feeding bowl spoon cup

Tableware

Once a baby reaches about six months old, solid food can typically be introduced.

With this introduction comes different items that are needed: dishes, cups and utensils. As a baby of this age does not yet have the hand-eye coordination or muscle development, there is tableware specifically designed for them.

Types of Tableware

Dishes that are designed for feeding infants and toddlers include plates, bowls and snack containers. Typically plates are sectioned so that one section holds one food and it does not mix with the other food on the plate. Another feature of many children’s dishes are that they are made of plastic. They come in different designs such as themed characters as well as any number of colors. Snack containers are great for holding cereal, fruit and other snacks little ones might eat. They often have easy to open lids and are small enough for little hands to hold.

Utensils for infants and toddlers mainly consist of forks and spoons. These are usually just smaller sizes of regular utensils. For babies, spoons that take temperatures are common. These spoons will change color when food is too hot so that the baby’s mouth does not get burned.

As older infants and toddlers do not have the hand coordination to drink from a regular cup, there are cups specifically designed for their little hands. The term “sippy cups” refers to infant and toddler cups. These cups have lids on them with a spout so they spill much less than a regular cup. Often they also have handles on the sides of the cup which allows the baby or toddler to grasp the cup much more easily. As the child gets older, the cups change into more of a regular cup.

Brand Names of Tableware

Girl with a cupThere are some brands of tableware that are better recognized than others for providing quality tableware items. Some of these brands include: Munchkin, Playtex, The First Years and Tommee Tippee. Munchkin offers many types of dishes, utensils and cups for babies and toddlers. Munchkin’s BPA Free White Hot Spoons have been designed to take the temperature of food so parents know if it is too hot for their baby. These spoons have a sensor in the tip and the spoon will turn white if the food is too hot.

Tommee Tippee is a well known name in the baby market and has a line of tableware. Their Explora Section Plates are useful when introducing new foods to a baby. Each plate has three sections so that food is kept separate. These plates are both microwave and dishwasher safe making for easier feeding.

The First Years has an extensive infant and toddler feeding line. One popular product is the Take & Toss 28 pc. Variety Pack for feeding on the go. This set includes six of: bowls with lids, spill proof cups, snack bowls, spoons and forks.

Playtex is a known brand name for feeding essentials. They produce bottles, tableware, bibs and so on. Playtex’s The First Sipster Trainers cups are a first cup for little ones. They feature handles and slim spouts which are perfect for little ones just beginning to use cups.

Price of Tableware

Tableware seems to change with the age of the child so it can be a little more costly until adult tableware can be used during feeding. Forks and spoons are fairly inexpensive unless designer or special ones are purchased. For example, the temperature sensitive spoons are more expensive than a standard spoon. Sippy cups can generally be purchased for around $5, with the price increasing somewhat for designer cups or those with additional features. Plates, bowls and snack cups all have similar prices, with cheap and standard pieces starting as little as one dollar and rising from there. Sets which consist of spoons, forks, bowls, plates and snack containers can be more cost effective than purchasing these items separately providing that all the items in the set are needed. It is also possible to get all of these items in multiple packs, ie a set of six plates.