The period when kids transition to eating solid foods and are learning to self-feed is a critical window during which life-long eating habits are established.
But most utensils - even kids-sized ones - are poorly designed for how kids want to hold and use them. Because of this, learning to self feed is a time that is typically fraught with frustration for kids and a mess for parents.
However, if kids can learn to feed themselves early on, they develop better eating habits, habits that can last a lifetime. The research is very clear on this: mealtime matters. A lot.