* Prices may differ from that shown
My youngest son is now two years old and is a confident little eater, happily taking part in family mealtimes with increasing independence. My little one has been using toddler sized stainless steel cutlery since he turned a year old and is proficient at using both a spoon and a fork, with relatively little mess at this stage. Using a knife is slightly more demanding, especially as the flat edged knives usually supplied with toddler sets are totally useless and just increase his sense of frustration.
I would probably have continued with the cutlery we own had I not noticed this Tommee Tippee 'First Cutlery' set, part of their Explora range of weaning and feeding products. This simple set comprises a single spoon, fork and knife and typically sells for around the £5 mark. I purchased my set from Sainsburys during one of their fairly frequent baby product promotions, so paid around £3 for the set which is excellent value.
The cutlery features a sturdy plastic coating around the surprisingly long handles, with generous indents along the length where the sides taper in to make a much thinner object, ideal for little fingers to grip securely. Each of the handles comes in a different colour, all of which are bright cheerful unisex shades that will attract the attention of a toddler. The cutlery feels sturdy and doesn't bend or wobble but is still light enough for a young child to manoeuvre easily.
Where this set differs from the numerous other toddler weaning sets that I've purchased over the years, is the knife. Unusually, the knife included has a proper serrated edge, which means that it is actually a functional piece of cutlery. Admittedly, the cutting edge is not overly sharp which is not surprising, given that this set is deemed suitable for children from 12 months old and upwards. That said, the cutting edge is sharp enough to cut through soft food items such as boiled potatoes or cooked vegetables and the blade is rigid enough to allow a toddler to use a knife in the appropriate way and to develop the skill of using a knife to push food onto his own fork. For obvious safety reasons, this knife does struggle with thicker, tougher foodstuffs. As an adult, I have managed to cut through items such as breaded chicken goujons, using a sawing motion, but the effort and precision involved is too much for my two year old to manage independently. Despite that, this is certainly the most functional knife that I've ever discovered in a set aimed at very young children.
My main reason for purchasing this set was the knife but both the fork and spoon are equally practical and durable. The prongs on the fork are strong and slightly rounded at the ends, so there is no risk of a hungry toddler causing themselves any damage. The 'bowl' of the metal spoon is slightly unusual being longer and thinner than most toddler spoons. There is quite a generous surface area available but the bowl is not particularly deep and, personally, I feel that a rounder and deeper spoon would be a better, and less messy, option if being purchased as a first set for a toddler, certainly at the lowest age recommendation of 12 months. At two, my son is more than capable of using this set and any mess is usually intentional!
I find the quality of this set to be excellent overall. The plastic handles are BPA free and have proven to be very durable, withstanding chewing, sucking and being dropped and thrown, along with regular use in a dishwasher without any visible signs of wear or tear.
I've been using and recommending Tommee Tippee products for many years and am happy to confirm that this is yet another excellent product, worthy of the Tommee Tippee branding. I would certainly recommend this for use by children from around eighteen months old, particularly those desperate to copy older siblings and parents with their own 'big boy's' knife!
I brought these for my daughter when she was 18 months old. When she turned one, she began trying to feed herself, after 6 months of practice she had the hang of using a fork and spoon, so I decided it was time to move away from the small plastic weaning spoons and folks and get some "big girl" ones.
After looking in several shops for cutlery sets, I kept coming across these ones, I found when trying to find a set there was not much choice out there. These looked the best on the market.
There are two different sets boys with a blue handled knife or girls with a pink handled knife, the fork has a green handle and the spoon has a orange handle. The bright colours on them make them so much more interesting. They are very attractive looking unlike a lot of the plain ones you can buy.
I paid around £5 for these from a supermarket, which is average price from wherever you buy.
At first I introduced just the spoon and fork to my daughter as I was still chopping her food for her, I found, she was able to grip these so much better than her weaning cutlery, there is a grip area where the thumb is placed, which makes it so much easier for them to hold. I also found she made less mess.
At the age of 2 I introduced the knife to her, She loved the fact she was using a "big girl" knife and would even ask for "big knife". The knife is sharp enough to cut food, but not herself, I have seen some knifes which have no sharpness to them and would be useless for cutting food, and when you have a independent two year old, these are not going to be very helpful. Also once again the grip helps a lot when cutting the food, as the knife doesn't slip from their little fingers.
I found these made meal times a whole lot easier especially with a messy toddler, food didn't seem to end up all over floors, tables and everywhere else.
We recently lost the fork, so I brought a plain metal set, as these was not available in my local shops, I found the new set rubbish compared to these and have brought the tommee tippee set again.
I have recommend these to one of my mummy friends who was finding their child was struggling at eating times with their cutlery set, and she said how useful these are and the child eating has improved so much she can't believe she it.
I would recommend to all parents, as they are perfect for little eaters, make meals times a whole lot easier, and children like the colours. I can not find one fault with these.
Tommee Tippee Explora First Grown Cutlery Set Information
Pack includes fork, knife and spoon
Lightweight and easy to hold
Chunky, soft grip handles, ideal for toddlers
Dishwasher and steriliser safe
Suitable for babies aged 12 months +