Self-feeding is a key developmental process in your child’s life – when they pick up a spoon or fork, your toddler is building on their hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and confidence, so arming them with the right tools is important.
But choosing the right cutlery for mealtimes can be something of a minefield. Which handle shape is easiest to hold? Which material cleans up best? Which type of fork is going to help my child pick up food with ease so I can keep spag-bol fingers to a minimum?
You’ll find that most toddler cutlery is divided into three stages – the first stage comprises weaning spoons for babies aged six months and over. The second stage is usually 12 months to two years, where you can introduce a fork to allow them to practice “stabbing” their food. The third and final stage is anything over two years, when you should start to introduce metal cutlery – including kid-proof knives – to further develop their fine motor skills.
How we tested
We tested a range of cutlery on little ones aged six months up to four years, some of which have been designed for those first mouthfuls, and others for the more experienced mini diner.
We looked at design – whether it was easy for a toddler to grip, to fit into their mouth, and of course, pick up food from a bowl or plate. We also looked for sets that offered durability, that were aesthetically appealing to both little ones and parents, whether they were dishwasher safe, and sets that promised to encourage independent feeding with minimal fuss.
The best cutlery sets for kids and toddlers for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Kidly 6-pack spoons and forks: £14, Kidly.co.uk
- Best for cute characters – Skip Hop zoo-tensils fork and spoon Ferguson fox: £9.08 Amazon.co.uk
- Best for grown-up eating – Tommee Tippee big kids first cutlery set: £4.99, Tommeetippee.com
- Best gift set – Babybjörn baby dinner set: £39, Babybjörn.co.uk
- Best value – Beaba second stage training spoons and forks: £12, Mamasandpapas.com
- Best for weaning – Bubbaboo bamboo and silicone spoons: £13.50, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
- Best for transitioning – Nana’s Manners stage 2 cutlery set: £12, Kidly.co.uk
- Best for style – Oyou mellow spoons set: £14.50, Oyoylivingdesign.co.uk