Serve food to new self-feeders in a measuring cup

Liz said, "I am not sure if this is a hack or just a lightbulb moment…" Isn't it funny how some Parent Hacks come on like a flash, and others are just the unconventional way we've always done things?

My 19 month old son really wants to feed himself. I usually give in, except for yogurt, because I only give him part of the container and I don't want it spread everywhere. I was using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (metal or plastic with the saucepan type handle) with a handle to feed him from and a few days ago he really wanted to feed himself. It finally dawned on me that he could hold the handle with one hand and feed himself with the spoon in the other. He loves it!


  1. kelly_jeanie says

    Great idea, it didn’t occur to me to use them for a toddler trying to feed himself with a spoon! Measuring cups also work great for toddler finger-food snacks like fish crackers.

  2. Rachel says

    Another positive about the measuring cups is the nearly-straight sides. My 22-month-old hates using the special toddler bowls because the sides are so sloped that he can’t use them to scoop against. We had resorted to using tupperware, but this is a great idea!

  3. Lorrie Diemer says

    When my son was trying to learn how to use a spoon, I always mixed a small amount of vanilla yogurt into dry Cheerios. This made the cereal stick to the spoon long enough to get some of it into his mouth.

  4. Abel says

    My 18 months old son behaves the same, he just wants to feed himself. What we do is just give him a little plastic bowl and fork. Just put whatever we want to feed him in the bowl in small portions (as he tends to stuff himself without chewing!) and he’s on his way to enjoy himself with his new found autonomy.

  5. Tyler says

    I don’t really understand what the big deal is about a child getting food everywhere. My son wanted to hold utensils from the minute he started eating solid food. We’ve let him use or try to use all through the introduction of food until present. He’s now 22 months and uses utensils exceptionally well, he can even use chopsticks a little bit (yes, he gets messy sometimes, but how do you learn without getting messy?). I believe because we never coddled him about not being able to use utensils, he is better than most of his friends at eating with spoons and forks. Great thing about kids, is they are water proof – they clean up easy. I think parents over emphasize cleanliness in their children’s eating over a child’s natural experimentation to figure things out. If your worried about a mess, throw an old shower curtain down, and shake it out outside after a meal.

  6. Danni says

    That’s a good ideas. As much as possible, we don’t want mess, so it would be great if our children can eat without scattering their food all over the place.

  7. Lynnsy says

    I will have to try this… I’m better than my husband about letting my 11-month-old son get a little messy while eating, but my hang up is about wasting the food that gets thrown on the floor! (although my dog appreciates the snacks!)