It’s good to let your little one play and practice with utensils after they’ve been successfully eating finger foods for a while. That experience – even if it’s only play – will help your child feel comfortable holding a toddler spoon and fork later on. Most toddlers begin self-feeding with utensils when they are 12 to 18 months old.
Toddlers can become utensil pros quickly if you encourage them to practice. Use this guide to learn about the features of the best toddler utensils that will help you pick the right ones to serve with meals.
The best types of handles for toddler utensils
A wide handle is just more comfortable for little hands. As toddlers develop, they’re building grip strength and mind-muscle control in their hands. The best toddler utensils will have a thick, easy-to-hold handle. The handle should also be short enough that not much excess sticks out beyond your little one’s fist.
It’s best to avoid utensils made with a metal handle. Instead, look for toddler spoons and forks that have a grippy rubber handle. It’s pretty likely that your little ones will be grabbing their utensils with messy hands; a handle that offers some grip will make it easier for your little one to pick it up without it slipping out of their hands.
Nothing is more frustrating than when your spoon slides into your bowl of food. It’s equally frustrating (and a lot messier) for toddlers. The best toddler utensils have a slightly curved handle to fit little hands comfortably, and to prevent slipping.
Safety considerations for the best toddler utensils
Toddler utensils are generally safer than regular utensils because they are lighter and less sharp. Their forks, for example, are dull, with short tines. Toddler spoons and forks are also shorter in order to decrease chances for gagging or choking.
Some toddler utensils also have an extra piece called a choking guard, meant to prevent the utensil from going too far into your little one’s mouth. This safety feature is helpful for new and eager eaters.
A deep toddler spoon and fork helps your little one spill less
It takes a while for kids to learn how to pick food up with utensils. With practice, they’ll learn which foods are best to scoop, and which foods are easier to “stab.” It’s easier for most toddlers to scoop foods while they work on perfecting their utensil skills. However, that doesn’t mean parents should only offer a spoon. Many toddler forks are actually spoon-shaped to make eating with a fork a little less frustrating for young eaters.
A deeper spoon for toddler meals like soups and applesauce will help your toddler get more food into his or her mouth, and less in their lap. The best toddler spoons are also wide. As their fine motor skills develop, they’ll be able to hold their utensils more steadily.
It’s okay to give your toddler a break from utensils
Learning how to use even the best toddler silverware is a process that takes lots of practice. However, it’s ok to give your toddler a break if they become frustrated. There are plenty of fun, creative snacks for toddlers that don’t require utensils at all! Yumble’s Pizza Bagel & Veggies Pre-Packed Kids’ Lunch is a fun idea for lunch (or even dinner). Toddlers love the play factor of stacking ingredients on their pizza! For something handheld and dippable, let your toddler try Say Cheese! GF Chicken Nuggets & Veggies Kid-Friendly Meal.
Looking for an easy way to feed your toddler nutritious meals? Whether they know how to use toddler utensils yet or not, Yumble will help take the stress out of meal planning for even the pickiest eaters. Simply pick the plan that works best for your family, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble will take care of the rest! No cooking – and in some cases, no utensils – required!