To wonder about table manners for a 3.5 year old?

(12 Posts)
monkeynuts123 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:49:32

DD gets through her food in a variety of ways, fork, spoon, occasionally knife and if particularly ravenous, hands or rather handfuls (rice, beans, pasta etc)!! She sits at the table nicely, doesn't get down without asking and puts her knife and fork together on plate to indicate she has finished. I never made a big deal of any of this, just presented it as fun being like a grown-up at the table.

But nursery have told her (no doubt along with all the others) that 'no hands'. I have also been encouraging her to notice that adults eat with their mouth closed and she finds this fun to do to. Then I worried am I being slovenly letting her eat with her hands still? Are all the other kids at nursery eating with their cutlery nicely and there's mine shoveling it in with her hands blush. I planned to get her totally on to knife and fork and no hands in time for school next year but aibu to think it's still ok to eat with her hands sometimes now?

WorraLiberty Sat 20-Jul-13 10:57:44

Mine used to pick up awkward to cut things with their hands at that age.

But not handfuls of beans, rice and pasta because that's relatively easy to use a spoon or a fork for.

She's still so little and it sounds like you're doing a great job of encouraging her.

WorraLiberty Sat 20-Jul-13 10:58:20

Mean to say...so I'm sure she'll be fine for September.

moogy1a Sat 20-Jul-13 10:58:56

I think 3.5 is way too old to be eating with her hands.
By about 2 yo most children are eating properly with forks / spoons.
It does look a little revolting to see someone shovelling handfuls of food into their mouth.
Is there a reason you don't tell her to use a knife and fork?

Khaleasy Sat 20-Jul-13 11:08:05

I think it is fair to be getting her to eat with a knife and fork and agree that she is old enough to do this.
It does sound like you have been doing a great job re the rest of table ettiquette though so I imagine knife and fork won't be too difficult.

toomanyfionas Sat 20-Jul-13 11:10:40

I work with children this age and they all manage cutlery, pour own drinks, scrape plates and wipe table. So I think your dd could manage this too.

maja00 Sat 20-Jul-13 11:11:38

Handfuls of rice, beans and pasta is not acceptable.

I work in a nursery and we expect our 2 year olds to have a good go with spoons and forks and remind/encourage them to keep their hands out - though at that age they sometimes use their fingers to get food onto cutlery.

I would not like to see a 3.5 year old shovelling handfuls of food into her mouth tbh!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Jul-13 11:24:16

Hands for a sandwich, pizza, pieces of fruit are fine but not for sloppy things like beans and pasta.

WilsonFrickett Sat 20-Jul-13 11:28:06

I think you should just try and encourage her to use her cutlery. It sounds like she'll get the hang of it pretty quickly tbh.

burberryqueen Sat 20-Jul-13 11:29:37

shoving rice and pasta in with her hands?confused

Nannyme1 Sat 20-Jul-13 11:32:00

I think that's too old for hands! Unless it is like burger/pizza/fruit/berries etc then spoon and fork!

intheshed Sat 20-Jul-13 11:33:46

My 3yo eats peas with her fingers, and has been known to pick up bits of pasta with her fingers in order to wedge it on her fork! I don't make a big deal of it. There's plenty of time for table manners, my 5yo eats beautifully.

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