When you run into a picky eating phase with your child, fun utensils can help spark an interest in trying new foods. Here’s our go-to guide on how fun child utensils can encourage eating, our favorite products, and tips to get started!

Graphic for post - fun child utensils to encourage eating with a grid of images that are of utensils that are colorful and for kids and toddlers.

Medically reviewed and co-written by Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

Encouraging Adventurous Eating

All kids seem to go through a bit of a picky eating phase at one time or another. And although there are many strategies you should consider to help your child pass through this phase, adding a fun eating utensil into your rotation is one idea to try. We’ve seen kids eat foods we would have never imagined, simply due to a new spoon or fork.

Breaking out of the ordinary and getting a little creative during mealtimes often encourages eating, especially when new foods are on the plate. Studies have shown that the less pressure a kid feels while eating, the more likely they are to try new foods. Using fun utensils can take the pressure off eating and make it fun.

We’ve chosen a variety of our favorite utensils to encourage adventurous eating from babies and toddlers, to preschoolers and school-aged kids. (And we promise we won’t judge if you want to try them on your picky spouse.)

Tips for Using Fun Utensils

  • As with any eating opportunities, always supervise – especially depending on your child’s age with small food forks and food picks
  • Fun utensils can be used to dip into a new sauce or puree and taste a very small amount
  • Tongs can also be used as serving utensils during meals
  • Utensils can be used outside of meal times for building fine motor skills – use them to scoop up rice in a sensory bin or poke and cut play-doh pieces
  • For older kids, use food picks in their lunch box to encourage bites at school
  • Straws can be used to as a utensil for sipping new soups, yogurt or other purees

Fun Utensils