Fun with Food: Utensils
A spoon and a fork might seem boring to you and me, but for little ones, they are super exciting. If you are struggling with a picky eater, utensils can be an especially helpful tool when introducing new foods. In addition, fun and unique utensils can make bigger kids feel more independent and special. Keep reading to learn more about how utensils can make eating a more enjoyable experience for kids, and the best kid’s utensil set (with fun charms!) that will have your kids eating everything in front of them.
Why Utensils Matter
Is this blog really all about utensils? Yes, and we are excited to tell you why! Utensils play a big part in your child’s life, their eating habits, and even their development. They help develop and sharpen your child’s motor skills as well as their confidence. Utensils are also a really great tool for picky eaters. Many children are more likely to try a new food if they are using a fun, exciting, or new tool. Children who usually eat with their hands and seem like they may be done (even though their plate still looks full) are more likely to go for more when a utensil is placed in front of them partway through mealtime.
Having age-appropriate utensils is super important, as well. Although kids love to try whatever we are doing, giving them boring utensils (you know, like the ones grown-ups use!) may be doing more harm than good. They may be too difficult to hold, leading to frustration and a negative mealtime experience.
When to Start Utensils
According to the CDC, babies learn how to swallow solid foods such as pureed or mashed foods you feed them from a spoon.
- Most babies can swallow a spoonful of pureed foods without choking when they are around 6 months old.
- Babies can start to use a spoon by themselves at around 10 to 12 months old.
- Your child will continue to get better at using tools like spoons and forks. Give your child a chance to use spoons and forks—even if it is messy.
Also, according to WhatToExpect, most experts recommend introducing utensils between 10 and 12 months, as your almost-toddler starts to show signs that she’s interested. A spoon should be first on your tot’s tray since it’s easier to use. She’ll have more success with a fork as her fine motor skills get a little sharper, starting around 15 months.
It is important to first start out with a silicone spoon while your little one gets the hang of things. They are perfect for introducing new foods, and the soft and flexible silicone baby spoon is gentle on sore gums. Whether your baby is self-feeding or parent fed, the scoop size is perfectly proportioned for your baby's mouth and the ledge will reduce mess. The flat edge design of the spoon means it's easy to scoop from any jar or bowl.
Then, as mentioned, once your baby hits the toddler stage, you can start using different utensils, such as our Innobaby FlexWare™ Utensil Sets. Chunky enough for little hands but perfect enough to be used throughout childhood, your little one will love having a spoon and fork set as unique as they are.
Making Eating Fun
Can something as simple as a fork and spoon set be just the thing you need for your kiddo to have fun eating? Yes! Utensils are a great way to make eating fun, whether your child is a picky eater or not. In an article by NPR, researchers have been studying how cutlery, dishes, and other inedible accouterments to a meal can alter our perceptions of taste. Their latest work, published in the journal Flavour, looks at how spoons, knives, and other utensils we put in our mouths can provide their own kind of "mental seasoning" for a meal.
The study continues that, in recent years, psychologists have found that the color and shape of plates and other dishes can have an impact on the eating experience. Studies have found, for example, that people tend to eat less when their dishes are in sharp color contrast to their food, that the color of a mug can alter a drinker's perception of how sweet and aromatic hot cocoa is, and that drinks can seem more thirst-quenching when consumed from a glass with a "cold" color like blue.
The same type of thinking can be applied to picky eaters and kids. Kids are more likely to try and enjoy new foods, or foods they don’t usually go for because the utensil will change their perception of how it tastes. Interesting!
Innobaby FlexWare™ Utensil Sets with FlexCharms™
Looking for the best kids' utensil set to help keep your kiddo engaged with mealtime? Look no further! The Innobaby FlexWare™ Utensil Sets with FlexCharms™ are exactly what you need to get your child to enjoy mealtime.
Our utensil set was thoughtfully crafted with a groove and easy-grip design, perfect for promoting self-feeding and perfect for those little hands. Available in three adorable colors, your child will love popping on their favorite FlexCharms. Use FlexCharms as a great non-food reward for eating healthily or completing their meal.
- FlexCharms™ come in a variety of shapes & colors, allowing kids to explore and reward healthy mealtime in a fun way!
- Made with flexible & durable silicone, the charms are easy to wash & dry for your child's next interactive playtime.
- Collect them all, available in unicorn-, dinosaur-, and toy-themed custom designs, and nurture kids' creativity and imagination.
- Kids will love choosing favorite characters for the day and personalizing their Flex & Lock lunchbox and FlexWare™ utensil sets!
For more parenting tips and more amazing products, check out our website at innobaby.com!