1. Create the right environment
- When you first offer solid food to your child you should make sure you are sitting opposite each other at a low table with a child-sized chair with arms so your child feels secure.
- If you have your child on your lap or in your arms like when she was being fed with milk she will be expecting a flow of warm milk and the solid food will be unwelcome.
2. Show her how to eat independently
- Place a small amount of food, such as pureed applesauce or carrot on a spoon and place it on her lip so that she can taste it for herself.
- Offer a variety of tastes. Foods do not need to be bland, children enjoy a variety of tastes when they get used to them.
- Place finger foods such as small pieces of fruit on a plate on the table so that she can try to find her mouth and feed herself while you are feeding her from a spoon.
- Once your child has got used to some different tastes and is able to bring finger food to her mouth offer her an additional spoon. She can dip her own spoon into the pureed fruit or vegetables and try to find her mouth with it. At the same time you can continue to feed her with the other spoon so that at least some food goes in!
- Have some water nearby so that when she throws her spoon on the floor you can rinse it and give it back to her.
- Once your child can use the spoon and is ready for something a bit more solid offer a fork because this is the right implement for piercing food.
3. Allow time
- Do not be put off if your child screws up her face. At first, everything will taste strange if she has only been drinking milk up until now.
- It will take time for your child to gain control over her hand and guide it and the spoon successfully to her mouth but if you are patient and always let her keep trying for herself she will gradually master it and you can withdraw your help with the additional spoon.