he attracts the attention of parents. Most likely, the child is not given free time, and at least he will attract attention to himself. Analyze whether your daughter or son has enough communication with you. Put aside household chores and do something interesting together: draw, sculpt, read, walk. Children grow up very quickly, so you need to appreciate every minute spent together.
- Crisis 3 years. The baby considers himself an adult and independent, does not listen to what his parents tell him. He takes food with his hands, thereby demonstrating that he knows better how to behave. During a crisis, do not put pressure on the child and force him to do something. Also, you can not compare the baby with other children who already know how to eat on their own. Show by example how to behave at the table.
- Stressful situations. Moving, divorce of parents, adaptation in kindergarten - all this can affect the child's psyche. By his behavior, the child shows a protest against a change in the usual way of life. It is advisable to contact a child psychologist to understand the reason for this behavior.
- Reluctance to become an adult. Especially often this can be observed in families where a small child appears. The older brother (sister) intentionally takes food with their hands, smears it on the table or walls, and begins to distort words, imitating the kids. Parents will have to find time for the older child, although, of course, at first all attention is switched to the baby. But the older child also needs the care of parents, communication, support.
If the baby prefers to eat with his hands, do not immediately panic and run to a child psychologist or pediatrician.