Tamariki learning to feed themselves are developing independence.
Why do it?
- This is the time when toddlers start wanting to do things for themselves.
- Toddlers are often keen to feed themselves.
- They’ll have the chance to practise using a spoon or a fork — a useful fine (small muscle) motor skill.
- They can make choices about what they eat and how much.
- Letting children decide how much to eat helps them learn what being full feels like.
How to do it
- Put an old sheet or some newspaper underneath where the child is eating to help protect the floor and make clean-up quicker.
- Have some food ready before sitting them down for their meal.
- Soft finger food is ideal for this activity.
- Decide how many pieces to offer them — start with 2 or 3.
- Take your cue from them about how much more to offer.
- If they’re eating food from a bowl, have a spoon for you and one for them, so they can watch you and practise.
- Select some foods that are good for eating with a little fork, (cooked vegetable or a firm banana) so they can practise this skill too.
Using more te reo Māori
|Wā mō te kai||Mealtime|
|Kei te hiakai koe?||Are you hungry?|
|He aha tō pīrangi hei kaikai?||What do you want to eat?|
|Kei te pīrangi koe ki te parakuihi?||Do you want some breakfast?|
|He āporo māu?||Do you want some apple?|
|Māku e mahi ngā kai||I'll get the kai ready|
|Anei. E kai||Here you are. Eat up|
|Huakina mai tō waha||Open your mouth|
|Āta kai||Eat nicely|
|Tino reka tēnei kai||This kai is delicious|
|Ka nui tēnā||That's enough|
|He kai anō māu?||Do you want more?|
|Karakia mo te kai||Blesing of food|
|Nau mai e ngā hua o te wao, o te ngakīnga, o te wai tai, o te wai Māori||I welcome the gifts of food from the sacred forests, from the cultivated gardens, from the sea, from the fresh waters.|
|Nā Tāne||The food of Tāne|
|Nā Rongo||of Rongo|
|Nā Tangaroa||of Tangaroa|
|Nā Maru||of Maru|
|Ko Ranginui e tū iho nei||I acknowledge Ranginui who is above me|
|Ko Papatūānuku e takoto ake nei||And Papatūānuku who lies beneath me|
|Tūturu whakamaua kia tina; tina, haumi-e, hui-e, taiki e!||Let this be my commitment to them all.|