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Is your tot ready for utensils? We've got you covered. Our lineup ranks this year's top 8 toddler utensils, with an option for every age and stage. We've researched the market before purchasing top contenders to send through hands-on testing and side-by-side comparisons to determine the best. We closely looked at each flatware set and evaluated factors such as material, usability, and ease of cleaning. Allow our review to help narrow down the options and guide you to the best utensil set for your toddler. We are sure your tot will be happy to have a perfectly-size tool to dish out their food.
Editor's Note: The toddler utensil review was updated on August 2, 2022. It underwent a comprehensive review of available products and price changes related to supply chain concerns. Tomy has paired with First Years, and the Take and Toss utensils now link to this product.
The Exzact Kids Silverware Set is a mini version of adult silverware with engraved graphics on its handle, giving it a sweet and straightforward kid-friendly touch. Considering it is made of stainless steel (a material we believe is eco-healthier), it provides outstanding durability and longevity. We believe these forks and spoons will last years, and your little one will most likely outgrow them before they show wear and tear. Thanks to the cutlery's one-piece design, we also consider them super easy to clean (no nooks or crannies for food remnants to hide). Simply toss them into the dishwasher without worry of high heat causing damage. I mean, who doesn't appreciate convenience? Unlike other toddler forks that feature round tines, those in this set are not as rounded, making it easier for kids to pierce tough foods.
The utensils measure about 5.5 inches in length, smaller than adult silverware but more extended than other toddler cutlery in our lineup. So, they may seem too big in tots' smaller hands, influencing how well your little one manages the tool. Therefore, we recommend this set to older toddlers, preschoolers, and kids who need silverware until they are ready to transition to adult-size cutlery.
If you seek a budget-friendly option yet don't want to sacrifice performance, the Munchkin Raise Toddler Fork and Spoon Set is a nice compromise and may fit your needs and budget. The handle's design features a raised design to keep the utensil tip off the table and away from germs (even if the utensil is right-side up or upside down). We appreciate this innovative design, and we think the stainless steel utensil heads are an advantage as we prefer stainless steel over plastic. The utensils size nicely fits a toddler's hand, and the handle's thickness makes it a nice intermediate size, which can assist grip, especially while your little one is developing self-feeding skills. The handle also offers silicone on top for added grip, with plastic on the bottom. This set is a top-rack dishwasher-safe product; however, handwashing may keep this product in tip-top shape.
There are not many drawbacks to this option, except that it isn't one-piece construction, and you'll need to look around the utensil's seam and the lift feature. But, this isn't a big deal. If you appreciate a toddler utensil set that sports a unique handle design to keep the tip from touching the table, we suggest the Munchkin Raise for children 12 months and up.
The doddl Cutlery Set includes one spoon and fork and a child-friendly knife, which no other competitor in our review offers. Unlike the Grabease, this set features stainless steel heads, but they share a similar size. The ergonomic handles design, which has some non-slip material, can encourage your child's 'pincer' grip and make it easier to hold and use. Since we are big fans of including children in food preparation and cooking, we appreciate having a safe knife alternative. The blade's teeth are not sharp and work best with softer food items, like banana and avocado, which is likely what you'd allow your child to cut as a beginner. The set is also dishwasher safe and free of BPA and phthalates. The packaging suggests that this product is suitable for children ages 12 months and beyond.
The cost of this set is higher than most of the competition. However, if you seek a beginner cutlery set, this one may be worth every penny. We think this set will help your little one build confidence in cutlery.
Tip: Learning how to use a fork or spoon can take time, so be patient with your child's progress. They may still use their fingers, and that's okay. Try preloading the utensil and allowing your baby to do the rest.
Why You Should Trust Us
After extensive research of the products available today, we purchased each product in our review and sent them through rigorous, side-by-side testing before rating and ranking the competition. While hands-on testing the competition, we evaluated each contender for multiple metrics, such as material, usability, and cleaning ease. We also called on the help of some hungry tots, allowing us to consider their preferences and favorites while scoring the lineup.
BabyGearLab has been testing various baby-related gear since 2012. Leading our review is Molly Bradac, Senior Review Editor, and Nanny with over 14 years of experience. Drawing from her experience with a range of children's ages and developmental stages, Molly provides recommendations for a utensil set that may work for your family and needs.
