A list of the best toddler forks for self-feeding. Pros and cons of various toddler forks and reviews from an experienced toddler mom.
Are you looking for the best toddler forks? Or wondering how do I get my toddler to eat with utensils? Perhaps your toddler has been self-feeding for a while or is new to feeding himself? I’m here to help!
I’m a mom of two boys and am sharing all of our favorite toddler forks. Having the right utensils for your toddler’s self-feeding abilities will help them master the ability to feed themselves food. My boys started self-feeding with a fork around 10 months old and really mastered it around 16-18 months old.
We have tried a lot of different forks over the years and i’m sharing the best toddler forks we have used. However old your baby or toddler is, i’ll help guide you through the different stages of forks for self-feeding and provide my honest reviews and pros and cons of each fork.
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What Foods Are Best to Start Self-Feeding with a Fork?
If your baby or toddler is just starting to practice self-feeding with a fork, having the right foods for them to practice can make a big difference. Poking food with a fork is a great first skill to learn with self-feeding.
Food should be soft enough so that’s safe for them to eat (softness and texture will vary by age), but should also be firm enough that its easy to poke with a fork and doesn’t break up. Here are some ideas for beginner fork users:
- Roasted squash or sweet potato
- Scrambled eggs
- Grapes halved (quartered for babies)
- Meatballs or sausage
- Broccoli or cauliflower
After your baby master’s poking foods, its a good time to introduce more foods that will help them with the scooping motion. Here are some ideas for foods that help practice scooping:
- Diced veggies or peas
- Chicken or tuna salad
- Mac ‘N Cheese
- Rice or riced cauliflower
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Stage 1 Forks
Stage 1 forks are great for young babies and toddlers about 8-14 months old. If your toddler hasn’t learned how to use a fork yet and is older than 14 months, that’s fine too, this is a great place to start!
Holding the fork, bringing it to their mouth, and poking food are the first steps your baby or toddler should do when learning to use a fork.
1. Num Num Pre-Spoon Utinsel
Pros: This is a great first self-feeding tool for your baby or young toddler. Babies can start using this as early as 6-8 months to practice self-feeding, but if your toddler hasn’t started self-feeding yet it could be a great place to start. This pre-spoon utensil works best if you ‘pre-load’ it or put the food on first and then hand it to your baby or toddler. There aren’t any prongs for them to injure themselves with and the unique shape holds the food on well.
Cons: This is great for young babies, but your toddler might get bored and want to move on quickly. Unless its a soft food like yogurt, it will be difficult for them to poke or scoop anything with this tool. This pre-spoon is best for practicing bringing food to their mouth.
2. Babyware Self-Feeding Fork
Pros: This is a great first self-feeding fork for your toddler. My toddler started using this when he was about 8-10 months old and really got the hang of it around 12-14 months old. The handle is round and great for little hands to hold. This is a great fork to practice poking and picking up food. It also has a guard so that your baby or toddler can’t put the fork very far back in their mouth and hurt themselves.
Cons: The shape of this fork isn’t great for scooping foods and the head is fairly small and doesn’t hold much food.
Stage 2 Forks
After your baby or toddler has mastered holding the training fork, its time to move on to real silverware. We normally start with plastic because metal forks can be a little heavy and intimidating for young toddlers.
You should move on to a longer handle fork and continue to practice poking food along with scooping food and bringing it to their mouth. These forks are good for babies 12-24 months or whenever you feel comfortable moving on to metal silverware.
3. Munchkin Plastic Fork
Pros: This has been our favorite fork for a long time and my number one choice for best toddler fork to practice self-feeding! We have two sets and they are very durable and have held up great with daily use and going through the dishwasher. I like that these forks are closer to a ‘spork’ and are great for teaching your toddler to scoop food once they have mastered poking food with the Babyware training fork above. They do also poke food well and are an all-around best toddler fork.
Cons: This is more of a ‘spork’, so if you are looking for a true fork you might want to choose another option.
4. Dinneractive Construction Fork
Pros: This is a FUN fork and great for picky eaters or introducing new food to your toddler. We normally get these out if my toddler is having a rough day with eating or going through a phase to help encourage him to eat a little more (and it works most of the time!). The base of the fork is shaped like construction equipment and they come in various colors so you can get your toddler’s favorite. This fork is great for poking food and can be a less messy way for your toddler to have fun and play with their food.
Cons: The shape of this fork isn’t great for scooping foods.
Stage 3 Forks
Once your toddler has mastered feeding with plastic utensils, the next step is to move on to metal forks and spoons that are closer to adult silverware. Some parents may jump right from stage 1 to stage 3 and skip plastic utensils all together, and that’s okay too! I personally feel more comfortable having my young toddler use and learn with plastic sporks and forks.
5. Munchkin Metal Fork with Guard
Pros: This is a great metal learning fork for toddlers. The handle is still plastic and familiar, but it can get them use to eating off metal. There is a base and guard that helps keep the fork off the table when its laid down and also serves as a guard so your toddler can’t put this too far into their mouth. This is my favorite metal fork to move to after mastering self-feeding with plastic forks. This is a great size and shape for toddlers and the metal prongs make it easy to poke food.
Cons: The head of the fork is a little small and doesn’t hold much food. Also, the shape of this fork isn’t great for scooping foods.
6. Oxo Metal Fork with Plastic Handle
Pros: This is another great option after moving on from plastic forks. The handle is plastic so its easy for little hands to hold, but the head of the fork is metal and durable. The head of this fork is a little curved so its easier to scoop food. The metal prongs are not sharp so its safe for young toddlers to use. We like to use this interchangeably with the Munchkin metal forks with plastic handles.
Cons: The metal prongs are pretty dull and make poking meat or other tough foods a little difficult.
7. Exzact Kids Metal Toddler Fork
Pros: Full metal silverware for your toddler! We love the size and shape of this fork. This fork is great for both poking and scooping foods and is a great fork for toddlers 2 and up. It’s very close to an adult fork, but a little bit smaller so its great for little hands and mouths. They are very durable and have held up great in the dishwasher.
Cons: There are engraved dogs and bunnies on the base of these forks, so they are not very sleek, but cute for toddlers!
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