Adult-sized utensils (flatware, plates, dishes and cups) often make it very difficult for children to fit them into their smaller hands and mouths. A child’s perception of an adult-sized plate containing food can be overwhelming and intimidating, which can result in much less eating. Adults also tend to put portions of food on an adult-sized plate that are too large for a child to consume without overeating.
Here are some tips to guide the use of children’s tableware that can make eating a fun and healthy experience for them:
- Buy child-sized utensils for children under age four.
- Plastic spoons and forks are often sized to fit small hands better than metal flatware.
- Use smaller plates, such as salad plates, for under age four. Using smaller plates has also been shown to help adults control their own food portion sizes.
- Toddlers can learn to use small, plastic knives that are not sharp, which will also help them learn to spread creamy substances on bread.
- Smaller glasses with weighted bottoms are recommended for use by toddlers.