How to Teach Your Toddler to Use Chopsticks *updates
Chopsticks are a great way to eat your food quickly and conveniently.
Studies have shown that using chopsticks can have some added benefits, such as improving memory and increasing manual dexterity.
There are many different types of chopsticks, from the Japanese wari-bashi (disposable chopsticks, could not be used more than one time due to can harbor bacteria if not properly cleaned) to different styles of chopsticks used for cooking, eating and picking up cakes and other sweets.
Although they are a great way to eat your meals, to the uninitiated chopstick user, they may be a bit tricky to use at first.
Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value ~ Albert Einstein
Most of Chinese children start using chopsticks as early as age 1, and most are competent by 5 or 6.
Our chopsticks: made from Japanese lacquered bamboo ~
I love creating fun and challenging moment for my kiddies 😉
Toddlers just love playing with any games!
For my kiddies, using chopsticks can make an ordinary meal exciting *Alhamdulillah*.
Note: Never Learn To Quit Learning
Step by step guide:
- Step 1: Prepare your toddler favorite food
My main tip would be that beginners should probably avoid the more slippery looking items of food.
Cheerful faces 😉
- Step 2: Pickup Sticks
Please do not encourage your child to use training chopsticks.
Don’t screw it up.
We’re the Asian dining equivalents of helicopter parents.
We should just be handing our toddlers the real sticks and letting him/her to figure out how to eat somehow and we should keep on guiding them. They’ll pick it up soon enough from watching us.
Plus, your toddler will surely learn the value of patient, appreciating their valuable foods and time efforts.
Me: ambidextrous in action!
- Step 3: Get a Grip
Toddlers will first grip chopsticks in their fists, as they do forks and spoons.
Gambatte ne KiruaMi-cHan~
Gambatte ne ReiHi-cHan~
- Step 4: Show & Tell
To demonstrate the proper technique, try this method: Have them rest the end of one chopstick in the V of their thumb and forefinger.
Show them how to support it with their little and ring fingers.
Help them hold the other chopstick as if it were a pencil, between the middle and index fingers, anchored with the thumb.
Then try this imagery used by Chinese parents: The sticks are a bird’s beak. Holding the bottom stick still and moving only the top one, imagine the beak opening and closing to pick up food.
As for my KiruaMi-cHan‘s, I told him: The sticks are a truck crane, while my ReiHi-cHan‘s loves “Pinching Sticks” method 😉 *tackle your lil toddler interest*
- Step 5: Make It Fun
Bowls work better than plates.
Try cheese cubes, apple chunks, or mini-marshmallows.
At playtime, put cotton balls or pom-poms in a bowl and take turns moving them with the chopsticks to another bowl.
YunaFi-cHan joined the club!
You also could teach your child a number of etiquette rules when it comes to dining with chopsticks:
- When your chopsticks are not in use, you should lay them down with their ends pointed to your left.
- Do not stick your chopsticks into your food and leave them standing up. In Asian funerals, chopsticks are left standing in balls of rice that are placed on the altar of the deceased.
- Do not pass your food from your chopsticks directly to another person’s chopsticks. Once again, this is also a funeral custom, where the bones of the cremated are passed from one family member to the next in this manner.
- Do not lick your chopsticks.
- Do not use your chopsticks to point at objects, whether it is food, the table, etc.
- Do not wave your chopsticks through the air or play with them.
- Do not use your chopsticks to push or pull bowls or plates around on the table.
- Never cross your chopsticks except if you are at a Dim Sum restaurant. It is acceptable to cross your chopsticks on the table here because it indicates to your server that you have finished your meal and are ready to pay. Sometimes, your server will cross them for you, to indicate you have paid your bill already.
- If you have already used your chopsticks for eating, and you want to move food from a shared plate to your own plate, turn them around and use the opposite end to get the food.
May Allah swt blessed your family 😉
Keep on trying mommies.
Best of luck!