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Testing Baby Spoons

By Hannah Crowley Published

Feeding your baby can be stressful; the spoon you use shouldn’t make it more so.

Once you start feeding solids to your kiddo, at around 4 months, a baby spoon sized for smaller mouths is useful. To find the best spoon for adults to use for feeding babies (versus ones the kids hold themselves), we tested 10 spoons, made from silicone, plastic, bamboo, and metal, using them to feed seven little testers, ages 4 months to 2 years, for a month. We considered how comfortable they were to hold, how well they scooped and served, and how easy they were to clean.

Handle Comfort Was Key but Elusive

We found that fatter, rounded, longer handles were the most comfortable for adults to hold. Five minutes of holding one spoon with a short, narrow, sharp metal handle had us wanting to chuck it across the room. Feeding a wiggling, uncooperative child is chaotic, so a grippy handle was key, too. Silicone was optimal here.

Dramatically offset spoons, such as the one on the right here, were only ergonomic for very specific tasks, such as reaching down into a jar for a scoop of puree, for example. Straighter, simpler spoons, like the one on the left, were comfortable to use at all different angles, scooping, swooping, and propelling food as needed without us having to adjust our approach to compensate for the angle of the spoon.

Some of the spoons were overdesigned, with dramatically curved handles or angled bowls. Simpler was better. Spoons that were relatively straight from bowl to handle were more comfortable to hold and angle into the babies’ mouths. The amount of flex was important, too. The handle of one spoon was so bendy that using it was like trying to scoop and serve with a Twizzler. Spoons with relatively stiff handles were easier to direct.

There are lots of different ways to feed your baby. A spoon will likely be just one of them. Whether you prefer baby-led weaning where the kiddo feeds themselves with appropriately cut pieces of food, or you prefer feeding the baby yourself, it’s a good idea to get your baby used to the idea of utensils so that they can one day feed themselves independently.

Soft-Edged Bowls Were Best

Bowls with soft edges were better at corralling lingering bits of food (from faces, bowls, plates, etc.) because they gently molded to surfaces and faces, scraping more cleanly.

Bowl size played into our rankings as well. Some bowls were too broad, too narrow, too deep, or too flat. The best bowls were right in the middle, big enough to serve a good-size scoop and hold runnier foods but small enough to fit into little mouths.

Some bowls were too large for little mouths, and others were too small to get a decent-size scoop of food. The best were right in the middle, big enough to get a full bite of food, small enough to fit into little mouths.

Extra Features: Heat Sensors and Spoon Rests

Several of the spoons featured bowls that turned white when the food was too hot to serve. Some of us found this handy.

Some of the spoons had extra features such as heat-sensing bowls that turned white when the food was too hot, or spoon rests that kept the spoon up off the counter. The former was useful for some testers. The latter wasn’t as useful. The spoon rests didn’t keep the counter clean as the food often just dripped off anyways, and as far as keeping the spoon clean from the counter itself, testers typically didn’t have anything on our counters that was too dangerous to touch the spoons, just as a matter of general safety. If the counter wasn’t clean, we didn’t put the spoon down on it.

Several spoons had bumps on the bottoms of their handles that are designed to raise the bowls up off of counters and avoid contamination. We were mostly ambivalent about this feature. There really shouldn’t be anything that dangerous on the counter, for safety reasons. Perhaps if you were camping or feeding your baby on the go, these built-in spoon rests might come in handy.

We preferred spoons that were made from one single piece of material. One model came apart and we were worried that mold could grow inside the head as it was difficult to tell if it was fully dry inside after cleaning.

Cleaning the Baby Spoons

Foods such as carrots and turmeric can discolor plastic and silicone. We saw a problem with only one particular silicone spoon; the rest were fine. Another, the only spoon that was not dishwasher-safe, had a silicone head and a bamboo handle that came apart for cleaning. We worried about the inside of this spoon’s silicone head getting moldy after washing because it was impossible for us to tell if it was dry inside. The best spoons washed completely clean, feed after feed, and were composed of a single piece with no places where moisture could get trapped.

The Best Baby Spoon: PandaEar Baby Silicone Soft Spoon

In the end, we preferred one spoon to the rest. The PandaEar Baby Silicone Soft Spoon was comfortable and easy to use, no matter what we were serving. Winner, winner, it’s the best spoon for dinner.

Equipment Review Baby Spoons

Feeding your baby can be stressful; the spoon you use shouldn’t make it more so.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.