Analysis and Test Results
We tested each set of utensils for usability, materials, and ease of cleaning to find the best in the bunch for most goals and budgets.
Although we rank products solely on performance, we can appreciate a good deal. We believe the Munchkin Raise Toddler Fork and Spoon Set is an affordable option that doesn't sacrifice quality. This option has a stainless steel head, which we think consider healthier than plastic, and it's toddler-sized and offers a unique handle. However, if your budget can stretch, the Exzact Silverware Set provides incredible durability and longevity. Although it does not feature a thick handle, which we consider helpful for beginner eaters, it is a utensil set that will likely last through multiple children until they're ready for adult cutlery. However, if you don't mind plastic and are willing to sacrifice performance because you need something super basic and cheap, the Take & Toss Flatware (now First Years) may fit your needs. This set includes multiples, plenty to toss in your diaper bag, leave some at daycare, and have some for mealtime at home. Since they're so cheap, it's no big deal if you accidentally misplace one.
We examined the competition with eco-health in mind and evaluated each contender's material.
Among the competition, the Exzact Kids Silverware Set ranks high, scoring 10 of 10. This solely stainless steel option is durable, long-lasting, and a healthier choice for your little one. The combination of these qualities allowed this contender to rank above others.
Your tot will need to practice the skill of scooping food and successfully bringing it to their mouth (hello, hand control, and hand-eye coordination!), and this will likely take time. At times, they'll probably default to using their fingers. But, do not fret; they'll eventually master self-feeding. To get them off to a solid start, we suggest selecting a utensil set that is tot-sized and handy (literally). To determine what makes a utensil tot-friendly, we compared the completion. We identified key factors, such as size and shape that fits little hands, including utensil length and handle width, and overall durability. There's a good chance a utensil will be dropped in the early days of their self-feeding journey. We also gave bonus points to sets that include a kid-friendly knife. We believe this offers versatility and value.
Among the competition, the doddl Cutlery Set ranks high, scoring 9 of 10. This beginner cutlery set is designed for little hands and incorporates the most critical qualities. It's small in size, has ergonomic and thick handles that are easy to grip, and offers decent durability. We also gave it bonus points for including a kid-friendly knife, which we consider valuable for mealtimes down the road once your little eater is more advanced.
On the flip side, the Skip Hop Zootensils Fork and Spoon scores a 3, mainly due to the durability of the handle's graphics. While hands-on testing, we observed some minor peeling on our set, causing us to wonder about the handle's long-term durability. Although the handle design is downright adorable, and we appreciate the extra surface area of the chunky grip for little hands, durability carries a lot of weight in this metric. We think other options in our review will provide better quality.
Ease of Cleaning
We are all about convenience, and you can't beat a dishwasher-safe product (top-rack preferable). However, not every product is created equal, and some require more attention and care than others. While scoring this metric, we lined up the completion to compare and evaluate areas that may hinder the cleaning process, such as hard-to-reach areas or nooks and crannies. We also ranked contenders with materials that we believe tolerate the dishwasher better than those that cause concerns.
Ranking high among the competition with a solid score of 10 is the Exzact Kids Silverware Set. This option is hands down one of the easiest to clean, and thanks to its one-piece stainless-steel design, it has no nooks or crannies to worry about trapped food. The manufacturer states this product is dishwasher safe, and we think there's value in selecting a utensil set that can tolerate high temperatures. When you already have enough to clean up and worry about, why not choose an easy-breezy product? We would.
Unfortunately, the Skip Hop Zootensils Fork and Spoon rank the lowest, scoring 5 of 10. While testing, we noticed the product's graphic already peeling; therefore, we suggest handwashing this product to prolong the handle's durability. However, this is time-consuming, which hinders its score.
Tip: Help your toddler learn to use utensils through play, like pretend restaurant or kitchen. Try feeding stuffed animals or dolls. Through practice, a child's fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination will strengthen.
When your determined toddler is ready to feed themself, graduating to their own utensil set can be an exciting milestone. Of course, using a utensil takes practice, and you can expect lots of mess (got bibs?). But, eventually, your tot will be a scooping and spearing champ. Our review with easy-grip cutlery, plus recommendations, can help you find the right utensils, and soon your toddler will be feeding themselves and learning new skills.
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Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.