I was spoon feeding my 14 month old mac and cheese when someone said "you don't let her feed herself?" Well, I do... but this just seemed like a food that makes a huge mess if she fed her on her own. Should I had her self feed herself mac and cheese today and it was EVERYWHERE... but she loved it.. so I'll continue this route. However, when do we start introducing utensils? I still spoon feed her yogurt... should I be letting her play with the spoon when she gets yogurt??
Re: Feeding themselves/Utensils?
Let her try to feed herself, and if she needs help then you can step in and help her.
If it's the mess that's bothering you, then when appropriate strip her to just a diaper when she eats, and situate her chair on something really easy to clean like linoleum. When out or at Grammas house, give her something really hard to be messy wth, like a grilled cheese. I actually have a friend who does all really neat meals, but dinner is messy right before bathtime. You would have to get a little more creative with healthy meals that way, though.
But, the longer you let them feed themselves, the neater they eat. Daughter still drops into her lap occasionally, and of course her face needs wiping off, but unless she's exhausted it's rarely a big messy ordeal.
My MIL would love you. I'm on the other side of the spectrum: my kids ate regular food (according to BLW) starting 6 mos and I gave them utensils early so they used the spoon well by 14 mos. I love the messes b/c in my mind it's the path to self-confidence and control. (It helps that the highchairs/booster seats have easy-clean trays and mats underneath.) My DH has come around - he's lived and sees the impact of his family's eating habits on himself and his nephews. In my MIL's book: spoon feed her so she eats enough and avoid messes. In my book: let her learn and regulate her intake. GL with finding what works for you two.
TTC#1 2003 BFNs, 2004-2009 5 angels above
2010 IVF-PGS-FET#1, DD b. Aug-2011
TTC#2 2012 BFNs, 2013 FET#2, DS b. Nov-2013
TTC#3 2015 BFNs, FET#3 (my 6th and last angel above)