US20200060452A1 - Grooved tableware for assisting infants and children with grasping foodstuffs - Google Patents

Grooved tableware for assisting infants and children with grasping foodstuffs Download PDF

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Publication number
US20200060452A1
US20200060452A1 US16/110,968 US201816110968A US2020060452A1 US 20200060452 A1 US20200060452 A1 US 20200060452A1 US 201816110968 A US201816110968 A US 201816110968A US 2020060452 A1 US2020060452 A1 US 2020060452A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
tableware
grooves
sets
receptacle
foodstuffs
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Abandoned
Application number
US16/110,968
Inventor
Jordan Bradford Holley
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Jordan Bradford Holley
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Priority to US16/110,968 priority Critical patent/US20200060452A1/en
Publication of US20200060452A1 publication Critical patent/US20200060452A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G19/00Table service
    • A47G19/02Plates, dishes or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G2400/00Details not otherwise provided for in A47G19/00-A47G23/16
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G2400/00Details not otherwise provided for in A47G19/00-A47G23/16
    • A47G2400/08Stabilizing containers or articles

Abstract

What is disclosed is a tableware device including at least one food placement or containment area or concavity. The food placement or containment area (or areas) or concavity includes a set of grooves which is configured to direct food towards the perimeter of the concavity for easier grasping by an infant or child.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to tools for aiding infants.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Infants and developing children have difficult experiences when attempting to grasp various foodstuffs and retrieve them from tableware or placemats. Various foodstuffs have a tendency toward lateral movement upon the interior surfaces of various tableware or placemat devices (once the infant or child has applied force upon the foodstuffs). Infants and children have an initial lack of dexterity or digital mastery that must be overcome when learning to grasp and retrieve various foodstuffs from tableware and placemats.
  • Of the numerous types of tableware and placemats currently available for infants and children for use during mealtime, as of yet, none have effectively or appropriately addressed the frustration and difficulty that developing infants and children often experience when attempting to grasp foodstuffs and retrieve them. Thus, there is a need for tools for infants and children to aid them in grasping foodstuffs.
  • SUMMARY
  • An exemplary embodiment relates to a tableware apparatus. The tableware includes a tableware body. The tableware also includes at least one receptacle disposed in the body. The at least one receptacle has at least one or more contoured grooves having a first groove end proximate a central or interior region of the receptacle, and a second groove end proximate an outside delimiting perimeter of the receptacle. The grooves are configured for trapping and/or guiding foodstuffs in a predictable path toward the outside, delimiting perimeter of said tableware.
  • Another exemplary embodiment relates to a dish. The dish includes a base for contacting a surface. The dish also includes side walls extending from the base and coupling with an interior surface to form at least one bowl region. Further, the dish includes at least one set of grooves formed in the interior surface, extending from a point inside the bowl region to an upper edge of the bowl region.
  • Yet another exemplary embodiment relates to a tableware apparatus The tableware including a tableware body. The tableware also including at least three receptacles disposed in the body. At least one of the at least three receptacles has at least one or more contoured grooves with a first groove end proximate a central or interior region of the receptacle, and a second groove end proximate an outside delimiting perimeter of the at least one of the at least three receptacles. At least two of the at least three receptacles are approximately the same size and shape.
  • In addition to the foregoing, other system aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the disclosure set forth herein. The foregoing is a summary and thus may contain simplifications, generalizations, inclusions, and/or omissions of detail; consequently, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the summary is illustrative only and is NOT intended to be in any way limiting. Other aspects, features, and advantages of the devices and/or processes and/or other subject matter described herein will become apparent in the disclosures set forth herein.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an example embodiment
  • FIG. 2 is a top view of an example embodiment
  • FIG. 3 is a side view of an example embodiment
  • FIG. 4 is a cross section view of an example embodiment, taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2
  • FIG. 5 is a side view of an example embodiment
  • FIG. 6 is a cross section view of an example embodiment, taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 2
  • FIG. 7 is an isometric view of an example embodiment
  • FIG. 8 is a top view of an example embodiment
  • FIG. 9 is a side view of an example embodiment
  • FIG. 10 is a cross section view of an example embodiment, taken along the line 10-10 of FIG. 8
  • FIG. 11 is a side view of an example embodiment
  • FIG. 12 is a cross section view of an example embodiment, taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. 8
  • The use of the same symbols in different drawings typically indicates similar or identical items unless context dictates otherwise.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Many parents have watched in frustration as their hungry infant or child repeatedly attempted to grasp foodstuffs from various tableware or placemats, with most (if not all) attempts ending in either a failure to retrieve the foodstuffs, or with the foodstuffs inevitably being moved along the interior surfaces of the tableware or placemat and then up and/or out of the foodstuff storage area(s) or compartments(s) or concavities, and inevitably outside the tableware or placemat's delimiting perimeter, at which point the foodstuff falls down onto the underlying surface which the tableware or placemat has been set upon. This frustrating process is due to a lack of dexterity in infants and children, and also the learning curve that comes with slowly achieving digital mastery of the fingers with regard to daily mealtime activities.
  • The first problem occurs when an infant or child attempts to retrieve various foodstuffs from the tableware or placemat. Instead of simply grasping the foodstuffs and lifting them away from the tableware or placemat, the infant or child will have a tendency to instead unintentionally apply lateral force to the foodstuffs, causing the foodstuffs to move laterally across the interior of the tableware or placemat, eventually grasping the foodstuffs after many frustrated attempts and with great difficulty.
  • The second problem which frequently occurs during an infant or child's attempts at retrieving foodstuffs, is that the infant or child will unintentionally cause the foodstuffs to slide along the interior surfaces of the tableware or placemat, all the way to the upper/outer perimeter of the tableware or placemat, whereby it often falls outside of the tableware or placemat's perimeter, falling down onto the underlying surface that the tableware or placemat has been set upon. At this point, either the infant/child begins to attempt the grasping process all over again, or the parent/guardian in charge of supervising the mealtime must then intervene to grasp the foodstuffs for the infant or child.
  • Other various tableware and/or placemats have previously been devised which address the lateral movement of the tableware or placemat itself, as well as an infant or child's ability to move those placemats or pieces of tableware laterally upon an underlying surface. Some previously devised tableware or placemats have offered an ease of washing and cleaning after mealtime. Some previously devised tableware or placemats have offered the convenience of catching loose food. Some previously devised tableware or placemats have offered a simple storage solution. Some previously devised tableware or placemats have offered high heat tolerances. Some previously devised tableware or placemats have offered a resistance to fungus and/or microbes. But none of the previously offered tableware or placemats, as of yet, address the difficult challenge that infants and children experience when simply trying to retrieve their foodstuffs from the tableware or placemats.
  • Accordingly embodiments described herein include tableware and/or placemats that feature contoured/concave grooves which emanate from any central foodstuff placement or storage area(s) or compartment or concavity and travel upward and/or outward along any variety of delimiting walls, barriers or perimeters that surround the foodstuff placement or storage area(s) or compartment(s) or concavities.
  • The contoured/concave grooves will have a strong tendency to trap and/or guide moving foodstuffs along their path, making the path of any laterally moving foodstuffs much more predictable for the infant or child. These contoured/concave grooves will also provide a contoured path for the small fingers and/or fingertips of infants and children to fit down into, whereby they can achieve a digital advantage toward grasping the foodstuffs or guiding the foodstuffs out of the foodstuff storage area(s) or compartment(s) concavity and into their hand(s).
  • With reference now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 through 6 represent an embodiment of a grooved tableware device featuring only one main food placement or storage area or concavity. While this is only one embodiment of an exemplary grooved tableware device for the purpose of assisting infants and children with the grasping of foodstuffs, it is not limited to any specific number of food placement or storage areas or concavities. The embodiments as described herein in further detail, include the contoured/concave grooves to any tableware embodiment in order to assist with the entrapment and guiding of foodstuffs, and to provide leverage in the grasping of foodstuffs. The grooved tableware may also be referred to as a dish, or a bowl and the like without departing from the scope of the invention.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1 through 6, the exemplary embodiment of the grooved tableware device illustrated will be described and designated by the reference number 20.
  • Grooved tableware 20 features a smooth, suffuse undersurface 35. Because grooved tableware 20 has been devised for the purpose of catching foodstuffs and providing infants and children with digital leverage in the grasping of foodstuffs, grooved tableware 20 features a food placement concavity 55 as defined by a raised perimeter 15. Raised perimeter 15, surrounding food placement concavity 55 delimits at least one receptacle 50. At least one receptacle 50 is variously effected; as shown in FIGS. 1 through 6, at least one receptacle 50 is disposed as a bowl 50A; in FIGS. 7 through 12, at least one receptacle 50 is disposed as a shallow rectangular portion 50B, within the bounds of which rectangular portion 50B is disposed, at least a pair of additional receptacles 58 are provided for the selective and separable positioning of foodstuffs therein. In some exemplary embodiments, undersurface 35 may include non-slip materials or slip-resistant materials which are designed to help prevent the infant or child from pushing and moving tableware 20 on its resting surface.
  • In the exemplary embodiments, at least one receptacle 50 and at least a pair of additional receptacles 58 will feature one or more contoured/concave groove or grooves 62 which emanate from the central region of a receptacle 61 and travel outward along the interior surfaces of the food placement concavity 55 until they reach raised perimeter 15, at which point the path of the contoured/concave groove or grooves 62 comes to an end, whereby the upper face of raised perimeter 15 will yield to the path made by the contoured/concave groove or grooves 62.
  • The purpose of the exemplary tableware device is to ensure that after foodstuffs have been placed in at least one receptacle 50, or at least a pair of additional receptacles 58, a child can move the foodstuffs into the contoured/concave groove or grooves 62, which makes the path of laterally moving foodstuffs more predictable, or if the child is attempting to grasp and retrieve the foodstuff, they will be given a digital advantage by being able to insert their fingers into the contoured/concave groove or grooves 62, thus giving them leverage over any foodstuffs that have been trapped along the path of the contoured/concave groove or grooves 62.
  • The grooved tableware shown and described, is not limited by any material composition. Wood, plastics, rubber, foam, metal alloys, aluminum and other materials may comprise some or all of this type of device in various embodiments.
  • Although the grooved tableware has been illustrated and described herein with reference to exemplary embodiments and specific examples thereof, it will be readily apparent to designers, producers, manufacturers and retailers of similar tableware products that other embodiments and examples may perform similar functions and/or achieve like results. All such equivalent embodiments and examples are within the spirit and scope of the present invention, are contemplated thereby, and are intended to be covered by the following claims.
  • In some instances, one or more components may be referred to herein as “configured to,” “configured by,” “configurable to,” “operable/operative to,” “adapted/adaptable,” “able to,” “conformable/conformed to,” etc. Those skilled in the art will recognize that such terms (e.g. “configured to”) generally encompass active-state components and/or inactive-state components and/or standby-state components, unless context requires otherwise.
  • While particular aspects of the present subject matter described herein have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that, based upon the teachings herein, changes and modifications may be made without departing from the subject matter described herein and its broader aspects and, therefore, the appended claims are to encompass within their scope all such changes and modifications as are within the true spirit and scope of the subject matter described herein. It will be understood by those within the art that, in general, terms used herein, and especially in the appended claims (e.g., bodies of the appended claims) are generally intended as “open” terms (e.g., the term “including” should be interpreted as “including but not limited to,” the term “having” should be interpreted as “having at least,” the term “includes” should be interpreted as “includes but is not limited to,” etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is intended, such an intent will be explicitly recited in the claim, and in the absence of such recitation no such intent is present. For example, as an aid to understanding, the following appended claims may contain usage of the introductory phrases “at least one” and “one or more” to introduce claim recitations. However, the use of such phrases should not be construed to imply that the introduction of a claim recitation by the indefinite articles “a” or “an” limits any particular claim containing such introduced claim recitation to claims containing only one such recitation, even when the same claim includes the introductory phrases “one or more” or “at least one” and indefinite articles such as “a” or “an” (e.g., “a” and/or “an” should typically be interpreted to mean “at least one” or “one or more”); the same holds true for the use of definite articles used to introduce claim recitations. In addition, even if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is explicitly recited, those skilled in the art will recognize that such recitation should typically be interpreted to mean at least the recited number (e.g., the bare recitation of “two recitations,” without other modifiers, typically means at least two recitations, or two or more recitations). Furthermore, in those instances where a convention analogous to “at least one of A, B, and C, etc.” is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., “a system having at least one of A, B, and C” would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). In those instances where a convention analogous to “at least one of A, B, or C, etc.” is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., “a system having at least one of A, B, or C” would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that typically a disjunctive word and/or phrase presenting two or more alternative terms, whether in the description, claims, or drawings, should be understood to contemplate the possibilities of including one of the terms, either of the terms, or both terms unless context dictates otherwise. For example, the phrase “A or B” will be typically understood to include the possibilities of “A” or “B” or “A and B.”
  • With respect to the appended claims, those skilled in the art will appreciate that recited operations therein may generally be performed in any order. Also, although various operational flows are presented in a sequence(s), it should be understood that the various operations may be performed in other orders than those which are illustrated, or may be performed concurrently. Examples of such alternate orderings may include overlapping, interleaved, interrupted, reordered, incremental, preparatory, supplemental, simultaneous, reverse, or other variant orderings, unless context dictates otherwise. Furthermore, terms like “responsive to,” “related to,” or other past-tense adjectives are generally not intended to exclude such variants, unless context dictates otherwise.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A tableware apparatus, comprising:
a tableware body; and
at least one receptacle disposed in the body, the at least one receptacle having at least one or more contoured grooves having a first groove end proximate a central or interior region of the receptacle, and a second groove end proximate an outside delimiting perimeter of the receptacle, the grooves configured for trapping and/or guiding foodstuffs in a predictable path toward the outside, delimiting perimeter of said tableware.
2. The tableware of claim 1, wherein the grooves are sized to approximately accommodate fingers or fingertips of infants or children to fit their fingers or fingertips into the grooves so that a digital advantage can be created and leverage achieved over the foodstuffs that are being grasped.
3. The tableware of claim 1, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves.
4. The tableware of claim 1, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves and there is more than one set in at least one of the at least one receptacle.
5. The tableware of claim 1, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves and there is more than one set in at least one of the at least one receptacle and at least two of the sets are positioned on opposite sides of the receptacle.
6. The tableware of claim 1, wherein the tableware includes an under surface, the undersurface including a non-slip or slip-resistant material.
7. The tableware of claim 1, wherein the tableware body comprises more than one receptacle of different sizes.
8. A dish, comprising:
a base for contacting a surface;
side walls extending from the base and coupling with an interior surface to form at least one bowl region; and
at least one set of grooves formed in the interior surface, extending from a point inside the bowl region to an upper edge of the bowl region.
9. The dish of claim 8, wherein the grooves are sized to approximately accommodate fingers or fingertips of infants or children to fit their fingers or fingertips into the grooves so that a digital advantage can be created and leverage achieved over the foodstuffs that are being grasped.
10. The dish of claim 8, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves.
11. The dish of claim 8, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves and there is more than one set in at least one of the at least one bowl region.
12. The dish of claim 8, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves and there is more than one set in at least one of the at least one bowl region and at least two of the sets are positioned on opposite sides of the bowl region.
13. The dish of claim 8, wherein the dish includes an under surface, the undersurface including a non-slip or slip-resistant material.
14. The dish of claim 8, wherein dish comprises more than one bowl region of different sizes.
15. A tableware apparatus, comprising:
a tableware body; and
at least three receptacles disposed in the body, at least one of the at least three receptacles having at least one or more contoured grooves having a first groove end proximate a central or interior region of the receptacle, and a second groove end proximate an outside delimiting perimeter of the at least one of the at least three receptacles,
wherein at least two of the at least three receptacles are approximately the same size and shape.
16. The tableware of claim 15, wherein the grooves are sized to approximately accommodate fingers or fingertips of infants or children to fit their fingers or fingertips into the grooves so that a digital advantage can be created and leverage achieved over the foodstuffs that are being grasped.
17. The tableware of claim 15, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves.
18. The tableware of claim 15, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves and there is more than one set in the at least one of the at least three receptacles.
19. The tableware of claim 15, wherein the grooves are configured in sets of parallel grooves and there is more than one set in at least one of the at least one of the at least three receptacles and at least two of the sets are positioned on opposite sides of the receptacle.
20. The tableware of claim 15, wherein there are sets of grooves disposed in each of the at least three receptacles.
US16/110,968 2018-08-23 2018-08-23 Grooved tableware for assisting infants and children with grasping foodstuffs Abandoned US20200060452A1 (en)

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US3401863A (en) * 1966-12-12 1968-09-17 American Can Co Compartmented tray
US3578235A (en) * 1969-11-05 1971-05-11 Hugh R Weiss Tray for carmels
US3708086A (en) * 1970-12-28 1973-01-02 Plastics Inc Divided plate cover and plate
US4781773A (en) * 1986-12-22 1988-11-01 Instance David John Manufacturing containers from multilayered material
US5236119A (en) * 1992-11-05 1993-08-17 Chu Ming Hsiang Paper plate
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