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6 Benefits Of Silver Utensils For Babies And Tips To Use

Besides being durable, silverware has several benefits for your little one.


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As you introduce solid foods to your children and encourage them to go ahead with eating with the help of spoons, you may wonder about the safety of silverware for babies.

There can be several other utensil options as well. Some may consider plastic, but its safety becomes a concern since it may contain potentially harmful BPA and phthalates. This brings us to the use of silverware for babies and if they can be a better and safer alternative.

Read on to know about the safety of silverware for babies.

Is It Good To Use Silver Cutlery For A Baby?

Parents in many cultures use silver cutlery while feeding young children. You may even have received silver bowls and spoons as gifts during the baby shower or on your baby’s first birthday. When transitioning your baby to solid foods, it could be tempting to use the gorgeous silver-plated baby Christening spoon your granny gave you.

However, while silverware is a good choice for babies, you need to keep certain things in mind before you start using it – one of which is knowing when you can start using it. Also, make sure the items are made of pure silver and not alloys of silver with cadmium or other metals.

When Can You Start Using Silverware For Babies?

When you first start feeding solid foods to your child, it is a good idea to use a silicone or rubber spoon. At this early stage, the child may bite on the spoon and chew it due to the teething pain. A silver spoon at this initial stage could hurt the insides of the child’s mouth. Choose a customized baby spoon that has been designed factoring in the fact that the cutlery may touch the sides of the baby’s mouth and their lips and gums during the feeding process.

By the time the baby is about six to nine months, they start getting curious about cutlery and try to grab the spoon with which you feed them. And by the time they are 14 months, they learn to dip the spoon into their food and bring it to their mouth. Start them off with a specially designed baby spoon, while you can continue to use silver spoons.

By the age of around 24 months, you may offer silver spoons to the child as they are now more adept at using one on their own with decent motor control. This improved motor control ensures that the spoon smoothly goes in and out without scraping against the sides of the mouth or gums (1).

Image: iStock

Benefits Of Using Silverware For Babies

The following are a few proven benefits of using silverware while feeding your baby.

  1. Antimicrobial properties: The antimicrobial properties of silver have been well-documented by researchers, which gives you a valid reason for transitioning to silver cutlery for your little one. Silver is known to kill bacteria, fungi, and certain viruses and has a long history of use in medical, personal care, and domestic applications. Given the findings, you can rest assured that microbes cannot remain on your silver cutlery for long (2) (3).
  1. Low maintenance: Since silver utensils can be cleaned, sterilized, and dried quickly, they are easy to maintain. You can load silverware into the dishwasher or give it a good wash by hand using a mild cleaning agent and warm water. If you would like to sterilize it, you can also gently lower the silver spoons and baby-feeding bowls in hot water and let them soak for a few minutes.
  1. Non-toxic: Some metals, such as mercury and lead, are toxic to humans. However, silver is non-toxic and perfectly safe for use in the kitchen. It is not known to have adverse effects on human health. Even if ingested accidentally, silver passes through the body and is expelled naturally, meaning it does not get absorbed into the tissues (4).
  1. BPA-free: Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical that goes into many plastic products, including cutlery, containers used to store water and food, and the linings of infant formula and food cans. This chemical hardens plastic (5). BPA can seep into the food or water and affect your child’s brain and prostate gland and lead to behavioral changes in them (6). Using silver baby feeding bowls and silver spoons is an excellent way to avert the risk of BPA from plastics leaching into the baby’s food, especially if you tend to use bowls for storing baby food.

Image: iStock

  1. Phthalate-free: Phthalates are used in the manufacture of PVC and other plastics. Apart from the antiandrogenic effects, phthalates are also believed to impact children’s psychomotor abilities and cognitive functions (7). Thus, if you are looking for phthalate-free utensils for your child, silver is a great option.
  1. Long life and resilience: The food-grade baby feeding bowls you find in the market have a limited shelf life, while the glass containers are difficult to manage with an active baby at home, and they also present a risk of injury if they shatter. With silver, both these problems are eliminated. You can use silver utensils for years on end and pass them on to the next generation without any qualms. It is also unbreakable, so a few drops and knocks may scratch or dent it but won’t damage it beyond use. More importantly, there is no risk of silver breaking into shards and injuring the child.

Types Of Silverware Available For Babies

Silver kitchen sets include the following.

