How Do I Choose the Best Children's Cutlery?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

The best children's cutlery should be durable and safe. The wide, chunky handles of a beginner's cutlery set are typically the best to teach children with. Kid's cutlery should also chosen in regards to the preferences of the parents who use it.


Rather than using the fancy silverware traditionally set aside for the holidays, parents should select sturdy, wide children's cutlery when allowing children to serve themselves. While such types of cutlery are often made from plastic, stainless steel silverware shaped with broader handles and shorter tines are also available. All-natural sets of children's cutlery, such as those made from bamboo, may be purchased as well.

Deciding which material to choose for a set of children's cutlery is largely a matter of preference. Some parents may wish to use plastic for its convenience and safety, as it may prevent children from poking themselves; it may also be easier to transport. Other parents may opt to use silverware to help teach their children to use it more quickly, and because it may be put in the dishwasher. They may also have concerns about chemicals that could be present in plastic, leading them to opt for a more natural material.

A child's hands are often not large enough to fully grip an adult spoon or fork. Chunky, broad handles can help them learn to hold their cutlery much more easily. It can also help prevent them from harming themselves while eating, providing them with more control over their utensils.

Children's utinsles should always be inspected for possible dangers. Spoons should not be chipped to prevent cuts or other accidents. Forks should be appropriately-sized to avoid injuries. Kids who are not old enough for children's knives should not be allowed to use them, and those who are allowed should only do so under the supervision of a parent or other caregiver.

Most parents appreciate children's cutlery that is easy to care for. In such cases, the best option would be a set that is both microwavable as well as dishwasher safe. Portable cutlery that may be folded, or otherwise conveniently stored for travel and diaper bag storage, is also a popular option.

Cutlery styles are also important to some parents. Designer styles, such as those featuring polka dots or other patterns on the handles, may appeal to parents, while favorite characters, such as those featured on cartoon television programs, may make mealtimes more enjoyable for children. Whimsical shapes, such as those with handles shaped like blocks, are also available.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments


@umbra21 - We had the opposite problem, that our little one didn't want to use his own cutlery, he wanted to use the same kind that the rest of the family was using.

In the end, we found a kind that was chunky and safe enough for him to use and not too annoying for the rest of us to use at the same time.

He's more than happy to eat his meals, I think he just didn't want to feel left out of the family.

And the style we found isn't too bad, although we might not want to offer it to anyone who comes over to have dinner as a guest!


If you've got reluctant eaters you might want to let them choose their own cutlery.

Don't give them choices that you wouldn't be happy with, of course, but if they pick out their own favorite version of whatever kind you would prefer, they'll feel like it is truly "their" cutlery and be more willing to use it.

I remember when I was a kid I had a favorite cup that was the only one I would use. I felt safer using that one.

If you get a set with different colors, you could even make it a game where they have to choose which color they'd like to use that day or something like that.

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