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Developing your child's cutlery skills

  • 1-5 Years
  • 5-11 Years
  • Feeding and eating
Boy sitting at table and using knife and fork to eat their food off their plate.

Some cultures may choose not to use cutlery, but if you do wish to use cutlery, around 2 years old may be a good time to introduce cutlery. We recommend introducing a spoon and fork first. It often takes until around the age of 7 years old for a child to be able to independently use a knife and fork together.


Top tips for developing your child's cutlery skills

  • Try to sit together with your child to eat meals. Your child will be able to watch how you use cutlery. 
  • Make cutlery available for them to pick up.
  • Check the cutlery is the correct size for your child. If your child is struggling to hold the cutlery try using thicker cutlery or easy grip cutlery which is appropriate for your child's age. 
  • You can try cutting half of the food on their plate and encouraging your child to cut the rest under supervision. Reduce the amount you cut as their skills develop.
  • Allow them plenty of time to practice and use lots of praise to help motivate them. 

Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Feeding and eating for additional needs

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your child's mealtime habits, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

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