spoon-feed


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

spoon-feed (someone)

1. Literally, to insert food into another person's mouth. The nurses had to spoon-feed my mother after her stroke. No, my daughter is off the bottle now—we're spoon-feeding her.
2. By extension, to help someone excessively (usually to the recipient's detriment). Her students are lazy because she always spoon-feeds them the answers. The actress got so flustered in front of the camera that we had to spoon-feed her the lines. How unprofessional!

spoon-feed someone

Fig. to treat someone with too much care or help; to teach someone with methods that are too easy and do not stimulate the learner to independent thinking. The teacher spoon-feeds the students by dictating notes on the novel instead of getting the children to read the books. You mustn't spoon-feed the new recruits by telling them what to do all the time. They must use their initiative.
References in periodicals archive ?
My findings show that mothers who babyled wean feed more responsively than those who spoon-feed, allowing their baby more control over how much they eat.
Hilda's anxiety leads her to spoon-feed Emily, who as a consequence finds it difficult to either feed herself or hold her spoon properly.
Michael said: ``I sat over my dad trying to spoon-feed him sugar and water,after a while he started to open his eyes.
Don't spoon-feed people', he explained, 'let's give them something to chew on'.
Fronted by Geordieland's favourite sons Ant 'n' Dec, whose offerings of late seemingly have the same safe baby formula to spoon-feed the complacent and thoroughly bored.
The ACW has a good track record of working with schools and communities throughout Wales on a variety of projects, but you cannot spoon-feed people all of the time.
Not only were those in the Midlands more likely to share food with a partner, but they were also the happiest to romantically spoon-feed their other half with 30 per cent saying they would not be embarrassed to feed their partner in a public place.