Congratulations – your baby is now learning how to use a fork and spoon! This will require some patience, trial and error and a lot of messiness. To help you all survive the process (it really is fun most of the time!), we found some of the best non-Disneyfied, non-commercial flatware out there for kids. We found great spoons, forks and knives that feature gripable stems, soft handles and flexible padding. It’s not just about design- it’s about real, workable utensils that make sense.
1. Gripables – Blue Comfortable Cutlery. Created by the The Pencil Grip, Gripables ($9.95 for the set) look a little like a Dr. Seuss pattern with soft rubber padding to help small hands grasp onto their flatware. This flatware set includes a spoon, a fork and a knife and contains no lead or phthalates. Designed for kids 3 years and up, this set comes in blue, green and red.
2. OXO Tot Fork and Spoon Set. This cute set is ideal for kids that need an extra grip as they are learning how to use a fork and spoon and feed themselves. The fork and spin set ($6.99) feature soft handles and non-slip grips (making it easy for scooping) and durable stainless steel that help to eases the transition to adult flatware.
3. Edison Training Chopsticks for Children. Not all flatware is your traditional fork and spoon. We found this cool chopstick set ($12.95) by Edison that is designed to train them how to use a chopstick. Designed for right-handed kids ages five and up, the set comes in various designs (rabbits, frogs, and even Thomas, the train) that includes small grips on the side so your kids can learn how to hold a chopstick. Edison also sells chopsticks for the next level as well as chopsticks to train adults.
4. Rosewood Toddler or Baby Travel Set. We love looking through etsy for cool handmade items and we recently discovered this fun flatware set ($15.00) by Pony Up Design. Every set comes with a cotton carrying case, a bamboo fork and spoon – making it super easy to travel with! The fork and spoon feature soft grips for little hands to grasp and a cute cotton napkin to clean up those (inevitable) messes!
5. Kids Fork and Spoon. Made by Bambu, this fork and spoon set is one of our favorites! The fork really spears and the spoon truly scoops. Plus, we love that they aren’t plastic, but 100% organically-grown bamboo that was made under fair labor practices. Available on Branch.com for $8.00 from the set is designed for babies nine months and up and also contains food-safe wood oil.
6. Bender Utensils by Boon. We used these for years and are great because they grow with your child. Bend them in for a newbie eater and bend outwards for a developed one. We would use them up to age 4 years except the spoon gets to be too small for their mouths. These BPA-free utensils, designed for babies nine months and up, are adaptable and designed to make the transition to regular utensils easier. You can position the adjustable end to the angle to accommodate the child’s grip in any direction, which as motor skills develop, allow your child to adjust them little by little until they are comfortable them straightened. You can also get them at www.babygeared.com for $6 each.
7. Toddler 3-Piece Round Flatware Set. Designed for babies and toddlers who are not quite ready for large flatware, this three-piece flatware set is really expensive ($45.00) but since we haven’t tried them, we aren’t sure if the price is worth it. We do like the thick handles and nice scooping look of the ends. They are ergonomically designed for small hands with its soft, rubbery handles to help kids learn how to grasp. The set fits the size of the child´s hand and features a slip resistant surface on grips – making the set comfortable and functional. The set is also BPA-free, microwave and dishwasher safe.
8. Dinnersaurs Utensils. These fun dinosaur-shaped utensils ($12.50 for the set) are soft and ergonomically designed to fit a child’s hand. Designed for kids three and up, this set is great for kids who have out grown their toddler flatware but aren’t quite ready for adult utensils.
9. Paul Revere Child & Baby Flatware 6-Piece Progress Set. At first glance this fancy flatware set doesn’t look like it was made for children. This modern looking Paul Revere set ($24.99) is a classic collection by Oneida that is said to grow with a child from when they are a baby to when they are a big kid. Featuring subtle contoured details, this set is perfect for little hands and mouths along with a grown-up look of finished stainless steel.