When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby BigFlower » 18 Feb 2013, 19:30

Dd just turned 3 :D and still eats with her hands a lot. She competently uses cutlery for rice, cereal, yoghurt etc and will use a fork for pasta sometimes but generally eats with her hands.

I've been chilled about it really thinking "oh she's only 2" but when should this really stop by?

We always give her cutlery (and model its usage!) but she's much more likely to dig in with her hands!

Thanks
DD - Feb 2010
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby Aggie » 18 Feb 2013, 19:46

B is 3 .3 and sometimes eats with his hands when he's dipping things in ketchup ( :oops: only allowed with sausages and fish fingers). He just gets so angry if the food drops off his fork and gets stuck in the sauce that the resulting tantrum is just not worth it. In the past year he has gone from always using his hands for ketchup dipping to using cutlery 75% of the time but I have to choose his fairly sharp fork that is easy to stab with.
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby SparklePetal » 18 Feb 2013, 19:51

If she will have hot lunches at school I suspect they will be wanting "proper" cutlery use. So maybe need it a bit more regular by then. But that's ages away! If she does use cutlery for some foods, then I'm sure it's just something that will increase naturally. At some point they become quicker/more accurate with the cutlery so the appeal of hands decreases, as Aggie says about the dipping! (my DD has major tantrums if food disintegrates during the dipping, so I try to pre-empt it by offering to drizzle the ketchup evenly over all the bits of fishfinger :D )
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 18 Feb 2013, 19:52

DD2 (3/7) still uses her hands most of the time despite being completely competent with a fork since she was 1 - see video for evidence! I know she uses cutlery at nursery and if nagged will use it at home but in her case there is a strong cases of bloody mindedness going on. I know she would use cutlery with anyone but us so most of time she gets asked at the beginning of the meal to use cutlery but it is otherwise ignored. I'd be more worried if she couldn't use cutlery.
See DD1's first few meals here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 629434614/
See DD2's weaning video here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 826217940/

DD1 Dec 07, DD2 June 09, DS Sept 12
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby Jelly Belly » 18 Feb 2013, 20:14

There are some dinners we have where I also use my hands so it never stops being okay just gets less appropriate depending on what is dished up...

Squirmy turned three just before Christmas and ditched her fork in favour of her hands for eating rice yesterday. She made less mess that way so I think the waiters approved!

The Chooby (aged five) almost never uses her hands but I can't remember when it became less common and it was never something we pushed for.
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby robyn » 18 Feb 2013, 20:28

M at 5.5 still needs reminding to use cutlery. She's at the extreme end of the spectrum I think though.
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby FestiveTidings » 18 Feb 2013, 20:43

At 35, I still also need reminding occasionally :oops: but my cutlery skills are really quite good.

There are still things DH and I differ on wether it should be hands or cutlery:
Pizza
Fajita's
Chicken legs
Chippy Teas
Chops

I know it drives DH mad that I'm such a Neanderthal!

Honestly though I think as she progresses through nursery and school she will become more adept and also more likely to copy her peers, so I wouldn't worry too much.
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby twilightfan » 18 Feb 2013, 20:49

FanToosh wrote:Honestly though I think as she progresses through nursery and school she will become more adept and also more likely to copy her peers, so I wouldn't worry too much.


Absolutely this.
DS born 2010 and BLW since July 2010
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby Morlyte » 18 Feb 2013, 21:10

Today at the pub for lunch, my ds1 (5 & 3/4) was using his hands for sweetcorn (kernels not on the cob) so his friend began to use his hands too and was told by his Mum to "use a fork because he was being disgusting". Weird really, because I never bat an eyelid at mine using his hands but now I come to think of it, I think he uses his hands quite a lot, however I dont agree that it is disgusting.
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby Efficient_Edna » 19 Feb 2013, 07:19

My dh took the girls for dinner at his parents while I was working and BIL and SIL were there. SIL took it upon herself to admonish DD1 for using her hands (she was just under 3 at the time), and physically intervene every time DD used her hands. DH was really cross, but he is too soft to express it like I would have!

DD1 is a couple of weeks ahead of yours isn't she Bigflower. She uses cutlery 50/50, normally using it for gooey things, then fingers for more pick upable things. I'm not worried, although the SIL event did make me ponder it. But I'm happy to let her go at her own pace for a good while yet. SILs approach would have been more appropriate for a 10 year old maybe!
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby Jelly Belly » 19 Feb 2013, 07:37

FanToosh wrote:Honestly though I think as she progresses through nursery and school she will become more adept and also more likely to copy her peers, so I wouldn't worry too much.

The Chooby only did mornings at Nursery and doesn't go to school so peer pressure isn't always required.
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby BigFlower » 19 Feb 2013, 12:32

Ah thanks everyone!! Really reassuring.

Efficient_Edna wrote:My dh took the girls for dinner at his parents while I was working and BIL and SIL were there. SIL took it upon herself to admonish DD1 for using her hands


This situation (but MIL making very pointed comments rather than actually admonishing - which I would have no problem with telling her off for!) was what prompted my question.

I think that we will just leave it then. She can do it it's just often easier to use hands. Might just make meals a little more "fork friendly" where we can, like cutting up meat into littler bits sometimes.

Jelly Belly wrote:There are some dinners we have where I also use my hands so it never stops being okay just gets less appropriate depending on what is dished up...


Fair point :D

Thanks again
DD - Feb 2010
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 19 Feb 2013, 17:22

FanToosh wrote:At 35, I still also need reminding occasionally :oops: but my cutlery skills are really quite good.

There are still things DH and I differ on wether it should be hands or cutlery:
Pizza
Fajita's
Chicken legs
Chippy Teas
Chops

I know it drives DH mad that I'm such a neanderthal


My Mum serves fish and chip shop chips on a china plate with cutlery!
See DD1's first few meals here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 629434614/
See DD2's weaning video here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 826217940/

DD1 Dec 07, DD2 June 09, DS Sept 12
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby FestiveTidings » 19 Feb 2013, 17:56

Louisianablue2000 wrote:
FanToosh wrote:At 35, I still also need reminding occasionally :oops: but my cutlery skills are really quite good.

There are still things DH and I differ on wether it should be hands or cutlery:
Pizza
Fajita's
Chicken legs
Chippy Teas
Chops

I know it drives DH mad that I'm such a neanderthal


My Mum serves fish and chip shop chips on a china plate with cutlery!


So does MIL!!! I've now brainwashed DH that he will leave it in the paper - but still eats with a knife and fork! :-)
Mum to Roo born Feb 2011 and Wee One born April 2014 - each one a miracle.
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Re: When does eating with your hands stop being okay?

Postby cvious » 04 Mar 2013, 01:54

Well, we all eat like neanderthals in the US anyway (my Dutch husband had to teach me how to use a knife), so I'm not too concerned that S still insists on eating macaroni and cheese with her hands. Really all pasta, I don't get it. She has very good coordination with cutlery when she does use them.
Mama to Strawberry, sprouted July 2010, and Baby Bird, June 2013
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