  • Silver bowl: The advantage of silver bowls is that you can store both hot and cold foods in them without worry. Make sure you have a bowl with a proper-fitting lid so that you can quickly cover the food when the child gets distracted in the middle of a feeding session. A bowl comes in handy while storing baby food items, including soups, semi-solids, and solids, or even finger foods for a baby who is just exploring eating on their own.
  • Silver plate: This is an ideal utensil for letting your baby explore eating on their own or get a feel of solid foods. A silver plate could be an add-on to a bowl, or you could use it as a substitute for one if it has enough depth for your child to scoop out food effortlessly.

Image: Shutterstock

  • Silver spoon: A well-designed silver spoon is a great alternative to plastic feeding spoons, which usually contain harmful chemicals. Silver spoons can also be used for a long time and are hygienic.
  • Silver glassware: Once you have accustomed the child to drinking directly from a cup, giving them a silver cup glassware is ideal. You can leave milk, water, or other liquids in it for long without the risk of any chemicals leaking into the edible item.

Tips On Using Silverware For Babies

Keep these tips in mind when introducing silverware to your baby.


  • Choose a lightweight product that is handy enough for the child to clutch securely in their little hands.
  • Avoid giving them adult-sized glasses that may be prone to slipping out of their grip owing to their diameter and weight.
  • Glasses that come with handles make drinking from them easier for the child.
  • Always check and recheck if the edges are smooth and well-rounded. Sharp edges may cut the child’s soft lips when they drink from the cup or glass.


Image: Shutterstock

  • When feeding solid foods to your little one, give them a small silver bowl they can hold easily.
  • An active, curious child is sure to grab things they can lay their hands on. Thus, ensure the silver bowl you are using is easy to hold and not too big to be easily knocked out of your hands.
  • When your toddler is old enough to eat directly from the bowl, get one that is easy for them to grab.
  • Give your baby a slightly heavier bowl so that it doesn’t tip over when the child dips the spoon to scoop out the food.


  • Silver spoons are usually heavy, so get one that is designed for children and is light enough for them to handle.
  • Avoid ornate silver spoons and bowls because these are tough to clean. Also, food particles may stick within the intricate designs.
  • Short-handled silver spoons are best for toddlers to maneuver easily without much spillage.
  • The edges of the silver spoons meant for the child must be well-rounded. This helps avoid cuts and bruises inside the child’s mouth or on the lips.


  • Use a slightly heavy plate that will not flip over when the child scoops up food from it.
  • Ensure it is not excessively heavy because there is a risk of the baby pulling it off the table and hurting their foot.
  • Ensure your baby’s plate has no sharp edges.
  • Plates with some depth and high-rounded edges are a good choice because they reduce spillage.

How To Clean Silver Vessels?

Image: iStock

You may clean your baby’s silverware with warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid. Silverware can also go into the dishwasher. However, silverwares are prone to scratches, so avoid putting too many at one go.

Generally, if you keep using your silver bowls, spoons, and glasses, you will hardly find tarnishes in them. However, these tips might help you get your baby’s silverware back to its pristine shine if it loses its sheen. Here is how you should clean tarnished silver cutlery:

  • Place a sheet of aluminum foil in a large, flat bowl. The shiny side faces upwards.
  • Arrange the tarnished spoons and bowls over the foil in a row.
  • Pour in hot water, so all the utensils are submerged.
  • Sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Leave it for some time, and you will see the foil absorbing the tarnish and the utensils acquiring a lovely sparkle and shine.
  • Take them out and clean them thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Rinse them thoroughly with water to get rid of all the baking soda.
  • Dry them with a soft cloth to make them ready for use.

Can You Use Silver Utensils For Acidic Foods?

While silver is not toxic and does not affect the taste of most foods, some foods may taste different if you store and serve them in silver utensils. In particular, acidic foods may change in taste if stored in silver utensils. They may also tarnish the silver. Eggs may also taste different when eaten off silver bowls or plates due to the sulfur content that reacts with the silver (8).

Silverware for babies has been used for generations. However, before introducing silver utensils to children, you should remember that they are hard and may hurt babies’ mouths. So, do not use silverware at an early stage when they are starting solids. As babies become more adept at handling utensils and eating food, you may introduce silverware to them. These utensils are a good choice because of their antimicrobial properties, low maintenance, and non-toxic nature. Choose silverware specially made for children and enjoy safe and worry-free feeding time.

