Do you have a wiggle worm at your house

Do you have a wiggle worm at your house

Making children comfortable at the dinner table helps them wriggle less and learn to eat. High chairs are good for babies but what about after they grow too big for one.

Once out of the high chair young children like to be able to seat themselves. They also like to get off when they have finished eating. They need to be able to do this safely. Sometimes they like to sit on adult chairs and stools and feel grown up. This is not helpful for learning how to eat comfortably. Try sitting on a stool with your legs dangling in mid-air for a while!

Feeling wobbly and unsupported on a seat can interfere with the ability to eat. The wriggling increases. This is not helpful in developing the fine motor skills to use a spoon, knife and fork. Children are much more relaxed when:

  • they can put their feet on the floor or a footrest
  • rest their back against something.

Under twos generally need seats with sides and backs too. This way they do not have to worry about falling off. Children generally eat better in age appropriate seats. The best seating position is when their hips, knees and ankles are bent at right angles.

A small child seat and table is good for proper positioning. This is a good option for snack time and for play activities like drawing, cutting and pasting. But, it is important to have children eating with you at the table, most of the time. If you do not have a suitable child sized chair to use at the family dinner table, boost them up on an adult seat, which has a back. Find something to rest their feet on. This can be as simple as a box, a milk crate or a foot stool. When they sit at the table, the tabletop should be just above waist height.

Children can be part of family mealtime, which is important in learning about food and eating.