“My daughter is 18 months. She has been trying to use forks and spoons for a while now but the food always tips of and ends up in her lap. She gets very cranky if I try to help her. Does anyone have any tips or even good brands of kids cutlery that help them to hold it & actually get the food into their mouth? Thanks so much. Nicole” How do you teach your child to use cutlery?

Posted by Nicole, 18/04/13

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  • start with modelling how to do it properly. show them how to hold them. put them in their hands and move their hands to use them. then slowly as they gain confidence allow them to do it. let them make a mess at first and use them for everything so they wil learn with practice.


  • Some childrens’ cutlery has specially shaped handles so they can grip them. Initially they normally handle a fork and spoon differently to what we do. They often grip it from the top (their knuckles upwards), and gradually change over as they get bigger and can handle their cutlery better. Some start only with a spoon. One of ours used to turn his spoon over just as he put it in his mouth. We had to gradually stop that habit. That may be how the food is sometimes spilled. Later, we also gave them dessert size forks before we gave them adult size.


  • I remembered we started them off with a childs plastic bowl or plate , fork and spoon . Well it was easy because they got presents on their birthdays and a lot of them have cute little sets. I expected them to be messy at first but with I am sure within a few weeks they will master the skill. I used to neatly arrange it on their plates/bowls and my daughter was surprisling tidy because she knew she would be hungry if it ended on the floor. Before you know , she will know that too with practise .


  • Great tips! It was interesting reading the comments on this!


  • Practice is all she needs


  • What helped my daughter is just watching me do it, kids follow what you do, so just use the same utensils as her, and she may follow suit


  • totally agree with he other mums about practice although it can help if it is food that is able to be pierced with a fork so she can hold it on the fork till it is in her mouth so if the fork flips on the way up it dos not matter


  • With practice, they master everything when they’re good & ready


  • Agree with the Mum’s comment under me, make a game of it and the same set of cutlery for yourself so your daughter can see how you use it and hold it, children are great mimics.


  • lots o practice and make it a game, imagine it could be chopsticks


  • It takes time and lots of practice. Thats great that she is willing to learn and keep trying.


  • I think the best way they can learn is by watching you using them.


  • lots of tea parties …


  • Hope you managed to find the answer you were looking for.


  • Good luck and hope you find out


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