Key Pointers

  • Many cultures use silverware when feeding young infants; however, be sure the cutlery is made of pure silver.
  • You may give your baby silver cutlery when they reach around 24 months of age.
  • Pure silver cutlery is proved to have antibacterial properties, is non-toxic, free of BPA and phthalates, and has a long shelf life.
  • Acidic meals kept in silver cutlery may change food’s flavor and tarnish the silver.

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Using Cutlery; NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
2. Wilson Sim et al.; Antimicrobial Silver in Medicinal and Consumer Applications: A Patent Review of the Past Decade (2007–2017); Antibiotics (Basel) (2018).
3. Silver. A powerful weapon against microbes; Coloplast Group
4. The Facts on Silver; Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program
5. BPA and the Controversy about Plastic Food Containers; National Capital Poison Center
6. Nutrition and healthy eating; Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)
7. Stephanie M. Engel et al.; Neurotoxicity of Ortho-Phthalates: Recommendations for Critical Policy Reforms to Protect Brain Development in Children; American Journal of Public Health
8. It Turns Out Silver Spoons Make Food Taste Awful; Vice

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Rohit Garoo did MBA from Osmania University and holds a certificate in Developmental Psychology from The University of Queensland. The zoologist-botanist turned writer-editor has over 8 years of experience in content writing, content marketing, and copywriting. He has also done an MBA in marketing and human resources and worked in the domains of market research and e-commerce. Rohit writes topics... more

Dr. Rana Chanchal is currently working as a senior consultant and head of the Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Charak Hospital and Research Center, Lucknow. He has completed under graduation and post-graduation in Pediatrics from King George's Medical University, Lucknow following which he completed a two-year fellowship in Neonatology from Manchester, UK. Dr. Rana has also done DCH from... more

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Curious facts about the tradition of giving children's silver spoons for the first tooth

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Now everyone knows such a tradition how to give a baby a silver spoon for the first appeared tooth. Many are interested in where it came from, and what practical benefits it brings to a child or parents.

Roots of the tradition

Now it is not known for certain where this tradition came from, but it is generally accepted to say that it came to Europe from England. It is noteworthy that in this country there is still a saying: "to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth." It can be compared with the Russian proverb: “to be born in a shirt”. Those. to be protected in every sense of the word: esoteric, physical and financial. In fact, silver was mentioned in an English proverb as an element of a noble metal denoting wealth. Not wealth, but prosperity and lack of need for anything. Therefore, a tradition arose for a small child to give a silver spoon so that his future life would not know poverty, and he would not need anything.

In Russia, there is a second version of the origin of this tradition, which came from the Christian Magi. According to legend, they gave a silver spoon to the newborn Jesus.

If we talk about the mystical properties that are attributed to this metal, it is generally accepted that it is silver that protects against dark forces, evil, negativity and negative influences.

The practical benefits of such a gift

In addition to the fact that such a gift for a baby will serve as a kind of mystical amulet, it also has a number of practical benefits:

  • Silver spoons are now available in a wide range. They are made with decorative additions that little kids love. Accordingly, using it for feeding, you can quickly teach the child to eat cutlery himself.
  • Spoons for children made of this metal are made from a special alloy that undergoes additional purification. They are completely harmless and do not emit toxins even when heated. Moreover, silver can have a supporting effect on the immune system and a disinfecting effect on the oral cavity. This is especially important for babies who put everything in their mouths and try to try it “by the tooth”.
  • An unforgettable gift will be a silver spoon brought to a small child for his first erupted tooth. Over time, when the child grows up, such a souvenir is replaced by larger cutlery. But he is not thrown away, but put away in a beautiful case and stored for a lifetime. Some of these spoons are even passed down from generation to generation as a family tradition and heirloom. Even if the family does not have such old things, nothing prevents the baby from buying a spoon and starting such a tradition right now.

Modern facts about the old tradition

Now adherence to the old tradition is very relevant. It is due to the fact that many newborns suffer from gastrointestinal diseases with the introduction of the first complementary foods. By the time a child has their first tooth, complementary foods have already been introduced. This period is the most difficult in a child's life. Along with common diseases, new foods add stress to the baby's stomach. In addition, at the same time, the baby begins to actively explore the world around him and the entry of harmful bacteria into the stomach is most likely. Accordingly, the use of a silver spoon for feeding at this difficult time for the child and his stomach is necessary. The bactericidal properties of silver will help reduce the risk of intestinal infections and indigestion in a young child.

It will be beneficial not only to feed the baby with a silver spoon, but also to keep it in a bottle of drinking water until drinking in about 20-30 minutes. A small amount of silver ions, which thus enters the child's body and stomach, will perform their main function: disinfection and maintenance of immunity.

