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One of my grandchildren still eats with her fingers

(65 Posts)
JMAH Tue 12-Apr-22 16:03:50

One of my grandchildren, who I love dearly, has reverted to eating with her fingers. This seems to have happened during lockdown. We looked after her as a baby and young child and she was able to use a spoon and fork and had started to use a knife. I am not just talking about finger food I mean dinners as well. She will use a spoon for baked beans or other liquid food! But not for roast potatoes, meat, veg etc. It is becoming a bone of contention between us, she is 8 years old. My son seems to think it is okay....AIBU? Should I just leave it be?

Luckygirl3 Tue 12-Apr-22 16:21:21

Best ignored for now I think - you certainly do not want a bone of contention.

Septimia Tue 12-Apr-22 16:21:44

Possibly you should leave it. But if you do want to do anything, perhaps you can get her to start cutting up the food into bite-sized pieces before she picks it up with her fingers.

paddyann54 Tue 12-Apr-22 16:36:02

If she has washed her hands before eating I would ignore it.She'll grow out of it in her own time

Tangerine Tue 12-Apr-22 16:38:45

Like others, I think I'd ignore it for now. You don't want to fall out with your son.

Give a year or two and she will realize it looks silly to eat with your fingers, especially if in a restaurant.

I understand that some foods are eaten with fingers.

Grandmabatty Tue 12-Apr-22 16:40:04

Tell her she uses a fork at Grandma's house but you cannot insist she uses cutlery at her own home. That is up to her parents.

Baggs Tue 12-Apr-22 16:43:50

In some parts of the world everyone eats with their fingers. I should just let it be for now. She will learn to fit in with everyone around her or she won't, neither of which matters. What's important is that she doesn't develop eating disorders because of other people fussing about things that essentially don't matter at this stage in her life.

62Granny Tue 12-Apr-22 16:59:18

I would buy her some children's cutlery and put it out at meal times but don't force her to use it ,perhaps she finds adult cutlery to cumbersome or is there a new baby in the house? Perhaps you could ask her why she doesn't like using a fork anymore? If she seems unable to answer you I am afraid it might just be one of those things she just has to relearn.

Callistemon21 Tue 12-Apr-22 17:06:29

If she has school dinners she might decide that she doesn't want to eat with her fingers or especially with a spoon as she may get teased.

Callistemon21 Tue 12-Apr-22 17:07:31

Could you buy her her own nice cutlery set?
It might encourage her to try again but don't force it.

Elizabeth27 Tue 12-Apr-22 17:34:40

I am in the ignore it group, you know she is capable of using cutlery so sounds like a phase or for attention. It will pass.

Cabbie21 Tue 12-Apr-22 17:42:24

Reluctantly I have to agree, though it irks me to see the antics of some young eaters. Hopefully she will grow out of it.

My grandchildren each had their special set of cutlery at my house which they insisted on using long after they were too big for it.

Callistemon21 Tue 12-Apr-22 17:42:26


I am in the ignore it group, you know she is capable of using cutlery so sounds like a phase or for attention. It will pass.

Probably best, I wouldn't make an issue out of it, but was thinking that if you laid the table with some nice new cutlery but said nothing, she might be tempted to use it.

Certainly, if your DS thinks it's just a phase, don't say anything.

eazybee Tue 12-Apr-22 17:46:46

It's a phase?
She is eight.
How lovely for the dinner ladies.
Does she eat with her mouth open as well?

Hithere Tue 12-Apr-22 17:57:21

Leave it, not worth it

JMAH Tue 12-Apr-22 18:16:17

Thanks to all. It has been bothering me because I don't want her to be teased or laughed at, apart from the manners aspect! Writing my concerns down for the post actually helped me think about what it is that truly concerned me. I was coming round to thinking 'let it go' and your replies have helped and confirmed for me that I'm on the right tracks in leaving it be.
For the record she already 'rips' her food up to bite sized pieces and she doesn't eat with her mouth open!

Calendargirl Tue 12-Apr-22 18:17:34

It’s difficult as she is your granddaughter, so it’s really up to her parents to sort it out.

My feeling is she’s 8, not a toddler, and should be eating properly with a knife and fork.

eazybee Tue 12-Apr-22 18:27:17

Dinner ladies are increasingly appalled by the poor table manners of the children they supervise.
It will be the grandchild's fault , and that of her lazy parents, if she is ridiculed by her peers.
But I doubt if she will continue behaving as a baby at school for long.

Hetty58 Tue 12-Apr-22 18:27:52

I don't think it's a problem - assuming those hands are kept clean. My Indian neighbour insisted I ate without a knife or fork at her house. She said the curry tasted far better scooped up with bread!

Callistemon21 Tue 12-Apr-22 18:29:13

I don't want her to be teased or laughed at, apart from the manners aspect!

If she is teased at school then she'll soon stop, but she may not be the only one.

Callistemon21 Tue 12-Apr-22 18:29:52

You could try her with chopsticks

sodapop Tue 12-Apr-22 19:13:23

I know it's behaviour best ignored for the moment but I can understand your concerns JMAH At eight years old I would expect her to use appropriate cutlery as well.

BlueBelle Tue 12-Apr-22 19:17:59

Leave it be she won’t do it when she’s got a boyfriend ???

Callistemon21 Tue 12-Apr-22 19:27:02

Bluebelle ???
You never know - he might do the same!

Chewbacca Tue 12-Apr-22 19:27:10

You could take her out shopping so that she could choose her own cutlery set? If she had cutlery of her own, that she's chosen, she may well decide to use it.