When your baby transitions from feeding themselves with their hands to being able to use utensils, they are taking a significant step on the road to independence and self-care. We know bulky, pointy dinner utensils are not ideal for toddlers, but you might not have a clue about what’s available that is toddler appropriate. Start with our choices for best utensils for toddlers learning to self-feed. You won’t be disappointed.
Grabease First Self-Feed Baby Utensils- These baby utensils by Grabease are the perfect first spoon and fork because of the choke prevention design. The cloud ring around where the hand connects prevents your child from sticking the utensil too far into their mouth. The short, ergonomically correct handles are great for a toddler’s hands, and the plastic silverware is free of harmful chemicals and BPA. We also love these utensils for toddlers because they are dishwasher safe. Parents won’t have to worry about the plastic melting or to warp in the dishwasher. Grabease First Self-Feed Baby Utensils also come in ten fun colors.
Munchkin 6 Piece Fork and Spoon Set- We love utensils that come in a set at my house because we go through a lot of utensils. This Munchkin 6-piece set includes a fork and spoon set in green, blue, and orange. The fun heart and polka dot pattern is also super cute, and the rounded tines on the fork make them safe for self-feeding. The handles are long and make holding onto the utensils easy for your learning and growing toddler. This set is also dishwasher safe, which makes mom and dad’s lives a lot easier, and is a really great value for reusable self-feeding utensils for toddlers.
BEABA 2nd Stage Ergonomic Baby Cutlery Set of 10- Here’s another set of utensils to make your life as a parent so much easier! The BEABA 2nd stage cutlery is for the toddler that has learned the basics of self-feeding and is ready to become a little more proficient with self-feeding using utensils. This set is ergonomically correct with handles that are wide in the middle and tapered towards the fork or spoon end. They are also dishwasher safe, BPA, and Lead-free. One of our favorite things about this set is the storage container that comes with. You can easily keep your toddler self-feeding utensils handy on the counter or in the cabinet using this container that also keeps utensils cleaner. The only thing a little strange about this set is that there are six spoons and four forks rather than two complete sets. If your toddler uses more spoons than forks however, this could be exactly what your family needs!
NUK Gerber Learner Spoons- We’ve all seen toddler’s dig into some applesauce with their spoon only to watch it fall right off, and the toddler ends up in frustrated tears. The NUK Learner Spoons prevent this from happening with their unique design and flexible pocket. The soft tip on the spoon is very gentle on teeth, unlike stainless steel options that can chip teeth. The extra-deep spoon is perfect for toddlers who are just beginning to learn how to use a spoon and self-feed. They are also dishwasher safe and come in a two-pack with different color options available.
Kirecoo Owl Feeding Set– Who doesn’t love owls? The clever owl design on the placemat included in this set makes separating foods easy. The mat is also made from silicone that is microwave and dishwasher safe which is convenient for parents. The placemat and utensils are also both BPA and lead-free and designed for safety. The rounded tines will prevent your toddler from poking themselves in the lip or mouth. The one-piece mat/plate also travels super well because it rolls up easily and comes with a reusable carrying case that fits the mat and utensil set. We love the utensils because they are also made of 100 % silicone and offer a flexible grip and soft edges.
Tips on Toddlers Using Utensils
Your child may be resistant to using utensils at first, but you’ll need to remain patient and encouraging. If you are ready to introduce utensils to your child, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make the transition go smooth.
- Accept the Mess- Eating is a messy thing to do, and until we learn how to use utensils appropriately, we are all terrible eaters. Don’t get frustrated when things get messy at the dinner table. Kids learn about their food by exploring it and if you want to avoid future picky eaters, accepting the mess is a good way to instill great food habits.
- Make Mealtime Fun- Your toddler learns best through play so if you can make utensil learning time fun by hosting a tea party or letting your toddler feed you with their utensils, you can make the process enjoyable. If your toddler has fun doing something, they’ll want to do it more often.
- Model Behaviors- When you are teaching your toddler how to use utensils and have good table manners, you need to ensure you are modeling the behaviors you want to see. Let your toddler see that mom and dad are eating with utensils too, make everyone sit down for dinner together, and make sure you are praising your child’s efforts each time they use their fork or spoon correctly.
- Use Sticky Foods at First- To prevent frustration with food falling off the fork or spoon, let your toddler practice self-feeding with utensils using foods that will stick and be more likely to make it to your child’s mouth. Mashed potatoes, oatmeal, thick yogurt, rice pudding, and sweet potatoes are all excellent choices for self-feeding foods.
- Get the Right Utensils- You need to make sure you are providing your toddler with utensils that are safe for them to use. We recommend silicone utensils with rounded tines because they are less dangerous. Ergonomically correct utensils are also great for ensuring proper grip on utensils and the rings that prevent choking are all great bonuses that make significant differences.
Think about what level of self-feeding your child is ready for and which style of self-feeding utensils are going to work best. It’s also important that your toddler like the tools you are providing them with and if your little one is really into making choices, you can always give them options at mealtime to encourage them to enjoy their mealtime experience.