Note: I was not paid to give this review; simply provided with the product to test and review honestly. The opinions and thoughts are my own and not influenced by monetary compensation.
I had been following Melissa from Pick-Ease on Instagram for several months before I approached her about this product. Having seen the pictures of her kids using Pick-Ease, I was really intrigued by how it would work for a young toddler that was between self-feeding stages: at 14 months, Chase has mastered finger foods, but still struggles with a fork and spoon. I wanted him to develop the fine motor skills necessary for fork and spoon manipulation, but he gets easily frustrated with his inability to feed himself with them and gives up quickly every time. I thought the Pick-Ease might be a nice transitional tool.
The product–a small pick-like tool that children can use to spear their food–is actually meant for picky eaters who need a little added twist as an incentive to eat. Melissa invented the product because her son, who became a picky eater around age 2, loved when she served him his food with a toothpick. Since toothpicks aren’t the safest option for little ones, she invented the Pick-Ease, which is sharp enough to pick up food while blunt enough for safe use by young children.
I introduced the Pick-Ease to Chase at breakfast a couple weeks ago. I honestly had no idea how it would go over. He’s sometimes very adverse to new things and I could easily see it being spiked on the floor and never picked up again. But I was pleasantly surprised that he was willing to give it a try. (Santa PJs in May is the newest trend, in case you haven’t heard.)
It definitely took him a little while to understand the process of spearing the food and bringing it to his mouth (several times he took the food off the end and placed it in his mouth instead of eating it from the Pick-Ease.) But after a few times of showing him exactly how to hold it and put the food in his mouth, he was pretty eager to do it himself.
We tried it with a variety of different foods so he could get the hang of using it without getting frustrated (as he is occasionally apt to do if something doesn’t go his way) and some definitely went over better than others. Bread, sliced bananas, pieces of granola bar, chunks of cheese and strawberries were all fairly easy for him to get used to right off the bat; things like grapes and blueberries that roll around were tougher.
We’ve been using them at mealtime now for a couple weeks and I’ve been so happy with how determined he is to use the Pick-Ease for self-feeding. Occasionally, he gets frustrated and abandons them to use his fingers, but overall, he likes the challenge of feeding himself with them. Since mealtime can be a battlefield at times (picture a kitchen floor strewn with fallen soldiers that used to resemble actual food) I’m pretty excited that we’ve found an option that discourages him from tossing his food directly on the floor. The challenge of using the Pick-Ease is enough most times to get him to work his way through each item separately, instead of grabbing a handful of food and hurling it on the floor.
So, basically, happy toddler, happy mama.
The Bottom Line:
After repeated use (I don’t like to recommend something if I haven’t tried it more than once,) I highly recommend the Pick-Ease for both picky eaters as well as young toddlers like my son who are gearing up for fork and spoon use. They’ve been a great way to develop fine motor skills and keep my kitchen floor (slightly) cleaner. I know we will continue to use them as Chase transitions to holding a fork and spoon because I doubt he will grow out of his picky phase and these will come in handy when he’s older, too.
The Pick-Ease retails for $8.99 per 2-pack and come in 6 different fun varieties (the type we chose was the Savannah Pack.)
The Pick-Ease is also dishwasher safe and BPA-free.
If you’re interested in purchasing the Pick-Ease, Melissa has been kind enough to offer a 10% coupon code just for OMTA readers. Visit www.pick-ease.com and enter the code FRIENDS to save 10% and get free shipping on your first set of Pick-Ease.