Baby Gear: Oneida 6 Piece Progress Set
One thing that used to be a staple for babies was the long-handled metal spoon with the tiny bowl. You could get them in sterling silver as keepsakes, or stainless steel for everyday use. With the advent of baby spoons in every possible color, material and safety device, the metal ones have sort of disappeared. We have a set of Playtex Infant Spoons with which we are very happy. The handles are well-balanced, and the bowls are small and thin enough to fit inside a baby’s mouth (unlike the ‘safety’ ones, whose coating makes the bowl too flat to hold anything and too big to fit in her mouth).
I was thrilled when I found this:
This is the Oneida Six-Piece Progress Set in the Paul Revere style. From the left, you can see the toddler-sized fork and spoon, the infant long-handled feeding spoon, then the three-piece child-sized set of fork, butter knife, and spoon.
I was inspired after skimming French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon. (The entire book is on its way from Amazon right now; I’ll post a review after it arrives. 🙂 The French seem to have a much more conscious and pleasure-oriented approach to food than Americans do. They prioritize meals and eating as ends in and of themselves, not just as fuel stops on the way to other activities. And they teach these values to their children, beginning from a very early age. One way they do that is by making sure that children use the same table manners that are expected of adults, and they set their tables accordingly, using small-scale silverware appropriate for children’s hands.
My daughter (currently 13 months) uses the toddler-sized fork and spoon now, although we still use the infant feeding spoons to help her out. They are the perfect size, and she can easily grab the handles. This set is in the Paul Revere Style, but it also comes in Chateau and Brahms. If you are lucky enough to own your own table settings in one of these patterns, you can have your baby match! If you prefer a more child-like style, you can get the three-piece children’s set in Cubby Bear, ABC Animal, or Space Family. They are all made of high-quality Oneida stainless steel, and are dishwasher safe.
I bought mine from Amazon; I think I saved a few dollars, although I have seen the prices change dramatically, and Oneida occasionally has sales. (I missed a great sale one: eight-piece tables settings for 60% off, and I’ve been kicking myself ever since.)
I love having this silverware for my daughter, and I hope that she will someday use these pieces for her babies.