Here are a number of different utensils you can use to make trying new foods a little more fun. Mixing up something as simple as a utensil also teaches a child that change is OK and trying something new can be a positive experience.
1. Toothpick: not only is it fun for kids to spear things, but it is also a great fine motor task. In addition to use toothpicks just as utensils, you can make mini "fruit kebab" skewers. Get the colored toothpicks and incorporate some sorting and counting into your mealtime as well! You can also look for the plastic cocktail toothpicks at the grocery store or the umbrella ones that go in drinks. Lots of possibilities!
2. Tongs: A simple search on Amazon will show you a wide array of mini tongs perfect for little hands grasping food. You can go with the basic colorful ones or more exciting ones with little hands on the ends.
3. The Nuk Brush is often used for oral motor sensory input and has been shown effective in the research in increasing food consumption by using it to distribute food in the mouth.
4. A Chinese soup spoon. Use it on the big side as intended or flip it around to practice drinking from the handle side.
5. Other foods! The possibilities are endless here. Pretzels to dip into different new foods or spear food with, banana to lick yogurt off of, and so on. The beauty of this one is that you can use a new food as a utensil to introduce different textures without the pressure of eating. For example, if your child loves yogurt and you would like them to eat apples, use the apple as a utensil to eat the yogurt with! The exposure to touching and licking food off the apple can add to future willingness to try the apple itself.
Even just switching up colors and shapes of the utensils you are using can make a huge difference. What else can you think of?