CleverstiX.com is delighted to reveal exciting news regarding new expert investigation into the benefits of using our Child Development Cutlery! Under the guidance of Dr Emma Haycraft, the Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders and Behaviours (LUCRED) is to conduct a dedicated research project into how CleverstiX might be helpful for children with eating problems, or for particularly fussy eaters.

Dr Emma Haycraft, Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders and Behaviours (LUCRED)

Dr Emma Haycraft, Loughborough University

LUCRED’s work focuses on researching eating behaviours and eating problems across the lifespan.   It includes a particular focus on caregiver-child interactions around eating and mealtimes, as well as exploring food neophobia (fear of new foods) and fussy eating in children. Loughborough University is also behind the Child Feeding Guide, which Dr Haycraft and colleagues designed to help parents and child-carers with feeding children.

CleverstiX.com first became aware of the potential of our CleverstiX product to help fussy eaters thanks to much of the feedback we received from users that commonly referenced the following assets:

    Concentration:
    because of the focus required to pick up food using CleverstiX, instead of being distracted, kids were engaged with their meal and surprised their parents by finishing everything on their plate (often described as the “tunnel vision effect”)
  • Toy-like appearance: since CleverstiX look like a toy, with versions including recognisable children’s characters, kids often reacted in the following ways:
    • took protective ownership of them (in a manner they would never apply to a conventional knife and fork)
    • view their CleverstiX as a fun implement to enjoy eating with
  • Pincer grip: we also got feedback that mentioned children who stubbornly wanted to finger eat were happy using CleverstiX because the rings acted as an extension of the fingers and it meant that could eat using pincer motions which other cutlery did not enable
Ken Hom’s grandchildren using CleverstiX

Ken Hom’s grandchildren using CleverstiX

The aim of LUCRED’s investigation is to conduct a formal evaluation to verify whether CleverstiX can indeed be helpful and constructive for youngsters with eating difficulties based on compelling evidence. 24 sets of CleverstiX have been supplied and will be used by 3-5 year old children over several weeks. Each child’s parent will assess their child’s use of the CleverstiX during the project to determine whether use of the cutlery is seen to improve children’s eating behaviours.

Dr Emma Haycraft explained why she was keen to initiate the research project:

“Fussy eating in young children is really common and we know this can be a cause of stress and concern for many parents. Exploring whether CleverstiX can help children to eat a wider variety of healthy foods seems a worthwhile endeavour as part of our efforts to find evidence-based ways to better support parents and caregivers with helping their children to eat healthily. We are looking forward to seeing the results of this project in the spring.”

This development is the latest expert appraisal of our child development cutlery, following the endorsements of CleverstiX by paediatric Occupational Therapists within the context of acute advancement of fine motor skills, dexterity and co-ordination – particularly for Special Needs children with DCD, Dyspraxia or similar conditions.

The results of the LUCRED research are due in April 2017.

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