At what point (age or developmental stage) can a child reasonably be expected to use a fork or spoon? I'm asking mostly about physical ability to control the fork/spoon mostly enough to use the utensil independently (put the food on and get it to the mouth).

  • 1
    My toddler has been able to eat liquids (milk, water...she enjoys using the spoon) since at least 13 months of age. Sticky stuff like yogurt was a tad earlier. I believer every baby develops differently in this category.
    – Swati
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 2:42

1 Answer 1


We had ours using the plastic angled spoons and forks from just after a year. Initially this is a very messy game to play, but letting them start early helps them pick up this essential skill quickly.

This will work best with yoghurts, cereal, mashed up foods in sauce etc, but we found they also enjoyed trying to pick up spaghetti with a fork (not short bits - full length strands :-)

Using a knife successfully comes a lot later - I seem to remember them all being over three years old before they got this sorted fully.

  • So they started using the spoons and forks just after a year. How long did it take before they conquered the new skill?
    – Rachel
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 19:40
  • You are assuming they have mastered it? :-) Pretty good by 3, to be honest.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 19:49
  • that was more what my question was about: when can they be expected to actually use the fork/spoon on their own instead of when to let them start trying. Thanks.
    – Rachel
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 20:01

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