When did you start using plates with your toddler? — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

When did you start using plates with your toddler?

Right now, I pretty much just dump their food on their tray. I've tried giving it to them on their plate, but they either toss the whole plate on the floor or pick it up and shove their face in it (of course causing all the food to fall down the front of them). At what age did your LO realize that the plate stays put? And adding on to that, at what age do they start using spoons/forks? I've tried spoons, too, and they don't quite get it.
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Re: When did you start using plates with your toddler?

  • We started both kids with plates as soon as they started in the high chair. I actually found that they did better about throwing food when it was on a plate. For the most part, they left the plates and food alone once it was introduced that way. Maybe I just have odd kids? :)
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  • I've always put food on a plate, he finely got the hang of it... Have you tried the plates and bowls with suction cups on the bottom?

    Oh and when he turned 12 mo i started giving him a spoon, he uses it just fine by himself now. he is 15 mo now.

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  • We started out with bowls/plates with a suction cup bottom probably when he was like 16 months old.  We moved on to regular plates and he does just what you think your kids will do so we still use the suction ones a lot.  LO struggled with the spoon because you have to keep it level and that's an odd motion for their arm so we got the round tip forks and he did way better with those but now does fine with both.
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  • We started about 2 months ago, same with silverware/plasticware.  Now she's getting the hang of using the fork, even if sometimes it is picking up a piece of food & manually installing it onto the tines.  lolz. 

  • Maybe around 18 months? We were probably at a restaurant the first time I realized he wasn't attempting to throw the plate across the room, so we tried again at home. I still don't give him a plate at every meal, but sometimes I do. I have also noticed just within the past week that DS is now perfectly proficient at feeding himself with a spoon and bowl. It had probably been a couple of months since I'd last let him attempt it, and he'd turn the spoon trying to get it into his mouth and would dump the food out unintentionally. But this week he grabbed the spoon away from me and fed himself, keeping the spoon steady, no problem at all. He's now eating cheerios with bananas and milk for breakfast almost every morning without any assistance.

    I guess just keep trying every month or so until they get it.  

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  • We use character plates and she loves them. She gets excited to eat the food and reveal the face of the character....plate usually get thrown on the ground after she eats everything....we are working on that.

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  • I just recently took the tray off the booster and scooted her up to the table with plates. She doesn't mess with the plate until she is done and then she pushes it away and says "done." I started giving her a fork around 12 months.
  • I started putting the plate or bowl in front of DD a couple weeks ago. Once she starts messing around I take it away, but she does alright.

    ETA: I started letting her help put the fork or spoon in her mouth a few months ago. Within the last month I started loading up the fork or spoon and letting her put it in her own mouth (depending on what the food is). And two days ago she started to try to poke things with her fork herself. It was so cute.

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  • Popping out of lurkdom to say Ike blew Hadley a kiss when I scrolled by!

    And now that I've put him down I can ETA that he's been using a plate for a couple months now, mostly just at dinner time. He still tries to toss it to the dogs sometimes so it's not an every meal thing yet.

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  • Wow, I wasn't expecting to see such a range in ages! Thank you everyone for your responses. i think I'll try offering these things periodically to see how they do and get them used to it.
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  • hmp1hmp1 member

    Before he was one. We tried the suction bowls and plates but they never worked well. I just sit by him and grab the plate if he is about to dump it. It usually means he is done.  We took the tray off his booster around one and he eats at the table with us.

    I give him a spork but he usually just holds it and pokes his food. I think he has only put food on it and made it to his mouth a couple of times.


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  • He realizes its supposed to stay on the plate but he doesn't care...so not yet.
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  • We started using a plate when we started finger foods (~8 months). Well, puffs, Cheerios, and melts always went directly on the tray, but everything else comes on a plate.  DD still picks the plate up and threatens to throw it when she's in a mood or when she's all done, so I just take it away and tell her she's all done then.  

    As for utensils, We introduced toddler-sized spoons when she turned 1 and gave her the "sporks" a couple weeks ago (so around 14.5 months) , but she doesn't use them well yet. She understands the concept, likes to hold them, and makes the motion of rubbing them on her plate and bringing them to her mouth, but hasn't figured out the angle yet. I help her fill the spoon or fork and then she grabs the food off with her hand, lol.  She's figuring it out though.

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