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Self Feeding

Encouraging Self-Feeding by Older Infants and Toddlers


As children enter the second year of life, they are interested in doing things for themselves. Self-feeding appropriately separates the responsibilities of adults and children. I am responsible for providing nutritious food, and the child is responsible for deciding how much of it to eat. To allow for the proper development of motor skills and eating habits, children need to be allowed to practice learning to feed themselves. Children are provided with opportunities to serve and eat a variety of food for themselves. Children will continue to self-feed using their fingers even after mastering the use of a utensil.


Note: Foods served will be appropriate to the toddler's developmental ability and cut small enough to avoid choking hazards.


I do not serve juice in my day home as I have become aware of the relationship between the consumption of sweetened beverages and tooth decay. Drinks with high sugar content should be avoided because they can contribute to childhood obesity, tooth decay, and poor nutrition.


I do not serve foods containing nuts as I do have a child in my care with a suspected nut allergy.



Source: Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs – Selected Standards from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition