Let's face it: teaching your kids how to eat properly and use utensils like forks and spoons is difficult at the best of times.
But if you think that navigating a boiled egg can be a struggle for many adults, trying to pass on the skills required to conquer one of food's more random challenges to our children often ends up in little more than an exercise in damage limitation.
Thank goodness, then, for the TUMTUM Trainee Egg Set, which comes with a number of features specifically designed to help keep egg-based disasters to a minimum.
There's nothing too fancy about the basics: it's a rectangular plate about A5-size with a moulded egg cup built in and raised edges for keeping anything from eggshells to the obligatory soldiers firmly put. It comes with a spoon designed specifically for getting every ounce of eggy goodness out of each shell – and of course for fitting nicely into junior's mouth.
One of the features that really does make the difference for me and lifts the TUMTUM Trainee Egg Set above anything you might already have in the cupboard is the grippy rubber lining on the bottom that makes for a non-slip base.
It really is non-slip, too – even in the standard spilled juice/wet cloth dampness so many kids bowls and plates find themselves put down into, the TUMTUM plate refused to budge.
The playful farmyard imagery adorning both the plate and spoon are a nice touch too. They're very much in keeping with the usual colourful TUMTUM approach to design, but the specific focus on chickens, rabbits and baby chicks is a nice touch.
The raised sides of the plate really are a help too, curving up to a vertical lip that sticks up a good centimetre and will happily stop all but the biggest bits of egg shell and provide a firm barrier against the way young fingers have a habit of pushing food around (and invariably off) plates with their fingers.
I'm not totally sold on the spoon to be honest. The idea is that it's longer than your standard teaspoon, and is “designed to suit the contours of the egg”, but it's hard to see how a normal spoon really is so unsuitable that it needs reimagined. Plus a more grippy rounded handle might have helped, although the four yellow checks standing on each other's heads on the orange handle is a cute picture it has to be said.
The Trainee Egg Set is completely BPA, phthalate & PVC free, and the plain brown cardboard packaging can be coloured in and reused as a small play case (or simply recycled). The Set is dishwasher proof, but not microwave proof, though that's hardly any kind of great disaster.
In truth, there's no point pretending the TUMTUM Trainee Egg Set is some kind of miracle solution product, because it isn't. Chances are you already have egg cups, teaspoons and plates or bowls, and that's all you need to give your kids a perfectly decent boiled egg (yes, with soldiers too!).
Where the Trainee Egg Set comes in is it'll make your children want to eat a boiled egg, but more importantly it'll make you quite happy to let them without dreading the whole thing will end up more like a boiled egg-splosion (sorry!).
For £12.99, that's not a bad result.
- The non stick grippy base is great
- The colourful and fun appearance really appeals to young people
- The high rim should stop the majority of eggshells from going everywhere
- The price isn't particularly high
- It's environmentally friendly packaging is appealing
- The conscientious thought to the materials used is a great nod to parents and their concern for their kidlets.
- The cup itself could do with some kind of abrasive surface to hold the egg in place
- The spoon could have a bigger grip