How can I get my 5 year old to start feeding himself

I have to still feed my 5 year old his breakfast and dinner. it is hard work as I have a little baby who also needs food and I feel like I am trying to do much at once. I am back at work now so when I get home I don’t have the patience to deal with it. How can I get him to start feeding himself

Answer #1

If you want your child to start feeding himself, then maybe you could try not feeding him at all, even though you want him to eat, he needs to want to do it himself and if you leave the food on the table and refuse to feed it to him, he will eventually get hungry and eventually feed himself.

Answer #2

For my 5 year old it is a power thing. When she was 3 she was eager to feed herself even though she was very messy. At 5 she wants to be babied. My daughter has a stubborn streak you wouldn’t believe! I can’t imagine where she got that ;)

Of course never punish a child for something (s)he is incapable of. When my daughter gets steak or grilled chicken I do cut it up for her but I do expect her to feed herself after that.

Answer #3

tell him too. show him how, & then him when reward him when he does.


Answer #4

Good old filetofspam. I agree with him, basically. I’d add that you need to find out what your son finds easiest to eat (and is healthy, too!). For example, knife and fork food all on your own at 5 is a bit much, and he’s going to need some help with that. So keep on helping him with formal meals, but get him used to eating on his own with finger foods - sandwiches, fruit, that kind of stuff, and with spoon stuff - cereal at breakfast should be OK to eat on your own at 5.

I guess that he may be doing it to drag your attention back from the new baby - acting babyish in order to get the attention that used to be all his. Does that sound possible? So you need to be sympathetic but firm. If you go through the stuff filet has mentioned, do it with love and sympathy, rather than in anger (so easy to say, so hard to do…)

Answer #5

tell he needs to be a big boy because big boys feed themselves. If he refuses, don’t worry, he’ll get hungry enough sooner or later to pick up his spoon/fork and eat. Just don’t give in.

Answer #6

Try using a lot more finger foods. Baby carrots, apple slices, finger sandwhiches, toast, sausage, crackers, dry cheerios with a cup of milk on the side, etc… and show him how fun it can be to feed himself. I wouldn’t reward him each time though because he may start thinking that each time he eats on his own with you he deserves a reward. Also explain to him the reason you are still feeding the youngest is because he/she can’t do it alone yet. He may be jealous that baby gets your attention now. You could try to make it a game too, like tell him “Why not show baby how big boys eat.” Make sure he gets a lot of praise. Praise and rewards are not the same, praise shows him that you acknowledge what he is doing, and you’re proud of him. He may be struggling at first, and not eat all his food, but as long as he’s eating he should be fine. When you first start you may have to wrap his food and put it in the fridge to heat up later. It may be a bother, but once he’s eating like the big kids, it’ll be well worth it :] Hope I helped :].

Answer #7

Has this become a power struggle? Often kids that age will turn everything into a contest to see who has the stronger will. You decide your son must feed yourself and your son decides that you must feed him. As harsh as this sounds you can never let your young kids win at this sort of contest. Every time you break down and give in it will reinforce to your son that he can get his way by just waiting you out. The easiest way to turn your little prince into a tyrant is by bending to his unreasonable demands.

Put his food out. When he asks to be fed tell him he must feed himself. If he doesn’t feed himself he can go hungry, if he refuses to touch it put it in the fridge for later; if he throws it on the floor don’t give him anything until time for the next meal. When he gets hungry enough he will eat and he will respect you more for it.

Answer #8

do his favorite meal, cut it up for him (prefably some type of finger food) also give him a childs fork, try and have your meal at the same time and let him copy you, he wont get it at first and he mite av a tantrum but be firm and tell him that big boys eat their dinners like their mummys and that hes not leaving the table until hes ate his dinner. after reward him with a special pudding. he’l soon give in and realise that its not fun having a tantrum at meal times and that he’d rather fill his tummy. he mite even suprise you and sit their brilliantly, just try and make sure meal times aren’t stressfull for all of you. you can then focus all your attention on feeding your new baby. good luck x

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