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In the Battle of Spoon v. Fork, Spoon Wins… Initially

In the Battle of Spoon v. Fork, Spoon Wins… Initially

October 10, 2017

Spoons are oft associated with cereal, yogurt, ice cream and, well… pretty much any non-solid food. Oh, and also nose-balancing tricks, but let’s forget about that for a second.  Point is: As an adult, forks are superior when jabbing at any sort of fruit, vegetable or protein source because it’s just an easier way to go about eating. But if we’re talking about your child, the spoon is where it’s at—whether it be mush or solid food.

Why? Main reason: forks can hurt… a lot.   So please, start with a baby spoon when teaching your little ones to eat.

Introducing utensils

As your children grow older, it’s only natural they’ll want to stop grabbing their food and begin to eat like, um, an actual person. (Note: this is not to say that adults who eat off their plates like cavemen are not “actual” people, but you get the idea.)  According to a report from BabyCenter, children can start showing signs of wanting to use utensils – forks or spoons – at around 13 months, with a large majority getting the hang of it by nearly 20 months of life. And by age four, they’ve basically got it down.

Kind of.

Let’s face it: you’ll still have to help out.

How to introduce the spoon

The spoon is typically a child’s first introduction to eating—specifically with baby food. Whether it be through the whole “here comes the airplane!” or the “here’s the choo choo, dear!” routine you’ve got down, the spoon is often the device in question holding said food.

A spoon’s round design and smooth features – which is probably the weirdest wording ever written about spoons – is easy for feeding children and teaching them how to a) open their mouths, b) allow the food to enter and c) pull the food off as they close their lips.

Time to bond

It might sound strange, but teaching your children to do something as simple as eating – remember, they are learning to be people, so it’s not really that simple – is actually one of the most beautiful bonding times a parent can have with their kid(s).

In fact, according to Gerber, there’s a term for the whole process: “responsive feeding.” Here’s some more about it.

From Gerber:

“This “tuning in” is called responsive feeding. Being able to spot your baby’s hunger and fullness signals helps you know what to do when she’s hungry or full, which can set the stage for a future of healthy eating habits. Some signs of being full include: turning her head away, pushing the spoon away, refusing to open her mouth, leaning away from the spoon, shaking her head ‘no.’ and spitting food out.”

So, when are forks a win?

Good question. Honest answer: it depends on your child. If you feel as if they’ve learned the basics and are ready to start tackling the fork, have at it!  But more importantly, have fun! This only happens once. Unless you have more kids.

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