Based on these facts, we can safely assure you that the tradition of giving a baby a silver spoon before the first tooth appears did not just appear and linger in our society. Regardless of what mystical properties are attributed to this gift, there are real facts that speak of the unconditional benefits of such an item. They have already been proven both from a scientific and practical point of view.

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Do children need silver spoons

It is known that the first silver spoons appeared in ancient Egypt. Such cutlery, as well as silverware in general, was highly valued in Hellas and the Roman Empire. First of all, silver as a precious metal was a sign of wealth and nobility. In addition, its disinfecting properties have been known since ancient times. Historical fact: silverware was used in the army of Alexander the Great during the conquest of India to protect against infections common there.

In Rus', silver spoons appeared in the 10th century, coming along with baptism from Byzantium. However, silver utensils became widespread only under Peter I. In Russia, as in Europe, such cutlery was available only to the rich and in many families was passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom.

It was in those days that the custom appeared to give silver spoons for a celebration: for an anniversary, wedding, birth of a child. The tradition of giving silver as a gift is still relevant today. This is obvious when you look at its modern range. In the vast majority of stores, silver spoons are gift-wrapped.

The custom of giving a silver spoon to a child for baptism came to us from Byzantium.

Perhaps, most often they give silver spoons to babies, by the time of baptism, or "for the first tooth." However, opinions about the benefits of such a gift are contradictory. “Cozy Kitchen”, having weighed all the pros and cons, is ready to answer the question: “Does a child need a silver spoon?”

Advantages of a silver spoon

Naturally, the price of silver dishes does not interest a child. All such surroundings can excite only parents. And if they talk about the benefits of a silver spoon for a child, then they remember, first of all, the protective functions of the valuable metal.

Indeed, it has been scientifically proven that silver is detrimental to bacteria and microbes that cause many diseases. First of all, these are intestinal infections. In the Middle Ages, silver utensils in general, and spoons in particular, were considered reliable protection against cholera and polio, outbreaks of which were frequent and cruel. In addition, a silver spoon can protect the baby from stomatitis.

When religion in Russia was "eradicated", spoons began to be given "for the first tooth".

Another advantage, according to the supporters of silver, is the ability of this metal to retain the taste of food. Indeed, the silver spoon itself does not oxidize and does not impart any flavor to the food.

One more point is emphasized: the psychological one. A kid who has been using a silver spoon since birth gets used to the fact that he deserves only the best in this life. And this helps him to become more successful in the future.

Cons of a silver spoon

Perhaps, silver spoons have no cons as such. Opponents of this tradition, by and large, simply "neutralize the pros." In their opinion, the activity of silver is so low that the effect of its use will not be noticeable. After all, sanitary conditions in our time are much better than in antiquity, which means that the risk of contracting dangerous infections from which silver saves is almost negligible.

Gilding is one of the silver plating options.

In addition, it is emphasized that manufacturers apply a protective coating to silver, which either negates all the possible benefits of this metal, or can even make it dangerous.

Thus, opponents of the tradition of giving silver spoons to a child put forward the uselessness of this gift as arguments. And since there is no benefit, they think, why pay extra money? Ordinary spoons, or even light plastic ones, are quite enough.

So does a child need a silver spoon?

It must be admitted that the disinfecting properties of silver are really not as relevant today as they were in former times. Therefore, one should not expect much practical benefit from the use of a silver spoon. However, there is no harm if you buy exactly a food, and not a souvenir spoon. You can check this by asking the seller for the availability of a hygiene certificate for the products.

When buying, ask the seller for a hygiene certificate for products.

At the same time, silver is still considered a precious metal, although it is inferior in value to gold and platinum. At the same time, modern silver spoons can often be considered a real work of art, especially when it is handmade, piece copies. This means that silver cutlery can still be a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation. Provided that it is expensive utensils that are purchased, this is a good investment. It turns out that the presented gift can be much more expensive than its face value.

And finally, as a tribute to ancient traditions, a child is given a silver spoon. The meaning of such a gift is a wish of happiness and health, well-being to the baby. And is it worth it to bring practicality to the fore and talk about whether silver is effective? More importantly, this item is beautiful and safe. And best of all, the baby will be protected by the energy of the gift, the strength of the sincerity of your wishes.

The main thing that gives strength to a gift is the sincerity of your wishes.

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