Tools of the trade: eating in style

hand painted cutlery

Click this image to purchase these colorful wooden forks.

Kids love having and making choices.

They always want to have choices and to feel empowered.  Who doesn’t?

Sometimes, though, they don’t have choices about what they eat… like when they don’t want to eat the healthy meal you’ve made.

peas in the pod

Click this image to purchase these from Smileware — or check out her other cool cutlery.

It happens.

And when it does, offer your kids some fun alternative eating utensils.

I’ve shared some recipes that sneak in healthy food, and I’ve written about some grocery store games to engage your kids in the family’s food choices.  Add imaginative cutlery to your bag of tricks.

alternative cutlery

From left: yogurt foil lids are meant to be used as spoons; K’nex, popsicle sticks, pickle fork, decorative butter knives, a Nuk tool for our sensory defensive eater (our seeker also loves it, even without dipping it in food!), cob knobs, dixie cups, colorful cutlery, measuring spoon, toothbrush, chopsticks, and a medicine measuring device from the pharmacy. See what YOU have on hand.



Here are some items we’ve used over the years to coax and play with our defensive kid and satisfy a desire for input for our seeker kid!  🙂

Even at 7 & 11, if I just set down a plate of pineapple or cheese cubes with a toothpick in each one, they are far more likely to eat.

I’d love to hear about any crazy tools you come up with… please share them in the comments below, or join in over on Facebook!


8 thoughts on “Tools of the trade: eating in style

  1. OMG, I have no crazy tools. I have a funny story only. My daughter was making a mess with her spaghetti when she was around 3 years old. I was trying so hard make the spaghetti eating neat, but it was not working. I finally just gave in and put her and her spaghetti on the (clean) floor. We sat there for about an hour eating spaghetti and making a huge mess. There was sauce all over her and her hair, and even in her ears (well, the outside of them). It crazy, and it is one of the best memories I have of time with my daughter when she was a toddler. Sorry I’m off topic with no tools, but the idea of tools just reminded me that you can also have fun with your hands and fingers 🙂


    • Donna Maria, that’s an awesome story! I’m glad you had the time and mindset to go with the flow. Not sure about the floor, but cleaning up the kiddo was probably fun, too! Right on, mama. xx Angela


    • Yeah, Kim, sometimes it’s just more fun, sometimes it’s easier to hold onto, and sometimes they need to feel something under the yogurt or mashed potatoes… 🙂 Thanks for reading! xx a


  2. Anytime you can turn food into finger-food, kids tend to eat it more. My kids would eat frozen peas in tiny little bowls set out on the counter while I was making dinner, just picking them out one at a time and crunching them. Behold! Veggies done before dinner even started!


  3. Love the idea of serving cheese and pineapple as finger food. Little tricks like this can take the stress out of getting good food into the kiddos so that you can concentrate on other things (like having fun together)! Thanks for educating us and providing us with such great ideas!


    • Gabrielle, Sometimes the stress of trying to find something a picky eater will accept makes dinner miserable. I won’t say that NEVER happens any more at our house, my cake-eater gives me a run for my money, but making it fun for them definitely makes it more fun for me, too. Thanks for reading! xx a


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