Eating with hands

Hands are your best tools. I hear this at least once on every cooking show. Being Indian, I also think that it applies not just to cooking but also eating.

Using my hands instead of utensils was the norm of my childhood in India. Asha on the other hand has been taught at a very early age by her nannies and teachers to use spoons and forks when she eats. I am surprised either way to see a little toddler eat on their own. It seems so self sufficient at such an early age.

Asha doesn’t like to be fed and this has been the case since she figured out how to use her hands and motor skills. As a mom, I rather enjoy using that time to eat my own food or clean up around the kitchen  (even though it creates a mess on and around her; I still think it’s worth it).

Today, we are in Charlotte, NC visiting grandparents and cousins. For lunch she was treated to “rus” which is a puree of sweet mangoes and roti. I couldn’t help but take these pictures of how skillfully she was tearing little pieces off the roti, folding them to bite size, and dipping in the rus. All of this without any instructions from me.

Perhaps I am easily impressed but I am such a proud mama!

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, NC. She writes about everything from travel, food, books, and family. Her current project includes a series of children's books to teach Hindi. She is a native Tar Heel who has also lived in Washington DC and Chicago.

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