Preston Precious issues: When will my daughter start using her cutlery?

Miss A hardly ever uses her fork when eating. Always uses her hands and it is getting a little bit frustrating now. She does use a spoon for yoghurt but quite happily eat ice cream using her fingers. I really don’t know what to do about it. I do tell her that she has to use her cutlery but she just carries on using her hands. Even when using the spoon, she hasn’t quite mastered the whole scooping action. She just dips her spoon which means she takes forever to eat a small pot of yoghurt!

Everything gets messy when Miss A eats. I know she is just doing what is easiest but surely she should start using her cutlery now or very soon! As you can see from this photo, she gets so messy! OK this was taken months ago but nothing has changed!

Eating with fingers, cutlery aversion, not using cutlery, toddler, children

Eating with fingers – messy

Miss A is now two and a half. I know other children that are a similar age to her that use their cutlery. I know each child is different, but I really need to get her to start using cutlery. Tips welcome! If your toddler took a while to use their cutlery properly, what age did they start?



  1. bluebirdsunshine says:

    You’ve probably tried everything but have you tried getting her to pick out a new cutlery set? If she finds it special or fun she might be more interested? Or playing a game of ‘fishing’ with her fork? My little boy loved pretending his fork was a fishing reel and he had to prod the gnocchi (great because they don’t fall off easily) onto the fork and ‘fish’ them into his mouth. Otherwise I’d say not to make a big deal of it, all of a sudden she’ll pick up her fork and start using it and you’ll wonder why you were concerned.
    bluebirdsunshine recently posted..Lunchtime KissMy Profile

  2. Notmyyearoff says:

    Z is 18 months and mostly uses his hands too. The only cutlery he wants to use is ours, clever toddler can suss out the difference between ours and his. He eventually gives us and uses his hands though. My niece is 3 and does a mixture still but I think once she starts nursery and sees the other kids she will want to join in with what everyone is doing.
    Notmyyearoff recently posted..Street PhotographyMy Profile

  3. Donna@MummyCentral says:

    If she’s still little enough to use a highchair, don’t worry about it yet. Just keep giving her cutlery (her own special plastic set is a good idea) and ignore her using her hands. Praise her when she uses a spoon. Gradually she’ll use cutlery more and more.
    My eldest was the same – still uses his fingers occasionally at aged 6. But only for things like chips which are not messy and easy to pick up.

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