My wife and I go out to eat with our three-year-old toddler quite often, and our budget constraints usually dictate that we dine at restaurants where eating meals typically involves using chopsticks (Thai anyone?). As a result, my son has taken a liking to the paper-wrapped stick-like utensils, and without Chopstick Kids our dining experience – not to mention our life – would be a literal mess!

Chopsticks promote mindful eating and reduce consumption in general. So although drumming is a normal occurrence at our family’s table, followed by a bit of orchestra conducting and the inevitable chopstick-up-the-nose routine (all acts performed by my preschooler), I am happy that when the food arrives he doesn’t quickly trade the chopsticks for that hybrid utensil popular with airlines, fast-food joints and prisons: the spork. But the resulting mess – offset by a hefty clean-up tip for the waitstaff, tends to negate the reason that we were in a Thai restaurant in the first place: our budget.

Enter Chopstick Kids the “soft, washable, food-safe hinges really keep your chopsticks in line and add an element of fun.” Simply pop the sticks into the rubbery legs of these helpers and watch your kids get all chop-socky (and less messy) with their food.

Chopstick Kids retail for $7 at the ModernTots online store. Other versions (such as HogWildToys’ new DinoSticks) are also available, or simply build your own.