FoodPaths - February 2012
The Picky Eaters Project
Children's Chopsticks
A Toy for Table Manners

The simplicity of a stir fry is often overlooked as an easy, accessible and healthy option for a family dinner, combined with the discovery of a fun way to eat new foods. Children's chopsticks present parents with another addition to their family food experience "bag of tricks," and the opportunity to expose children to a different cuisine and culture.

Children’s chopsticks. “Utensil as Toy.”  A special food secret for encouraging the accomplishment of a new skill. Children’s chopsticks present an opportunity to change not only what a child eats, but widen their exposure to how they think about the foods they eat.


  • Do not feel you have to limit the children’s chopstick experience to stir fry or Asian food experiences.  Try adapting usage of the utensil for vegetables or other foods.
  • Children often surprise. Once a child begins to experience a wider variety of foods, their palates may well prefer foods with a bit more spice and seasonings.  You can always cut back.
  • “Training Chopsticks” have the potential of transitioning younger children from hand-feeding to learning about tableware and table manners.  Learning to manipulate chopsticks can make holding a fork a cinch.
  • Chopsticks come in different styles, for instance, Japanese chopsticks (called “Hashi’ meaning “bridge,” are more tapered than Chinese.
  • Chopsticks are made in two varieties – right handed and left handed.   Make sure you select the style that most suits your child. 

FoodPaths introduced chopsticks to a child that had never before seen them. The photos tell the story.  The Pororo brand combines both characters and finger loops (important for beginners). We purchased these for under $5.00 at Kamei Restaurant Supply on Clement Street in San Francisco’s Sunset District. They do not have mail order capability, but you can find children’s chopsticks widely available through and other on-line outlets.

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