What in the world is a GOOtensil?
The NumNum® GOOtensil™ is a pre-spoon designed to make self-feeding easier for children who are being introduced to utensils for the first time. NumNums are easier to use than a spoon because they are completely flat, so there’s no wrong way to hold them! That means there is no scooping, no balancing and no rules! Just dip, eat and repeat.
Couldn’t a child just use a spoon and get the same results?
As any second-time parent can attest, when a beginner attempts to use a traditional spoon, most of the food will end up in his/her lap. That’s because to effectively use a spoon requires wrist rotation, a major motor skill that unlocks scooping and balancing. This skill doesn’t set in until a child's second birthday, sometimes later! Our product is totally flat and, as a result, doesn’t require scooping or balancing. The emotional benefits of a child successfully participating in mealtime builds both self-confidence and independence.
At what age should I introduce utensils?
Most kids are ready to begin experimenting with utensils between the ages of 10 and 16 months. But every child develops at their own rate and some are ready as early as 6 months while others won’t be ready till they’re 18 months or older.
What’s the difference between the stage one and stage two GOOtensils?
The stage one GOOtensil (with textures) is the one the child will begin with because it holds just enough food to give them a taste of self-feeding independence. Plus, it has textures that soothe sore gums, so it’s a feeding-teether of sorts. Essentially, the stage one utensil lets them participate in mealtime without creating too much mess. Once the child has mastered the food-to-mouth motion, he or she can graduate to the stage two GOOtensil, which holds more food. It should be noted that the stage one GOOtensil is also better with thinner liquids, while the stage two is better for thicker foods.
What kinds of foods can GOOtensils be used with?
They’re designed for use with pureed foods, oatmeal, yogurt, and other organic blends. But many of our customers place solid foods on or in them and sit them within the child's reach for them to grab and eat.
Why does one GOOtensil have a hole in it? What’s the purpose of it?
Believe it or not, the channels, as we call them, use surface tension to capture and hold pureed foods and thicker organic blends just as a bubble wand holds bubble soap. This allows the utensil to hold nearly as much as a spoon would hold long enough for the child to get the food to their mouth.
What do feeding experts say about your GOOtensils?
Simply put, they love them! Pediatric feeding specialists stress the importance of the feeding implement matching the child's skill level, which is exactly what our product is designed to do. It's probably why our GOOtensils are used in feeding clinics across the U.S. We should also mention that we are incredibly lucky to have one of the world's leading pediatric feeding experts on our Board of Advisors so parents can be confident that every product we introduce is developmentally sound for their child to use.
Are GOOtensils dishwasher safe?
Yes. They are also freezer safe if you want to use them to make ice pops J
How long will a child use your pre-spoons before transitioning to a traditional spoon?
Most kids don’t develop full wrist rotation until late in year two. Parents will want to look for cues that wrist rotation has set in, such as the child is starting to scoop the bottom of the bowl or is trying to balance more food on the utensil when bringing it to the mouth. If these indications are present, the child is ready to graduate to the spoon.
Could using a GOOtensil delay a child’s ability to use a spoon?
Absolutely not. Every child is hard wired to develop wrist rotation at a specific age. Nothing can change that date. Introducing a spoon before a child has the skills to effectively use it, however, can lead to a range of feeding challenges, including picky eating. Our product lets children enjoy the satisfaction of participating in mealtime until wrist rotation sets in.
What are the benefits of using GOOtensils?
So many parents say “no” to handing over the spoon to their kids for months and months. With NumNum, they can say “yes!” Even at a year of age, it’s a powerful word that encourages learning and nurtures budding independence. So there’s a wonderful psychological benefit to be gained. The other benefits are that it allows the child to work on the basic food-to-mouth feeding motion and other skills until wrist rotation sets in.
What if my child doesn’t eat baby purees anymore?
Our product can be used with a wide range of food blends, not just baby foods. While most children have moved on to solids by age one, they still must learn to use a utensil at some point. And it’s easiest to prepare for the spoon by practicing with purees, organic blends, yogurts, oatmeal, potatoes, etc, as these foods won’t create as much of a disaster as soup or as much frustration as peas.
The GOOtensils look small. Are they a choking hazard?
Our product is designed to comfortably fit a child’s hand leaving only the head exposed, diminishing the risk of a choking hazard. A child who is learning to self-feed, however, should always be supervised no matter which product they are using.
What are the bumps on the stage one GOOtensil for?
The dimples, as we call them, serve two purposes. 1) They grab just enough food for baby to get the satisfaction of feeding his or herself. And 2) they soothe sore gums. We call it a feeding-teether, which should only be used while seated.
Are your spoons made of silicone or plastic?
GOOtensils are made of FDA-grade TPE, a thermoplastic, and polypropylene – the same two materials used in most toothbrushes. Both materials meet or exceed all regulations and are free of BPA, BPC, PVC and phthalates.
Aren’t there other spoons out there that address this issue?
Not really. Most stage one spoons have a bowl or concave portion and, as such, still require wrist rotation. So they won’t be any more effective than an ordinary spoon. Since our launch in 2013, there have also been a couple of products launched that are eerily similar to ours. While they look very much alike, they are different in a pretty significant way: they use a single material, which means their product is more flexible and less rigid than ours. The problem with this solution is if you have a child with limited motor skills, it’s imperative that the utensil be firm to allow for greater control. Limited motors skills combined with a bendable, floppy, if you will, utensil will only add to a child’s frustration.
What makes the Beginner Bowl unique?
It’s the slanted interior walls, to be sure. This innovative design funnels food to one easy-to-find spot making it easier for little learners to find and enjoy every bite. While you can use any utensil with the bowl, it obviously works very well with our pre-spoon GOOtensils.
What age is the bowl intended for?
Most kids tackle stage one utensils between the ages of 10 and 16 months. But every child develops at their own rate. Even after the child has transitioned to the spoon they can still use the Beginner Bowl. Because of the innovative shape, it will hold less milk with cereals and less milk means less mess!
Why doesn’t the bowl have a suction bottom?
We did a lot of research on this before starting the design process and what we discovered is that parents who have used suction bowls offer mixed reviews. Their reasons: They lose suction over time; they don’t work as well on some surfaces; and, our favorite, it takes kids about 2 minutes to figure out the whole sneaky suction thing. We didn’t want a first-time mom bowl. We wanted a bowl that parents would buy and use with kid one, two and three, and would recommend to other parents as well.
Am I crazy or does the Beginner Bowl look a lot like a dog bowl?
You’re right, it does. There’s a reason for that. The broad-based bowl, as it’s called in the design world, is the most stable bowl design on the planet. That’s why it’s the go-to choice for pet bowls. Because, as we know, pets tend to knock over bowls. You know who else knocks over bowls? Kids! So, we decided to go with this tried-and-true design. We think the dogs may be on to something!
Is the Beginner Bowl microwave and dishwasher safe?
Yes. As always, be careful when heating any kind of food for a child. Be sure to check the temperature of the food before serving.
Do they really need help “finding” the food? Couldn’t that impede development by making it too easy for them?
Every pediatric feeding specialists we’ve spoken with assures us that anytime you remove barriers and help the child have a positive, successful feeding experience, you are building that child’s self-confidence and encouraging them to explore and learn further. The skills will come whether the child is practicing or not because they develop these skills at the table and away from it while playing.
Where are your products made?
Currently, our products are manufactured overseas at a facility that our team visits regularly. NumNum does own a mold in South Carolina and we hope to shift some production to the U.S. in the next year or two.