Earlier this week CBC aired a story about kids who self-feed versus being spoon-fed (sorry I couldn't find the online link to share it). In short the story indicated that recent research showed kids who start self-feeding earlier have lower risk of obesity later on than kids who are spoon-fed. They learn to control their amount of food intake - that whole stopping when full concept - and gain an understanding of satiety. Makes sense, as I know from watching HP that he will eat as long as I'm lifting a spoon to his mouth. It is habit for him I think, more so than hunger, as he often clears every bowl of food unless it's something he really doesn't like (enter broccoli).
The same story also talked about how many parents don't self-feed earlier and continue to spoon feed purees, soups, and mashed food longer out of fear of choking. In talking to D about it, I thought about my approach to feeding HP. He can chew small pieces of food quite easily, including Cheerios, toast, and assorted veggies and fruit. However, while I regularly include bits of food on his tray, I tend to spoon-feed him most of his meal. The result is that he waits for me to put food in his mouth rather than reach for what's on his tray. Easier I suppose. In fact, it's easier for both of us and I realized that's why I do it. Not because I'm afraid he'll choke, but rather because it's easier and faster for me to spoon-feed than let him attempt it solo.
Oy! I had a moment of realizing I am doing it for him rather than letting him truly figure it out on his own because it's easier for me. In my mind's eye, I looked ahead to the many things he will have to learn to do on his own from tying his shoelaces to finishing the science project to washing his laundry. I quickly realized there will be many occasions where it will be easier for me to do it for him, but that won't really help him in the long run. So yesterday we attempted our first real focus on self-feeding. On the lunch menu were favourites including avocado, raspberries and grain puffs.