It’s winter cold and flu season. So if your little one is anything like mine, he or she is likely suffering from something, whether it’s the sniffles, a cough or the flu. Whenever my daughter is sick, I serve her lots of Jewish penicillin, otherwise known as chicken soup.
But lately she hasn’t wanted to be spoon fed, and prefers to feed herself. Unfortunately, she hasn’t yet mastered using a spoon so she’s mostly just picking the chicken, veggies and noodles out of the broth with her hand, and spilling lots of liquid on her high chair tray and making a mess in the process. And my tot isn’t the only one having trouble eating soup (just read this post by blogger Mannlymama if you need proof).
Last week, however, I figured out an easy way to make sure she gets the broth as well: I put the liquid in her sippy cup. The trick worked like a charm, and she drank the warm liquid right up as she fed herself the soup finger food (aka the noodles, chicken and carrots) I had also given her in a bowl.
Don’t have any sippy cups? Other parents have thought up similar tricks. One mom shared a variation with Parent Hacks where the broth serving is done in a mug with a short straw, while parents (like blogger Southern Gnome) commenting on Mannlymamma employ similar strategies. Meanwhile, I’ve also used another related trick myself: soaking up bread in the soup and then encouraging my daughter to eat the broth-soaked bread.
To be sure, these strategies aren’t going to help your little one master the art of the spoon. The experts like Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect: The Second Year (my current go-to parenting advice book), say the best way for little ones to really learn the proper way to eat is to let them make a mess. But when we’re dealing with sick kids, I think getting the broth into my little one is more important than manners lessons.
What do you think of my approach? What are your tricks for serving soup to messy eaters?