Feeding Ninja Turtles

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Feeding Ninja Turtles

Say what??!! I had the fun job of spending the afternoon with two adorable brothers yesterday! At ages two and six, they were home with Mom for the day, and playing with their cooking set. Nearby on the couch were two pillow sized Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (both blue- Leonardos). As we played, and modeled language and putting two words together for the younger of the two brothers, Mom posed a question. “What can I do to get him to use silverware?” She went on to say that even with spaghetti, the youngest will use his hands. So we went to work.Leonardo

After a few open-ended questions, Mom brought out a box of dry cereal. She had mentioned that what would be MOST helpful, would be for the two-year-old (who happens to be the youngest of six!) to be able to feed himself his own cereal in the morning.

Using the play dishes and play silverware, we enlisted the help of the Leonardo twins! “Let’s have a picnic!” I announced. Since the boys were already engaged in pretend cooking, Mommy’s cereal was a welcome addition! The boys were SO EXCITED! Right there in the living room, we put small handfuls of dry cereal on the plates and in the bowls. Our littlest man followed the prompt to stir and mix the cereal in his bowl. He then “fed” some to Leonardo! Then he “fed” some to big brother! Then it was Mom’s turn! And FINALLY…he fed himself dry cereal from a spoon!

Mom was smiling from ear to ear! We went on to practice this and take turns “feeding” each of the turtles, brother, Mom, (yes- Me!) and himself!

So, for your Finger Food Friday…sometimes, practicing a new feeding skill THROUGH PLAY takes the stress off of the child, and makes FEEDING FUN! What ways have you made feeding fun?

Try reading a story to the kids during dinner, or maybe having a favorite stuffed animal or doll sit in one of the chairs. Maybe holding a favorite toy on a lap, or using one as a reward to encourage trying a new food or extending their time at the table would be helpful. Think outside the box!