Why messy eating is normal
Here’s why it’s completely normal to let your little one eat the only way they know how – by making a big mess!
We mums are often chastised for not controlling our kids when they make a mess at the dinner table, but we now know that messy eating is a perfectly normal process children go through. After all, our children aren’t born with the ability to operate silverware like a member of a royal family! Holding cutlery and learning social etiquette are learned. Just like how you have let your child crawl and walk before riding a bicycle, you have to let them learn how to eat the only way they know how – by making a big mess!
1. It helps with feeding development
Kids learn about the textures and the tastes of different foods in their own way. They’re learning the characteristics of the food that they are about to eat, like how some foods like oats are soft and don’t need to be chewed too much, while others like grapes may be crunchy and juicy!
2. It’s a learning process
Messy eating helps with hand-eye coordination that will soon develop into holding cutlery. It’s also incredibly fun for kids to discover all sorts of things, like how mashing peas makes them flat and dropping food on the floor sometimes makes mummy upset!
3. It’s a form of sensory play
The tactile stimulation kids get from messy eating can help them process and create responses to the information they get by touching and playing with food. It may go against your instinct to clean your kid after every spoonful, but we encourage you to keep from constantly wiping your kid’s face or preventing them from feeding themselves because you could be depriving them of a wonderful learning and sensory experience!
Now that you are fully armed with the knowledge that messy eating has its benefits, you can go ahead and have a ball with your kid during meals! But do be prepared with a clean-up strategy after the meal time!