Do They Actually Make Babies Overweight? And Can Babies Spoon Feed Themselves?
Kitchen utensils, especially spoons, have been around since prehistoric times to help us prepare, serve, and eat food. According to Wikipedia, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origin, but archeological findings can place some of the ornamental and religious spoons in the era of 1000 years B.C. Later around 900 B.C., people made various kitchen utensils with ornaments and stones as they started to master crafting skills. It was not until the discovery of metallurgy when spoons began to take the shape of what we use today.
Today spoons are an integral part of our kitchen and food industry. We use them to measure ingredients, stir, mix, or consume fluids and semi-fluids such as soup, medicine, yogurt, etc. Spoons are also useful for mothers who are transitioning their child to semi-solid food to make their job much more comfortable as a parent.
What is a baby spoon?
A baby spoon is a unique kitchen utensil that has a non-toxic material construction, suitable to your toddler’s needs. Naturally, you’ll wonder why you need a special spoon for your baby when you have a kitchen drawer full of them. It is because regular spoons are too deep for a baby's mouth. They can hinder the weaning process and might injure your baby's sensitive mouth. On the other hand, baby spoons are flexible, shallow, and made of BPA-free plastic to ensure a safe and convenient feeding time for your baby. They have an easy-to-handle design that helps your child to learn self-spoon feeding, and you can also use them as teethers.
Which baby spoon is best for my child?
The best baby spoon for your child is the one that best suits your baby’s requirements. Children usually have a favorite utensil or prefer one spoon over the other. So make sure you opt for the one that your child desires. Here are some essential features to consider while purchasing a baby spoon:
Age of the Child: When babies start spoon-feeding, they usually require smaller bowls and shallow spoons to fit their mouth better. As they get older, you can transition to deeper spoons and bowls to better suit their growing appetite.
Handle: A short, curved handle is the most convenient if the baby is feeding himself, but most moms find it easier to feed their children with longer spoon handles. However, make sure that you purchase a baby spoon with a non-slip handle.
Material: Spoons go in a baby's mouth, and most babies chew on them. A soft, flexible tip can help your baby enjoy his meal-time without any discomfort to his mouth. Make sure the material used to make the spoon is non-toxic and BPA-free.
What age can you start spoon-feeding a baby?
Baby spoons come into play when your child starts building interest in solid or semi-solid foods at around six months old. Most infants need a significant amount of muscle development before their body can accept and digest solid foods. Furthermore, they should need enough body strength to sit up straight, or at least hold their heads up, to prevent choking.
A baby’s tongue-thrust reflex also adds to the factors that might define the time when your baby is ready for his first spoon meal. This reflex is stronger in infants to prevent gagging and grows weaker as the child grows older.
We advise you to consult your doctor for a piece of professional advice on when to start spoon-feeding, to prevent any mishaps.
Does spoon-feeding make babies overweight?
According to a study conducted by Nottingham University on 155 babies, spoon-feeding babies mashed up fruits and vegetables appears to give them a sweeter tooth. Babies weaned on pureed food tend to end up heavier than infants whose first tastes are finger food. The lead researcher of this study, Dr. Ellen Townsend, believes that spoon-feeding leads to temptation in children to eat whatever is left in the bowl, which might result in obesity. Alternatively, baby-led weaning is the better option and sets the base for healthy eating habits during childhood.
Another study at Swansea University under Amy Brown conducted a social experiment on around 300 babies that lead to similar results. Professor Brown strictly advised against forcing children to finish their meals, as it does more harm than good.
When can babies spoon-feed themselves?
Most babies start spoon-feeding themselves at around 12-15 months old. By the time they’re 18 months, they have better eye-hand coordination and the required motor functions to handle a spoon.
The experts at raisingchildren.net.au state that it is an excellent idea to let your baby learn at an early age. Babies give out many signals when they're ready for spoon-feeding, such as reaching out for the spoon or staring at you while you eat. So keep an eye on your child's activities and make a suited choice for them.
Are silicon and metal spoons safe for babies?
Parents, especially new mothers, stay perplexed over the safety of metal and silicone kitchen utensils for their sensitive baby. Silicone spoons are non-toxic, flexible, and do not chemically react with food or beverages.
The hard-wearing and chewable nature of silicone allow you to use these spoons with any food. On the other hand, metal spoons might be chemically reactive to some kinds of food, but there is no hard evidence to prove their dangers. Still, the hard nature of the metal might damage your child’s mouth or tongue. Many doctors advise the parents to the only start using metal utensils once your child is six months old.
Where can I purchase the best baby spoon?
Baby spoons are inexpensive, commercially available utensils that you can find in the baby section of most grocery stores. You can also pick and order one from an online store, but you might find it overwhelming to put your finger on a single one. Keeping in mind the ordeal required to search for the perfect product, we have compiled a detailed baby spoon buying guide that features the best baby spoons on Amazon.