With so many choices in stores and online, how do you choose the best utensils for toddlers and kids? Read more to find out what works best for your kids depending on their age and developmental readiness.
Please note that this article contains links, but they are not affiliated in any way. They are simply items I am recommending you check out if you’re interested!
When Do I Start Giving Utensils to Toddlers and Kids?
The best time to start is when your child begins to eat solid foods. Infants will not be able to manipulate a fork and spoon quite yet, but they will grip a baby utensil and will enjoy the sensory aspects of food quite a bit before they learn to bring food to their mouth.
It does not matter if you are doing baby led weaning, feeding your infant purees, or a combination of both. When using any feeding method, I recommend providing your child with age-appropriate utensils to begin practicing manipulating their utensils.
How Do I Choose Utensils for Toddlers and Kids?
Choose utensils for infants, toddlers and kids based on age and development of your child and what types of food they are eating.
Babies can grab chunkier handles and enjoy gumming anything that goes into their mouth. Silicone utensils are great for infants. I recommend using a utensil with a choke guard for infants.
Toddlers can manage forks and spoons that have a sturdy handle. I prefer using a utensil that has a silicone or plastic handle with a stainless steel end.
Kids can manage thinner and longer utensils. I recommend kid-sized stainless steel forks and spoons.
Best Utensils for Toddlers and Kids
While there are many options online and in stores, here are my recommendations of certain categories of utensils for toddlers and kids:
Kids and Toddlers
What Utensils Should My Kids Use?
Ultimately, I recommend that you prepare your kids to eat with everyday utensils by the time they reach school age. With school comes a lot of independence. Give them the foundation they need to master those skills so that they are confident when you are not present at mealtimes.
Best Utensils for Infants
When infants are learning to eat solid foods, they are experiencing foods in many ways. They touch and play with foods as much as they eat foods. Baby hands are small, and they love to grip things. Give them a small utensil that they can grip, scoop, smush, push, and get some to their mouth.
Best Utensils for Toddlers
Toddlers are constantly learning a lot, and sometimes it is hard to have every aspect of their day be a learning process. Provide them with easy to grab forks and spoons at mealtimes but release the pressure to use them. Give your toddler grace and let them try what they want to try with using utensils. Be patient and give them time. When they are ready, they will surely learn to scoop with a spoon, pierce food with a fork, and manipulate their utensils to get food to their mouth.
Best Utensils for Kids
Kids that are near or at school age tend to be more comfortable using utensils at mealtimes. They have learned how to manipulate a fork and spoon and will continue to practice each day. Provide them with a solid fork and spoon at mealtimes and help them develop good table manners and practice using the utensils properly. Give them the tools they need to be independent with their utensils by the time they go to school.
Check out my other resources on child feeding:
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