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Buyer's Guide: Feeding Utensils

Buyer's Guide: Feeding Utensils

When your baby begins to wean off breast milk or formula, you’ll need to invest in baby-friendly feeding supplies that are designed for their needs. From dinnerware, to cups and food storage containers, there are different supplies for each developmental stage. Of course, an alternative will be to use the same dinnerware as you do, but baby feeding utensils are designed to help your child’s eating and self-feeding skills develop over time. It’s time to say goodbye to milk bottles!

 

what’s available

cups

As easy as it may seem, drinking from a cup is a skill that has to be learnt. Training cups are designed for the very first stage, and comes with a lid and handles for easy gripping. They typically use softer spouts to ease the transition from nipples. Next comes the sippy cups, which are designed with a lid and spout to limit spills and leakage. When your child has become confident with using a cup, they can progress to an open-top or regular cup.

dinnerware and utensils

Dinnerware and utensils for babies are easy to spot – they are often brightly coloured, fun-shaped, and made of plastic, for obvious reasons. Certain bowls are designed with suction cups on the bottom that attach to flat surfaces, minimizing messy spills from your baby. Look out for bowls and plates that have a higher edge and deeper base, to keep the food right where you want it to be.

For utensils, they are generally soft-tipped to gently introduce food to your baby’s sensitive mouth. Some are coated with a heat-sensitive material that changes colour according to the temperature of the food, showing you when the food is too hot. Look out for spoons with a longer handle and nicely distributed weight to facilitate their use by your baby’s less-than-versatile hands.

food storage

Snack containers are perfect for travel and feeding-on-the-go, with a small opening that fits your little one’s hand and minimizes spills and mess. For meals on demand, freezer storage containers seal the deal, allowing parents to prepare a puree or portioned meal, stock it in the freezer, and thaw it immediately when their child is hungry. 

feeding accessories

From food mills for making quick meals to racks to organize your feeding utensils, these items just make feeding easier for you and your baby. If you are frequently on the move, there are portable and travel-friendly options, including insulated bags that keep food warm and ready for consumption.

 

refine your choice

When it comes to feeding utensils, there are a multitude of options out there, and which ones to choose is largely a matter of personal preference. However, the developmental stage that your child is at will influence the types of products you need.

physical considerations

    • Cups are typically introduced when a child is 6 months or older. The type of cup (training, sippy or open-top) depends on the level of comfort and experience that your child has with drinking.
    • Dinnerware and utensils have to fit into your toddler’s hands to be useful; otherwise, you’ll always be the one who has to do the feeding!
    • Food storage and feeding accessories are handy until your child is about 3, when they become independent in their feeding habits.

 

features to look for

    • Leak-resistant: If your child is old enough to grab things, you’ll know what this is for. Cups should be designed to minimize, if not eliminate spills and messes, because babies can be so unpredictable.
    • Unbreakable: Similar to the point on leak-resistance, except this applies to cups, dinnerware and utensils. Glass is a no-no; all items meant for baby use should be made of soft, pliable plastic or silicone.
    • Heat-sensitive: Some utensils come with a heat-sensitive coating to change colour if food exceeds a comfortable temperature (typically 110°F / 43.3°C). If you intend to heat food with a microwave, ensure that the dinnerware used is microwave-safe.
    • Safe: Choose feeding utensils which are safe and non-toxic. Check that the feeding utensils are free of Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is harmful for your growing kids. Silicone is free of BPA, unbreakable, and usually dishwasher-safe. 

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