To spoon or not to spoon?

To spoon or not to spoon?

Another parental dilemma

In the face of a dozen dilemmas every day, we as parents are always looking to find what's best for our child. Especially everything around feeding can be a source of doubt and uncertainty: Is my child getting enough and the right nutrients? What and how much to feed? But that is not all,how to feed children is also a topic of discussion. Should we as parents take the lead and go for spoon feeding? Or should our little one become an independent eater as soon as possible? What is the difference between the two and which is the best? That’s what we’ll discuss below: 


The good old ‘Traditional Spoon Feeding’1,2 

This centuries old feeding practice is still the most common. In this method, feeding is mostly controlled by parents who use a spoon to feed pureed or mashed food to their babies. Parent-led feeding often results in children being repeatedly exposed to foods that are initially not readily accepted, thereby increasing the chances of better taste development. As a result, children fed a variety of foods using a spoon tend to develop a wide taste pallet very early in life and form healthy eating habits. However, these advantages do come with certain disadvantages as well. Some studies suggest that children who are forced to eat certain foods through the traditional approach can develop an aversion to those foods. In addition, this approach could also lead to inappropriate weight gain if parents constantly force or use rewards to make their children eat.1,2 

 

Baby-Led Weaning for the independent little ones1,2 

In this approach, children feed themselves from six month onwards without parental help. Usually food that is soft and can be held in their hands is given to kids. This method helps babies to form independent eating habits, develop their motor and sensory skills and eat in response to hunger. However, there is also some concern around this feeding method. A few research studies have highlighted that ‘Baby-Led Weaning’ could lead to nutritional deficiencies and inappropriate weight gain as the type of food that can be given to babies is limited. Additionally, there is an increased risk of choking and, therefore, parental supervision at all times is recommended.1,2  

Now the question is: Which method should parents choose from? We suggest, don't choose at all!

 

The best of both worlds: A practical approach to feeding1,2  

Many doctors as well as experienced parents suggest a method that combines both approaches. During family meal time, it might be best for parents to offer a combination: some 'finger food' such as fresh fruits and carrots together with some mashed or pureed foods that are difficult for your little one to chew. This mashed or pureed food can then be fed by spoon. This combined feeding method introduces children to different textures, colors and smells of food, helps in motor development, and encourages a child to touch and feel his/her food.1,2  

 

What we believe

At Pumpkin Organics, we encourage both the traditional as well as the modern approach to feeding. 

Our pouches are perfect for self-feeding, convenient when on the go and they encourage children to be independent. However, we always recommend parental supervision and not letting your little one go to bed with a pouch. This is because constant sucking could lead to dental caries and other associated problems.3

We also believe that feeding using a spoon increases bonding between the parents and the child. In addition, the smell and colour of the food also stimulates a child's interest in food while promoting acceptance for a wide variety of flavours. That is exactly why we developed the quetschie spoon and encourage you to feed your little one using it:

 

Our Spoon

You can now easily attach our bright orange Pumpkin Organics spoon to any of our pouches and let your little one enjoy our purees in the most fun and responsible way. Specifically designed to comfortably feed your little one, this spoon is free of BPA, Phthalate, Latex and PVC. Click here to order one now or, alternatively, order one of our quetschie boxes that comes with a spoon!

 

Disclaimer:The purpose of this article is merely to inform and inspire and not intended to provide any medical or nutritional advice whatsoever. In case you have any concerns or questions, Pumpkin Organics recommends seeking advice from your healthcare provider. 



  1. Dr Frankie Phillips, n. -R. (2020 (accessed), Jan 17). What is baby-led weaning? Retrieved from BBC-Good food:https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-baby-led-weaning
  2. Sonya L Cameron, R. W.-L. (2013, Dec 7). Parent-led or baby-led? Associations between complementary feeding practices and health-related behaviours in a survey of New Zealand families. Retrieved from NCBI-PMC:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3863128/
  3. Melvin B. Heyman, S. A. (2017, June). Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations. Retrieved from From the American Academy of Pediatrics - SECTION ON GASTROENTEROLOGY, HEPATOLOGY, AND NUTRITION and COMMITTEE ON NUTRITION:https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/139/6/e20170967#sec-10